Browsing Tag

irish weddings

Real Couples

Diane + Stephen

February 18, 2019
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Hello! It’s half-term week at Promise HQ so I’m currently juggling, or maybe struggling – I’m not really sure which one it is! 

Today we’re sharing the wedding story of Diane and Stephen who were married last October and held their rustic styled reception at the Leighinmohr House Hotel. They put a lot of love and effort into making their day super personal which was perfectly captured by Lauren of LIT Photography. Wishing you all a fantastic week ahead, xx. 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Couple: Diane + Stephen Saulters

“Stephen was the year above me in the same school, Cambridge House. I was in the same year as his little brother, but didn’t know they were brothers! I knew of Stephen around school but he didn’t remember me. We met one night in Kelly’s, Portrush. I was on a night out with Uni friends and he had taken his friend out to cheer him up after a break up. Ironically it was him that found a women that night!” 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

The Proposal 

“We had planned to take a walk with friends on Easter Monday 2016. Strangely they cancelled (now I know why lol) so Stephen took me to Benone beach. I had no idea it was coming so I complained the whole walk about how cold and blustery it was, but he wanted to keep going to the quiet part of the beach where all of a sudden he got on one knee! I was totally surprised and didn’t even know he had been looking at rings, so he did a good job picking by himself.” 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Wedding date: Friday 19th October 2018 

Ceremony: Clough Presbyterian Church

Reception: Leighinmohr House Hotel, Ballymena 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Our Planning

“Our top priority was creating a personal day that was local enough for all our guests to be able to make, so that’s why we chose a local venue. Also, as a musician I wanted music to play a big part of our day, so we had friends and musicians I teach and play along with doing our church music and reception music, which made it super personal.”

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Our Budget & Suppliers

“We didn’t really sit down and say this is the exact amount we want to spend. As we have our own house we understood how far money can go so we didn’t want to spend silly money on things we could do ourselves. Of course there were things that we just had to spend on, like the band, photographer, videographer, flowers, venue, suits etc. But apart from that we tried to do most other things ourselves. 

After we had our engagement shoot with LIT Photographer we LOVED the photos Lauren was able to take, as both of us were quite nervous about being posed for photographs all day. She had a great natural, unobtrusive style which just suited our relaxed day perfectly. 

I knew that I wanted the boys from the Scottish Ceilidh Band I am in ‘Risin’ Stour’ and a couple of the Fiddle teachers I teach with to supply the service music, so as to make it super special and personal to us. They had never played together and only had one practise at the rehearsal but they are so talented that the music sounded AMAZING on the day! Also I got Kevin Jackson & Richard Marshall, a country singer band I play with to sing in the bar at the reception.” 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Our Style

“We are definitely a laid back couple and didn’t want to get wrapped up in the expense of thinking you had to spend a fortune on everything. We wanted a relaxed, enjoyable day which took a lot of pressure off us to have everything run perfectly. We wanted a rustic style wedding using any materials we could get our hands on and decorate ourselves.”

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Personal Touches

“Where we could make use of our own creative skills and family’s we did: my mum and sister in law made and decorated our cake, and my mum made homemade fudge which we put into little jars (my nephews baby food jars!), I put labels on and used as the centre pieces. I got an old wooden pallet from my parents farm and varnished it to make the table plan (probably my proudest DIY), I also reused an old wooden board from our shed and turned into our guest board for people to sign, which we now have displayed.”

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

My Dress

“I went for a fitted dress with light lace from Wedded Bliss, Portglenone. It was super comfy and had a cut out back that I loved! I wore a veil with lace trim to match. I splashed out on a pair of Carvela jewelled court heels, they were super comfy. I always knew I wanted the bridesmaids to be burgundy/wine colour as I loved it for an Autumn wedding. Their dresses were a chiffon material with a little lace detail on the shoulders by Hayley Paige.” 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Our Advice

“Don’t stress about the little details! I probably got carried away with the DIY aspect which then put a little bit of pressure on me to get it all finished in the last week (maybe don’t procrastinate as much as I did and leave it to the last minute to finish lol). I would also advise not to get caught up in the whole ‘the more expensive the better’ mentality. It is very easy to get wrapped up in that as you want everything to be perfect but what I loved and what our guests loved about our wedding was that everything had a personal homemade touch that fitted perfectly with our rustic style. Also try to think about what kind of day you want and imagine it to be, if you tailor it too much towards what you think the guests will want it becomes less personal.” 

LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI
LIT Photography, Leighinmohr House Hotel | The Promise NI

Wedding Suppliers

Venue: Leighinmohr House Hotel, Ballymena. 

Dress: Ida Torez, Wedded Bliss, Portglenone. 

Bridesmaids dress: Hayley Paige, Castle Couture, Galgorm. 

Headpiece: Sophiabeau, Etsy. 

Grooms wear: Dapper Dudes Groomswear, Wedding Centre, Randalstown. 

Photographer: Lauren McGee, LIT Photography, Portrush. 

Cake: My very talented Mum & Sister-in-law. 

Flowers: Cherry Blossom Flowers, Randalstown. 

Bridal cars: C4 Wedding Cars, Magherafelt. 

Videographer: Paul @ Capture Wedding Video

Evening band: Juice

Hair: Electric Chair, Ballymena. 

Makeup: Catherine Courtney Makeup, Ballymena. 

Chalkboards: Love Weddings Studio, Belfast. 

Real Couples

Fun & Colourful Celebration of Love: Lynette + Nigel

January 21, 2019
Dark Hedges Wedding, LIT Photography | The Promise

So apparently it’s ‘Blue Monday’ today, but there is nothing but colour and happiness over here as we share Lynette and Nigel’s wedding day at the Dark Hedges. A fun loving couple, Lynette and Nigel were keen to give their 60 guests a laid-back, non-traditional celebration in a quirky venue exclusive to them. Thanks to Lauren from LIT Photography NIhttps://litphotographyni.com for sharing her beautiful images, I’m completely in love with Lynette’s short dress and bold red lip choices. Have a very lovely Monday, or at least a perfectly fine one!  

Couple: Lynette + Nigel Bradley 

“Nigel and I met in the school where I work; I’m a teacher, he was contracted to refurbish the toilets (romantic ha ha!) gave my number and agreed to a “date”, at first thinking it was a joke and I was humouring the builders, but voila it was not so and here we are ten years later.” 

The Proposal

“A crisp May weekend on the canals in Amsterdam. Beautiful place!”

Wedding date: Saturday 21st July 2018 

Ceremony: The Hedges Estate – The Spire @ Gracehill House

Reception: The Hedges Estate – The Pantry @ Gracehill House

Our Planning

“We wanted a low key, laid-back feel to celebrate our longstanding relationship of ten years together with inclusion of our two children and closest family and friends (60 guests in total). My aim was to try and have a few quirky features and a bit of a knees up! We did not want the traditional, stereotypical, cloned wedding that a lot of people choose to have, that’s just not us! “ 

Dark Hedges Wedding, LIT Photography | The Promise

Our Venue 

“Our main priority was that the venue was close to home! The Hedges Estate has the iconic Dark Hedges across the road as a backdrop for photos by the lovely Lauren and it’s a small hotel that we could fully occupy and keep private just for us. The Spire ceremony room is beautiful and lends itself to a more intimate, laid back and rustic wedding. The Pantry, reception building has a similar feel with outdoor patio area.”

My Dress

“I chose a short dress because I just don’t suit a maxi! It was the Mae dress by House of Mooshki from Marie Me Bridal in Randalstown.”

Bespoke Touches

“We have two children both taking main roles as bridesmaid and best man (we didn’t have any other bridal party members). My father and Nigel’s mother signed the register. Our 6 year old son read a poem during the ceremony and my daughter and my best friend’s daughter sang. The guitar duo played throughout the ceremony and for the drink reception afterwards where we served Mr&Mrs cocktails and a beer barrow for guests on the outdoor terrace. I created all the signage myself using pallets and wooden planters, the bright reds and pinks in the ribbons on the chairs added a quirky feel to the ceremony chairs and this was echoed in the flowers with draped ribbons too (all ribbons from eBay). Stationery, big balloons and props for cake/dessert table bought from Ginger Ray website then added to and adapted by myself to make the invitation bundles, menu cards and DJ request cards. The cake table … I wanted to have a buffet of sweet treats including choc dipped mallows, macarons, donuts, caterpillar cakes, cupcakes etc …  Food included a dinner of breads and dips followed by cod or steak and chips with medley of desserts, sausage/bacon baps at reception. Favours from Cancer Research as it is a charity we are passionate about due to family bereavement. Selfie Mirror for the craic with polaroid guest book. Outdoor games for children and activity table mats to keep them busy during dinner. I did the main speech as Nigel doesn’t like public speaking and we wore flowers in our hair because it was summer!” 

Our Advice 

“Don’t get carried away/pressured into spending a fortune! There’s lots of cheaper alternatives and so  much you can do yourself with a bit of extra time and it honestly made it so much more rewarding knowing we had made and designed things our own way. Remember the true meaning of marriage … it’s not about showing off it’s about the relationship you are cementing with wedding vows.” 

Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: LIT Photography NI, Portrush. 

Wedding dress: House of Mooshki from Marie Me Bridal, Randalstown. 

Grooms wear: Master Debonaire

Makeup: Andrea Moore, Romaya, Coleraine. 

Hair: Chloe Stewart, No.6 Salon, Coleraine. 

Flowers: Blossom and Birch, Ballymoney. 

Cake: Angel Cake Bakery, Coleraine. 

Wedding favours: Cancer Research UK

Stationery: Ginger Ray

Wedding rings: Ellison’s, Belfast. 

Ceremony music: Acoustic Melodies

Evening band: Manouche Boys.

Evening DJ: David Black. 

Decor rental: Bride & Room, Ballymoney.

Photo booth: Selfie Mirror NI

Real Couples

Deirdre + David’s Spring Wedding

December 3, 2018

Hello! How was your weekend?

We had a lovely one with some Christmas shopping, cosy nights in and my nephews 4th birthday party. It’s Blogmas day 3 and we have a very special real wedding to share – our Blogging Bride Deirdre and her husband, David’s celebration at Lough Eske. We’ve been so excited to share their beautiful day, from the styling to the sweet personal touches throughout, we just know you’re going to love it!

You can catch up on how Deirdre and David met and got engaged here.

Couple: Deirdre + David O’Neill 

Wedding date: Friday 4th May 2018 

Venue: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal 

Our Planning

“We started off with picking the time of year we wanted to get married and then started looking at venues. Once we set the date, we focused on the band and photographer and then chilled out for a while. We made every planning decision together, but David mostly managed the finances while I did most of the spending. Once we decided that we’d like a May wedding, we looked at the maximum we could save each month until then and that figure became our budget.

We decided the three most important things to us were the music, the food and the craic so we focused on these areas. We booked a three-piece called ‘Viva Manila’ to play before and during our meal and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. We definitely tried to save where we could – we got our invites and save the dates from Vista Print and because we had our ceremony and reception at Lough Eske, we didn’t need to worry about cars. For favours, we ordered mini jam jars from eBay and filled them with Jägermeister with a tag that said, ‘take a shot we tied the knot!’ which didn’t break the bank and gave everyone a boost of energy after the speeches.

We were also very lucky that we had so much support from our family and friends. David’s parents did a lot of decorating for the venue, they even built a customised selfie frame! And two days before the wedding I came home from a nail appointment to find my Mum had literally pulled out a rosemary bush from the back garden and had my Dad and sisters cutting it up and tying rosemary twigs to bay leaves with a little thank you note for each guest.”

Our Style 

“We didn’t set out with a particular theme, but as the wedding planning went on we seemed to be picking a lot of greens, creams, and pale pinks which tied in with the spring time of year. I also wanted a lot of greenery in my bouquet and because we were planning for an outdoor ceremony, we went for very relaxed flowers and tried to “bring the outdoors in” with our décor. I’m not sure where balloons came into the theme but as I had four little pageboys I gave each of them a little feather filled balloon to walk down the aisle with. One popped in the middle of the ceremony which was pretty funny!”

My Dress

“I had no idea what style I liked or what would suit me, so I didn’t take my first dress appointment seriously at all. I just had the craic with my mum and sisters and I tried on all different types of dresses. It definitely helped me realise what I didn’t like. After that, I started to do a bit of research and fell in love with Claire Pettibone dresses. Ivory and Pearl in Comber is the only place in Northern Ireland that stocks them, so I made an appointment. Kate, the owner, is so friendly and just understood exactly what I wanted (more than I did) and I ended up picking my dream Claire Pettibone dress that day. I loved how it was silk which made it so comfortable and light, so I was able to dance the night away.”

Our Highlights

David: The outdoor ceremony was definitely a highlight for me. I always loved the idea of getting married outside, but I know how much of a long shot that is in Ireland. There had been thunder storms the week leading up to our wedding, so when the sun came out that morning it just set the tone for the whole day.

Deirdre: The whole weekend had so many highlights for me. From the night before, having a sleepover with my bridesmaids at the hotel was so much fun as we sat around in our robes drinking gin and reminiscing! Getting ready the next morning was so relaxed, apart from the screams we let out when we saw the limo pull up the driveway with all the boys in it! Coming back from photos and seeing guests with their sunglasses on, sipping French 75s and having a jive session during the pre-reception was amazing. And last but certainly not least, heading into Donegal town the next day for round two and having a guilt free curry cheese chip at the end of the night to mark the end of the wedding diet was a fabulous moment.

Our Advice

“It’s so cliché but it really is the best day of your life so just soak it all up and enjoy every minute. 

A few weeks before the wedding I broke my left thumb and had to have surgery, I was worried I was going to have to wear a cast on the day but a week before the wedding my surgeon removed the cast and gave me a small sleeve that was a lot less noticeable. I jazzed it up a bit and sewed some lace around it to take the ‘medical’ look from it and it worked a treat! 

It’s easy to feel stressed the week leading up to your big day but try to let go and hand over to the professionals. When you go off for photos, it’s a good opportunity to have some private time together and remember what it’s all about!”

Wedding Suppliers 

Photographer: This Modern Love 

Venue: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal. 

Wedding dress: Claire Pettibone from Ivory & Pearl, Comber. 

Veil: Visionary Veils, Belfast. 

Bridesmaids dresses: Ghost. 

Groomswear: Remus Uomo and Magee suits from McElhinneys, Ballybofey. 

Hair & MUA: RoCo, Derry. 

Cake: Sugar & Lace, Derry. 

Flowers: John Paul Florist, Derry. 

Floral hoops: Sass and Halo, Derry. 

Videographer: Simba Star Media, Derry. 

Ceremony entertainment: Ardu vocal ensemble.

Pre-reception music: Caitlin McLaughlin from Velvet Rose.

Dinner music: Viva Manila. 

Evening entertainment: The Jukebox Jurors.

 

Planning

Blogging Bride 2018: Deirdre’s Planning Update

June 8, 2018

blogging bride

Lesson number one – a year seems loads of time to plan a party but in wedding terms – it really isn’t. It has been, without a doubt, the quickest year of my life. Now I understand why people have five-year engagements! 

I was Maid of Honour for my sister, Marie-Claire, in December so I spent the first half of the year obsessing over her wedding and was in my element planning hen parties and writing a speech. It wasn’t until January, when my sister and new brother-in-law went on honeymoon, that suddenly everyone’s attention turned to me and David. We were like a pair of rabbits in headlights!

Luckily, we had all the main stuff organised. After setting the date, finding a band and a photographer were the next priorities. We absolutely loved the band at my brother’s wedding a few years ago, we literally didn’t leave the dance floor all night – so when we found out they were available it was a done deal! I think it’s so important to hear a band before booking, it really can make or break a wedding. I found choosing a photographer much more difficult because photography is something I know nothing about and there are so many amazing photographers to choose from. We ended up booking This Modern Love because a lot of people recommended them and when we looked at the previous weddings they had done, we loved the relaxed, natural style of the photos. Tim and Claire are also so friendly and genuinely lovely people, which always helps! 

We tackled the rest of the wed-min as and when we had time or energy. David definitely isn’t a passive groom, we are tackling everything 50 / 50! Partly because we both have our own ideas and partly because we MASSIVELY underestimated the amount of time we had. For example, something that is very easy to forget is actually organising the legalities of getting married. If you’re having a civil ceremony like we are, don’t underestimate the amount of paperwork and deadlines involved! It definitely hasn’t been completely stress free but all in all we’ve enjoyed the buzz so far. 

Friends with Benefits

We are so lucky that we have really talented friends who are all at the top of their game. I gave my friend, Vicky, full reign of our ceremony music. Vicky is part of a vocal ensemble called Ardu who are amazing and perform all over the world, so I’m delighted they’re taking time out of their busy schedule to sing at our ceremony. Another friend of ours, Caitlin, sings and plays guitar in Velvet Rose, she has such a unique style and we are so excited that she is entertaining everyone at the pre-reception. My bridesmaid’s Mum, Vivienne, runs a cake and stationery business called Sugar & Lace, so we locked down her talents too. Vivienne is so creative and will make all your ideas and Pinterest boards a reality! It really does take the pressure off when someone you know and completely trust is taking ownership over certain parts of your wedding. As the saying goes, ‘a happy bride is a bride who delegates’ (if that isn’t a saying – it should be).

blogging bride

Thumbelina 

Everyone wants to be called a princess on their wedding day, but the Disney princess I’ve been nicknamed recently is for all the wrong reasons – Thumbelina. Not because I’m vertically challenged (which at 5 foot 3, you could argue that I am) but because I broke my left thumb 6 weeks before the wedding playing tag rugby and had to get surgery. I am currently in a cast and it’s likely I’ll need to wear some sort of support on the day itself. After a few days of being in total denial, I realised it could have been a lot worse and the show must go on! As long as my left hand can still somehow be manicured, I’ll be happy.

With just a few weeks to go to, everyone keeps asking us about our stress levels and I have to admit they’ve been pretty low. I think this injury has made us ‘let go’ a bit and not sweat the small stuff. All we really want is for everyone to have a good time! Or, the pain relief could be going to my head and I’ll awaken from this trance a week before the wedding and freak out. We’ll see….

Planning

Blogging Bride 2018: Deirdre 

May 16, 2018

Hello! It’s Wednesday and in the online world that means #weddingwednesday, although this week is a pretty special one because of course Harry and Meghan’s wedding is on Saturday. Are you cancelling all plans to watch their Big Day? Maybe you’re throwing a Royal wedding party in their honour? Me – I’ll be catching glimpses of it in between the usual swimming lessons, whilst listening to David sneer that I am such a sad sack for wanting to see it – he does NOT get it at all!! 

Anyway, what better a day to introduce you to our Blogging Bride for 2018, Deirdre. She’s been married for two weeks now to her love David so we’re going back a little in time today to discover how they met and how they became Mr and Mrs, enjoy! 

blogging bride

Hello, I’m Deirdre and I won’t lie, it feels quite weird for me that I’m writing a blog about my wedding because I was never one of those girls who grew up dreaming of their wedding day and wearing a big white dress, but in saying that, I am a hopeless romantic and I always knew the kind of guy I wanted to end up with. 

My friend Rachel (and also a bridesmaid) reminded me when I got engaged that before meeting David she asked me what my ‘type’ was and I said, “Just a nice boy who looks like the 6th member of Westlife, is brilliant craic and maybe has a quirky hobby” Que … David O’Neill, the blonde haired blue eyed Omagh boy with a passion for Motocross Racing. 

How did we meet?

I’m originally from Derry and David is from Omagh, but we both went to university in Belfast, otherwise our paths would probably never of crossed. It was 2012, and the start of final year for us, and everyone was talking about this new club El Divino. On a random Thursday night we both decided to go and we happened to be queuing beside each other so got chatting. When people ask how we met, David says “we met on the banks of the Lagan” because he thinks it sounds more romantic than “in the queue to a nightclub” but I reckon it sounds more like we were both homeless, anyway….

I’d love to say it was an instant connection, love at first sight … but it wasn’t. We got on really well and had great craic together but I never thought I would ever see him again. However, we did exchange numbers and the next day I looked him up on Facebook (come on, we’ve all done it!) and realised how much of a babe he was! 

That weekend we started to text and totally hit it off, I remember literally laughing out loud at David’s messages and taking ages to draft replies. We spent our entire final year “without a label” shall we say because I was moving to Dublin after graduation and David had secured a job in Belfast. 

We were too busy playing it cool and pretending we weren’t that interested to even suggest doing long distance, if you can even call Dublin to Belfast long distance, but at the end of my first week in Dublin, David came down to spend the weekend with me and when we were out for dinner he referred to me as his girlfriend to the waiter –  this prompted the “are we going steady” conversation (which feels really awkward for anyone over 16). 

blogging bride

blogging bride

Proposal

At the end of 2014, David had a pretty serious motorbike accident which put things into perspective for the both of us, and I moved back to Belfast not long after that. A couple of years later we had just finished renovating our first home together so a proposal was the last thing on my mind when we went to Bali for a holiday!

We had a few days in Bali with no itinerary and David said he would organise something as a surprise. David is a big adrenaline junkie and loves adventure, so instantly I imagined we’d be acting like Bear Grylls camping out in a forest! Needless to say, it was a huge shock when we pulled up outside this amazing 5-star beach resort in Nusa Dua. 

I just assumed David managed to get an unreal last minute deal and was too busy soaking up all the luxuries of villa life to suspect a proposal. David suggested going out for dinner that evening at a restaurant on the beautiful secluded beach. I have to say, it took a bit of convincing because the beach was an 80 step descent down the side of a cliff and I nearly passed out earlier that day climbing up them!

We were walking along the beach and there wasn’t a single person, or restaurant, in sight but David insisted we keep walking. We came across this beautiful cave, filled with candles and rose petals and I remember thinking we had walked in on someone’s proposal but when I turned to David he was down on one knee and produced a beautiful rose gold vintage halo ring – which I absolutely love! I of course said yes and we had a beautiful dinner on the beach. It really was magical and a genuine surprise!

Our friend’s Adam, Amy and Rachel were in Bali at the same time, so we had loads of people to celebrate with during our holiday! A week later, we arrived home to Belfast to a surprise party with our families – it definitely got rid of the jet lag and was great to continue the celebrations!

blogging bride

blogging bride

Setting the date

I think it’s safe to say David and I hadn’t a clue where to begin when it came to wedding planning, or what we really wanted. We started off by saying we wanted a low key wedding in Italy, but after a Skype call with a wedding planner in Florence who blatantly laughed at our budget, we realised we would have to re-think. However, the real deal breaker for me (being a true Derry girl) was the thought of not being able to form a proper bond with my hairdresser and makeup artist before the wedding. As far as I’m concerned, that’s one of most important jobs of the day! 

Picking a venue in Ireland is a minefield, as there are so many beautiful places. We always knew if we were getting married in Ireland it would be in Donegal. It’s a special place for us both as it’s where we went on our first proper date – cliff jumping in Dunfanaghy – and where I grew up and David’s family have a caravan. We started off wanting a relaxed, informal pub wedding but sometimes those relaxed venues cause more stress for the bride and groom because you’re left to organise the décor, accommodation options, and sometimes even the crockery and chairs! So when we viewed Lough Eske in Donegal, we fell in love and immediately locked down the 4th May 2018 – if we had a penny for every time someone said “may the fourth be with you” this wedding would pay for itself. 

Life Suppliers

Review: Farnham Estate Mini Spa Break

January 10, 2018
Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Happy Wednesday lovely readers, I hope the week is going well for you so far.

Today I’m sharing my mini spa break at Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort in Cavan – spoiler alert, it was awesome!

One thing you don’t have when you’ve got three children is a lot of willing childminders so back in July, a few weeks before Arden arrived, the stars magically aligned and not only did I find myself with the aforementioned willing childminder, but the promise of a super-relaxing mini spa break at Farnham Estate in Cavan. Being eight months pregnant and in the middle of the school summer holidays I was ready for it, let me tell you.

Farnham Estate lies on the outskirts of Cavan town, an original Irish country house set on the most beautiful grounds and surrounded by spectacular woodland. The 400 year old house itself is an absolute joy to behold at the end of the driveway, whilst the contemporary glass addition houses the grand lobby area, Botanica Restaurant, modern bedroom wing and Spa.

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

After checking in to our beautiful suite on the top floor of the old house David (well it would have been rude not to bring him!) and I wasted no time in heading straight for our treatments in the Spa.

I was booked in to have an ESPA facial and he was having a massage. Robed and ready as soon as we were greeted at the Spa we hit the relax button and headed off for our treatments. My facial was lovely and relaxing, dear love my therapist, being heavily pregnant I couldn’t lie totally flat and in the normal cocoon like position, instead I could only recline slightly and had to have regular breaks to sit completely upright and sip on ice cold water!

Breaks or not my skin felt incredible afterwards and I learnt a few things about the composition of my skin thanks to the latest ESPA technology, SkinVision analysis – relaxing and educational! We went on to try out the infinity pool, inside and out and completed our afternoon treat in the thermal suite, which David absolutely loved, I had to lounge by the pool as I couldn’t use the facilities being pregnant.

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Refreshed and feeling great we headed for a short stroll before having dinner in the Botanica Restaurant that evening. Farnham Estate has walks to suit all ranging from 45 minutes in length to over two hours, all which begin and end at the front door of the hotel.

Dinner was from the restaurants set menu which has a good selection to choose from and was very tasty. We ended our night by speaking to the kids on Facetime from one of the majestic drawing rooms in the old house, they were pretty impressed with mum and dads home for the night!

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

After a brilliant nights sleep in one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in we made our way back to the restaurant for a great breakfast – it was just as good as I was hoping, I think hotel breakfasts are my favourite thing!

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, Cavan | The Promise NI

To finish our 24 hour mini break I made my way over to the resorts wedding wing to have a look around. I have featured incredible weddings at Farnham before (here & here) and seeing it in real life was even better. The contemporary ballroom is understated and elegant in tones of natural wood and brick, perfect for brides who want to add their own personal stamp on their Big Day, and the large arrival area is perfect for mingling with your guests. On arriving home I discovered my cousin has chosen Farnham for her day next year and I can’t wait to return!

As a pre-wedding escape, a luxury spa break with your girlies or simply just because, a visit to Farnham Estate will leave you refreshed and content with life!

 

*Thanks to the staff of Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort for our complimentary stay, all opinions are my own.

Real Couples

Love on a Mountaintop: Kate + Richard’s E Shoot

October 12, 2017
Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI

Good morning lovelies! How’ve you all been?

I can tell you life with a newborn (plus 3 kids of school age!) is majorly busy, hence the silence here. Last week, whilst I was feeling in a state of combined sorrow and stress I said to David “I am sick of just chasing my tail every hour of the day.” Being the man I married he put it simply, “That is life. You are alive and living, not just filling the days. You might feel like you’re always reaching for the unreachable but that is life – exciting, amazing life.” He is right of course, I am so happy to be alive and living this frantic and sometimes chaotic life, especially with the special people I get to share it with. So there you go, a little slice of my mind right now for you all!

Anyway, today I have the most amazing engagement shoot in the Mourne Mountains. Leaving the glorious North Coast out of the equation for a minute, the Mountains of Mourne are one of my favourite places in Northern Ireland – not convinced, have a look at these images from Luke Flint Media…

Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI

Couple: Kate + Richard

“We met though mutual friends and just clicked the first time we met. Then I took the plunge and asked Richard out first! A few coffee dates and a Patrick Wolf concert later and things were still going really well. It took us a while to have “the chat”, but we got there in the end.”

Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI

The Proposal

“We had talked about getting engaged a few times, but Richard really wanted it to be a surprise when it happened. He organised a surprise weekend away in Paris and I thought that was it! But day two- still no proposal. It turns out we’d walked the length of Paris while he tried to find the perfect location to pop the question. In the end it was on the Champ de Mars on our last evening- a big cliché, but still perfect. We didn’t tell anyone for a day or two, not even family, so it was just for the two of us.”

Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI

Our Engagement Shoot

“We thought an engagement shoot was really important for us. It meant that we could get used to being in front of the camera, and also that we felt comfortable with our photographer. It was lovely to have photos of just the two of us. Sometimes coming up to the wedding its difficult to get time to spend together, so it’s a good excuse to take a break from planning and spend a fun afternoon together. 

Luke was great on our photoshoot. He had an idea for an outdoorsy, mountainous shoot which we were definitely up for. It took a bit of climbing and the wind was out in force, but that made it all so easy to relax into the afternoon. We both felt really comfortable while he took took photos, and was open to any ideas that we had for shots. The photos themselves are amazing- the setting looks unbelievable.”

Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI

Our Wedding 

“We’re both really enjoying the planning process for the wedding, it’s giving us a chance to really express our individual creativity. We’re planning on making a lot of aspects of the day, from centre pieces to seating charts and little favours for our guests. I think it will give the day a really personal touch and it’s great fun so far! It’s so easy to get carried away with wedding planning, but the most important thing to remember is that it’s about the two of you. It’s exciting to have a day surrounded by people who mean so much to us and who are all excited to see this next part of our lives begin.”

Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI Mourne Mountains engagement shoot, Luke Flint Media | The Promise NI

Thanks for sharing your story, Kate and Richard, and best wishes  for your wedding day, we can’t wait to see it!

To view more of Luke’s work visit www.lukeflintmedia.co.uk.