SO much love and dedication went into this fabulous 1950s retro inspired wedding day in Northern Ireland, including crafty DIY decor galore, gorgeous invitations and SO much more.
The full skirt power blue bridesmaid dresses and adorable matching fitted cardigans are so apt for the 1950s era, not to mention Danielle’s stunning tea length Justin Alexander gown and birdcage veil, which I have to say makes her look like the perfect hollywood starlet.
And how can I forget their vintage car….which along with the derelict buildings make for some super cool portraits, all cleverly captured by Paula Gillespie Photography.
Danielle The Bride: We had decided that we wanted our wedding to be laid back and fun – nothing formal and thought a 50’s retro styling would work with this. After looking at a few ideas of dresses online I seen the short Justin Alexander Dress and fell in love, and it suited the theme perfecetly. After a few calls to a few shops, Ultimate dresses, Dungiven had the long version of the dress in stock. My Mum and I made the trip up for a very short appointment – after trying on a few alternatives I tried on thee dress ! and was over the moon.. loved it.
My headpiece and birdcage was made by a lady in Derry – the style and detail suited the dress perfectly.
The Grooms Attire
Again we were looking for that chilled out relaxed feel – we wanted to buy the suits as ones for rent seemed a bit formal and with buying suits they all got one to keep! The ties and bow ties were made by a friends friend Bridget who worked wonders on them from extra bridesmaid dresses. They tied the whole thing together and Adrian and Cayden’s (Page Boy) bow ties were so cool!
We were driving past Jacksons one day and thought why not have a look – we had never considered it as a venue before and actually we had not planned on having a hotel reception. But after calling in we were won over by the friendly wedding planner and the hotels amenities. The dance floor was huge! A perfect venue for dancing the night away.
We found it hard finding décor that fitted in with our retro / 50s theme, so we decided to make a lot of it ourselves and it all looked amazing! We had the retro heart designed with our names in it and used this through out as a wee touch that brought it all together. Adrian got to making the chalkboard and easels, we bought a old suitcase and designed up a wedding plan .. We love theme parks and thought calling the tables the names of parks we have visited was a cute personal touch. We also hired out our initials in lights! Loved them! Great touch to the dance floor in the evening.
Our invites were also made by us with the help of my Mum. We wanted so much for everything to reflect us and what we dreamed up that rather than explaining how we wanted it all we just done it all!
I wanted simple flowers and the flowers breath and thistle worked well – again trying to keep the whole look together as being informal, chilled and fun.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The Groomsmen suits were again from Next and they wore the ties made from the extra Bridesmaid dresses. The Page Boy wore a wee suit from River Island with a touch of colour from his red Converse. I had a picture in my head what I wanted our Flower Gil Rauri’s dress to be – again not like a normal Flower Girls dress and used the extra Bridesmaid dress for this .. loved the wee collar on the neckline.
The Bridesmaid dresses were perfect – loved the pattern, made them a little bit different from a normal Bridesmaid dress!
On the morning of the wedding Adrian had breakfast delivered, along with a letter and a gift…. It was a very emotional moment reading the letter and I had to wipe away a few tears! He showed how much he knew me with brilliant tickets for a baseball game when we were on honeymoon! Amazing!
We really appreciated everyone who made a huge effort to share in our day! We were overwhelmed. Our Priest – Father Boland made the service! He made everyone feel welcome and relaxed including ourselves.
The photo booth provided hours of fun – and the staff were amazing! We had our Daughter, Nieces and Newphews at our reception too and they also had so much fun at the photo booth and we loved the photos of them! Extra cute!
We decided to TRY and do a simple dance to our first song – a few moves under our belt before the big day we just went with the music – Philip Phillips – Gone gone gone. The band was great! Everyone had such a good time and the dance floor did not empty.
For our evening buffet we decided we didn’t want sandwiches and cocktail sausages! We wanted food that we like and that we thought everyone else would enjoy after a few drinks – so Pizza, hot dogs and fries! IT went down a treat!!
Our photographer – Paula, was amazing! She captured our wedding day perfectly. We didn’t get a videographer, we felt that that was a bit intrusivce and would make us nervous but with Paula as our photographer we did not doubt this decision – the photos are amazing and a great reflection of the day.. We are still to this day getting compliments about Paula – how amazing her work is and how she interacted with our guests – she was one of them!
The Car! The car was so important to us and in way it was the first thing that we decided on – the type of car we wanted. The problem was finding it! After countless hours of searching we finally found it, a new listing on star car hire – our wedding was the first wedding outing for the car. The car actually paved the way for the theme of the wedding! On the day, caught up in the excitement of getting ready I actually forgot about the car – until I heard the engine of the car driving down my street! Excited was not the word for it!
We tried to do a lot on our own but had many hands to help! We loved making our wedding special by adding these wee hand made touches and look back on the day proud of our hard work. My next project is to gather up some of these DIY decorations and a few of our photos and to put it in a box frame and use the wooden boxes and toughs in our garden. A constant reminders of our amazing day!
Photography by Paula Gillespie Photography
- Dress Designer Justin Alexander
- Bridal Boutique Ultimate Dresses
- Jewellery Debenhams
- Customised Shoes Electric Heels
- Veil/Headpiece Couture Bridal Accessories
- Bridesmaid Dresses Lady V London
- Groomsmen Next
- Venue Jacksons Hotel
- Centrepieces Attention To Detail
- Light Up Letters Electric Alphabet
- Heart Logo Smart Pig Design
- Entertainment Hard 2 Handle
- Transport Star Car Hire