Country music star Cliona Hagan yesterday unveiled her honeymoon plans that include a trip to Nashville and her idol Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park in Tennessee.
But due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid, the glamorous couple say they will wait until after the wedding ceremony before booking their flights, as they have been forced to cancel several vacations over the past two years.
The stunning singer – dubbed “Ireland’s answer to Dolly Parton” – will marry musician Simon Sheerin in May, following his surprise proposal at the lakeside in County Westmeath last Christmas.
Cliona and Simon, who is the drummer for her band, had been friends for several years before they became lovers.
Despite being from Ballinderry, County Tyrone, Cliona says their wedding will take place “south of the border.” In an exclusive interview, Cliona also tells Sunday World how she co-designed her “dream wedding dress”.
She says, “I’m having my dress made with the wonderful Geraldine O’Meara from Birr, Co Offaly.
“I heard that Geraldine is a fantastic designer so I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with her on my dress from scratch.
“She’s so spectacular in what she does. Honestly, she makes the dress of my dreams. I had so many ideas, but it was Geraldine who helped me make them come true.”
Cliona also shares how her fiance Simon prepares her own striking outfit for their big day. “I’m marrying a stylish guy,” she laughs.
Cliona, who was also a finalist in Dancing with the Stars in 2019, describes Westmeath man Simon as “a true romantic” and said she had no idea what he had planned when she went. take a walk with him last Christmas.
“We went to our favorite lake, Lough Ree in County Westmeath, where we always have a great walk,” Cliona recalls.
“Then I saw that beautiful arch and those flowers, and a red carpet and candles by the shore. He had played my favorite song, You’re Still The One by Shania Twain, and he was just knelt down and proposed.
“We were both crying and it was such a beautiful moment that I could barely speak.”
Awaiting their wedding in May, Cliona says she is keeping the location a secret for now. “We will be informing people very, very soon,” she said. “It’s only five months away, so we’re getting really, really excited now.”
She revealed, “Dollywood and Nashville would be our number one place to honeymoon, and maybe a tropical place too, but we won’t be booking anything until the wedding.
“I think that’s the only way to move forward these days with Covid because all the vacations we’ve been planning for the past two years have been postponed and we have a billion flight vouchers.”
Cliona is also looking forward to launching a new concert tour, The Dolly Songbook, in March, following the success of her current album of the same title.
“We’ve worked so hard behind the scenes on this show, so we’re hoping it can take place in March,” she said. “It will be a real show with all the classic Dolly Parton songs and lots of costumes, rhinestones and sequins.