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Emma Smith

Real Couples

Elegance and Charm: Carol & Peter’s Mount Stewart Wedding

September 2, 2014
Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

What a great day it has turned out, and we’re just about to make it even rosier! It might be Back To School week here at The Promise (we hope you’ve learnt a thing or two about wedding planning so far!) but we simply couldn’t wait any longer to share Carol and Peters elegant wedding by Des Rowan Photography. This beautiful couple have just shared their first wedding anniversary together last weekend, so we hope this is a nice treat for them! As you will see elegance and charm in the intimate surroundings of Temple of the Winds made for a truly stunning day.

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

“Peter and I met briefly on a night out with friends in Belfast in 2008. It wasn’t to be that night and I returned to Galway wondering about the handsome Northerner I had met! Over a month later we met up again for our first date and the rest is history!” explained Carol.

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

After Peters proposal in Kinsale, County Cork, they began planning their wedding. Both Carol and Peter wanted a small wedding with close friends and family and found the Temple of the Winds at Mount Stewart to be the perfect intimate venue, with the sunken garden providing a stunning setting for a drinks reception following the ceremony. They chose Malone Lodge in Belfast for their evening reception, where many of their extended family and friends joined to celebrate the happy occasion.

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

Carol decided on a vintage theme and together they took on many of the tasks involved!

“We made our own wedding invitations and spent months gathering vintage china as décor for our wedding reception.  A close friend made our wedding cake, a beautiful three tier creation, dressed with vintage floral arrangements in a china tea-cup! The vintage theme was so popular, we decided to rent out our vintage china and accessories after the wedding. We set up The China Parlour in early 2014, which has been amazing,” added Carol.

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

Instead of Carol choosing her wedding gown, she says it chose her! (we can see why, amazing…)

“It was the ‘Wallis Simpson’ inspired dress by David Fielden. It was the second dress I tried on and knew it was the one for me!”

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

“We had a fabulous day, from beginning to end! Our only disappointment was that it flew by! There was one moment, during our exchange of vows, the registrar dropped my wedding ring and it was inches from falling under the ornate floor in the Temple of the Winds. Her face was a picture but we just laughed! Nothing was stopping us at that stage! Arriving at our wedding reception as husband and wife greeting by lots of smiling faces was a highlight!” she added.

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

Have you any advice for couples planning their wedding?

“Don’t stress. We were very relaxed about our wedding planning, maybe too relaxed at times, we left some arrangements to the last minute but it all comes together in the end! Keep smiling and remember why you are getting married! And finally, book a fabulous honeymoon, you won’t regret it!”

Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan Carol & Peters Day By Alternative Wedding Photographer, Des Rowan

Wedding Suppliers

Venue: Temple of the Winds, Mount Stewart.

Reception: Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast.

Photographer: Des Rowan Photography, Bangor.

Wedding dress: Blush Boutique, Belfast.

Bridesmaids dress: Harrison, Belfast.

Bridal headpiece: Lizzie Agnew, Belfast.

Grooms wear: Kenneth Cole.

Flowers: Flowers by Tracey, Downpatrick, tel: 028 4461 4219.

Vintage table accessories: The China Parlour, Downpatrick.

Entertainment: The Professionals.

 

 

 

 

Real Couples

Glamorous Wedding in The Great Room, Merchant Hotel

August 29, 2014
Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding

 

Woo hoo, hello Friday! As they say around these parts, it’s quare weather for ducks, but we won’t let a bit of the wet stuff spoil our fun, we’re used to it! If you’re tying the knot in this the last weekend of August, have fun, we’d love to see your day. Now, back to our glamorous wedding this morning. Seànnine and Liam were married in St Malachy’s, Armagh with a reception in The Great Room at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast. Photography on the day was from the adorable Hannah McKernan. If glamour and hints of ’20s styling are what you love, this is one wedding you’re going to adore.

Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding

“Liam and I met on the 13th July 2002 while we were both working in Jersey, Channel Islands for the summer. I had just finished my A levels and certainly not looking to find love or the love of my life as it turned out! From that summer on we’ve been together. So after 12 years I think we were just about ready to make it official! It only took 11 years for the proposal!” Seànnine explained, “Liam proposed on the 4th of July 2013 in the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. When he got down on one knee and asked the question he offered to take me to choose my ring in Tiffanys the next day. The following day a limo arrived to take us to Dubai Mall and that’s when the Tiffany Soleste was purchased – my dream ring.”

Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel weddingSeannine and Liam Merchant Hotel weddingSeannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding

Back home Seànnine began planning her dream day with a Art Deco style, her ‘big chief’ bridesmaid, her sister, Tonya helped her with the knotty gritty and the day came together very easily.

 

On the morning of her wedding Seànnine wore an amazing lace gown from Elody Bride in Newry teamed with chic red lips and her dark locks falling in simple waves. The visit to the boutique was the one and only bridal boutique she visited;

 

“It was the first and only place I went to look, to me it was everything that I wanted, and suited my theme beautifully.”

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Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding

“One potential disaster that sticks out in my mind was when I was getting my dress on just before I was leaving the house. It seemed somewhat tight and I remember the whispers behind my back as my bridesmaids tried to remain calm. Hannah got the perfect shot of this, and every time I see it I laugh, however at the time I wanted to die!” Explained Seànnine.

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Seànnine and Liam’s entrance into The Great Room at the Merchant was pretty memorable; “We both just loved entering the majestic setting with all our family and friends there ready to help us celebrate the amazing day,” added Seànnine.

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“The advice I was given for my big day was to enjoy every minute as it goes in the blink of an eye – that is very true, I would also say to brides out there to forget about the little mishaps as no one will remember them anyway and everything will turn out in the end. It’s your day so do everything how you want.”

Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam Merchant Hotel wedding Seannine and Liam-51

Wedding Suppliers

 

Ceremony: St Malachy’s, Armagh.

 

Reception: The Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

 

Photographer: Hannah McKernan, Armagh.

 

Wedding dress: Elody Bride, Newry.

 

Bridesmaids dresses: Creative Ideas, Armagh.

 

Grooms wear: Louis Boyd, Newry.

 

Wedding cake: Friend of the bride, Gillian Lindsey.

 

Flowers: Oonagh Starrs.

 

Transport: Acorn Wedding Cars, Ballymena.

 

Entertainment: The Nooks.

 

 

Planning

Children At Weddings: How To Entertain The Little Ones

August 26, 2014
Children at wedding

If you’re not a parent before you get married chances are you won’t have that much of an idea of how crazy having children at weddings can be! Trust me, it is pretty chaotic, especially when ivory dresses and chocolate cake are involved! Today we’re having a look at why I believe (chocolate cake catastrophes and all) having children at your wedding is a no brainer, and what to do for them on the day.

 

Yes, I know I am being pretty presumptuous about this but let me tell you why…

Kids plus dance floor equals crazy cute dance moves. Fact. The addition of children will add extra fun, excitement and off the cuff moments, that simply wouldn’t happen if they were at the babysitters – small boy getting lost inside the brides train during the prayers, anyone?!

Ultimately, your wedding day is just that, your day so if you decide a grown up elegant child-free day is what you want, no-one will judge, it’s your decision after all, but please let your ‘with child’ friends and family know in plenty of time so they can arrange babysitters for their offspring. Be clear on your wedding invitations that your wedding is either child-free or child-friendly, then there will be no mix ups on the day!

So you’re going to give the kiddies a green light to your wedding day, what do you have to do for them?

In its most basic form you don’t have to do anything, such as providing entertainment etc. On the day their parents will still be the sole carers of their own kids and they will most likely have a toy basket of their favourite toys stowed under their reception table and their favourite little games ready to go on their iPad, but if you want to be forever in the good books of those parents, adding a few quirky child friendly touches throughout the day will make the parents and kids smile! Taking a little pressure off the parent’s is never a bad thing, they will never forget it!

We’ve had a look for some fun ideas that won’t bust the budget but will keep tiny brains amused during your wedding day.

1. Lawn games: Summer brides will go far to find a better idea than lawn games for the little ones (and big kids too!). Vintage Hire Style Emporium have a great selection of very popular games to hire such as giant Jenga, chess, croquet and even space hoppers! For more information call 07788 203 191.

Children at wedding

Images courtesy of Vintage Hire Style Emporium.

Children at wedding

2. Activity tables: Depending on the ages of your little guests a few strategically placed activity tables is a great idea. Place colouring books, crayons, stickers and mess free craft activities out for the kids to enjoy. For older children a games table with playing cards, puzzles and board games will keep them amused.

3. Reading den: Why not max your library card out on some popular children’s books such as The Gruffalo and Peppa Pig, no cost involved there! Lay blankets, bean bags and cushions in a corner and let them relax and enjoy a good book whilst their parents enjoy the adult company.

4. Cookie bar: Cookies and milk, surely a match made in kiddie heaven?! Don’t forget to consider their menu choices when discussing your menu with your wedding co-ordinator.

5. Don’t forget the little extras: Bottles of bubbles can be picked up very reasonably, as can sparklers and glow sticks, all much loved by kids. If you plan to give your younger guests activity bags consider their age, a three year old with a sparkler is a recipe for disaster!

So, have I won you over with having children at your wedding? Let me know what you think with a comment below!

 

Featured image: Stacey Hedman via Style Me Pretty

Real Couples

When Carly And Alan Got Married- Day Two

August 25, 2014
Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

Yay, a very happy Bank Holiday Monday to you all! This morning, kicking off the week nicely, the second day of Carly and Alan’s wedding at Kiltonga Stone House. We’re going to set some rules here; you must view this wedding whilst singing ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams in your head (or out loud if you prefer), trust us it will make this epic celebration, even better!

Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

If you missed the legal ceremony of Carly and Alans two day celebration, check it out now, but today we’re having a look at their humanist ceremony, photographed by the amazing Janine Walker and captured on film by Reuben from Show and Tell (bring tissues)…

Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

Carly and Alan decided on a humanist ceremony performed by the very lovely Zena Birch;

“Having a humanist ceremony was one of the best decisions of the whole wedding planning. I came across Zena Birch on a Google search and just knew I had to contact her. Within the first email she happened to mention a quote from Gonzo from the Muppets, who also happens to be Alan’s favourite muppet! That was it, we just knew she had to be a part of the day. Amazingly she was as excited as we were and having her be a part of our day was magical. Humanism shares the view that friendship, warmth and honesty between people can transcend any cause or system of belief. To have written our own vows and share our wedding ceremony in such a lovely intimate setting at Kiltonga Stone House was just magical. Our mums both read out poems that were kept secret from us until we heard them for the first time during the ceremony. As well as my twin sister, who also surprised us with a song sung by our old friend Kelly Brown, and a song that has been one of my favourite songs on the planet – ‘It’s Magic’ by Doris Day. I’m a massive Doris Day fan so to have been surprised with that was so special, I bawled my eyes out!” said Carly.

Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

Carly wore a ballet length lace dress from Pronuptia;

“Finding a dress was harder than I thought in the sense that there were so many dresses that were so lovely. However when i went into Pronuptia and decided to try on dresses that were a bit shorter than any of the others I had tried on, I knew I’d found the one. I could walk anywhere in it without tripping over it. And it was the best dress to spin in 🙂 So much fun!”

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Alan and Carly’s day had a great mini theme – the movie ‘Up.’ They both love the movie so had little elements of it dotted throughout the day, including Alan’s Grape Soda pocket pin, an adventure book and a Paradise Falls jar. They hired Sharon from Beautiful Bows Weddings who took care of much of the decoration, whilst Carlys mum made all of the bunting and favour boxes. They had a quirky Kissing Booth, made by their friend Sam and instead of a traditional guestbook they went for two Polariod cameras for their guests to snap away at the happy occasion.

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“It truly was the happiest of days, just truly magical. We didn’t have any disasters thankfully, apart from when I was ready to leave the house at 1:30pm for the ceremony at 2pm. I was standing at the front door and turned round to find my dad standing there in his normal clothes, deciding he wanted to clean up his cufflinks!! He got me there only five minutes late in the end! Sitting beside Alan as he attempted to drive my Smart car for the first proper time was hilarious. And my tights! They fell half way down during our first couple of dances that they were taken off and thrown in the bin. We truly just had the best day ever,” added Carly.

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Highlight of the day

Carly: “All of it!! Getting ready in the morning and having a giggle with everyone there. Waiting outside to go in to get married and getting into a fit of giggles with my two bridesmaids and my dad. The ceremony itself was pure magic and the woods, again magical. And the first dance was the funniest thing, we danced to ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams and Al had warned me that he was truly going to go for it. We hadn’t practiced or anything like that, but I warned him that I would probably spend most of the dance laughing, which I did. So much fun! And the final dance of the evening. Months ago we had to provide our DJ’s with our favourite music and I had said that my favourite song ever was Northern Sky from Nick Drake and if he was able to play it at some point during the night it would be amazing. Just before the end of the night our DJ approached us and said the last song was coming up and what would we like, before we even had the chance to think he said, “I have Northern Sky if you want it” We both immediately said yes and to dance with your husband to a song that means the world to you both at the very end of your wedding day was just pure magic. I bawled my eyes out throughout it and I will truly never ever forget how I felt at the moment, dancing with my husband to that song.”

Alan: “Seeing Carly walk up the aisle towards me on the wedding day was fantastic. And the dancing, the first dance was so much fun.”

Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

 

Now, have a look at this…

http://vimeo.com/103334379

 

Wedding Suppliers

Venue: Kiltonga Stone House

Humanist: Zena Birch 

Reception: Donaghadee Golf Club 

Photographer: Janine Walker

Wedding dress: Pronuptia, Belfast

Grooms party: Focus NI, Belfast

Grooms suit: Tailormade in North, Belfast

Wedding cake: Alan’s mum

Flowers: Family friend, Pauline

Wedding film: Reuben from Show & Tell

Entertainment: Bespoke Music Solutions

Love sign: Electric Alphabet 

 

Huge thanks to Carly and Alan for sharing their truly magical wedding celebration with us all! And big thanks to Janine Walker for her awesome photography. 

Style

Inspiration: Lavender Wedding Ideas

August 21, 2014
Lavender wedding ideas

So the summer may have decided to move on but our heads are still in peaceful, balmy summers day mode and what could be better than a lavender wedding?

There is something so romantic about lavender; as simple as this little flower may be, it’s scent, delicate appearance and beauty make it a great accent for weddings. If you want to give your wedding a rustic touch of romance, lavender is the way to go and perfect for a summer wedding. Have a look at some ways you can use lavender throughout your day…

Lavender wedding ideas

Wear lavender

Lavender wedding ideas

Wear lavender

From a floral crown for the bride, sweet halo for your little maids and even the grooms buttonhole, let the scent of lavender take hold and calmly take your through you big day looking and smelling gorgeous!

Lavender wedding ideas

Eat lavender

Lavender wedding ideas

Eat lavender

Have you ever had a white chocolate and lavender macaroon? Try it! With a delicate and floral hint this herb is the ideal accent flavour for a summer wedding. It reminds us of long summer stretches in France as a child.

Lavender wedding ideas

Accent with it

Make lavender your accent shade and scheme of your day, simple and pretty for couples who want to add graceful romance.

Lavender wedding ideas

Carry it

Well aren’t lavender bouquets just divine?

Lavender wedding ideas

Decorate with it

Lavender wedding ideas

Decorate with it

There are so many little areas to use lavender; mixed with rice for your guests to toss, live lavender plants for your favours, elegantly bunched together on your pew ends, the list goes on – we love lavender!!

 

Image credits:

Main image: KT Merry via Want That Wedding

Bride wearing crown: Paige & Blake Photography via Wedding Chicks

Flower girl wearing floral crown: Braedon Photography via Ruffled

Buttonhole: Paige & Blake Photography via Wedding Chicks

Wedding cake: Brides.com via Buzzfeed

Lavender cocktails: Kristyn Hogan via Wedding Chicks

Macaroons: Creative Cakes By Julie

Shortbread: Mountain Mama Cooks

Stationery: Kristyn Hogan via Wedding Chicks

Bouquet tied with velvet: Project Wedding

Lavender bouquets: Tumblr

Table centrepiece: Chelsey Boatwright Photography via Wedding Chicks

Lavender cone toss: Yiannis Alefantou/Adam Alex via Style Me Pretty

Potted lavender: KT Merry via Want That Wedding

Seating plan: Phillipa Craddock Flowers via Colin Cowie Weddings

Pew end: The Natural Wedding Company via Wedding Bells

Lavender and lilac wreath: Etsy

 

 

 

 

Real Couples

When Carly and Alan Got Married: Day One

August 20, 2014
Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

I’ve been very excited to share Carly and Alan’s wedding with you all. Today we have the first of their two day wedding; the legal ceremony. If you’re in the midst of wedding planning and you’re finding things getting on top of you remember this; your wedding day is the beginning. The start of a completely new life, even if the only goal you achieve on your wedding day is that you become a wife, and your fiancé, a husband, well, that will be the biggest success of your life. The love, joy and happiness you’re about to see at Carly and Alan’s ceremony is beautiful and proves this point, they are together as husband and wife, forever.

Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker Carly & Alan wedding by Janine Walker

Carly and Alan met online on a dating website and after chatting for a few weeks they met for coffee in Starbucks on 8th March 2013. 

“It was a really lovely afternoon and we just got on so easily together. It was raining when we decided to leave and Alan insisted on walking me to my car with his umbrella which was 20 minutes out of the way for him. That evening after a few texts, he called me up and asked me out on a proper date,” explained Carly. 

It didn’t take very long for this intelligent couple to know where their lives were headed and a couple of months later, during the summer of 2103 Alan left to work in Canada for six weeks. Talking everyday on Skype, sometimes three times a day through different time zones, the subject of marriage came up. 

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“The week Alan returned we went up to the North Coast for a break and we talked more about it and stopped in Belfast on the journey home to look at rings. Three weeks after that we went to the cinema and saw ‘About Time.’ I bawled my way through the movie and in the car park before we left the cinema! I remember turning to Alan and just saying “what are we waiting for?”  he giggled and said he didn’t know and I think then was when we officially knew we were going to get married. We checked with our parents to see if they were okay with it, and then Alan insisted on not getting engaged until he’d asked my dad as well,” explained Carly. 

Carly is a photographer and has witnessed and captured many beautiful ceremonies. She knew early on that they wanted something different and so the following week they got Janine Walker on board as their photographer (even though Janine had officially hung up her wedding photographer hat and now specialises in children’s creative photography at her new venture, RinkaDink) and Zena Birch, who conducted their humanist ceremony. Remember at this point they weren’t officially engaged! 

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“One more week after that Alan took me to one of our favourite places for a walk. I was convinced he was going to ask me and had excitedly told my mum and my twin sister beforehand that I thought he may ask today. They both told me they knew when he was going to ask and in fact my twin sister was going to be a part of it, because Alan had said he wanted Kirsty to see my engagement ring first (just like her husband had done with me a few days before he asked my sister as well) and that she was currently on holiday in France, so there was no way it was happening before she returned! We walked along the length of Crawfordsburn and sat on a lovely seat facing the sea and chatted about our future and he told me that he loved me. I remember thinking at the back of my mind how he definitely wasn’t going to ask me that day as it was such a beautiful setting that he’d have done it already! It was on the walk back; we were talking about food and how hungry we were when he suddenly pulled me onto the beach and insisted we walk across the sand. A few minutes later he stopped me and told me to face the sea and out of his pocket he lifted a homemade Goonies Map and a compass and written on the map was “I have a question to ask you”. Well, I suddenly got really nervous and to this day I still don’t know why, I turned round just as he was about to kneel on the ground on a very busy beach in front of lots of people and I remember saying no, not to get on one knee and not to ask me!! Now where that all came from I have no idea?!! I was half giggling and full of nerves all at once! I’m still baffled! Thankfully he kissed me and said that when the people who were walking past had finished walking past he was getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him! Well, as soon as he got down, I became completely and utterly oblivious of anyone around us and it was lovely! He totally surprised me which was difficult to do seeing as we both knew we had booked so much already. He had said how everyone was in on it and how my mum and sister were specifically trying to throw me off so that it would be a surprise. We got back to the car and he lifted champagne and flowers and a love letter out of the boot and we sat in the car and cried, laughed and phoned family,” explained Carly. 

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Because humanist ceremonies are not yet legal in Northern Ireland the couple were married in what was to be a simple ceremony in Newtownards Council Chamber on Friday 13th June. 

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“We decided that our legal ceremony would be with our parents and Zena who had flown in from London only a few hours before. We believed it would be something we would do simply and quickly and celebrate with dinner afterward and then carry on with the wedding preparations for the next day. What none of us expected was the beauty and emotionality of the ceremony. Essentially it was an absolute blubfest and I wouldn’t change a single moment of it,” said Carly. 

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Have you ever come across a sweeter couple? I think you’d find it hard! Make sure you check back soon for day two of Carly and Alan’s wedding, complete with humanist ceremony, crazy dancing and a cute ‘Up’ theme. 

Thanks to Carly for sharing her special story and to Janine for her rocking photography.

Real Couples

Rustic Country Wedding: Paula & Rab’s Magical Marquee Celebration At The Argory

August 12, 2014
Paula & Rab Country Wedding

We couldn’t begin the launch of the new site without a wonderful bride and groom, now could we?! Step up, Paula and Robert; their day was a mix of rustic country wedding style and oh so chic fashion, with a triumphant marquee reception at The Argory, Moy, County Tyrone. Those incredible pair, Xander and Christine from Navy Blur were the photographers on the day and as you’ll see they captured this glorious sun-drenched April event beautifully! We are so in love with this wedding, each and every little touch is magic, we know you will too…

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Ah, the wonders of Facebook! It was through the mega social networking site that Robert, know as Rab, got invited to Paula’s younger sisters 18th birthday party in October 2011.

“I was slaving away in the kitchen helping my mum with food. Rab came in with a friend and I made them food, sausages and chips (my culinary skills have since improved) and that was it!! Later that weekend I was babysitting my nieces. Martha, who was eight months at the time, needed a bottle. Rab, seeing an opportunity took Martha from me and started to feed her! Wanting to make more of an impression he also started to dry the dishes as my mum washed them! I was wearing a Barbour coat which is what apparently caught his eye. Little did he know he had already impressed me with some dance moves too!” explained Paula.

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Rab proposed on a regular Thursday night in April 2013 after a meal, as Paula explained;

“Rab told me we were going for a meal that night so I have to admit I suspected something was going on and tried to jokingly convince him to just get a take-away instead! Poor Rab didn’t know what to do! He didn’t want to insist but gently encouraged me to go. We went to Tullylagan Country House Hotel outside Cookstown had a lovely meal and then Rab suggested we go for a walk. I thought we were going to walk round the gardens, but Rab headed for the car. We ended up at Drum Manor forest park, the place we had went on our first date, and headed to the lake to skim some stones. Rab was explaining how to do it and I gave it my best shot, little did I know he had thrown the ring box in the rushes! I turned to pick up more stones and Rab, on one knee asked ‘could you skim these stones?’ He asked the magic question and of course I said yes!” said Paula.

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After the stone were firmly on Paula’s finger, and not in the lake they went to see her Dad and share the good news. He had three requests for his middle daughters wedding; that they held their reception at The Argory, that she travelled in a horse and cart to the church and that ‘I have A Shepard’ be their first hymn at the ceremony. The couple soon visited The Argory, set a date and began planning!

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Paula and Rab were married in her parish church, Dungannon Independent Methodist, followed by the reception held in a marquee at The Argory, Moy. True to her Dads wishes, she travelled to the ceremony in a horse and cart, allbeit slowly!

“I couldn’t get my dad to get ready in time! As we were travelling by horse and cart it was obviously going to take longer than a car. The service  was at half 12 and the horse and cart took half an hour to get from my house to the church – we left my house at half 12… Yes I was about 40 mins late but Rab knew my dad is a nightmare with time so he wasn’t panicking!” said Paula.

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Paula wore an Enzoani lace gown with beautiful belted detail with her three bridesmaids wearing pale pink dresses, all of which were purchased from Petticoat Lane Bridal, Hillsborough. The day had been given a rustic country wedding theme, which reflected Paula and Rab perfectly. Their very own wellie boots were used as decor at the ceremony entrance, which had been expertly arranged and dressed by Janice from The Flower Studio, Dungannon.

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On arrival at The Argory guests were served afternoon tea in the sunshine and the smallest guests made use of the giant lawn games. Paula and Rab decided to serve burger and chips, followed by knickerbocker glories; a hog roast and ice cream was served later in the night!

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“Our wedding day was amazing, it just went too fast! From I got up that morning until the end of the night, it just went  by in a flash!” said Paula.

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Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: Christine & Xander Neal, Navy Blur Photography.

Marquee: AR Marquees, Newry.

Wedding & bridesmaids dresses: Petticoat Lane, Hillsborough.

Makeup Artist: Paddy McGurgan MUA, Belfast.

Grooms wear: Tom Morrows, Dungannon.

Naked style wedding cake: Gwen Ross, Dungannon.

Flowers: Janice Watt, The Flower Studio, Dungannon.

Bridal cars: Range Rovers- Donnelly’s, Dungannon.

Horse & carriage: George Fawcett Carriages, Saintfield.

Rab arrived in an old three series Land Rover which a family friend kindly lent him for the day.

Videographer: David Foster, All Occasions Video, Templepatrick.

Band: McStockers Ceilidh Band.

Honeymoon: Trailfinders, they honeymooned in Thailand.

Caterers: Posh Nosh Catering, Bangor.