They were there to say they mean the world to each other, so Cork couple Hansey Sexton and Gary Power couldn’t have asked for a better wedding backdrop.
Gaia is the name of the seven-metre-wide rotating sculpture of planet Earth that hangs from the vaulted ceiling of St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
It was at St Colman’s that Hansey, from Glanmire, and Gary, from Blackrock, exchanged their wedding vows on Friday June 17, having had to postpone the event due to the pandemic.
“Our wedding was originally scheduled to take place in June 2020 and we had three previous wedding dates, so finally on the fourth attempt, we made it!” Hansey said.
“We were also lucky enough to have a baby girl six months ago and her name is Gia – a very similar name to the installation in the church, Gaia.”
The bride says she had “no idea” until weeks before the wedding that the art installation would be in place. “At first, I didn’t know what to think about it,” she says. “I was thinking, ‘Now there’s going to be a globe in the middle of the aisle?’ Then when I saw it in real life, it blew my mind. It’s beautiful.”
Taking his dad’s arm just two days before Father’s Day was also special.
“When we walked into the cathedral, my dad looked up at the globe sculpture and said, ‘I’d like to give you the world, that’s how much I love you,'” Hansey said.
And father of the bride Derry Sexton also had words of wisdom for the car ride: “He told me not to be nervous and just enjoy every moment because I’ve been looking forward to it for so long .long – and he was so right!, she says.
“He also joked in the middle of the aisle that it was my last chance to race! It was a special moment with him walking down the aisle and a moment I will cherish forever.
Hansey and Gary met at a party in Cork eight years ago. “We had friends in similar circles, so we had a lot in common and we hit it off right from the start. Cork is a small place, after all. Gary has worked abroad extensively in Amsterdam for the past few years but moved permanently to Cork in March 2020,” the bride explains.
The couple got engaged four years ago on the beach in Mojácar, Spain, where Hansey spends his family vacations every summer.
Their original vision was to enjoy “a classic, traditional church wedding,” the bride says.
“With the addition of the globe, it was almost cinematic and looked like something out of a movie,” says Hansey.
Another special aspect of the wedding was the wedding veil, a gift from her aunt, also called Hansey. “It was a gift from my aunt who had it custom made, but she sadly passed away in 2020 and sadly missed that day,” says Hansey. We got engaged in 2018, the year Meghan Markle got married. Meghan had a fantastic long veil and my aunt said, I’ll buy you a veil like this. I felt like she was there with me in spirit.
They were married by a relative of the groom, father Liam Power, and held their reception at the Fota Island Resort Hotel.
Raising a toast to their future happiness, the two sets of parents, Mary and Derry Sexton; and Bertilla and David Power; and the groom’s grandmother, Freda Lombard.
Hansey had the support of his bridesmaids, Hansey Brosnan, Colleen Kelleher, Michelle Scanlon, Edel Flatley and Barbara Neville, while alongside Gary as groomsmen were Gerard Kelly, William O’Leary, Ivan Sexton, Brendan Spillane and Adrian O’Shea.
Gia, Julia and Sofia Power were the flowergirls.
In the light, photography captured the big day on camera, while DG Video was the videographer; and Ina McCarthy, Midleton, created the floral arrangements.
The newlyweds and their daughter will honeymoon in Mojácar, at Hansey’s family home, for two weeks.
Hansey is a teacher at St Columba’s National School for Girls in Douglas and Gary is an electrical engineer.
“We moved to Glanmire, not far from the family home, and have been living there for two years,” says the bride.
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