Would-be guests left handwritten well-wishes in an 'Almost Mr & Mrs' box outside the home of a couple on the day they were due to marry.
Grace Corrigan (26) and Martin O'Reilly (33) were due to celebrate their wedding with 250 guests in Darver Castle, County Louth on Saturday before flying out to honeymoon in Dubai and Bali — until Covid-19 rightly scuppered their plans.
The couple got engaged more than two years ago but put the wedding on the long finger until they finished building their dream home in Shercock, County Cavan.
Grace, who is a pediatric nurse and Martin, a lab technician decided to hold a pretend event instead of moping about on the day — and Grace even got a veil embroidered with 'Nearly Mrs O'Reilly'.
"I think it was more stressful when we didn't know back in March what was going to happen but once we made the decision to postpone the wedding, everything was so much easier," said Grace who hails from Bailieborough.
"Darver Castle staff were amazing and nothing was too much trouble for them and all the suppliers had no problem changing the date to April next year."
"We couldn't let the day go by so I got a white dress and a veil with 'nearly Mrs O'Reilly' on it and Martin wore a suit. We hung pictures of us as babies outside and a friend of mine, who is a home economics teacher, made us a cake."
"We put the Mr and Mrs box outside and I scribbed the word 'almost' on it and friends and relatives left us some lovely messages.
"We invited immediate family — just our parents and siblings — over for a cup of tea and surprised them with the mini-event. Martin has a vintage 1986 car and we plastered it in ribbons for day too."
"Of course we were sad but we decided to make the most out of the day. The whole world is at a standstill, it's not just our wedding. Covid-19 cancelled our wedding, we didn't. We are still together and nothing has changed there so we will still have our big day — but this mini-day was a great practice run," she laughed.