Love shines through for sum­mer sol­stice wedding party

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BONDINGS -

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.

www.act­nowpl.com

Ais­ling and Tr­ish Leonard-curtin tie the knot. Photo: Elisha Clarke. The happy cou­ple, in­set. Photo: Damien Eagers

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