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Review: Farnham Estate Mini Spa Break

January 10, 2018
Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Happy Wednesday lovely readers, I hope the week is going well for you so far.

Today I’m sharing my mini spa break at Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort in Cavan – spoiler alert, it was awesome!

One thing you don’t have when you’ve got three children is a lot of willing childminders so back in July, a few weeks before Arden arrived, the stars magically aligned and not only did I find myself with the aforementioned willing childminder, but the promise of a super-relaxing mini spa break at Farnham Estate in Cavan. Being eight months pregnant and in the middle of the school summer holidays I was ready for it, let me tell you.

Farnham Estate lies on the outskirts of Cavan town, an original Irish country house set on the most beautiful grounds and surrounded by spectacular woodland. The 400 year old house itself is an absolute joy to behold at the end of the driveway, whilst the contemporary glass addition houses the grand lobby area, Botanica Restaurant, modern bedroom wing and Spa.

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

After checking in to our beautiful suite on the top floor of the old house David (well it would have been rude not to bring him!) and I wasted no time in heading straight for our treatments in the Spa.

I was booked in to have an ESPA facial and he was having a massage. Robed and ready as soon as we were greeted at the Spa we hit the relax button and headed off for our treatments. My facial was lovely and relaxing, dear love my therapist, being heavily pregnant I couldn’t lie totally flat and in the normal cocoon like position, instead I could only recline slightly and had to have regular breaks to sit completely upright and sip on ice cold water!

Breaks or not my skin felt incredible afterwards and I learnt a few things about the composition of my skin thanks to the latest ESPA technology, SkinVision analysis – relaxing and educational! We went on to try out the infinity pool, inside and out and completed our afternoon treat in the thermal suite, which David absolutely loved, I had to lounge by the pool as I couldn’t use the facilities being pregnant.

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Refreshed and feeling great we headed for a short stroll before having dinner in the Botanica Restaurant that evening. Farnham Estate has walks to suit all ranging from 45 minutes in length to over two hours, all which begin and end at the front door of the hotel.

Dinner was from the restaurants set menu which has a good selection to choose from and was very tasty. We ended our night by speaking to the kids on Facetime from one of the majestic drawing rooms in the old house, they were pretty impressed with mum and dads home for the night!

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

After a brilliant nights sleep in one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in we made our way back to the restaurant for a great breakfast – it was just as good as I was hoping, I think hotel breakfasts are my favourite thing!

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

To finish our 24 hour mini break I made my way over to the resorts wedding wing to have a look around. I have featured incredible weddings at Farnham before (here & here) and seeing it in real life was even better. The contemporary ballroom is understated and elegant in tones of natural wood and brick, perfect for brides who want to add their own personal stamp on their Big Day, and the large arrival area is perfect for mingling with your guests. On arriving home I discovered my cousin has chosen Farnham for her day next year and I can’t wait to return!

As a pre-wedding escape, a luxury spa break with your girlies or simply just because, a visit to Farnham Estate will leave you refreshed and content with life!


*Thanks to the staff of Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort for our complimentary stay, all opinions are my own.

Planning Suppliers

Local Loves: Forevermore Creations

October 13, 2017
Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

Good morning and a very happy Friday! It may be Friday the 13th but it’s going to be very lucky for one of you – you’ll have to wait until the end of this post to find out why.

One of my favourite and one of the most rewarding things that comes from running The Promise is being introduced to amazing wedding businesses from across the country, learning their unique story and being able to share it with you.

Today is no exception, Forevermore Creations is a wedding stationery business set up and run by Celine, a Dutch girl living in Northern Ireland. Over to Celine to explain more…

Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

How it all began…

My name is Celine Coughlin, a Dutch girl living in Northern Ireland. About four years ago I met the love of my life while studying in the Netherlands – a guy from Armagh. We dated for a few years, before he had to return to Northern Ireland. I couldn’t see myself without him by my side so I decided to follow him to NI. He proposed on Boxing Day 2015, and that is where our own wedding planning began.

I knew exactly what I wanted when it came to my wedding stationery. I secretly had been thinking about it for a few years, and I had my Pinterest wall complete! I even had started to experiment with different ideas throughout the years. It was going to be a vintage travel themed wedding (since my husband is a pilot) and we love quirky things. The detail that we were able to make the stationery in was just up my alley as I’m a bit of a perfectionist! And I love to add in small details, like the date of when a couple got engaged, started dating, or even favourite places in the world. I love to be creative, and to be different.

Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

Forevermore Creations was born…

After finishing our own wedding invitations and receiving many compliments, I knew I wanted to give people that same experience. That is when Forevermore Creations, here in Hamiltonsbawn (Co. Armagh), was started!

I think that sometimes wedding stationery can get overlooked, while I believe it can give that unique stamp on the wedding. That is what I want to accomplish with Forevermore Creations, to make wedding stationery and invitations, that show off the personality of the bride and groom, when the guests look at the invitations, they know exactly who the bride and groom are, what they love and what they enjoy. That is why the style of my wedding invitations and stationery is different, edgy, vintage, classic, but most importantly it has personality!

Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

Forevermore Creations, Hamiltonsbawn

It all starts with a free consultation together with the bride and groom. Together we’ll have a look at different themes, colours and what it is that they are looking for. Wedding invitations, RSVP’s, menu items, escort cards, Order of Service – you name it. After a theme and colour is chosen, that is where the fun begins – the design process! Every wedding invitation is specially created for the bride and groom so they can have confidence that no-one will have the same wedding stationery!

To view more of Celine’s work visit and on Facebook


If you’re in need of beautiful and unique wedding stationery for your Big Day keep an eye on our Facebook tonight at 8pm where we will be launching a very exciting giveaway with Forevermore Creations! 


NTK: Bridal Makeup – An Interview with S.A.K.Designs

May 18, 2017
Bridal Makeup Artist, Northern Ireland, SAK Designs, Stacey Kilpatrick | The Promise NI


You’ll have to forgive my lack of blogging over the last little while. Being pregnant is a weird one, being pregnant and a freelancer is another thing all together, I have this constant feeling of living in limbo and my decision making and concentration has gone out the window. Anyway, we had the loveliest weekend in London and it has taken me until today to get my life together and get back to work!

Today we’re getting down to the business of wedding day beauty and makeup with Stacey Kilpatrick from S.A.K.Designs. You’ll soon be armed with everything you Need To Know about choosing your makeup artist and a few of Stacey’s makeup secrets.

I’ve had such a great response to this series of posts – you can catch up on flowers here and grooms tailoring here – and can’t wait to bring you more, very soon. If there’s any area of wedding planning you’d like me to cover just drop me an email or PM over on Facebook.

Bridal Makeup Artist, Northern Ireland, SAK Designs, Stacey Kilpatrick | The Promise NI

TP: For brides who don’t know about S.A.K can you introduce yourself… 

I always wanted to be a makeup artist but will be honest, I never knew the right direction to go and it wasn’t a known career choice when I was studying for my A levels. Instead I studied a degree in Fashion Design and Event Management alongside Beauty Therapy in the evenings. Working in the fashion industry on placement I then met Oonagh Boman and decided to follow my dream of becoming a makeup artist and initially studied at the Oonagh Boman School of Makeup on her Fashion and Photographic makeup course. I then went to London and completed several courses and masterclasses with big industry names. I’m also a face and body painter and set up my initial company in 2003 which I then rebranded when I completed my makeup artistry training. In such a fast paced and ever-changing industry, I believe you should always develop your skills and I invest in my training on an annual basis either 1:1 or at masterclasses with international makeup artists.

TP: Who is your dream client? 

I don’t have a dream client as such but I do love working on our typical Irish complexions of pale skin, freckles and red hair.

I adore Holly Willoughby and would love to do her makeup. Patsy O’Neill, Holly’s makeup artist regularly actually uses Delilah cosmetics on her and I’m delighted to have taken up the role of regional educator for Delilah cosmetics in Northern Ireland so I like to tell myself I’m technically a step closer!

Bridal Makeup Artist, Northern Ireland, SAK Designs, Stacey Kilpatrick | The Promise NI

Image: Bradley Henderson Photography

TP: What should brides think about before booking their MUA? 

There are a lot of makeup artists to choose from and it’s important you do your research to get the correct match. Firstly, I would recommend going on word of mouth recommendations from friends/family and other wedding professionals. Do your research, look at real-life brides created by your makeup artist and be careful to look at unedited photos were possible to give you a realistic view of the artist’s skill with no added filters or post production work. Choose an artist who works in the bridal industry as it is a specialist skill. Lots of communication is by email especially if you are planning from afar however sometimes picking up the phone and having a chat with an artist can help you decide if you feel a connection and can warm to the person as it is vital you get on and can trust your choice. Look at a makeup artist’s location as if they have to travel a distance they will need to factor this into their costing which may need to be factored into your budget. Timing as to when to book an artist is also key; most popular and experienced artists will book 2-3 years in advance, especially for weekends and bank holidays, so do be a step ahead of the game and secure your artist as soon as you have made your decision.

TP: What should brides expect to gain from their bridal trial- do you offer a trial for all the bridal party etc? 

A bridal trial is exactly that, an opportunity to try different ideas whilst deciding on your final makeup looks. I always ensure my brides have an intensive trial approx. 4 weeks prior to their wedding. All makeup artists will be different however my trials are approx. 2 hours and are a step by step process with the bride ensuring she is happy throughout and helping create the most enhanced version of herself. My advice is to be honest during this process. If your makeup artist is going in a direction you aren’t sure of it is better to say and have this altered than leave feeling unhappy and nervous about the wedding day itself.

I personally do not think it’s necessary for everyone to have a trial. It is easy as a makeup artist to create bridesmaids looks on the morning of the wedding once you see the girls and their dresses. However, if you have anyone in your bridal party particularly nervous about having their makeup done, someone prone to allergies or just someone you’d like to treat then a trial is a good option.

Bridal Makeup Artist, Northern Ireland, SAK Designs, Stacey Kilpatrick | The Promise NI

Image: Francis Meaney Photography

TP: How many people can you make up on the morning of the wedding? 

I am comfortable with bridal parties up to 8 people on the morning of a wedding. If there are more people or time is tight I can bring a fully qualified makeup artist along with me to assist.

TP: What is your favourite thing about being at the bride’s house on the morning of her wedding? 

Doing bridal makeup is so incredibly special. Being part of the bridal preparations I get to share laughs, tears, nerves, excitement and am one of the first to see the bride in her dress so it is such an honour to be invited into a bride’s home or wedding prep location. My favourite thing is simply being there and being trusted to help create lifelong memories.

TP: Do you have a typical bridal makeup look that most brides request?

My brides typically request a flawless natural bridal look which I am best known for and I encourage them to be the most enhanced version of themselves on the day. I like foundation to look like real skin, skin to glow in the right places and feel makeup shouldn’t be a mask.

Bridal Makeup Artist, Northern Ireland, SAK Designs, Stacey Kilpatrick | The Promise NI

Image: The Campbells

TP: How can a bride make her wedding day makeup look her own? And how can it differ from her maids look?

I create my bridal looks with my bride, not for my bride. I listen to her loves, to her concerns, her daily routine, her evening regime and create a look to with her. As a professional makeup artist, I create individual looks for my brides based on their preferences and taking their face shape and colour analysis into consideration. A professional will know exactly the right amount and application of product to last at least 15 hours and will be perfect for photography in a variety of lighting situations. I do like my bridesmaids’ makeup style to compliment the bride but I feel it should be slightly different even if it’s simply a different lip colour or style of false lash. With bridesmaids, I take into consideration the bride’s preference, the dress style/colour and the individuals I’m working on. It is also important for bridesmaids to be consistent, if they’re are wearing a nude lip then someone with a red lip will look out of place so it’s best to have a common theme unless the bride specifically requests otherwise.

TP: How would you deal with a wedding day beauty disaster such as a large breakout on the face due to stress? 

Being in the industry for over 8 years professionally I have come across a few mishaps. With this experience, I am confident I am well prepared for any given scenario. Breakouts are common and a professional makeup artist can confidently cover any blemishes. A professional artist will also be prepared on how to deal with contagious skin conditions and keeping a safe and hygienic working environment.

I have also assisted with a few non-beauty related ‘disasters’ too but my mornings tend to run very smoothly and I always ensure my brides are ready with plenty of time to spare.

TP: Do you have a pet beauty peeve? 

No pet beauty peeves I’m afraid. I do recommend not to try anything new on the lead up to the day, get all waxing done at least 5 days prior to wedding and if you plan to have a false tan prep well and have a trial run with the same person who will be doing your bridal tan.

TP: What’s your desert island beauty product and why? 

My personal beauty style is very minimal. It would either be my Aveeno moisturiser, Bobbi Brown eye opening mascara or Carmex but Aveeno would probably win if I had to choose.

Stacey's Top five hero beauty products for brides
  1. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – a fab product for exfoliation and leaving the skin looking and feeling bright.
  2. Carmex - it is vital to prep lips and keep them well moisturised and hydrated on the lead up to your wedding.
  3. No. 7 Beautifully Matte Makeup Base – fantastic for anyone who is prone to shine on the skin.
  4. Delilah Underwear Future Resist Primer – a beautiful serum with an extremely fresh and silky feel, enriched with peptides, lines and wrinkles instantly appear plumped and smoothed.
  5. Senna mineral powder compact – my top selling product for touch ups throughout the day and can be worn alone as a foundation therefore great to bring on honeymoon.


A huge thanks to Stacey for sharing some of her secrets and inspiring us! To view more of her work visit

Style Suppliers

NTK: Grooms Style – An Interview with Dee Graham Tailor Made

April 28, 2017
Dee Graham Tailor Made, Dungannon | Grooms Style | The Promise NI

Good morning and happy almost-long-weekend!

Today we Need To Know all about grooms style and what better person to ask than the always impeccably dressed, Dee Graham, creator of Dee Graham Tailor Made, a bespoke tailoring service based in Dungannon, County Tyrone. Dee has dressed many a stylish gent including Conor McGregor and certainly knows his threads – and as it turns out is a true romantic! If your groom harbours the need to share his personality on your Big Day this guy is the person to visit.

Wishing you all a great Bank Holiday and see you Monday when we’re back with an incredible wedding at Orange Tree House.

Dee Graham Tailor Made, Dungannon | Grooms Style | The Promise NI

TP: Tell us about your business, what can clients expect from Dee Graham Tailor Made? 

Dee: At Dee Graham Tailor Made we provide bespoke tailor-made suits and casual wear for the most distinguished of men. From crisp clean classics to bold prints and checks we take every aspect into consideration and tailor it to your needs.

TP: Who is your dream client? Any celebrities you’d love to design for? 

Dee: Maybe a strange one but if I had the chance to kit anyone out from any era it would have to be the king himself – Elvis. Not only was he one of the most iconic men ever but one of the most stylish. Away from the bedazzled jumpsuits and tassels the style he donned was sensational. A Dee Graham custom three-piece paired with that infamous pompadour quiff would have made a statement.

TP: Don’t think I can get Elvis but for local grooms what does the process of having a tailor-made suit involve? 

Dee: The process begins with an initial design consultation and conversation on what styles, colours and fabrics will work best for the customer. Then over 30 measurements are taken and the garments are tailored and ready for a first fitting. Your suit will now have all the major construction, including pockets and facings etc and this is pinned and altered to the shape that works best for you. After this there will be a second fitting, here all the alterations discussed will have been made and thoroughly checked. Any tweaks or requests will be noted and delivered for a final fitting. At this stage we will have a beautifully crafted bespoke suit, finished to a meticulously high standard. One last check is done to ensure both the customer and me are happy with the end product.

Tailoring is very personal – try to give your cutter every chance to get to know exactly what you want.

TP: How long does the overall process take? 

Dee: This is the important part. Unfortunately I get guys sauntering into the shop two days before a wedding looking kitted out in a masterpiece with all the trimmings – it just doesn’t work that way. Everything is custom designed and tailored from scratch. This process takes time along with multiple fittings so realistically the more time the better especially with a growing backlog I suggest at least two to three months.

Dee Graham Tailor Made, Dungannon | Grooms Style | The Promise NI

TP: What details do you need to know about the wedding before offering advice?

Dee: The more details the better, we take every aspect into consideration to make sure the groom is donning a custom piece fitting to him and the day his bride have planned. If he rocks up in a chalk stripe get-up reminiscent of an Al Pacino movie and the wedding is a romantic beach celebration, well it just won’t work. So the more details the better!

TP: Are you finding it’s just the groom, or are entire grooms parties getting the bespoke treatment?

Dee: Both. I find grooms are giving their guys the full works this past while. I’ll always make the grooms suit a little different so he stands out but I have noticed an increase in full wedding parties getting the tailor made treatment. Alternatively kitting out just the groom and tying in the whole party with handmade bowties/ties and pocket squares etc is very popular. It lets the groom stand out on what is as important a day for him as his beautiful bride!

TP: What is your favourite fabric & colours to work with? 

Dee: To answer both its black velvet – smooth, slick and sharp – it’s timeless!

Dee Graham Tailor Made, Dungannon | Grooms Style | The Promise NI

TP: Do summer grooms generally choose lighter fabrics? 

Dee: Yeah, even though it’s Ireland they still cling on to the hope that the sun will be shining and will need a linen suit to cope with the heat! But yeah, even style wise it’s more appropriate to choose a nice light fabric for a summer wedding. I recently introduced beautiful Merino wool into the shop which is proving very popular for the summer months.

TP: Any unusual colour/fabric combinations for summer coming through?

Dee: I have some crazy Jacquard prints and they are proving a big hit, there are some brave guys out there and they are embracing the whole ‘its your suit your way’ and going to town! Love it – I’d be fond of a crazy print myself so it’s all good!

TP: Is there a general trend/suit shape that grooms are opting for? 

Dee: We don’t follow trends. I’m lucky enough to do many many weddings and with this I meet all different kinds of grooms, from the classic sharp tux to a wild check explosion, I see them all. That’s the beauty of what I do – the only limitation is your imagination when you come through my door.

Dee Graham Tailor Made, Dungannon | Grooms Style | The Promise NI

TP: What accessories should a groom never forget? 

Dee: The bride. The suit will look sensational but remember it looks even better when your standing with the woman you love.

TP: Do you follow trends? Although I think I already know the answer… 

Dee: Never. I suggest the groom wear what reflects his personality and style thus is why I offer a tailor made service, not everyone is off the shelf.

A huge thanks to Dee for sharing some of his secrets and inspiring us! To view more visit, visit his showroom by appointment at Unit T8, Dungannon Enterprise Centre, 2 Coalisland Road, Dungannon or call 028 8738 0055. 

Planning Suppliers

Five Minutes With… Ciara Patrick Designs

April 14, 2017
Ciara Patrick Designs

Good morning! It’s the greatest Friday of the year and hopefully many of you are about to enjoy a long weekend of family time and taking things easy – I know I am! Easter weekend is such a popular one for weddings locally and really kicks starts the summer season of craziness for many wedding suppliers so today we’re sharing a quick five minutes with award winning stationery designer, Ciara Patrick from Cookstown. Ciara’s work is always stylish and with a feminine touch, we’re big fans.

Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend whatever you get up to, Em x

1. Pinterest or Instagram?


2. Belfast or Dublin?

I like both but Belfast has a homely vibe.

3. Home or away?


4. Biggest achievement? 

Child birth! And then winning my Best Stationer Award.

5. Scared of? 

Wasted opportunities.

6 Couldn’t live without?

My family.

7. Would rather not…

Diet… but sadly that’s life after kiddies.

8. Five dream dinner party guests? 

Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks and Leonardo da Vinci.

9. What would you cook them? 

Chicken Caesar salad, fillet steak, chips, garlic roasted veg and pepper sauce and lemon tart – simple tastes.

10. What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up?

Try to remember what day it is!

11. Last book you read?

Hurrah for Gin by Kate Kirby.

12. Favourite TV programme/series?

Keeping up with the Kardashians/Benidorm/Fortitude.

13. Guilty pleasure?


14. Favourite song?

Bear’s Den – Auld Wives.

15. Old or new? 


16. Bold or pastel? 

Pastels obviously!

17. Wedding dress or wedding shoes?


18. Finds inspiration from?

Fashion and nature.

19. Ceremony or reception? 


20. Random thought? 

Work hard in silence, let success be your noise.

You can view Ciara’s incredible work at

Planning Suppliers

NTK: Wedding Flowers – An Interview with Victoriana Floral

April 7, 2017
Victoriana Floral, Epic Love Photography | The Promise NI

Good morning and happy Friday – typed whilst doing a little Friday dance! Today is a great one, the kids are just about to break up for the Easter holidays, it’s my birthday this weekend and we’re introducing an awesome new series, NTK – otherwise know as Need To Know.

We really are flooded with such incredible wedding talent here in NI and I for one love to scream about some of the real stand-out stars so today I’m kicking off with floral wisdom from the lovely and super hug-giver, Kim Davies from Victoriana Floral in Whitehead. We cover everything from realistic budgeting to her favourite wedding style. I hope you enjoy, are inspired and learn something new about wedding flowers. Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday.

TP: In season flowers, should brides choose them, and are all flowers not readily available these days? 

Kim: Most flowers are available all year round though they can vary in price depending on what’s in season. For example peonies are in season for a relatively short period of time from end of May for approx 6-8 weeks. They can start of costing as much as £8-15 per stem and drop during peak season to £1.50 per stem. I encourage my couples to use what’s in season at the time of their wedding as they can generally be locally sourced and will be better quality and may be slightly cheaper.

Victoriana Floral, Epic Love Photography | The Promise NI

Image (+ featured image above): Epic Love Photography

TP: Do you have an all time favourite flower?

Kim: My all time favourite flowers are sweet peas. I adore their scent and colour. They are relatively short lived – maybe only a few days but are so worth growing. There is nothing quite like a vase of sweet peas for perfume and cheerfulness and the fact the more you pick the more flowers they produce has to be a winner!!

TP: Floral style, do you have a style you will always return to? 

Kim: My style I would say is unstructured and natural and is definitely the style I prefer. I am really fortunate that after four years I can choose which couples I work with and they tend to be those that love our style of design. I find it is best to let the flowers ‘do their thing’, they dictate how they are placed within an arrangement or bouquet and do not like to be made to face a certain way or be bent into a particular shape.

TP: What floral trends should we be looking out for this year?

Kim: Trends change regularly and are generally led by what’s happening in the fashion and interior design industries. This year sees a lot of greenery within floral design, a looser less contrived shape and very foliage heavy. 2018 is showing a move away from blush pinks and pastels to bolder stronger colours.

Image: Gather + Tides

TP: Your floral must-have?

Kim: If I had to advise a couple of a must have for their floral design I would say go big and bold on one aspect. A statement arch, an epic top table hanging installation, some raised centrepieces. Something to create that wow factor!

TP: Where do your flowers come from?

Kim: During the months of May to September we source a lot of our flowers from our local grower- Cherry at Kilcoan gardens in Islandmagee. Cherry has a cottage garden of over six acres open to the public and well worth a visit! She supplies our shop with a vast array of unusual annuals, perennials and foliage throughout growing season and this makes our work stand out from the rest. We also grow a lot of sweet peas and other annuals in our own one acre garden in the country where we also hold our workshops and alternative hen parties.

TP: You recently started hen party floral workshops, I was very lucky to attend one, can you tell our readers a little about them?

Kim: At Ash Tree Farm – our country workshop – we run courses for complete beginners and experienced florists as well as alternative hen parties for Brides and their hens. We offer flower crown or arrangement workshops, using beautiful flowers and we can tailor the workshop to suit the party. We can cater for up to 20 and a fabulous afternoon tea is provided courtesy of Maggies Working Kitchen.

Victoriana Floral, Laura Parkinson Photography | The Promise NI

Image: Laura Parkinson Photography

Kim’s Five Secret Floral Tips!

1. Trust your chosen florist, choose the designer whose work you love, ask to see samples of their past wedding work. 

2. Be brave don't do what everyone else has done.

3. Choose something that works with and complements the overall theme of the day.

4. Pinterest is great for opening your mind to different styles of flowers but don't become it's slave. Use if for inspiration but put your own spin on what you see. No florist wants to create someone else's work, it's creatively stifling.

5. Choose flowers and scent that mean something to you - perhaps a herb or rose that reminds you of a childhood memory.

Victoriana Floral, Navy Blur | The Promise NI

Image: Navy Blur

Choosing Victoriana Floral: How your flowers are created…

Kim: If you decide to choose Victoriana Floral for your wedding florals I will want to know the style of your dresses, body shape and height of Bride and Maids and their colouring. We can advise you on what’s going to look best with the dresses and suit everyone.

When couples contact me I generally arrange a phone or Skype call to check we are stylistically compatible, get a feel for what they are after and discuss initial ideas and then we arrange to meet. I would generally have one face to face meeting then send out ideas of pricing. Once they book I may have one further meeting prior to the wedding itself. Emails and phone calls are also ongoing during this period.

I offer package options for couples who want the overall look and feel of a Victoriana Floral style wedding but who do not have specific flower requests and are perhaps working to a tighter budget. Our bespoke options start at around £1900 and go up to in excess of £10000. A good rule of thumb is budget for a minimum of 10-30% of your overall budget depending on how important floral decor is to your overall look. Some people have said to me that they feel flowers are a waste of money because they die but I point out that you could say the same about the food! You eat it and then it’s gone, your flowers should last at least a week after the service where they will continue to give you pleasure. They appear in every photograph and can truly transform your venue to make it different to other weddings held there.

I do arrange to visit venues when it’s my first time there and it’s a bespoke service the couple have requested. It is useful to meet couples at the venue and discuss options as it helps to visualise with sketches what is possible. We travel all over Ireland from Donegal to Cork and have also provided florals in Scotland and England.

Huge thanks to Kim at Victoriana Floral for sharing her floral knowledge and inspiring us with her incredible work! To view more visit or call 028 9337 2519. 

Planning Suppliers

Behind the Lens: Sarah Bryden Photography

February 1, 2017
Sarah Bryden Photography, Behind The Lens | The Promise NI

Good morning and welcome to February! I read yesterday that January is only a practice run for the year, and I think I’m going to embrace that and start this month with a fresh outlook and some new dreams.

Today we’re welcoming back a much loved feature that we haven’t had on the blog for over a year – Behind the Lens – which today comes from Omagh based wedding photographer, Sarah Bryden.

How did you become a wedding photographer, Sarah? 

I had always wanted to be a journalist from a young age. I loved to write and tell stories so I did my qualifications for that and then used it to move into PR. It was in my job with Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company that I found my love for the camera. I began photographing the dancers in rehearsals and wanted to do more and more. So now, I feel like my background in journalism, the arts and dance has all made me the photographer that I am today. I’m still a storyteller except now it is with a camera instead of a pen!

Sarah Bryden Photography, Behind The Lens | The Promise NI

What are your favourite things about capturing special wedding memories through a lens? 

For me it’s the people that I meet. I love getting to know my couples and I really feel like part of the family by the end of the day! After all, it’s a happy occasion so it’s important that everyone enjoys it! And that really comes across in the photographs.

Tell us about your wedding day…

We had snow! I’m a November bride and expected rain but woke up to a blanket of snow. Thankfully it was the very first day of the horrendous snow of 2010 so all my guests still managed to come but it did mean we didn’t get on our honeymoon. I wore a Sassi Holford dress of my dreams and we got married in my husbands little country church.

Thinking back to your own wedding, would you do anything differently or approach planning in another way? 

I think we nailed it. We had the best day, full of laughter and really just a good party! We kept it simple and focused on making sure everyone had a good day, and that’s what I tell my couples. Don’t get hung up on the little details, they don’t really matter. Just enjoy it all!

Sarah Bryden Photography, Behind The Lens | The Promise NI

What do you think are the key ingredients for a great wedding day? 

Good food, good music, good people! And just do it your way, have a day that represents you both.

Have you any secrets you share with wedding couples that you’d like to share with us? 

It’s not really a secret but I tell every couple the same thing. If you get to your ceremony and you’re both there and you come out married then it has been a perfect day! It doesn’t matter if your flowers aren’t right or the cake falls over (yes this has happened!), the most important thing is each other and the commitment you are making.

Sarah Bryden Photography, Behind The Lens | The Promise NI

Do you think there is any secret formula to a successful marriage?

Communication. You have to talk to each other and that’s never more important than when times get tough. Never be afraid to have the difficult conversations because they will keep you connected and close.

What wedding trends are you loving at the minute?

I’m loving the focus on back detail in bridal dresses and seeing more sleeves. I also love the understated bridal look that is becoming more popular. For me, its fantastic that couples are putting a lot more emphasis on their photographs. They’re really thinking about locations and details which makes my job more fun. I’m also so impressed with the use of technology, recently a wedding had their own snapchat filter!


Is there anything you haven’t done that you would like to? 

There are lots of venues that I haven’t shot in and would like to. I’d love to shoot in Orange Tree House or Virginia Park Lodge for example. Other than that, I would love to shoot an alternative outdoors wedding, like in a forest or somewhere. Epic locations are always beautiful regardless of weather!

What’s in the pipeline for Sarah Bryden Photography?

I’m working on a new website – not sure if that is considered exciting? But I will be doing more helpful blogs for my couples and their wedding planning. I’m also doing a 52 week personal photography project this year. I think it’s important to always be loving your photography, working on your skills and creativity outside of the business and paid work. It always makes us better photographers for our couples in the end and that’s so important to me. Happy clients equals happy me!

A huge thanks to Sarah for taking the time to share her world with us. To see more of her work visit, and follow her Instagram photography project at @sarahbrydenphotography.