The Bride Diaries: A Catch Up With Caitlyn

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Let the countdown begin! Follow along with us as we join social media star & MUA Caitlyn Lendrum on the 8-week journey to her wedding

For all the brides-to-be out there nervously counting down the days, just know you’re not alone. We’ve caught up with our resident beauty blogger Caitlyn Lendrum who’s going to take us on the complete journey from ‘YES’ to ‘I Do’, so buckle up and let’s get into it!

If you’re anything like us and are a big makeup lover, you’ve probably heard of Caitlyn who at just 24-years-old has built one of the most successful beauty empires in the country with her own makeup brand, accessories and much more.

Caitlyn tells us: “I started my career as a makeup artist a few years ago, not knowing where it would take me – fast forward to now and I’ve built a brand for myself, winning multiple beauty awards and growing my social media business into one of the best in Northern Ireland.

“I’m so excited to share my journey with all you WJ’s readers through the Bride Diaries and take you to the altar with me!”

Caitlyn & Tony

Before we get into the whirlwind of wedding planning, let’s find out more about the groom-to-be, Tony Hegarty – also known as T.

Caitlyn continues: “Before I dive right in, I want to tell you little more about my fiancé Tony. When people ask how Tony and I met, I always start by saying, ‘have you got five minutes?’ It’s a complicated story, I suppose it’s more of a 21st century romance.

“We were set up by my mum and his sister who thought we would be perfect for each other. The only thing stopping us actually meeting was 5,500 miles – no big deal!

“It all started back in August 2017. I was heading into town on a Saturday night after a long day of clients when I received a message from my mum in our family groupchat. She wrote, ‘My friend’s gorgeous brother sent you a friend request on Facebook – he has a fab job in California and you’ve not accepted yet…why?’”

Being a strong independent and career-driven woman, Caitlyn was more than happy being single, but sometimes love finds you when you least expect it and so, here we are – just weeks away from the big day!

She says: “I was 20 years old at the time and putting everything into my business and just enjoying going on nights out with the girls. Now, it’s important to remember I was out with my girls that night. I already had a couple of drinks at that point and the last thing on my mind was accepting a random guy on Facebook that my mum thought suited me.

“We all know they can either pick a winner (thank God she did) or it can be tragic. I found his request (through blurry eyes) but his name was spelt in Irish. I quickly replied to my mum ‘Catch a grip, I can’t even pronounce that.’ Which is why he’s now known as T; those Irish names are like tongue twisters!

“A few hours later I was standing at the bar, alone and bored, so of course I stalked every inch of his life. Within moments I knew he had lived in San Jose and New Zealand, he was working for Facebook in California and adored his family. I accepted him out of pure guilt because he now admits he deleted his request, re-added me twice and waited three weeks!

“Our first conversation is quite funny actually, I printed screenshots of it to put them in a scrap book for his first Valentines present. We started off chatting about life, our interests, our careers and our future and I instantly figured he was just what I needed. It’s tough because I’m so career driven, but I needed someone to help me build my empire, and he was just the one.”

Thank God for Facebook eh?! (and Caitlyn’s mum of course). So after hitting it off straight away, Caitlyn and Tony did six months of long distance, before Tony finally moved home in 2018.

The Proposal

Fast forward two and a half years later, Caitlyn and Tony have been through it all from buying their dream home to getting their first fur baby, Rocco. So, the only thing left to do was put a ring on it – and of course Tony pulled out all the stops!

Caitlyn says: “WOW. It really seems like forever ago now talking about the proposal – back when we were carefree and able to travel! I really am so grateful Tony was able to do his dream proposal before Covid.

“Back in September 2019 we headed off to my absolute favourite place in the world, Dubai. After spending a day at the beach in 40-degree heat, the last thing on my mind was to blow-dry my hair and get glam!

“Tony had the day planned for months – he had asked my parents, he designed the ring with my mum and strategically planned getting the ring to Dubai safely. All he now needed was to get me to dinner.

“We arrived at the stunning gardens of the Ritz Carlton for an intimate dinner over water. Tony is an old romantic so the beautiful candlelit dinner, red carpet and rose petals didn’t scream proposal to me – I think that’s why he was able to really surprise me!

“We talked a little about the week ahead of us then Tony offered to get my outfit picture (so me!). That’s when I turned to see him on his knee behind me holding a rock! I just remember continuously saying ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Are you sure?’ I was just so shocked that someone ACTUALLY wanted to make me their wife!”

Ready, Set, Plan!

Of course this was all pre-pandemic, so after Caitlyn and Tony flew back home to celebrate with family and friends, they threw themselves into wedding planning only for Covid to enter the chat…and well, we all know how that one goes.

“So let’s address the obvious – its August 2021 and we aren’t married yet!” Caitlyn says. “After the proposal, we came home and we were going at 100 miles per hour. We picked our bridal party in February and booked our date and venue in March, completely oblivious to what was coming next.

“April came around and we were one year out from the wedding as our original date was 30th April 2021 and the world was on halt. However, we are now eight weeks out as we decided to put the date off six months to 22nd October in the hope it would bring us some ease, yet it hasn’t really at all!

“It’s a tough one planning for something that can be taken away so easily. At the moment, we’re watching the news and waiting for wedding restrictions to ease and for risk assessments to change. As of the month of August, I was pretty negative about it all.

“However, I am now in a much more positive frame of mind and I’ve decided I’m not listening to negative opinions or feeding into rumours. Instead, I’m letting myself get excited and feel like a bride-to-be for once!

“We’ve just had a meeting with the lovely Abby from The Loft, our chosen venue, to go through all the final details and set our plan in place. Prior to this, I had booked everything, bought the dresses, organised my bride tribe but still felt all over the place.

“Although now the day has some structure, there’s a massive weight off my shoulders and it’s all finally hit me… I’m getting married in 60 days!”

Stay tuned for our next Friday segment to read all about Caitlyn’s dream venue at The Loft – you don’t want to miss it!

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