There is so much I adore about todays wedding of Cara and Damien; from the muted tones used throughout to Cara’s stunning wedding gown and cosy plaid wrap, the simple natural beauty of their wedding cake and how can I forget the awe-inspiring wedding photos taken by Photography by Brideen in the gardens of Tullylagan Country House Hotel.
Cara and Damien met through a mutual friend who swapped their numbers, over eight years ago. They had their first date in Bar 12 in Belfast and have been together ever since. At the time of their first meeting Cara had a trip to Australia booked and knowing things were good, soon decided Damien would go as well, so they ended up travelling the world together!
Back home in Sepetember 2011, Damien planned an amazing proposal, as Cara explains;
“We had booked Thursday and Friday off work, with no major plans. Damien woke me with my favourite breakfast and a golden envelope. Damien was nowhere to be found but the envelope gave me instructions to pack and overnight bag and book a taxi to meet him where we had our first date. The thought of a proposal did cross my mind at this stage, , but when I met Damien in Bar 12 he had a glass of wine waiting for me and explained that he was taking me away for the night to celebrate being 5 years together! So all thoughts of a proposal went out of my head. We soon got in the car and I had to close my eyes every time we went past a road sign or came to a roundabout! Before I knew it we were standing in front of the Galgorm Hotel!
We had an amazing afternoon of lunch and relaxed in the spa. Our room was a luxurious suite with an amazing balcony overlooking the river. We got ready for dinner, took a few photos on our balcony then Damien suggested taking a walk before dinner. I was wearing heels so wasn’t that enthusiastic about this but it was a nice evening so I thought why not! We were walking around the grounds and we came down to the river where there was a table set up with two champagne glasses – I started joking that it must be for the bride and groom getting married that day and imagine if we drank them. Damien kept walking towards the table and he told me to come down and have a look – as I got closer to the table I saw another golden envelope and I knew instantly the champagne was for us and what was coming next! I opened the envelope which said ‘Turn around’, so I did and there was Damien on one knee and a beautiful ring! The first thing he said was “I don’t know what to say!’ which is ironic as so much planning and effort had obviously gone into the whole proposal up to this point! Anyway, he asked me to be his wife and I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes.”
When it came to planning their wedding, Cara and Damien were sensible, knowing it would take a couple of years to get the finances together for their dream day and chose December 2013 for their wedding. After dreaming of a city centre wedding, they couldn’t find the perfect location, so changed their area and soon came across the Tullylagan Country House Hotel, just outside Cookstown and close to Cara’s home parish of St Mary’s Church, Drumragh.
Choosing Brideen and her partner Deci to photograph the day was a natural choice, given the close friendship between the four. Cara admits to not being the most creative of types but luckily her friends and family are and were invaluable help and support in planning their wedding.
“I had been to a few shops with my Mum and bridesmaids with an idea of what I wanted and what I suited. I looked through wedding magazines, cut out the styles I liked, put them in my scrapbook and that’s how I found my dress in the end. Bramble Brides had already been recommended to me and as they were a Ronald Joyce stockist I booked an appointment, brought Mum and a picture of the dress with me and luckily Trudi had it in stock. I tried it on and knew it was the dress for me; Mum loved it, it fitted perfectly with no alterations, was easy to wear, not too heavy or delicate and suited my personality – not too fussy with a little bit of sparkle for our winter wedding!” explains Cara.
“As it was a winter wedding we made a conscious effort to steer away from the typical winter and Christmas colours of reds and greens, and while we wanted a little bit of sparkle we tried to keep things neutral and timeless, and by a complete fluke I think it worked!” adds Cara.
Just look at those winter cover ups- amazing!
As Cara explained the day was exactly what they had hoped for;
“The day went perfectly. Damien and I decided to spend the week before the wedding apart so as well as looking forward to the day itself we also had the excitement of seeing each other for the first time on the day we’d been preparing over two years for! The ceremony went really well and we managed not to get too emotional, our music was beautiful with the Uilean Pipes at the chapel and the trad set at Tullylagan, and we had the best night of our lives dancing with all our friends and families then singing into the wee hours in the residents bar! Our highlight, and we’re not just saying this, but we honestly feel it was getting our photos taken with Brideen and Deci in the afternoon sunshine! Don’t get me wrong, it was December and it was freezing. But it was a calm, crisp, bright December afternoon and exactly how we dreamed it would be. It was lovely to spend this time together on our wedding day, to cuddle together in the cold sunshine and have this captured by two of our great friends.”
Photographer: Photography By Brideen.
Ceremony: St Mary’s Church, Drumragh.
Reception: Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Cookstown
Wedding dress: Bramble Brides, Cookstown.
Bridesmaids dresses: The Bridal Lounge, Belfast.
Groomswear: Red, Cookstown.
Wedding cake: Little Treats NI.
Candy cart: Handmade by Cara’s dad, Larry.
Flowers: Daisy Chain, Omagh.
Wedding cars: Glendale Limousines, Omagh.
Entertainment: Ceremony Music and Drinks reception trad set: Kevin Sweeney
Band : Jazz Gazette
DJ: Deci Gallen