A video of a groom from Omagh singing his bride down the aisle has become an internet sensation, accumulating almost a million hits online.
Niall Donnelly is well known throughout Ireland as the frontman of bands such as Mimic, Freerider and now The Rockits, but it was an intimate and special moment shared with his wife Jill almost four years ago that has now got him global notoriety.
It was only minutes before the wedding service was set to commence that Niall decided for certain he would sing Jill down the aisle to Ronan Keatings song ‘This I Promise You’.
Accompanied by his sister, Bronagh Hackett, the duo have sang at hundreds of weddings services over the years, so felt it would be special if they sang at his own.
Niall shared this moment on YouTube himself in May 2011 to allow friends and family overseas who were unable to attend the ceremony to view it.
Never expecting it to grab much attention, the clip has brought tears to eyes in 180 countries around the world, such as Iraq, Rwanda, Libya, El Salvador and Guatemala. It has even been watched in every state in the USA.
Niall’s own post has surpassed 200,000 views after a frenzy of shares this past week.
It has also been posted on an American webste – Godvine – receiving 541,000 views.
The video has also been watched almost a quarter of a million times on another YouTube user who has taken the video and posted it themselves.
Niall joked that the internet is a strange thing, with a video of a kid biting his brothers finger has well over 650 million hits.
The local musician said, “It was all Bronagh’s idea. She suggested it at the wedding rehearsal, but I immediately said no. We didn’t talk about it again until the morning of the wedding. Matt (McGlinn – guitarist) said we should do it and it was sort of an impromptu thing as I wasn’t sure how I would be feeling or even be able to do it. The final decision was made only minutes before. Bronagh and I have sang countless brides up the aisle at weddings so thought it was only natural to sing at my own. It was never intended to be a performance or a showpiece of the ceremony. It was symbolic of general nature of our day as we wanted it to be laid back and chilled out.
“I was definitely nervous, which I think is clear to all in my voice. Bronagh was also emotional when she opened her eyes and saw Jill, but that added to it as it was from the heart.
“I don’t really pay much attention to the YouTube views and comments anymore. It was only really posted to show to family and friends in America and Canada who were unable to attend the ceremony.”
Jill commented how special this moment made their wedding day, joking that she still regularly gets serenaded by Niall.
She said, “it was special and it is good to look back on it now and again. I actually play it for our son Dan now and again to settle him down when Niall is away playing with The Rockits, as he loves watching it and seeing his da da.”
As a result of this, Niall and Bronagh have received requests to sing at weddings as far away as Australia. Unfortunately they had to turn down that opportunity, but will have to settle for a trip to Cork this summer to provide wedding music.
To see the video search ‘Groom Sings Bride Up The Aisle’ on YouTube.
Video made by Keiran McMullen from KMACVISION