How Siobhan and Dean saved their wedding third time around

Siobhan Hyland and Dean Casey are old hands at planning a wedding. In 2020 they chose their date, booked their venue and geared up their grand plans for matrimony, only to witness pandemic lockdowns blow up their big day – twice.

First they were to be married in April. Then in March as the nation’s original lockdown arrived, “it started looking ominous and the writing was on the wall,” says the bride. “We had to pull the pin about four weeks before.”

Bride Siobhan Hyland and groom Dean Casey re-arranged their wedding in hours on Friday after having each of their three attempts to schedule the big day disrupted by Melbourne’s lockdowns. They tied the knot at about 7pm.Credit:Chris Hopkins

They rescheduled it to November and felt optimistic. “We were sort of judging how China and Italy were going and it seemed to be a bit more under control,” she says.

With the state’s intense second lockdown came the second, disappointing, cancellation of the wedding.

“Then we thought, ‘February [would be good], apparently the the virus is stronger in winter, and it looked good until a week ago – but then it didn’t’,” says Ms Hyland, who like her soon-to-be husband is a public servant.

By the time Premier Daniel Andrews stood up shortly after 1pm on Friday to announce the state would go into lockdown a third time the couple had read the tea leaves and started making calls.

Credit goes to my genius partner, I was just in tears all week.

In the space of hours they dragged their entire event – venue, celebrant, makeup, catering and even most of the guests – forward by 24 hours, determined that this time it would go ahead. The wedding kicked off at 6.30pm.

“Credit goes to my genius partner, I was just in tears all week,” Ms Hyland told The Age in a quick interview as her makeup artist arrived.

“The venue [East Elevation in Brunswick East] were so good, they raced around getting their chefs and staff, we called the celebrant, the photographer and contacted as many people as we could.”

Most guests, bar those who live interstate, were able to attend, meaning the event shrank only slightly from about 70 people to nearer 60. Sadly, one of those who nearly made it, but not quite, was Mr Casey’s father.

He flew into Melbourne at 2pm from north Queensland but rather than risk being locked out of his home state and potentially needing to quarantine, he decided to wait at Tullamarine before taking a 6pm flight home again.

As Ms Hyland told her unlucky, then lucky, story Mr Casey prepared to jump in the car and drive to the airport at about 3.30pm, “to have a beer with his dad and probably a bit of a cry because he can’t come to the wedding”.

As the clock ticked down to their long-awaited nuptials, Ms Casey described the dress she arranged nearly two years ago as “not over the top”. She described her feelings as “relieved: and I can’t wait to have a champagne.”

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