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Northern Ireland

Real Couples

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate: Una + Dominic

June 18, 2018

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Good morning brides-to-be! 

How crazy is June? With all the after school activities rounding up for the summer we’ve had exams, festivals and new to us this year big school inductions – the past couple of weeks have been mental at chez Promise! We’ve a solid two weeks of more craziness before it’s bonjour France for us – not that I haven’t mentioned it before 😉 

Today we’re kicking off the week with Una and Dominic’s summer wedding at Farnham Estate. Their day was super sweet and intimate with touches of their lives dotted throughout the day. Thanks to Una for getting in touch (turns out we live about 3 miles from each other!) and for sharing her lovely wedding story with us. Have a great week beauties x

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Couple: Una + Dominic Donaghy 

“We met each other while we were both at school studying for our GCSEs. We were in Art class together and went out a few times before Dominic approached the “go steady” subject, then becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. We’ve been together since.” 

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

The Proposal

“Dominic proposed on the evening of 4 December 2015 at The K Club, Kildare. He chose a beautiful fountain in the gardens of the hotel as the setting. He had the area surrounding the fountain and the steps leading down to it covered in fairy lights. It was all very romantic.”

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Wedding date: Friday 4th August 2017 

Ceremony: Saint Patrick’s Church, Donaghmore 

Reception: Farnham Estate & Spa, Cavan 

Our Planning

“We had just over a year and a half to plan our wedding and as soon as we got engaged we began to plan straight away. Our venue was decided on first and that didn’t take us too long as we had always loved Farnham Estate. Afterwards, we booked the other big things like our band, flowers and photographers. I relied heavily on to-do lists and checklists to take the stress out of the planning but I have to say I really enjoyed all the organisation that went into it. 

We aren’t very good at setting budgets and had been warned that the wedding budget usually goes out the window. We did, however, keep a close eye on costs and focused on those areas that we wanted to spend most on whilst saving on other items that weren’t as important to us. 

We wanted to make the day as personal as possible. Dominic’s mum passed away very unexpectedly three years prior to the wedding so including her memory in the day was really important to us. We added little decorative pieces throughout the day to make it unique and special both at home in the morning and at the chapel and then later on at the venue. We named the dinner tables after songs which influenced us and symbolised love and timelessness. We also had a dresser covered in photographs of us representing the journey we have been on together so far.” 

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Our Style

“My vision was for the wedding style to be elegant and romantic. I opted for a pink and mint colour palette for the bridesmaids and kept the floral arrangements simple with roses which worked with the intricate vintage lace design of my dress.” 

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

My Dress

“The dress I chose was one of the first dresses I tried on, it was by Mori Lee. It didn’t take long to decide that it was the one. I loved everything about it – the vintage lace, the train and the crystal beading. My mum and bridesmaids were there to help me with the decision which was a great advantage.” 

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Our Highlights

“For both of us our highlight were simply everything! We loved every moment. After a week of rain, we had little hope for good weather on the day. However, the sun shined all day for us. Everything was amazing from start to finish and we can honestly say it was the best day of our lives together so far. The food was beautiful and the speeches were funny, heartfelt, and personal. We felt incredibly loved. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed and laid back feel to the day and the good music that was played both before dinner by local traditional group from Cavan, the O’Donoghue’s, and later in the evening by our band, The Real Shindig.” 

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Our Advice

“Enjoy every minute of the planning, it goes too fast! Get plenty of sleep in the run up to the wedding. For the bride, try to organise a spa day with your bridal party a week or two before the wedding to relax before all the madness begins.” 

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Romantic Summer Pastel Wedding at Farnham Estate

Super Suppliers

Venue: Farnham Estate & Spa, Cavan. 

Wedding dress: Mori Lee. 

Bridesmaids dresses: House of Fraser. 

Groomswear: Red Groomswear, Cookstown. 

Hair: Perfection Hair & Beauty, Dungannon.  

Makeup: Jessica Clarke Makeup Artist, Dungannon. 

Flowers: The Flower Studio, Dungannon. 

Cake: Lough Erne Cakes, Enniskillen. 

Trad group: The O’Donoghue’s, Cavan. 

Wedding band: The Real Shindig, Belfast.

Photographer: Creative Flux Photography, Belfast. 

Real Couples

City Hall Union with Pub Party: Sadie + Dan

June 4, 2018

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

It’s a pretty good job I don’t live somewhere that gets great weather all year round because as soon as the sun comes out my productivity vanishes, hence the recent radio silence! We’re back today with a really awesome celebration, Sadie and Dan’s ‘Not A Wedding’ union at City Hall. I’ve been really looking forward to sharing their story – their intimate number of guests and the quick turnaround reminds me of my own day which perfectly untraditional but full of love. Sadie and Dan are from England but now live in Florida (jealous much?!), I hope you enjoy their day, and if you’ve been dithering over doing things differently maybe this might just give you the courage to do it! 

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Couple: Sadie + Dan Scott

“We met in the gym near where we both worked in London almost five years ago. We were long distance for quite some time, with Daniel in the US and me still in the UK. I think we knew just in the way that we communicated with each other early on, despite the physical distance, that this was something special.” 

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

The Proposal

“We didn’t have a “proper” proposal. We were still split between two countries when we decided to get married in December 2016. We had spoken about getting married for some time and finally decided to go for it.”

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Wedding date: Monday 23rd February 2017

Ceremony: Belfast City Hall

Venues: Made in Belfast, The Crown, The Spaniard, Harp Bar

Our Planning

“We were originally planning to elope with two of our close friends as witnesses. When I finally caved and told my mum over Christmas the planning took a turn and we had little time to get our day pulled together, so it was chaotic at times! We knew that we wanted to do it our way and not be bound by traditions so we tried to focus on ways that we could make it personal. We didn’t really set a budget but the small size of the wedding and the fact that we weren’t fussed about certain things like cars, flowers etc. helped us keep the costs down. We spent the most on food and booze! We wanted to make sure that the few guests we had with us were well taken care of as they were all flying to Belfast and paying for accommodation. We made sure that we met everyone for a few drinks the night before the wedding and we made sure that we covered everyone’s food and drinks until we left for the final bar. We also has something special in mind for our rings so we flew to Portland, Oregon a few weeks before the wedding to make them together with a Blacksmith!”

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Our Day

“Our theme for the wedding was “Not a Wedding” which Dan designed an amazing mural for and we had printed on canvas goody bags for a guests. We wanted there to be less emphasis on the wedding itself and more on it being a union. We were very untraditional and had lunch with our 13 guests at Made in Belfast before walking over to City Hall for the ceremony. Afterwards we sent guests to one of the oldest pubs in Belfast (the Crown) for trivia which was organised by Daniel’s brother Craig so we could go and take photos knowing our guests were taken care of. After that we went on to The Spaniard which is one of our favourite bars in Belfast; we hired out the upstairs for a few hours and filled guests up on burgers and churros from a gourmet burger place called Pablo’s, along with plenty of mojitos and pina coladas. At around 11pm we wandered to Harp Bar which was packed to the rafters and had a live band playing where we danced and sang until 2am. We also hosted a party in Manchester a couple of days later to celebrate with our close friends.” 

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Our Rings

“Our wedding rings are very special to us. We actually went to the restaurant in London where we had our first date and asked them for a knife and fork so that we could make our rings out of them. I spent a fortnight searching for people all over Europe and America that could potentially help us and we finally found Lyle in Portland, Oregon. We flew to make our rings with him less than a month before the wedding. He had never had a couple come in to make their own rings before and trying to create them out of stainless steel cutlery wasn’t the easiest but he was amazing and accommodated us as much as he possibly could. We left him with two charred, crude rings which he finished them off and added a silver inlay. They arrived in Florida with Daniel only two days before he flew to the UK for the wedding.” 

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

My Dress

“I knew that I didn’t want your average wedding dress. I was looking for something floral and actually found my dress at a formal wear store called 33 Star in Jacksonville, Florida. I loved the bold floral print and actually bought the navy version too which I wore a couple of days later when we celebrated with some of our close friends in Manchester. My shoes were amazing python skin Jimmy Choos in a gorgeous emerald green colour.” 

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Our Highlights

“Aside from a couple of minor things everything was very relaxed. It was exactly what we wanted it to be; a day of fun with our closest family. We were totally untraditional from having our “wedding breakfast” before the wedding to getting ready together at the hotel and walking each other down the aisle.”

Sadie’s Highlight – I think I have to be cheeky and give two highlights. 1) Our vows – we wrote our own and I cried pretty much the entire time. 2) Singing at the top of our lungs to the bands cover of “Don’t Look Back” by Oasis in the Harp Bar, well past midnight, with our family. I get emotional every single time I hear that song now.

Daniel’s Highlight – After the service we left all of our friends and family who went on ahead of us to the pub. We walked through the rush hour Belfast rain back to our hotel. We then stopped in a Boots pharmacy for an umbrella, no one but us knew that we were married. There was no fancy car, no send off, just me and my new wife giggling with excitement amongst the unknowing shoppers and commuters on the rain drenched streets. Pure perfection.

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Our Advice

“Do you. Don’t get caught up too much in what you think other people expect.” 

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Dan and Sadie's wedding. © www.RonanMcGradePhotography.com

Super Suppliers

Accommodation: The Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

Photographer: Ronan McGrade Photography, Enniskillen. 

Venues: Made in Belfast, The Crown, The Spaniard, Harp Bar. 

Food: Pablos, Belfast.

Rings: Lyle Poulin, Handforge Metal. 

 

Real Couples

Gracious Christmas Wedding with Unique Calligraphy Details: Megan + Stephen

May 21, 2018

Grow in Grace

Well, what a weekend that was, one I think a lot of us will remember. Of course I’m talking about the Royal wedding which was totally beautiful and more so, filled with love and incredibly meaningful moments. The kiss on the stairs of St George’s Chapel, well it made the tears come in Promise HQ! 

Today we have our very own Megan sharing her wedding which was every bit as heartfelt and wonderful. The email I received a few weeks from our Megan was one of those really good ones that makes you smile and I am delighted to be sharing it here on the blog. Encased in love and a true and very deep faith, Megan and Stephen tied the knot over the Christmas holidays last December. Their day was super stylish and filled with bespoke calligraphy details that Megan made herself which perfectly showcases her creative business, Grow in Grace Lettering. It’s a beautiful day from beginning to end which I hope you enjoy. 

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Couple: Megan + Stephen Rankin 

“We met 4 years ago at a Christian Youth weekend called Autumn Soul in Bangor. We we both leaders at this event and from there the rest is history!”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

The Proposal

“Bangor has such a special place in our hearts, it’s the place were we first met, it’s the place we both go to church at Hamilton Road Baptist and it’s where we made a place we would love to call home someday. 

On the 28th November, Stephen brought me out for a lovely meal in Bangor and after we walked around the town to see all the Christmas lights and somehow we ended up at the church where we first met. Stephen said lets take a selfie of the place where we first met and so we did. Then he mentioned about going into the church, considering this was a Saturday night the church looked empty was closed. He brought me round to the side door where believe it or not the door was wide open. I near had a heart attack and even worse Stephen wanted us to go into the church! With much persuasion I did and next thing as I entered the church, it was candle lit all down the aisle. Stephen showed me a video he had made telling our story and then he got dow on one knee and popped the big question! He had planned this night for some time and had help from a friend who worked in the church and was able to help out.”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Wedding date: Friday 29th December 2017 

Ceremony: Hamilton Road Baptist, Bangor

Reception: The Mill at Ballydugan, Downpatrick

Our Planning

“From the end of November not long after getting engagement we started planning our wedding. We were really organised and booked all the big things such as the venue, band, photography and videography, suits and my wedding dress. The rest we budgeted on so we used all our contacts to help us out.”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Our Budget

“At the time we had a budget due to myself still being a student and therefore I planned everything to cut down on prices, from the cars, stationary, invitations, favours, cake and decorations. We were blessed to have family and friends who had talents that I could incorporate and use within our wedding. We us we spent the most on the venue and our band and it was definitely the best choice. For one my dress was a must as I loved it so much! We just budgeted and didn’t over spend on things we didn’t have to. Still to this day I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding as we both loved it so much.”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Our Style

“The theme and style really was to match in with the suits but the only really thing that matched was the bridesmaids and the suits as they were both navy. Stephen is a huge NI football fan and therefore a must was to wear the official NI Football Team suits and matching tie. The Euro’s was during the past year and therefore it was a huge year for my husband in supporting his football team and getting married haha! For the bridesmaids I wanted something with sparkle as our wedding was just after Christmas, I ended up going to ASOS  and purchased three different styled dresses. 

I wanted everything very unique and different and I believed I achieved that!”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

My Dress

“I ended up falling in love with a dress at Lyndy Lou Bridal in Dromore which was where my sister brought her wedding dress nine years ago and it was definitely meant to be! That was my 10th bridal shop ( so i had had enough at this stage because I couldn’t find a dress that just screamed me! ) I knew what I wanted I just had to find something unique, embellished and within a good budget. I was so lucky that my wedding dress was the only one left in the shop and just so happened to be in my size with just little alternations needed.” 

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Our Highlights

“Our wedding day went perfectly! I arrived to the church around 10 minutes early. Therefore I had to wait in our wedding car anxiously for those 10 minutes to pass before walking up the aisle. Thankfully I did wait as the grooms party ended up being slightly later than planned so in the end it turned out well! Our highlight was definitely getting to spend the day celebrating our most important day with our family and friends and most importantly celebrating our marriage in the presence of our Lord.”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Our Advice

“Don’t listen to what people tell you you should do for your wedding and don’t take on traditions unless you want to. Make and own your wedding day after all it’s your day, your joy and love that will be remembered throughout the whole day.”

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace

Super Suppliers

Wedding dress: Lyndy Lou Bridal, Dromore.

Bridesmaids dress: ASOS. 

Bridesmaids Earrings: Innocent Chaos, Belfast. 

Hair: Hi-tec Hair, Portadown.

Makeup: Stephanie Make- Up, Banbridge.

Grooms wear: Bogart Menswear, Belfast. 

Photographer: Iain Irwin, Portadown.  

Cake: Made by my sister in law and a family friend.

Flowers: Ferguson Flowers, Belfast. 

Bridal cars: Prestige Wedding Cars, Tandragee & family friends car. 

Videographer: Calum Hutchinson 

Entertainment: The Merchants Band, Belfast.

Doughnut wall: Self made and lettered by myself, Grow in Grace Lettering, Portadown.

Stationery & Calligraphy prints: Grow in Grace Lettering, Portadown.

Wooden favours and best day letters: Trevor and David Reid

Table Plan: Painted by a family friend and tables names by myself.

 

Real Couples

An Antique Inspired Wedding with Dark & Romantic Tones: Claire + Gary

May 14, 2018

I will always be a sucker for a wedding with laid-back charm and style, nothing forced or unnatural, only pure happiness radiating from the couple and on their guests’ faces who just happen to be dressed in their finery. Today’s wedding has all that and more, talk about excited when the bride, lovely Claire got in touch! I’m delighted to kick this week off with their wedding at the Mill at Ballydugan with photographer by Fraser Stewart and flowers from The Promise recommended supplier, Gil at Flowers by Mee. Enjoy and here’s to a great week! 

Couple: Claire + Gary Lynas

“We first met way back in 2004! We both worked part time in the same shop in Belfast while we were students, but it took a couple of months for us to actually start chatting. We would socialise after work with the rest of our colleagues, so we gradually started getting to know each other. We discovered we shared the same taste in music (a solid foundation for any relationship when you’re 18!) and Gary started making me mix tapes – I should have realised then that he wanted to be more than friends, but I was a bit oblivious and it took me a while to catch on. We began spending more time together and the rest is history!” 

The Proposal

“Gary surprised me with the proposal a few days before our 10th anniversary. Unbeknownst to me, he had been hiding the ring for several months, and he popped the question one night at home. It was low key, romantic and just the two of us. We knew we wanted to get married and had talked about getting engaged but it was still a total shock when it happened. I burst into tears, then promptly phoned all our family and friends to tell them the news!”

Wedding date: Saturday 10th September 

Ceremony & Reception: The Mill at Ballydugan, Downpatrick, Co. Down

Our Planning 

“I had been pinning away at my secret Pinterest boards for a while before we actually got engaged! Once I knew a proposal was on the horizon, I got a bit excited and started having a little look around for inspiration. So I already had ideas about what I liked and thankfully Gary shared my vision. Once we started planning properly, we made sure that we booked all the big things first – the venue, photographer, flowers etc. We were really fortunate that all the suppliers we wanted were available on the date we had chosen. Once we had them all secured, it was time to work on the finer details. I am a notorious list maker and I found that this helped keep me organised while planning! Reading wedding magazines and using blogs and Pinterest helped us find lots of ideas and inspiration.

It was really important to us to find a photographer whose work we loved and who would capture the day in a relaxed and informal way. As soon as I saw Fraser Stewart’s work online I knew he’d be perfect. Once we met up with him for a chat and he and Gary started bonding over a shared love of playing bass guitar, it was a done deal!

The guys at Head & Heart Films had previously worked on some projects with Gary’s band. Although at first we weren’t sure we needed a videographer, once we met up with Wilson and watched some of Head & Heart’s previous wedding films, we knew we had to get them on board too.

My parents and I made the decision to rent some beautiful cottages close to the venue to stay in the night before the wedding, to cut the travel time in the morning and take some of the pressure off. This proved to be a great idea, as we had some close family and the bridesmaids staying too and we all ended up having a bit of a party! It was a great way to relax and kick off the wedding celebrations, and the cottages also provided a gorgeous setting for our photos in the morning.” 

Our Budget

“We didn’t set a specific budget to begin with, but we had a rough idea of what we would be able to spend. Looking back, we probably should have had a more specific figure in our heads to keep us on track! We were really fortunate in that my parents very generously offered to help us out with a lot of the major costs, and Gary’s mum was big help too and also contributed. We were then able to budget for everything else ourselves, to cover the finer details such as the invitations, videographer and a photo booth.”

Our Style

“While planning the wedding, we found we were drawn to rich, darker colours and antique inspired styling. This worked really well with our venue as The Mill at Ballydugan is a restored 18th century flour mill, with lots of gorgeous original features. The colours we went with were deep plum and burgundy, with touches of green, navy and gold. The flowers continued this colour palette and also featured lots of greenery with touches of pale pinks and blush. The vision I had for my bridesmaids was for them to look beautiful and bohemian. I knew I wanted them to wear darker coloured dresses, so when I found the deep purple Lori May maxi dresses at Coast I was over the moon! They featured beautiful sheer necklines with floral lace detailing and embellished belts – perfect for my boho babes.”

My Dress

“I found my dress at the beautiful Petticoat Lane Bridal in Hillsborough, just over a year before the wedding. I had been to a few other bridal boutiques and had tried on some beautiful dresses, but none of them had felt like they were really me. It was my aunty who pointed out what would end up being my perfect dress – Young by Badgley Mischka. It was so different to anything else I had seen, figure hugging and made from gorgeous champagne coloured lace with dark crystals and beaded embellishments. It had such a beautiful antique feel to it, I couldn’t wait to try it on! I had initially thought I wanted quite a bohemian, flowing wedding dress but as soon as I tried on Young, it felt like it was made for me. The reactions from my mum, aunty and friend sealed the deal! I really couldn’t recommend Petticoat Lane enough, the team there are all so lovely, helpful and patient and the boutique itself is stunning.” 

 

My Suit

“I knew I wanted a suit in either green or burgundy, something a little different to the usual wedding suit. After lots of searching and trying on, I found a great burgundy suit at Next and felt great in it. I teamed this with a navy tie and pocket square, also from Next, and a great white shirt from Reiss. I finished off with my favourite beard oil and aftershave, both by Captain Fawcett. I wanted my best man and groomsmen to co-ordinate without looking too matchy-matchy, so I chose relaxed forest green trousers and deep blue jackets for them from Topman. We accessorised with green braces and brogues – burgundy for me and brown for the guys.”

Our Highlights

“The day itself was fabulous! It was great to see all our planning come together and it was so special having our friends and family all gathered in the one place just for us. There was such an intimate, relaxed and fun atmosphere all day that our guests seemed to really enjoy. We had asked our friends Fiona and Dave to play some tunes during the drinks reception and they went down an absolute storm. The party was well and truly underway before dinner had even been served! “

Claire – Definitely the ceremony. It was so lovely to walk in and see all our family and friends, and Gary waiting for me – I ended up very embarrassingly crying my way down the aisle! We had chosen two readings for the ceremony, A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton which was read by my aunty Geraldine, and The Ent and The Ent-Wife, a poem from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which was read by two of our best friends, Neil and Jennie. We also had two of our close friends playing the music, which was really special – I walked down the aisle with my dad to our friend Craig playing an acoustic version of Northern Sky by Nick Drake. Our friend Tony then played No-One’s Gonna Love You by Band of Horses while we signed the register, followed by Craig playing I Need Never Get Old by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats as we exited. All of these choices were very personal to us and made the ceremony so special.

Gary – I loved the whole day, but the highlight was definitely seeing Claire walking down the aisle towards me. I also loved our evening reception, everyone was dancing like mad and having a great time, plus the music from the band and DJ was outstanding. Our first dance was great too, and we also had a little impromptu dance together later on to Kiss by Prince – somehow our dance moves were perfectly in sync with each other the whole way through the song!

Our Advice

“Don’t sweat the small stuff! Make sure you stay true to yourselves and your vision for your wedding. Lots of people will have opinions on what you should and shouldn’t do, but you’ll never be able to please everyone. So make sure you just go for it and plan exactly the kind of wedding you both really want! I have to say we are both really glad that we invested in the photographer we really wanted and also in having a videographer. So book the best photographer you can and if you’re undecided about having a videographer, we’d say go for it!”

Super Suppliers

Wedding dress: Badgley Mischka from Petticoat Lane Bridal, Hillsborough. 

Bridesmaids dress: Coast. 

Grooms wear: Next, Topman & Reiss. 

Hair: Emma Troupe, The Best Little Hair House, Belfast. 

Makeup: Lynsey Hill, Pro Beauty Atelier, Newtownards. 

Wedding rings: Mairi, Belfast. 

Cake: Lily Pink Bakery, Belfast. 

Flowers: Flowers by Mee, Killinchy. 

Decor and props: Betty Williamson Weddings & Events, County Armagh. 

Bridal cars: Unity Wedding Cars, Newry. 

Videographer: Head & Heart Films, Newtownabbey. 

Band: Discobeard, Newcastle. 

DJ: Scott Edgar, Belfast. 

Photographer: Fraser Stewart Photography, Lurgan. 

Honeymoon: Kuala Lumpur & Bali. 

Suppliers

Handmade Wedding Signs from Local Creators

May 9, 2018

Handmade Wedding Signs

Good morning you lovely lot! I hope you have all recovered from the Bank Holiday weekend? I spent mine celebrating with the world’s most aesthetically pleasing newlyweds – keep an eye on the blog for their uber stylish, not to mention banter filled day soon! 

It’s back to porridge for me again so today we are kicking things off on the blog with some super cool signage from some of the most talented local vendors on our little green isle!

Wedding signs have become more popular than ever the last few years, whether it’s to welcome your guests, set out an itinerary, or to put your own stamp on your big day with a quote or song lyric – we think there’s always enough room for more signs 😉 

Check out some of these local suppliers and hit them up to help on your wedding day! 

Handmade Wedding Signs

Handmade Wedding Signs

We love the idea of having an “unplugged” wedding and we think this sign might just be every photographer’s dream. These quirky signs are made by Wedding Signage NI, a very cool insta business based right here in Northern Ireland (clues in the name ;))

Handmade Wedding Signs

Handmade Wedding Signs

Who doesn’t love a good Pinterest worthy quote? Ballycastle based business Through Creation Design have made these dreamy signs – perfect for the hopeless romantics! 

Handmade Wedding Signs

Handmade Wedding Signs

We love these welcome signs beautifully created by one of our past brides Rachel. Signs by Rachel can be found on Facebook and is a Belfast based business. Those dancefloor rules are a must for any party animal weddings! 

Handmade Wedding Signs

Handmade Wedding Signs

We are loving these fun signs by Grey Arrow Design. An itinerary of the day and some oh-so-important confetti throwing instructions are a must! 

Handmade Wedding Signs

This is definitely my kind of sign! This fab gin menu is by Storyboards NI. Find them on Facebook if this is right up your street! 

Handmade Wedding Signs

Lily Annabella is a Lisnaskea based business that cater for all your wedding décor needs! We are loving this chic floral welcome sign! Lily Annabella can be found on Facebook. 

Handmade Wedding Signs

Handmade Wedding Signs

This super sophisticated mirror welcome sign would be perfect for any glam couple! These beauties are by McGarry Wedding Flower and Venue Stylists. These guys are based in Maguiresbridge and can be contacted via their website. 

Handmade Wedding Signs

Love this chalkboard arrow sign from Lisburn based business Lace and Twine. Lace and Twine will cater for all your venue styling needs and can be contacted via their website. 

Handmade Wedding Signs

This fab chalkboard welcome sign is made by the super talented Grow In Grace Lettering. Check out their gorgeous work over on Instagram. 

Real Couples

Natural Beauty: Culloden Estate Wedding of Sarah + Mark

May 8, 2018

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

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! 

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

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.”

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

The Proposal

“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.”

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Wedding date: Saturday 1st July 2017

Ceremony: St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus

Reception: Culloden Estate and Spa, Holywood 

 

Our Planning 

“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.” 

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Our Style

“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.” 

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

My Dress

“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!”

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Our Highlights

“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!” 

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Our Advice

“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.” 

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

Laura Parkinson, Culloden Estate | The Promise NI

 

Super Suppliers

Wedding dress: Rime Arodaky from The White Gallery. 

Bridesmaids dresses: Watters. 

Hair: Kelly White Hair Artist. 

Grooms wear: Hugo Boss.

Cake: Cake Couture NI.

Flowers: Victoriana Floral.

Bridal cars: White Belfast Cabs &  I Do Wedding Cars.

Wedding film: PigMint Film. 

Entertainment: Eimear Bradley. 

Photographer: Laura Parkinson Photography. 

Real Couples

Country Style Wedding on the Farm: Amanda + Chris

April 30, 2018

hello sugar photo

Good morning lovely ones! I hope you all had a great weekend, how nice was the unexpected sunshine? It really does feel like the warmer days are coming very soon and that makes me super expected, goodbye coat! 

Today we’re heading down to the glorious Strangford Lough area with Amanda and Chris’ wedding on their farm. Following their beautiful ceremony the couple travelled, by tractor of course, to their marquee reception on their own land. It was a beautiful day captured perfectly by Paula from Hello Sugar. Enjoy and here’s to a brilliant week! 

hello sugar photo

Couple: Amanda + Chris Crea 

“We first met at a young farmers event in 2013.”

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

The Proposal 

“We got engaged in September 2016 at Killard Point County Down. This was where we shared our first walk, so has always been special to us.”

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

Wedding date: Saturday 12th August 2017 

Ceremony: Christ Church Ballyculter, Strangford

Reception: Marquee in their field 

Our Planning 

“We talked about what we wanted and shared the same idea. We talked about a budget but not an exact figure. We knew what we were willing to pay for certain things and knew when some things were just too expensive. We decided to spend the most on the marquee and the floral decorations. 

We managed to get all the things that we wanted at the right price.  We made our own invites and order of services which took a lot of time, but saved a lot of money and we got what we wanted as a final product.”

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

Our Style

“Cows are a big part of our life so they featured on our invites and order of service, and in the photos.  We had personal milk cans from each family that we used for flowers and we kept with a relaxed country theme. Our wedding ceremony and reception were within a two mile radius of each other.  We provided a scenic route which our guests could take to get to the reception venue which meant they could enjoy the beautiful views of the area and so many people went and enjoyed it. It was a chance to actually see the area, which you usually don’t get. We made a simple page with details on it and it didn’t cost anything except the paper it was printed on!”

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

 

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

Our Highlights

“Sharing the day with our family and friends and of course saying I do! The day went really smoothly, we couldn’t have asked for better. The only funny incident was when we broke the knife cutting the cake, to be fair we were a bit heavy handed and it was a fruit cake.” 

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

My Dress

“Choosing my wedding dress was straight-forward, I had looked online and found one that I liked. When I went to the shop, Jenny Lindop in Bangor, they had it in stock and it was the one I picked. Jenny also made a dress for our 10 year old bridesmaid out of the same material as the bridesmaid dress. For the grooms suit we went to Kelvin Graham in Ballynahinch. We went in for a look and managed to pick within 20 minutes.”

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

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hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

Our Advice

“Relax, make it what you want to make it. Use items you already have where possible and suitable.  Shop around and think before you spend. Do what you can yourselves if you are on a tight budget.

Attention to detail doesn’t have to cost lots, it can be done through simple things that represent you both as a couple.”

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

hello sugar photo

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hello sugar photo

Super Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: Hello Sugar, Belfast. 

Wedding & bridesmaid dress: Jenny Lindop, Bangor. 

Hair: New Image, Ballywalter.

Grooms wear: Kelvin Graham, Ballynahinch.

Cake: Your Just Desserts, Downpatrick.

Flowers & candy cart: Petals & Pots, Downpatrick.

Bridal cars: Elite Car Hire, Bangor.

Entertainment: The Asbury Gents.

Harpist: Ruth Corry Harpist, Belfast.

Caterer: McMaster’s Butchers, Whitehead. 

Bar: Liquid Crew, Holywood.