Good morning, anyone feeling the Bank Holiday blues? I know I am – more of those carefree, sunny days this summer please! Todays beautiful couple were married on a gorgeous July day last year. With the most mega of bridal parties (Sarah had eight bridesmaids!), one heck of a magnificent floral arch, and the best bridal shoes I’ve spied in a long, long time their day was utterly stylish from the get go. Thanks to lovely Laura Parkinson for sending this one our way. Have a great Tuesday-that-feels-like-Monday!
Couple: Sarah + Mark Debenham
“We met in a pub in South West London called the Antelope. It was a mutual friend’s birthday drinks and we just got chatting and didn’t really stop all night…by the end of the night we were holding hands and that was that really.”
“Mark proposed in Brockwell Park, which is a park in London we both love close to where we live. It was on a pretty cold Saturday morning in November and Mark suggested we both go out for a coffee and a walk before the Arsenal match started… he is a huge fan! We sat on a bench with our coffee, and were having a nice chat, next thing I know, Mark got down on one knee, got out the most beautiful ring which he had helped to design and asked if I would marry him. I just said “of course I will” and we hugged for ages, before I remembered to look at the ring! We stayed where we were just hugging for a while, both in a bit of shock, and then went for some champagne in a nearby pub, where we started to call our family and friends with the news. Mark had planned the whole day, through to dinner and a night in a London hotel with some really special surprises arranged throughout the day. He didn’t even watch the Arsenal match! I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Wedding date: Saturday 1st July 2017
Ceremony: St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus
Reception: Culloden Estate and Spa, Holywood
“The main thing for us from the start was that we wanted the day to be full of love and make it personal to us and special for our families and friends who mean so much to us both. We decided quite early on that it would be in Northern Ireland (we live in London), which meant a lot to me as I had always wanted to get married in the Church I grew up in. We booked to go to see a few venues on the same day, as we were back from London for the weekend. The first one was the Culloden and we loved it straight away. We loved the atmosphere in the hotel, the impeccable service and the fact that it overlooked Belfast Lough. We went to see a few more places but neither of us had quite the same feeling about them as we got in the Culloden. Once we knew the venue and managed to secure a date, we set to work on everything else and it all just flowed from there.”
“We both said that we’d like the colour theme to be bright with crisp whites and greens, and with some blush to match the bridesmaids. I would say our theme was just quite classic and elegant. We had a few personal touches as well. Mark’s best man helped us with our wedding invitations and stationery on the day, which were based on Belfast Lough and had a picture of the Lough with the H&W cranes, Carrickfergus Castle and one of my Granda’s tug boats sat on the Lough. That ran throughout our invitations, orders of service and was on display at the reception. We also had a gin bar which, as a massive Arsenal fan, Mark named “Wenger’s Gin Palace.” My Uncle made us a very cool sign for that on an up-cycled mirror. We were so lucky with all the help we got from family and friends, they all really added to the little personal touches we wanted for the day.
I had in my head I’d like the girls to wear a blush pink / rose coloured dress but wasn’t overly fussed about some of the bridesmaid dresses I had seen on the internet, until I saw an image on Pinterest of a group of girls wearing Watters separates – a long blush skirt and a sequin top, and just loved it. It was the perfect colour and I loved that they were separates as it was just that little bit different, but still very elegant. I booked an appointment at a stockist in Twickenham, London and when the girls tried them on, they all loved the outfit so we ordered that day. The best part is they can now wear the tops with a pair of jeans on a night out!
Mark was pretty clear from the beginning that he’d like to be in a tuxedo and I loved the idea. He hired French Connection tuxedos for his best man, groomsmen and our dads, and treated himself to a Hugo Boss one from Selfridges in London. I think they all looked very handsome and the style was perfect with the bridesmaid dresses.”
“I saw a dress on Pinterest which I immediately loved, and looked up the designer, which was Rime Arodaky. I checked out her website and Instagram/Pinterest pictures and fell in love with the dresses because of the slightly edgy style and crisp white design. When I saw that the only two stockists in the UK were The White Gallery in Newry and a boutique in Notting Hill in London, I booked in to The White Gallery to try some on. I knew straight away that I would wear one of those dresses and the hard part would be choosing which one! I wanted something that was clean, crisp, bright white and a little bit different to the more traditional style wedding dresses. I couldn’t have been happier with it and am now slightly obsessed with everything Rime Arodaky. I just wish I could wear it all over again!”
“There are too many to name. One of mine was definitely walking down the aisle with my dad, and then walking out of the Church with Mark to the amazing music and cheers from all our friends and family, that’s a feeling I’ll never forget. Another would be at the drinks reception, where everyone was dancing before we went into dinner to the incredible violin music by Eimear Bradley. So many guests commented on the energy in the room. The speeches were another highlight. My dad’s, Mark’s and Matt the best man’s speech, were so funny and thoughtful. We both just felt like the luckiest people in the world all day. We could really feel the love in the room, and we didn’t want it to be over. Oh, and the flowers! They blew me away!”
“Everyone says it, but just to try to relax and enjoy it as much as you can. It only happens once and as much as you can’t wait for it to get here, it goes by in a flash so make the most of the build-up as well as the day itself, and just try to take in every moment.”
Bridesmaids dresses: Watters.
Hair: Kelly White Hair Artist.
Grooms wear: Hugo Boss.
Cake: Cake Couture NI.
Flowers: Victoriana Floral.
Wedding film: PigMint Film.
Entertainment: Eimear Bradley.
Photographer: Laura Parkinson Photography.