Good morning! I hope you had the best Easter with your families, the weather wasn’t up to much but I can definitely see milder, and maybe even dryer days on the horizon – hurrah!
Things have been quiet around here over the last week, children and work just do not mix no matter how hard I try – anyone have any magic tips you’d like to share? – but today we’ve the prettiest of autumn weddings to get me back into the work-flow groove and to inspire you. Huge thanks to bride, Ashley for getting in touch and sharing her wedding planning journey.
Couple: Ashley + Andrew Alexander
Ashley and Andrew met on an online dating website and after chatting they exchanged phone numbers and continued to text. “This went on for a few weeks, I suggested meeting for a coffee but Andrew kept putting it off, I now know this was because he is very shy. I was going on a trip to New York over Halloween and when the trip came round, I had text him to say I wouldn’t be able to text him while I was away due to costs. I had planned on cutting it off while I was away as it was a full four weeks on and we still hadn’t met! Then in New York, I got a text from Andrew saying that we would have to meet for coffee when I got back – he clearly missed my chat – we met at a Starbucks a few days after I got home and have been together ever since!”
Proposal: Andrew proposed on holiday in Torrevieja, Spain. We have been holidaying there with my family for quite a few years and love our time out there. In the town there is a pier that goes out about a mile into the sea and is a lovely walk. Andrew suggested that we go there one evening but that we go early in the evening so it was still daylight and could see around us, a lovely idea, except Spain was experiencing a heatwave at the time and it was still 35 degrees when we set out on our walk! When we got to the end of the pier and I lay down on a bench to guzzle a bottle of water, I looked up and Andrew was still standing, I asked was he not going to sit down, he said “I’ve got a question for you…” dropped down onto one knee and said “will you marry me?” Anyone who knows me would say I have always got something to say but in that moment I was speechless, to the point where Andrew had to prompt me to answer the question, through tears I managed to say yes and we took a few moments to let it settle in before calling our families and heading off to celebrate!
Wedding date: Friday 28th October 2016
Ceremony & Reception: The Dunadry Hotel, County Antrim
Our Planning & Wedding Style: After the proposal, we had 5 days left in Spain on holiday and I have never been so eager to get home from a holiday in my life! We started by looking at venues online and narrowing them down from there with a list of requirements. The Dunadry was on our radar as a potential venue already as both Andrew’s parents and Sister had their receptions there. We saw a photo of the hotel gardens in autumn and it really stood out with the colours of the leaves, so from that we decided to plan an Autumn wedding. An Autumnal/Woodland theme quickly emerged and we planned on making a lot of the décor ourselves as Andrew loves to do woodwork in his spare time and is very creative. He made our cake stands from tree trunks, shelves for the sweet table from old pallets and the table plan was actually the wheel from his childhood bicycle sprayed copper and decorated!
Our Style: I had visited around 10 boutiques by the time we got to Chantilly Lace and I had two dresses in mind that I liked but hadn’t got that feeling that any of them were ‘the one’. The assistant, Claire, pointed out the David Tutera dress as it was an unusual colour. As soon as I stepped in and was being buttoned up it felt so light and comfortable and fit like a glove, I called out to my mum “We’ve found it” before I had even seen it on! I couldn’t leave the shop without that dress, we bought the sample and took it home that day, squeezed into the back of a Mini! After choosing my dress in the Tea Rose colour, I felt very limited for colours for the Bridesmaid’s dresses and after much thought ordered the girls dresses in a latte shade and hoped for the best. When the dresses came in all my worries subsided, the colour was warm and beautiful, it was almost as if it was made to go alongside my dress! Andrew saw his checked Magee Suit in the window of Crawford’s when we were out shopping in the sales after Christmas, he tried it on and loved it but as we hadn’t really thought too much about suits for the men we went for coffee to think about it but were back to purchase the suit within the hour! The Groomsmen’s suits then had to revolve around Andrew’s; we chose a three piece navy suit from Suitor Bros in Belfast. I struggled to find ties I liked so my Dad offered to make them as he is a tailor’s cutter by trade, I picked the fabric and he made the ties and pocket squares to match.
Our Highlights: Ashley: The day was perfect, I was always concerned about the weather with it being late autumn but we got the most beautiful, bright and mild day. It’s so difficult to pinpoint a moment; I loved the whole day! I really enjoyed the buzz around Mum and Dad’s house on the morning of the wedding and the excitement of getting ready to walk down the aisle to see Andrew and celebrate with all our friends and family! Andrew: Seeing Ashley coming down the aisle, I had been quite nervous up until then!
Our Advice: Definitely to be organised, especially if planning a wedding that is very DIY focused, we were making things for the wedding a full year in advance and at the time we thought it was ridiculous but are so glad we did in hindsight as the run up to the big day is so busy with meeting vendors and celebrating with friends and family the last thing you want to be doing is arts and crafts! I would also advise couples to invest in a good photographer and videographer as you just can’t take it all in on the day and those will ensure you have lasting memories.
Wedding dress: Chantilly Lace, Lurgan.
Headpiece: Sixpenny Bride.
Bridesmaids dresses: Naomi Bridal, Ballyclare.
Hair: Emma McDermott, Hair by EMD.
MUA: Beauty Secrets by Fiona.
Groom: Crawfords Menswear, Belfast.
Groomsmen: Suitor Menswear, Belfast.
Flowers: Season Flowers.
Cake: Emma Meikle, Made at the Mill, Doagh.
Cars: Star Car Hire, Ballymena.
Entertainment: Picture the Sound, Starling Entertainments, Ballymena.
Film: Hatch Wedding Films, Ballyclare.
Photographer: Jake Samuels Photography, Holywood.