Here we are, the first proper working Monday in January. It’s back to porridge at Promise HQ and I am using all my inner positivity to make today and this week a good one, there’s no other way to get through! If you’re needing a lift to get you through the day, Nicola and Steven’s summer wedding at Hillmount House will do just that. We’re delighted to share their beautiful day which is bursting with incredible local wedding suppliers including Natalie Doherty Photography, SAK Designs and Victoriana Floral. Enjoy and here’s to a great week, Em x
Couple: Nicola + Steven Wiles
“Steven and I first met when we were 15 years old at a party for my grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary. He was (and still is) best friends with my cousin & had came along to the party. Fast-forward 15 years later where we met on a night out and Steven plucked up the courage to ask me out. We had several dates & realised pretty quickly how much we loved being together & never looked back.”
“We got engaged in Dunfanaghy, Donegal. Dunfanaghy is one of my favourite places to visit, particularly for horse-riding. Steven and I had gone riding on the beach that morning, we stopped along the way to take a few photographs where a massive heart had been dug out of the sand with a horseshoe placed in the middle, little did I know it was for me! Steven got down on one knee & proposed on the beach while the horses looked on – of course I said yes.”
Wedding date: Saturday 25th August 2018
Venue: Hillmount House, Larne
“We didn’t want too long of an engagement and gave ourselves a year to plan the wedding. We both love the countryside and being outdoors and wanted our venue to reflect this. We also preferred a doggie friendly venue as we wanted to have our German Shepherd Pi at the wedding. Hillmount House had the perfect mix of everything for us – a Georgian country house with a stable block & coach house and loads of outdoor space for all of our nieces and nephews to run around.
After booking Hillmount we worked our way through our list of everything else we needed to sort- catering, flowers, cake, band etc. – we loved all the planning and organising.”
Our Budget & Suppliers
“We set an overall budget and tried our best to stick to it, the largest part of our budget was on the venue and food. We kept a check on costs and where we had overspent in one area we were able to save in others.
We had exclusive use of the venue for 2 nights which meant we could spend the day before the wedding with our families and an amazing afternoon tea provided by Maggies Working Kitchen. We also spent the day before decorating the barn & adding our own little personal touches. Steven and the boys stayed overnight at the nearby Ballygally apartments while I stayed at Hillmount with both our families. Waking up on the wedding morning and already being at the venue was great & made us feel so relaxed. We had a lovely breakfast made by Theresa (aka Mary Poppins – there seriously is no end to her talents!) while our hairdresser & make-up artist worked their magic.”
“We wanted to have our ceremony outdoors which is always risky in Northern Ireland, especially as we hadn’t set up our ‘plan B’, but taking the risk was worth it. We knew as soon as we visited Hillmount House that it was the place for us, the view from the lawn is beautiful and was framed perfectly by our floral archway. We didn’t have a specific theme for the day, we just wanted a laid-back, fun day celebrating with our friends and family with lots of good food & music. Kim from Victoriana Floral did such an amazing job on the flowers. I wanted to use colours that had a strong contrast to the dusty lavender bridesmaids dresses so Kim and I decided on ivory & lavender tones with a pop of burgundy. We also used the same colour scheme for the invitations and other wedding stationery.”
“I wasn’t set on a particular type of dress and kept quite an open mind. I tried on a few different styles to see what suited best & quickly realised that I wanted quite a simple strapless dress. I opted for a Stella York dress with ivory lace and blush undertones & crystal buttons on the back. I loved the sparkly belt and knew I wanted a cathedral length veil to set it all off. It was exciting seeing it all come together during the dress fittings & felt amazing on the day.”
“We made our own place settings – a polaroid photograph of each guest displayed on a mini easel. We also made a polaroid display from an old wooden pallet & fairy lights, we started it off with some of our own photos, our guests then added to this.
Steven’s cousin & groomsman is a very talented graphic designer, he very kindly designed & printed our invites and all of our other stationery including menu cards & order of the day.
My granny had sadly passed away the October before the wedding – I incorporated her favourite brooch into my flowers which made carrying them with me along the aisle even more special.”
“Enjoy the planning and all the run up to the day.
Try not to panic if things don’t go to plan – chances are your guests won’t know anyway!
Everyone tells you how quickly the day goes by and it really does so just relax and have fun with your friends and family – it really is the best day ever.”
Venue: Hillmount House, Larne.
Wedding dress: Stella York from LA Bridal House, Carrickfergus.
Bridal Seamstress: Kelly Black Designs, Belfast.
Bridesmaids dress: Sorella Vita from LA Bridal House, Carrickfergus.
Bridesmaids Alterations: Little Sewing Spot, Bangor.
Accessories: Innocent Chaos, Belfast.
Hair: Vintage Rocks, Belfast.
Makeup: S.A.K. Designs, Glenanne.
Grooms wear: Remus Uomo from SD Kells, Belfast.
Cake: NI Cake Design, Carrickfergus.
Flowers: Victoriana Floral by Kim Davies, Whitehead.
Videographer: Bride’s Uncle.
Ceremony music: Arco String Quartet, Holywood.
Entertainment: The Collective Wedding Band, Newtownards.
Photographer: Natalie Doherty Photography, Derry/Londonderry.
Honeymoon: Cavtat, Croatia.