Hello December! Is it okay to now officially panic over Christmas? I’ve a feeling the next three weeks are going to whizz by in a blur!
I love to start Monday morning with a beautiful wedding, and this morning is no exception; after a great proposal Jen and Ryan were married on one of the wettest days of the year, but that didn’t hinder their fun filled day at Brownlow House in Lurgan. Connor McCullough was behind the lens and boy, did he do a great job of forgetting the rain and powering through!
Jen and Ryan met at secondary school in Ballymena, but it took until just before their sixth form formal for Ryan to ask her out.
“I can’t remember a moment when I suddenly knew it was for life…it was probably during our first couple of years at University – I studied in Belfast, whereas Ryan studied in Dublin – so our time together was precious and limited! But we were both committed and somehow it worked for us – I think it made us appreciate any time together we had. By Ryan’s final year in University I was hoping that he wouldn’t wait too much longer before popping the question – but I was thinking within the next few years so was totally blind-sided when he proposed!” said Jen.
“Firstly I should say that Ryan can be the most romantic person I have ever met when he puts his mind to it! It all started when one of my closest friends, Katie, came home from work and told me that she had won a competition for a weekend stay at Galgorm Resort -complete with romantic meals and spa treatments – of course I was very excited for her, if not a little envious! So I jokingly said that if her other half wasn’t free she knew who to ask…and coincidentally a few weeks later it transpired that he wasn’t able to join her, so it became a girly weekend of pampering! Very excited, we went to the hotel on Friday, enjoyed a great meal and a luxurious nights sleep. The next morning a photographer arrived, part of Katie’s prize I was told! We had a whole day of pure relaxation and more fine dining that evening. After dinner the photographer suggested that we venture outside to get some more pictures. We walked round the grounds and eventually came to a walled archway where there were lit church candles all around. As I walked toward the archway Katie and the photographer had dropped behind me, and from behind the archway, Ryan stepped out, looking very handsome dressed in black suit and tie. I can honestly say I have never felt more surprised, confused and stunned in my life – my brain was in overdrive trying to figure out how this had all came about! He got down on one knee, with the ring and asked me to marry him…making it the most amazing weekend of my life to date I think!
He had planned every detail – from making sure the hotel staff knew every detail, down to the string duo that had played during our meal that evening, and the photographer who was there to capture it all!” explained Jen.
With the surprise of their engagement over, Jen and Ryan began to plan their day. It was quickly clear they were in agreement on the most important elements of the day; they wanted a venue where they could have a fun and relaxed atmosphere and a church wedding with all their family and friends. With a shared passion for travelling they used this as the overall theme for their day and with lots of inspiration from Pinterest and brain-storming, Jen’s sister Ali designed the invitations and their day came together with soft green and dusky pink tones.
“Honestly, it was one of the most perfect, surreal, wonderful days of my life – looking back it seems like there was a magical glow over the whole day! The time with friends and family the morning of the wedding was really special, with so much excitement and anticipation of the big day finally having arrived, and it only got better from there! For me the whole day was just full of so much joy and love from everyone. What surprised me was that we both had so much fun getting photos, which is not usually my strong suit and just the whole atmosphere of happiness made me feel like I was floating a solid foot off the ground all day! Of course, it didn’t all go exactly to plan! Ryan had personalised cufflinks made for the groomsmen and our Dads, I was supposed to present my Dad his during the morning, but I forgot! That morning we awoke to a typical Northern Irish morning of lashing rain, which did eventually clear, we were about an hour late for the planned meal time and the pre-dinner line up took ten times longer than we thought… but not one of those things mattered at all!” said Jen.
Ceremony: West Church, Ballymena.
Reception: Brownlow House, Lurgan.
Photographer: Connor McCullough Photography.
Wedding dress: Vintage Rose Bridal, The Wedding Centre, Randalstown.
Bridesmaids dress: Haven Bridal, Moira.
Hair & makeup: Hair & Makeup by Gillian & Tippy.
Grooms wear: Remus Uomo.
Cake: Handmade by the Father of the Bride!
Flowers: Leaf Designs, Ballymena.
Bridal cars: Northern Ireland Wedding Cars, Randalstown, tel: 028 7938 6361.
Videographer: Adam Smyth Films.
Entertainment: Nice Guy Eddie.