The Story of Us: Bronagh + Gary

Good morning and a very happy Monday to you all! Did you have a nice weekend? This wet weather is certainly not playing ball with my summer dreams.

So, I am teetering on the edge of being 40 weeks pregnant and things are about to go in to crazy mode around The Promise HQ. For months now I’ve been saying to my well meaning mates that I will be grand to continue working once the baby arrives and finally I’m eating my words and listening to them as I’ve decided I really do need to take a little while off from it all. Today marks my official start to maternity leave (FYI maternity leave when self-employed is really a self imposed ban on working before I loose my mind, haha!), but I couldn’t let this little blog grind to a halt (for a little while) before I shared Bronagh and Gary’s beautiful early summer wedding. Bronagh is the sister of tailor/magician Dee Graham who we are big fans off so I was delighted when she got in touch after her Big Day.

I’ll stop rambling now and let you read all about their wedding but just a quick note to say a huge thank you to everyone for their kind wishes. Knowing me I will be working away behind the scenes when life lets me and I already have a new notebook crammed with ideas for how this local blog is going to become bigger and better! I’ll be raring to chat so any queries drop me a line at emma(at)thepromiseni.com, and come follow me on Instagram for a few peeks behind the scenes – aka baby spam!

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Couple: Bronagh + Gary Watterson

Bronagh and Gary met in February 2007 whilst they both worked in Asda.

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Proposal: Gary surprised me with the gift of a trip to New York in 2014, it was a total shock and completely unexpected, I never imagined he was planning to propose! We were in the tower of Belvedere Castle in Central Park when Gary dropped to one knee and propose!

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Wedding date: Friday 2nd June 2017

Ceremony: St Patrick’s Church, Ballinderry

Reception: Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown

Our Planning: Gary and I both knew we wanted to stay close to home so we explored a few different venues but the Greenvale ticked all our boxes and Mickey was an absolute gentleman, we knew it was right for us so we set our date, we chose 2nd June 2017 as on that day we will be celebrating being a couple for 10 years. After confirming the chapel everything fell into place for us as we had a few years before the wedding. We booked everything in advance and avoided any disappointment. 

Our theme, in a nutshell, was the story of us. Our invitations included characters of ourselves and featured a timeline telling our journey; marking all our significant milestones so far. Our cake followed the same theme, each tier painting a story of our love together. We chose to incorporate some New York elements into the mix as that’s where we got engaged and also where we had booked for our honeymoon. We tied this in with American candy and also on our table plan where each table was a famous landmark from the city. It made it feel personal to us and sentimental too as NY really is the city of dreams and we wanted to bring a small taste of it to Cookstown!

Photography was one of the most important aspects to us to get organised, I love photos and I am big into sentiment so I was determined I wanted it captured perfectly, focusing on the right vibe and letting us just be ourselves and be natural and happy. Everything we wanted came packed neatly with a wee bow in the form of James McGrillis, an outstanding photographer who has such a keen eye for detail and captures very small, subtle and sentimental moments. Music was another important thing we wanted to secure early - I had my heart set on Donna Taggart and with luck on my side was able to get her booked, two years before our wedding!

We decided instead of buying favours we would donate the money to the Downs Syndrome Association, a cause extremely close to my heart as my older brother has Downs Syndrome and he means the world to our family, I chose giving the money to a worthwhile cause because more times than enough the favours are left lying behind.

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Our Style: My wedding dress shopping experience went rather smoothly I am thankful to say! I blocked out two weekends and had organised two appointments per weekend. I didn't want to go too many places as it just gets too confusing! I literally loved everything I tried on and played about with different styles. My last appointment was Perfect Day Lurgan and I tried on one dress in the shop and I hadn't even got it pulled up as far as my knees and I knew it was the one! Our flower girl dresses actually came out of Asda - little did I know when I worked there when I was 16 that I would meet my future husband there and be back one day buying flower girl dresses for our wedding! The maid of honours dress was designed and made by dressmaker Ellen Lambert in Coalisland. 

I was very lucky to have my incredibly talented brother, Dee Graham design our suits right down to the very button design! We knew we wanted to go grey and lightweight to match the pastel of the maid of honour and the flowers, the boys said the suits were very comfy. Dee listened and knew what we were aiming for and he delivered above and beyond, we were so pleased with how he kitted out the groom, best man and ushers, one who is only 9 years old! We had four young page boys who got the Dee Graham TailorMade treatment as well!

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Our highlights: 

Bronagh: We can honestly say our day went even better than what we could have wished for. The weather was absolutely glorious, mother nature was so kind to us! Everything felt like it was on fast forward, hours felt like minutes, it really does fly in so fast! Its so surreal, sitting at the top table and seeing everyone you love in one room smiling and supporting you, it’s an amazing feeling.

For me the highlight of the day was Gary’s speech. He can be quite shy and nervous but standing beside me on the day I had this smiley and confident man who gave the most genuine and heartfelt speech, he totally blew me away and I couldn’t have been more proud of him for the beautiful words he said. 

Gary: Two of my favourite things was watching Bronagh walk up the aisle and secondly the smile on Bronagh’s brother Brendan’s face, when I asked everyone to raise their glass to toast him during my speech, the happiness on his face was priceless.

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Our Advice: I’m sure this has been said a million times but you really do need to remember that it’s your day and you only get one chance to do it the way you want to. Don’t get too tangled up on the views of others as no matter what you do you will never be able to please everyone so don’t feel guilty or selfish just go for it and have fun and have faith that it will all fall into place. One last thing, remember to take a breather a couple of times, you will most certainly need it! And take a wee minute to sit back and soak it up, it’s so surreal you need to live in the moment and take it all in! PS brides I advise getting them wee heel stoppers for your shoes that lets you walk on grass - godsend!

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

James McGrillis Photography, Greenvale Hotel | The Promise NI

Super Suppliers 

Wedding dress: Perfect Day, Lurgan.

Bridesmaids dress: Ellen Lambert, Coalisland.

Bridal accessories: No.8 Bridal Boutique, Cookstown.

Hair: O-Two Hair & Beauty, Cookstown.

Makeup: Catherine Fleming MUA, Moira.

Groomswear: Dee Graham Tailor Made, Dungannon.

Flowers: The Flower Studio, Dungannon.

Cake: Jills Cakes, Moneymore.

Cars: Mid Ulster Limousines, Cookstown.

Video: Ian Higginson Media, Newtownards.

Ceremony singer: Donna Taggart.

Wedding photo location: Lissan House, Cookstown.

Entertainment: Hype The Band.

Irish dancers: Courtney O’Neill & friends.

Stationery: Perfect Day Print, Ballymena.

Photography: James McGrillis Photography, Belfast