Nigel and Missie (Murphy) D’Eon found love in an unexpected place – The Ukulele Ceilidh.
© Brittany W. Verge Photo
Nigel and Missie D’Eon met in Liverpool during the Ukulele Ceilidh in 2011. The two were wed in May 2013 and are excited to be returning to the event.
Nigel, 35, is a medical lab technician originally from West Pubnico, now living in Shelburne. He is a lab technician and has been playing the ukulele for 13 years. Nigel has attended all four Ukulele Ceilidhs. His band has played at two of the ceilidhs and will be playing again this year.
Missie, 25, is an artist specializing in photography from Machias Maine. She picked up the ukulele while attending University of Maine for fine arts. Missie joined the ukulele club at the university in 2008 and became president of the club in 2009.
Missie and Nigel bumped into each other at the first Ceilidh that Missie attended but didn’t formally meet until the 2011 ceilidh. Missie says her mother suggested she may meet someone there but Missie was doubtful as most of the festival goers are retirees.
“Maybe you’ll find someone under 30 who plays the ukulele, I went, I looked around and saw nothing but older people,” says Missie. “I texted my mom and said ‘nope.’”
Little did she know that Nigel was already thinking about asking her out to supper. The University of Maine group was staying at the Port Mouton Hostel and mostly making sandwiches.
“I thought she wouldn’t mind a night out, so I asked,” says Nigel.
The two hit it off after a night out at the Golden Pond Restaurant.
“She was really shy, any little thing would make her blush,” says Nigel.
Missie’s ukulele group, most of whom are over 50, were excited about the budding romance. They also took the opportunity to tease her during the rest of the ceilidh, all in good fun of course. Missie expressed her initial apprehension of going out with a total stranger in a different country.
“I’m taking a chance here, this is the most gutsy thing I’ve ever done,” says Missie.
Nigel and Missie started a long distance relationship and maintained it by using the “Face time” feature on their phones, sending lots of texts, and visiting any time they can.
The two became engaged last summer. Nigel did things the traditional way and first went to Maine to ask permission from Missie’s parents. Missie then went to Shelburne to attend a ukulele workshop with Nigel.
“One morning we got up, under the false premise to get up at sunrise and take pictures of the lighthouse,” says Nigel.
Missie’s suspicions were roused because she had already photographed the lighthouses in the area but she went along anyway and Nigel popped the question.
“Of course, I announced it on stage (at open Mic Night) that night and made her turn beet red,” says Nigel.
Not only did Nigel announce it then, he also went to a show at the Osprey Theatre and made the announcement there too.
Nigel and Missie had a small ceremony in Machias, Maine on May 11, 2013. The two now reside in Shelburne.
“The ukulele club played our reception,” says Missie.
Both are excited to attend the ceilidh this year as newly weds.
“I have a feeling we’re going to be the talk of the ceilidh this year,” laughs Nigel.