It’s time to grab a mince pie and a Christmas tipple and have a read of our very last wedding of 2015. Of course, we’re going out in pure style with Laura and John’s beautiful wedding in the Guildhall in Londonderry. Their day was captured by local photographer, Roisin O’Brien, and gosh, what a fabulous day they had.
Designer, Laura was born in L’derry but moved away at the age of four. For ten years she has lived in Nottingham where she met John – the barman in a local pub, they shared mutual friends and got to know each other through them.
John proposed at their home in October 2014; “It was a Wednesday night and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was making soup and nipped out to the shop to get some bread rolls. We had got two black rescue kittens, Wilfred and Elspeth, the month before and when I came through the door I panicked as I thought Elspeth had something caught round her neck. I shouted to John asking if he knew what had happened her, and then realised it was a ring on a piece of string around her neck! I just started to cry and John asked me to marry him. I loved that he chose a normal Wednesday night in our beautiful home to ask me,” added Laura.
Laura knew she wanted to come home to Northern Ireland to get married and enlisted the help of her cousin, Leanne Colhoun, to act as her local wedding planner, whilst she researched online from Nottingham for many of her suppliers.
With a classic autumn wedding planned florist Sharon Peaker created the most incredible bouquets in stunning berry colours. Laura wore a divine gown by Temperley with lace sleeves called Grace, whilst her maids wore multiway dresses in a light mink shade. John and his groomsmen, along with their fathers wore slim fitting tuxedo suits from Moss Bros. As Laura’s father is in the shirt business, everyone’s shirts were custom made for them.
“The day was absolutely amazing, everyone said the day would go so fast and it really did. I felt so happy and relaxed which I wasn’t expecting! I was really worried I would feel stressed and cry a lot, but all I felt was absolute happiness and we could feel all the love surrounding us. All I wanted was for people to have a good time and I think that message got through,” said Laura.
“I am a naturally clumsy person but was determined I would be elegant on my wedding day… that didn’t go exactly to plan. I arrived in the car outside the Guildhall and banged my head getting out! Then after we both kissed after the ceremony my lace sleeve got stuck on John’s microphone on his jacket!” added Laura.
“Our highlight was the ceremony. It was beautiful and such an important special time. We were just holding each others hands tight, looking at each other and couldn’t believe it was here and happening. John got a bit emotional when I arrived, all I could do was smile and hold on tight and say enjoy it, it’s a happy time. Our registrar, Michelle Duddy, was amazing, she made us feel comfortable and excited,” said Laura.
“Our cats are very important to us and we were sad they couldn’t be there for the wedding so we put pictures of then on the top table – our guests thought we were absolutely nuts!! We also took each others names, so we are both now Mr & Mrs Woods-Eley, it felt right to start married life equal and I think taking each others names reflected that for us. We did speeches slightly differently. I spoke first and made a short speech, my maid of honour also spoke and then we had the traditional made speeches,” explained Laura.
Ceremony: Guildhall, L’derry.
Reception: Beech Hill Country House Hotel, L’derry.
Wedding dress: Temperley London.
Bridesmaids dresses: Debut at Debenhams.
Groomswear: Moss Bros.
Cake: Cakes by Miriam, L’derry.
Flowers: Sharon Peaker Flowers , L’derry.
Transport: Select Occasions, Maghera.
Videographer: Ian Higginson, Dundonald.
Harpist: Les Magee.
DJ: Geard Dillon, L’derry.
Master of Ceremonies: Derek Ewing.
Photographer: Roisin O’Brien Photography, L’derry.