Carole and Aidie Rogan had to celebrate what would have been their October wedding day with a glass of bubbly at his bedside at Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Belfast.
During a 10-hour operation, Aidie had a heart bypass and valve replacement and spent a total of seven weeks in hospital. But now the couple, from Drumaness, can finally celebrate wedded bliss after exchanging vows at Manor House Hotel, in Killadeas, Enniskillen, last month.
Because they both work in the waste industry – Carole for Biffa and Aidie for McQuillan – they thought it would be fun to have a waste-themed wedding.Flowers were arranged in wheelie-bins, each table had a kitchen caddy with goodies inside, and the chief bridesmaid and many of the guests either work for the two companies or are customers and ex-customers.
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Carole even wore her mum’s wedding dress from 1979 - a great example of re-using a perfectly good item instead of buying something new.
Carole, 41, nee Cummins, a contracts manager for Biffa in Northern Ireland, said: “I’ve been in the waste industry since graduating 20 years ago. That’s how we met. We thought doing something ‘waste-y’ for our wedding would be a fun way to celebrate that.”
Carole and Aidie, 56, have been together for 19 years, while Aidie has a daughter from a previous marriage.
Carole said: “We were due to get married on October 2nd, but three weeks before the wedding Aidie had pain in his chest and went for a scan.
“He then rang me to say ‘they aren’t letting me out. They say I’ll be lucky to get out within the next five weeks.’
“On what would have been our wedding day I visited him in hospital with a bottle of champagne and two flutes, and we had a little celebration that way.”
Carole said the wedding venue did not charge them a cancellation fee and happily kept the booking open for when the couple could finally celebrate properly.
She said: “Saturday, March 5th, it was just a fun day, really great craic. As soon as we were married, I shouted ‘yes’, pumped my fist and ran down the aisle showing off my wedding ring.
“I was always a guest, never the bride! It was such a good gig. It was so worth the wait.
“My dress was my mother’s dress. We got married in the same venue as my parents.
“Aidie is such a good fella. So easy going. He keeps me in line. He doesn’t let anything rattle him. He’s an all-round good guy.
“We went for a minimoon in Tenerife. Next year we’re planning to visit Nashville. We like country music. I live for the weekends. I love life. We socialise, go to local clubs, out with friends. We just love having a good time. He is taking things easy. He’s not ready to run up a mountain just yet, but he’s heading in the right direction.”