Couples are advised to consider symbolic dates when planning their big day and for Seán Ward, also known as Mad 4 Grass Contracting, it could not have been any easier.
The drystock farmer tied the knot with Jackie Dolan, his other half of over fifteen years, on Saturday, October 10th, 2020.
The chosen day stemmed from the Ballinasloe, Co. Roscommon native’s passion for what is possibly the most famous fertiliser compound in Ireland.
‘A lover of Goulding fertiliser’
Speaking to Catherina Cunnane, editor of That’s Farming, Seán, said: “I am a lover of Goulding fertiliser – It is available locally and I source all mine from Greene’s Hardware in Ahascragh. My neighbour, Ciaran Kenny, is the local rep for Gouldings.”
“If anyone wants to add me on Snapchat, my username is @madforgrass (Mad 4 Grass Contracting). If people tune into my Snapchat, I always seem to be putting out fertiliser, one shake at a time.”
“I turn grass for farmers and do some agricultural contracting in the summer months.”
Jackie and Seán met at a dance in Hayden’s Gateway Hotel 15 years, 4 months, and 10 days as and from their wedding date. “We picked 10/10/2020 as our wedding date back in 2017.” the Roscommon native revealed.
While the couple had planned all their wedding before Covid-19 struck, the move to introduce level three restrictions nationwide the week of their big day forced them to make some changes.
Weddings can proceed under level 3 as part of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 roadmap; however, there is a limit of 25 guests for a ceremony and reception, irrespective of venue.
“When announcements were made last week, our attendance numbers were halved. It could have been worse, as if the country was elevated to level four, only six people could attend our wedding.”
“Covid-19 restrictions may have stopped the Healy-Raes’ wedding, but they didn’t stop the Wards and Dolans.” the drystock farmer added.
“Everything was held in the Moycarn Lodge & Marina in Ballinasloe. Ballinasloe and District Vintage Club surprised us, coming out in their tractors and cars.”
“There was a lot of 10/10/20 going on. There were bales of straw, which Enda Doran gave to me and Brendan Murray wrapped them and there was a 10-10-20-themed banner.”
Jackie’s sister ventured from America and she had to quarantine for two weeks before the couple could see her in person.
Those who could not be present at the wedding joined proceedings virtually through a Facebook livestream.
The bridesmaids, Jackie’s two daughters, who are based in Derby, could not travel for the wedding.
“Jackie’s daughters got dressed up in their bridesmaids’ attire and some of the page boys were here, but her grandkids in Derby dressed up in their gear. They all went to the Derbyshire Conference Centre to tune into the livestream.”
“My sister in Montreal, Canada, and our cousins in London watched via the online link.”
“We had to cancel the band we had booked because we could not have live music due to Covid-19 restrictions, so we drank lots of fluffy ducks on Saturday night,” Seán revealed as he erupted into laughter.
The couple thanked family, relatives, friends, everyone who helped them, attended and/or sent their good wishes, cards, and gifts.
“A special word of thanks to Jackie’s son, Paul, who gave her away, Jackie’s cousin, Mary Kenny and her sister, Angela, chief negotiators, our bridesmaids, page boys and John Dunne from Portlaoise, solemniser.”
“Thanks to Valerie Seale and Aidan Lonergan for music during the ceremony, Michael Dolan, Christopher Johnston and all the staff of Moycarn Lodge & Marina and also Rosebud Weddings Ireland in Kiltormer.”
“Thanks to our neighbours, Paul Brooks [Frosty], Tommy Costello, Ann and Dermot McDonagh and Eugene and Brian Geraghty, who lit bonfires outside their houses.”
“My daughter-in-law, Danielle Burns, made our cake which also carried the 10/10/20 theme, and Marian Mannion, who made Jackie’s dress.”
“Our special day went according to plan and next time, I spread a bag of 10:10:20, it will mean more than just shaking a bag of fertiliser,” Seán concluded.
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