Love shines through for summer solstice wedding party
Psychologists Aisling Curtin and Trish Leonard cemented their love by getting married last week, writes Andrea Smith
THE sun beamed down last Tuesday when Aisling Curtin and Trish Leonard were married at Mount Druid before their 120 guests. This was just as well as they had a summer solstice festival-themed wedding planned, and their wedding party wore sunny shades of orange and yellow to reflect that. When we met for this interview a few days before the ceremony, the women were hugely excited about their impending nuptials.
“It will be non-traditional,” Aisling explained. “We are spending the night before together, and are getting married in an unconsecrated tin chapel. We will walk down the aisle together, because as feminists, we don’t want the tradition of a man giving us away.
“We’re having nine best people between us, so Trish will have three girls and one guy wearing orange, and I’ll have five girls wearing yellow. Each person will be wearing something they’ve chosen themselves. We’re also writing our own vows and tailoring our ceremony to represent who we are.”
The entertainment on the day included some comedy improv (which is Aisling’s hobby), and music from busker Sean Regan and Kolted, a band from Spain. The main thing the women were looking forward to, though, was having all the people they love together in one place, and of course becoming each other’s wife.
Trish and Aisling are a charming, glamorous pair, who first met in 2013 in the Front Lounge through a mutual friend. Trish was just out of a five-year relationship that was in the closet so she wasn’t really ready for a new relationship, but she was intrigued by Aisling. She bought her a rose, although Aisling didn’t realise that she was interested in her.
“It’s hard to say who made the first move, because Trish bought the rose but then I was the one who kissed her first a little while later,” Aisling laughed. “I loved how open and real she was, and her intelligence, spirit and emotional awareness. I also liked her eyes and smile. I could spend my life on a desert island with Trish, and while we drive each other crazy at times, we never get bored.
“Even now, the more time I spend with her, the more attracted I am and the more I love her.”
Trish said that they clicked at a depth immediately and she was attracted to Aisling as she was “super-hot”.
“She has amazing eyes and she was wearing a very flattering dress that night,” Trish recalled. “It was less of a cognitive attraction, but if she touched me, I would immediately get sparks going through my body. We were quite rocky at the beginning, and we would fall out and break up but any time we were around each other again, I couldn’t deny the attraction.
“Aisling is like no one I have ever met before, as she is radiant and has such a big heart. She believes in people and wants the best for everyone. I also love her honesty, courage and intelligence.”
Aisling (33) decided to become a psychologist as a result of a tragedy in her family. Her brother Shane died in 1998, aged 11, when a joyrider — who was later jailed — crashed into their mother Margaret’s car, about half a mile from their home in Castlemartyr, Cork. Aisling, 14 at the time, and her other brother, Ciaran, who was seven, were also in the car.
After losing Shane, the family went to therapy with a psychologist. Aisling’s dad John developed Parkinson’s Disease five years later, so it was a hard decade for the family. Aisling decided that she wanted to help other people, so she did a degree in psychology at Maynooth University, followed by a master’s degree in counselling psychology at Trinity College.
She worked at St Edmundsbury Hospital in Lucan until 2012, when she established her own practice as she had a keen interest in preventative treatment.
Trish (39) is from Ringsend and is the youngest of Eileen and Paddy’s three children. She studied business at DCU, and then worked in advertising, doing a master’s in it too. She hated that career path and it contributed to her having a breakdown at the age of 26, which resulted in her being hospitalised.
She looked on it as an opportunity to rebuild, and decided to retrain. She went to Trinity College and studied psychology to doctorate level, and then did small private practice work and worked for the HSE.
She finished up with that last year to embark on the practice with Aisling.
Act Now Purposeful Living is the name of their practice and it does a range of things, including public workshops and training courses. Their work is based on third wave psychological approaches, so it contains a lot of mindfulness and compassion.
They aim to give people the skills and strategies to really help themselves on an ongoing basis.
“We see people who have gone to five or six therapists, and they say that all they do is talk about their problems,” said Aisling. “They don’t leave with any practical skills or ways to make changes in their life.
“I struggle with depression at times and Trish struggles with anxiety, so we won’t ask anyone to do anything that we haven’t done ourselves, so the process is collaborative and empowering.”
As for the honeymoon, the women are writing a book for Hachette so they are taking several weeks out in Portugal to write it.
“I love writing with Trish more than anything, so if we are sitting down next to each other writing, I just find that so attractive,” said Aisling with a smile.
Aisling and Trish Leonard-curtin tie the knot. Photo: Elisha Clarke. The happy couple, inset. Photo: Damien Eagers