Bride-to-be 'devastated' as Storm Emma forces couple to postpone wedding

Undated family handout photo of bride and groom-to-be Emma OKane and Chris Butler who were forced to postpone their wedding at Darver Castle in Dundalk today due to the weather.
Undated family handout photo of bride and groom-to-be Emma OKane and Chris Butler who were forced to postpone their wedding at Darver Castle in Dundalk today due to the weather.

Storm Emma has ruined the dream wedding day of her namesake.

Bride-to-be Emma O'Kane and her fiance Chris Butler, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, were forced to call off their wedding on Thursday morning, just hours before the ceremony, because of the dangerous weather conditions.

Undated family handout photo of bride and groom-to-be Emma OKane and Chris Butler who were forced to postpone their wedding at Darver Castle in Dundalk today due to the weather.

Undated family handout photo of bride and groom-to-be Emma OKane and Chris Butler who were forced to postpone their wedding at Darver Castle in Dundalk today due to the weather.

Heartbroken Emma, 32, told the Press Association she was in the middle of her bridal hair and make-up when weather conditions began to deteriorate and she realised she would have to call off her big day after two years of planning.

The couple were due to marry at Darver Castle in Dundalk, Co Louth, in front of 127 guests.

"The weather was fine last night but when I woke up this morning it was like Siberia," she said.

"We were in the middle of hair and make-up when my mum phoned and said the Castle had been on the phone and said how treacherous it was."

She added: "They (Darver Castle) were so good. They said it was entirely up to us but that if it was up to them they would recommend postponing it. They said they would support us and give us a new date."It was devastating, but when I took a step back I realised the right decision would be to postpone.

"People would have had to travel through that weather to get there.

"I have had a few wobbles but once I calmed down I just thought 'Right, how do I fix this?'"

The couple have been able to rebook their wedding for March 29 and are hoping, weather permitting, to still fly out to Cuba for their honeymoon this weekend.

"It's a bit back-to-front but we might as well salvage what we can," groom-to-be Chris, 26, said.

"It is hard when you have to phone your wife on your wedding day and say 'We are going to have to make a decision about cancelling'.

"There was nothing we could do about it. You just have to take it on the chin and move on. We have rebooked for March 29.

"We can't get a weather forecast that far ahead but we are hoping it will be better than today," he added.

Aidan Carville, owner of the 15th century Darver Castle said the area was covered in snow drifts and with flights into Ireland cancelled he had had to call off three weddings this weekend.

Emma and Chris's celebrations were the first to be postponed.

A further 200 guests were booked for a wedding on Friday.

Mr Carville said: "We have to put people's safety first, it is probably for the best in the circumstances."

He said a lot of guests had been ringing up and cancelling because of the weather.

"There were a lot of people coming in tomorrow from the UK for tomorrow's wedding but all flights are cancelled," he added.