Michaela O’Neill and fiance Ryan Andrews are going full steam ahead with their wedding plans as the couple prepare to marry on the sunny Spanish island of Mallorca in the summer of 2023.
In what is set to be one of the busiest wedding seasons in history after so many were postponed and cancelled due to the pandemic, Michaela is decidedly decisive when it comes to choosing and booking things for her big day to the actor turned Mount Everest explorer.
However, it was her mother who found her wedding dress for her, during Michaela’s first ever appointment at a bridal shop last week, where she took her mum and aunt to try on a few gowns. Thinking she would have to return a number of times before finding the one, Michaela tried the dress on and took it home that very same day – as fate would have it, the dress her mum chose was brand new, in Michaela’s size and was ready to be bought.
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“I got my dress last weekend, so that has really made it feel real!” the primary school teacher told RSVP Live.
It was so surreal, it was like an out of body experience, because it was the very first shop I went to, so I had no expectations, didn’t know what style I was going to go for – I had an idea in my head but I think, and what I’ve learned from most people that I have spoken to, is that I went for something completely not what I thought I would.”
While it’s a mixed bag for brides when it comes to dress shopping, with some taking months to source the right guna and others finding it immediately, in Michaela’s case it was much like the decision to get married – when you know, you just know.
“I had my mum and my aunt with me, but wasn’t really thinking that it would be the day I found my wedding dress because I thought I was going to have to have a few appointments at least before I had found the one,” she said.
“I tried on four or five but there was something with them all that I was put off by, and then just as I was heading in to try the last one on, my mum pulled one off the rail and was like ‘why don’t you try this one.'”
“I gave it a go and that was it, so technically it was my mum that picked it.”
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“When I was trying on the first few which were the style I had in mind, it wasn’t as emotional as I expected it to be because I had pictured it so many times, but my mum and my aunt weren’t that emotional either, they were like ‘its gorgeous but we don’t think its the dress.'”
“Then when I put the one I went for on in the end and walked out that was a totally different feeling. It was the first dress that I looked in the mirror before I walked out to them and said out loud, ‘I love this.'”
In a twist of serendipity, the dress fit perfectly, and was ready to be taken home that very day – with Michaela snapping photos of the garment bag laying in the back of her car after her sisters couldn’t believe she had already managed to not only choose a dress but leave the shop with it.
“I am very very decisive, I’m not impulsive but I just didn’t feel anything like the way I felt in it, so I was like it has to be this one. I couldn’t leave it there,” she said.
Michaela shared that the wedding seems so much closer now that the summer is approaching and the dress is secured.
“That makes everything more exciting now, because I can really picture myself there, whereas when you don’t have the dress that’s something you need to get ticked off the list!”
The couple are due to head back to Mallorca over Easter once Ryan returns from his trek up Mount Everest – a test of personal strength after he took up hiking over lockdown and took part in RTE’s Ultimate Hell Week.
“When he gets back, we’re going to Mallorca for all of our tastings, so we’re meeting with three chefs over there to pick the menu, so that will be more things checked off and decided!”
The gorgeous couple got engaged in August of 2021, with Ryan organising a romantic proposal for Michaela at Ballymoney beach in county Wexford.
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