We’re into day two of the school summer holidays here at Promise HQ and oh joy, rain – absolutely typical isn’t it? This year July means so much more to me, it shall be known as the month before baby arrives, so I intend on enjoying it with the three crazies already here and not stressing over work.
Todays beautiful bride, Ruth, a school teacher from Ballinamallard, contacted me a little while ago about her marriage to Gary and when she mentioned Crom Castle, I had to see more! If you are looking for an utterly gorgeous, romantic and stately venue, this place could be just for you.
How ever you’re spending your Tuesday, have a great one and enjoy Ruth and Gary’s wedding day.
Couple: Ruth + Gary Strain
Ruth and Gary first met in Starbucks in Belfast, not the most romantic of locations but after their third date they both knew they were on to a winner! “Gary asked me the length of time it was normal for somebody to date ‘a religious woman’ before asking them to marry them – I replied between 12 months to a year and a half, and it was decided there and then that he would propose after one year of dating.”
The Proposal: True to his word, Gary proposed on our one year anniversary on a night when I was probably in one of the worst moods and with the biggest pile of marking!! Needless to say I had semi forgotten his promise and was taken rather unaware! After persuading me to leave my pile of marking, we revisited everywhere we had been on our first date (in the chucking rain!) and he proposed right outside my car where he had first left me back on our very first date.
Wedding date: Wednesday 12th April 2017
Ceremony: Magheracross Church of Ireland, Ballinamallard
Reception: The West Wing, Crom Castle, Newtownbutler
Our Planning: I was fortunate to have a number of very good friends who had got married in the last couple of years and they gave us excellent advice. I trawled Pinterest as most brides do for further inspiration and we searched for all our main suppliers online. From the outset neither of us wanted a hotel wedding, and after visiting Crom we instantly fell in love with the venue. It was intimate enough for our small numbers and the setting and interior was exactly what we were looking for. We didn’t set a budget but I am a bit of a bargain hunter - at least that’s what Gary would say! We focused a good portion of our money on the catering. Gary is a real foodie and my dad always says that the meal is one of the things people remember most from a wedding. Norman and the team from Saddlers were first class - it was so lovely being able to choose exactly what we wanted to eat and being so involved in that process. The band was also a big priority for us - I have known some of the members of Midnight Graffiti from primary school and love all the music they play. The band was actually the first thing we booked!
Our Style: We went for a grey/green colour scheme and tried to match details around these two colours. Grey is my favourite so I knew from the get go that this was the colour I wanted my two bridesmaids to wear. I wanted the dresses to be fairly informal so that they could be worn again. I found the dress on ASOS and thankfully the girls loved them when they tried them on. As a shoe fanatic, the most important thing was that they were knee length so I could put them in some beautiful shoes! Wedding dress shopping was actually one of my least favourite parts of planning the wedding! I did not enjoy trying on dresses in shops and felt like every style looked horrible on me! I had seen a dress in a picture online fairly soon after I got engaged, but decided I could never pull it off and as it was from a previous season, I couldn’t find it stocked in any bridal stores. After trying on around 20 dresses, I decided that until I tried that one on, I couldn’t progress with the search. I managed to find it in a bridal store in Mullingar and after emailing the store that morning, I was driving to try it on by the afternoon and Mum and I had it home with us that evening! As the saying goes, when you know, you know! Gary had his suit made by North in Belfast as he wanted to have something completely unique for this once in a life time occasion. He picked a charcoal grey colour and we put the rest of the men in a deep navy with grey ties to match the bridesmaids.
Our Highlights: Ruth: Walking up the aisle alongside my dad, passing my nearest and dearest and seeing Gary at the top. Gary: The food!
Our Advice: Be prepared to be very busy in the final 2/3 days - I have never felt stress like it and that’s coming from a teacher! Always accept help from friends/family when the offer and don’t try to do it all yourself, and use good suppliers!
Wedding dress: The White Room, Mullingar.
Groomswear: North, Belfast.
Hair: Venus Hair, Enniskillen.
Makeup: Make up by Jacqui Boyd, Irvinestown.
Flowers: DD’s Flowers, Irvinestown.
Cake: Made by the cousin of the bride.
Transport: I Do Wedding Cars, Portadown.
Band: Midnight Graffiti.
Photographer: Ursula McCollam Photography, Newtownabbey.