Country sensation Cliona Hagan reveals she turned down new husband Simon Sheerin when he first asked out.
But the couple found themselves walking down the aisle at the wedding of the year in May, followed by a camera crew filming everything for their upcoming TV show.
And it could be the start of a new career for Cliona and fellow musician Simon.
The Tyrone talent can’t reveal any details until the deal is sealed, but the laid-back couple had so much fun filming From This Moment On that they’d welcome another slice of reality TV.
“When Simon and I were filmed, we felt very comfortable. They were able to preserve “us” and how we are in real life,” says Cliona.
“There are some exciting things in the pipeline and we’re looking at some things that could be coming up soon. Watch this room.”
In the year of planning their big day, the couple were filmed finishing every detail from flowers to food, and admitted they almost missed it.
Cliona, a former music teacher who has taken the country scene by storm since she launched in 2016, says she was too busy for love when Simon first asked her out.
“That was five years ago when he said he’d like to take me out to dinner,” says the singer.
“At the time I was so busy and not in the mood for a date because I was focused on my career.
video of the day
“When he asked me, I wasn’t ready at the time, but we laugh about it now.
“We’re best friends with so many things in common and we love each other. Thank god he came back.”
On their big day, the couple married in front of 200 guests at St Mary’s Parish Church in Tang and then celebrated at Kilronan Castle, where one of the most memorable moments was the opening song by Simon’s singing legend Dan.
Despite being together for three years and engaged since Christmas Eve 2020, when Simon arranged a surprise proposal on the shores of Lough Ree, Cliona says the marriage has made a huge difference in her life.
Despite her success, most recently with the album “The Dolly Songbook” and the sold-out tour with songs by Dolly Parton, she admits moments of self-doubt.
“I feel that marrying Simon has put me on a solid footing.
“I’ve always lacked confidence and I’ve been like, ‘Should I do this,’ ‘Am I going in the right direction with this song?’
“Sometimes you’re like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ but I think everyone has those moments. Social media doesn’t show the whole story.
“I’ve always had self-doubt and wasn’t confident, but now that we’ve made that commitment to each other and shown how happy we are and how much we care for each other, it’s definitely made a difference.
“Having that best friend and cheerleader and someone you trust 100 percent gives you the confidence to go on stage,” says Cliona.
The Cowboy Yodel singer also reveals the couple share the same carefree outlook on life and gives full credit to wedding planner Corinne Claffey Concannon for making their big day possible.
The couple originally wanted a barn wedding, but opted for a fairytale castle setting with a dress by designer Geraldine O’Meara, who surprised them with a hand-embroidered veil with her initials.
“Corinne was fantastic at bringing everything together,” says Cliona.
“Simon and I are so careless if it wasn’t for her, I don’t know what we would have managed.”
He had worn the engagement ring for six months before finding the perfect moment to propose, and confided to close friend Una Healy that he planned to pop the question.
“He kept the ring in his coat for six months. As you can see, I don’t sniff in his pockets,” says the singer.
“We were out with Una one night and he told her he was going to propose to me and when he did it was perfect. He’s just such a romantic.”
The couple honeymooned in Nashville and took a road trip to New Orleans and Texas as well as a visit to Dollywood. Cliona’s unique voice and looks have earned her comparisons to the country’s queen, and she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit her home territory.
“It was just awesome to see what Dolly Parton built and the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee which are so beautiful and picturesque.”
The 33-year-old is delighted that her wedding plans were filmed and says they will have hours of footage to look back on.
One of the special moments on the show is her walking down the aisle to Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One,” the song Simon played during his romantic marriage proposal.
“It was my make-up artist who told me to look at the community, all the people who were there for me and Simon.
“You always hear that walking down the aisle seems so scary, but I looked at everyone who was there to support us and smiled at them and I enjoyed it all,” says Cliona.
Cliona and Simon: From This Moment On airs Wednesdays at 10.40pm on BBC1.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/tyrone-country-star-cliona-hagan-reveals-she-first-turned-down-date-with-her-future-husband-41994541.html Tyrone Country star Cliona Hagan reveals first time she turned down a date with her husband-to-be