Hello, and a very big welcome to a brand new year at The Promise. If you’re new to the blog, can I say a huge congratulations on your engagement, I am Emma the editor, founder of The Promise and all-round longtime wedding lover! Just a little over two years ago I started the blog with the aim of helping local brides find their wedding pretties, and sharing gorgeous and inspirational stories of love from local ladies and gents, just like you, from the most amazing photographers we are lucky to have.
So, our first wedding story of 2016 comes from one of my favourites, Gather and Tides. Together Gillian and Tim have captured the most heartwarming and beautiful weddings recently and I am always humbled that they are big supporters of this little corner of the net! These two rock, and you’ll see exactly why in just a few minutes!
Erin, a staff nurse and Paul, a joiner (and wannabe farmer!) got married last July, 10th in Lurgan. With busy jobs and their little lady, Ruby Joy to care for planning their perfect wedding came down to priorities, number one being saying their meaningful vows and celebrating their happiness. Their day, in all it’s simple style reflected their love and the joyous occasion, perfectly.
“Paul and I were basically set up by our good friends Tim and Gillian Higgins of Gather and Tides who planted the idea in both if our heads less than two years ago. The longer version includes a wee Facebook nosey, an accidental ‘friend request’ followed by a quick ‘undo’ of said friend request…and after much persuasion from Gillian, a blind date!” said Erin.
“We had a lot to consider, not only was Paul considering spending his life with me but he also had to think of my daughter, Ruby Joy. Paul fell in love with Ruby and I would say we both knew by the summer that it was the real deal,” explained Erin. A few months later, after dating for nine months the couple got engaged on a little spot at the edge of Portmore Lough. “Paul took me to a special spot , a place no one else really knew about. We put on our wellies and moved through the undergrowth and mud to find it – très romantic! We found it, up to our knees in water (the lough was flooded) and next thing Paul was spilling his heart to me hovering down on one knee in the water… It was perfect, I still can’t believe he chose us!” added Erin.
The couple instantly knew their wedding was going to be a celebration of their love – the grand details didn’t matter – becoming a family was most important. “We just picked things we liked incorporating handmade items, and simple touches. We wanted our day to reflect the vows we made and celebrate our happiness. We avoided many of the extras brides are tempted with!” said Erin.
Erin and her bridal party travelled to the ceremony at Shankill Parish in Lurgan in a 1980’s Volvo limo, “Paul’s friend had bought the limo a few years before and it was all good in theory, however a breakdown on the way to the church kept us on our toes for ten minutes!” said Erin.
“One of my highlights was Paul making promises to Ruby just after we made our vows in the church. A moment I will never forget,” added Erin.
The decor at Ballydugan included terracotta pots centrepiece filled with lavender plants, created by Erin, whilst Paul made wooden name place settings and Erin used a mirror from their home for the table plan.
“We really did have so many highlights and funny moments. During the speeches, Ruby placed various items on Paul’s Dads head (including the mother of the groom’s fascinator) as he was making his speech! It was a comical but lovely moment and a great way to keep the tears in during an extremely touching speech. Our first dance was also a favourite moment, we had five minutes to beam with happiness in each others arms- then when ruby joined us we just couldn’t stop smiling,” said Erin.
“I have many highlights of the day. Too many to mention, but the best thing for me was not only becoming a husband but becoming a father on the same day,” added Paul.
I think it’s important to spend time working out what’s important and what’s really not. Your wedding isn’t a showcase for others to enjoy, it isn’t a form of entertainment. It’s a major life decision that is to be celebrated.
Don’t get swept away by the wedding industry and all the must haves… you won’t miss them if you don’t have them- your guests are there to celebrate with you not to be impressed by your candy cart!
Ceremony: Shankill Parish, Lurgan.
Reception: The Mill at Ballydugan, Downpatrick.
Dress: Designed by Gino Cerruti, purchased from a seller in London.
Bridesmaids dress: Ted Baker.
Accessories: Flowers from garden in their.
Grooms wear: Bogart Menswear, Belfast.
Cake: Erin’s University house mate Amanda Stewart.
Flowers: The Rosehip and Berry, Belfast.
Bridal cars: Friends 1980’s Volvo.
Entertainment: The Cola Cubes and DJ Billy Fyfe.