A delighted Cavan bride was left stunned by her loving sister and bridesmaid who co-ordinated an incredible ‘singing flashmob’ for her Church wedding ceremony, starring not only their father and brother, but aunties and uncles as well.
The astonishing performance was - after the vows of course - a stand-out moment from Lisa McGrath and David Kellett's wedding in Killeshandra earlier this month, January 12.
Singing ‘How Great Thou Art’, footage from the ceremony filmed by wedding photographer Manuel Lavery and posted online, has since been viewed several thousand times. Check out the video here:
For musical Michelle McGrath, the wedding serenade was the culmination of weeks of careful choreography and clandestine late-night meetings at the local St Brigid's Church without her sister's knowledge.
Knowing how much Lisa loves the hymn, the canny Michelle roped in dad and local choral conductor Patrick; brother Patrick Jr, who had only just returned from Australia for the wedding; two uncles and five aunts. She even arranged for best friend Louise Corcoran to play tin whistle.
The task at hand, however, was made all the more difficult given that globe-trotting Michelle had planned a near month-long trip through Central America and the Caribbean with partner Patrick in the run up to Lisa's big day.
With the final touches put to the McGrath family performance upon Michelle's return, the stage was set for Cavan General care assistant Lisa's marriage to Virginia native David.
At the conclusion of the candle lighting portion of their wedding ceremony, Michelle and father Patrick are abruptly joined by Patrick Jr, who stands singing in the congregation much to the initial confusion of the couple.
But shock soon turns to elation as it begins to dawn on the couple that something more might be at play, when the booming baritone of uncle Hughie McGrath kicks in, soon joined by brother John.
With aunties Bernie, Rose, Margaret, Christine and Caroline adding to the chorus of McGrath family singers thereafter, the crescendo arrives as all flank the captivated Lisa and emotional David for the big finale.
A standing ovation throughout the church ensues, with the suitably impressed priest telling those present: “As the man says... follow that!”
With Lisa and David Honeymooning in Las Vegas, followed by the Dominican Republic, Michelle tells the Celt the McGrath family are still buzzing from the positive response received to their unanticipated yet meticulously planning wedding antics. “I had arranged for [the family members to be] in different areas around the church so when they did stand and sing their part the music would fill the church. With dad playing, our job was just to keep singing. She hadn't a clue what was going on for a while but soon realised something was happening. It was brilliant!.
“We're absolutely delighted with the response from her and David. It's exactly as we were hoping it was going to go,” adds Michelle, who further organised for electric violinist extraordinaire Eimear Bradley to entertain guests at the couple's wedding reception.
Again, a video of that, Eimear playing a jaw-dropping version of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', and of those sitting at the top-table standing and dancing, has proved a big hit with the internet.
Michelle tells the Celt: “It all came off in the end. It was an incredible day and something a bit different. She's our sister and we just love her. It was brilliant to be able to add to the day in the way we did and we're so happy that so many more people are enjoying watching it too.”