NICOLA + PHILL
Phill and I met at a friend’s going-away party in New York. We had first noticed each other at pre-dinner drinks on a rooftop and by the time we got to the restaurant he’d asked my friend to make sure I was sitting beside him, so she reshuffled the seating. It turned into a crazy tequila shot filled night ending with us huddled together in a corner talking at the Merc Bar. Our first date I asked him to see The National play in Central Park and I remember it being a magical summer’s evening followed by a risqué taxi ride home. I can’t remember when we first said “I love you,” but I know it was not long after we’d met and soon after that we moved in together. Phill is the most loving, patient, fun, thoughtful and brave person I know and the only guy I’d feel safe with during a zombie apocalypse.
Phill asked me to marry him when we were in Ireland for Thanksgiving and it turned out he’d asked my father nine months earlier and was determined to have the ring when he proposed. For various reasons, including the volcano in Iceland delaying the diamond arriving from London, the ring wasn’t ready for nine months. I was a bit suspicious because on the flight to Ireland he kept asking me what the name of my favorite beach on the north coast was and if we could go there. That plan was scuppered for various reason (snowstorms; my mum suggesting she come along for the ride to pick up some frozen chickens) and in the end he popped the question when we were sitting in front of the fire at my parents house.
My father passed away ten weeks before the wedding, he was almost eighty-seven, twenty-one years older than my mother and although very sad we felt blessed that he had lived a long, happy life. Phill and I had wanted a baby long before we decided to get married. When we started planning the wedding, after a long journey of various fertility medication we were just starting IVF. We ended up getting married when I was nine weeks pregnant with our son Flynn. When my doctor found out he said there was something he really wanted to ask me: ”Had I heard of the term ‘transmigration of souls?’" Before I could reply I had tears streaming down my face as I knew he was referring to my father.
The wedding was in the countryside in Ireland outside the village Templepatrick where I’d grown up. We wanted something very relaxed and had three Nordic tipis (called katas) decorated with wild flowers by my mum and her friends. The actual service was in another smaller tent next to them.
My dress was designed by a good friend who I worked with. I wanted something 1930’s-esque, with a bias cut (to allow for my expanding waistline) and jeweled embroidery from India on the straps. When I got to Ireland I realized I hadn’t accounted for the fact that it was much cooler than New York in June so I contacted Molly and she immediately sent me the fur stole she’d worn at her own wedding.
The week before the big day I’d been really sick with a terrible cold and even on the day of I wasn’t fully recovered. But it didn’t matter as I was carried along with all the excitement and remember just being so happy seeing all our friends and family there in Ireland. My twin sister was my Maid of Honor and my brother gave me away as we walked down the grass to Sigur Ros' “Hoppipolla." We had a humanist service, which was both humorous and poignant. After dinner and speeches a rowdy local band called the Diesel Drinkers played and everyone was up dancing and singing, spurred on by Phill’s brother playing guitar to ACDC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie.”
The craziest, most surreal moment was when the tipis caught fire. By the time the local fire brigade arrived the groomsmen had already distinguished the flames, however, that didn’t stop the firemen from getting a pint of Guinness and joining in the festivities. The band had run off down the field so once the fire was out Phill dragged them back and the party continued late into the night. Phill and I were the last to leave, hitching a ride in the fire engine back to our hotel.
Pics by Marisa Shumway