Joanna & David’s wedding day is just utterly beautiful. From the very beginning you’re drawn into their magical, intriguing location with it’s crumbling brick, lagoon like lake, elegant glasshouse and striking castle silhouette. Then there’s the warm and welcoming colour palette of rich berries, forest green and golden mustard yellow, everything looks so opulent and abundant but with an earthy, natural twist. Just wait until you see the table set up – just so dreamy.
Joanna wears Halfpenny London, which is the perfect choice for her stylish, laid back vibe. The rest of the wedding party also look gorgeous, this truly is a wonderful wedding from top to toe. Enjoy lovely ones!
Joanna The Bride: After a surprise engagement trip to Norway, David and I set ourselves the task of planning our wedding in 6 months, to fit around my university studies. David thought our tight time scale would require sacrifices in the planning process, but I was determined to make sure the day would be full of special details which allowed our personalities to shine through. Thankfully, all the cards fell into place to make that possible. We had a wonderful team of family and friends who helped with so many aspects of the day, and it was incredibly special to enter the church and see so many of our friends and family from all walks of life and different parts of the world gathered together. Needless to say, we had a wonderful day, full of smiles, music and a bit of Irish dancing thrown in for good measure!
We decided to have our wedding in the beautiful, picturesque lakelands of Fermanagh, a county on the Northern Irish border where I grew up. Both my parents and Grandparents were married in the small Holy Trinity Church at Crom. The service was taken by my family rector, Chancellor Stewart and David’s mum and dad gave a short talk, which made the service feel intimate and personal. We were thrilled to have the reception at the West Wing of Crom Castle which sits across the Lough from the Church, surrounded by picture perfect acres of fermanagh fauna, woodland, old castle ruins and a walled garden. Lord Erne and his staff were wonderful to work with and extremely helpful. We fell in love with the Glass house where the meal was held, which was filled with botanical greenery and allowed an abundance of natural light to pour into the space, along with wonderful views out across the landscape.
We didn’t know if the weather would permit a boat journey across Lough Erne until mid-morning of the wedding. Thankfully the rain stayed off and the journey to and from the church across the lough from the boat house on the estate was a magical way to celebrate the wonderful Lakeland settings of Fermanagh, enhancing the atmosphere of the day.
We were so keen to have Sarah photograph the day that her availability with 6 months notice was the deciding factor used to set the date, and this was one of our best decisions. We loved how her style captures the natural beauty, light and colours in an ephemeral manner which perfectly suited the natural moody atmosphere of Fermanagh, along with wonderful, unintrusive candid shots of our guests throughout the day. She was a dream to work with and the beautiful handcrafted wooden box which our photos arrived in was the icing on the cake.
As I am currently training to be an architect, designing the stationary was my pet project, which became the creative outlet to define our personal touch and the wedding theme. The strongly composed designs delicately depicted the seasonal fauna of Fermanagh, complemented by white space and the use of a modern font with a quirky title font for an added twist. Each piece was posted in a boldly coloured envelope, I created an architectural drawing of the venue for the table plan and we Japanese hand bound the order of services using mustard thread which was a true labour of love but added a personal touch that our guests appreciated.
We were thrilled when the mother of the Groom, Susanna Bedford, offered her flower arranging expertise and she along with her mother, Jenny and her sister Elizabeth were in charge of all the flowering arranging the day before the wedding. The process of choosing the flowers and styles of arrangement required a lot of homework, but we learnt a whole new skill as a result of taking on the challenge. Two days before the wedding we had numerous family members and bridesmaids running around the county in the pouring rain, sourcing greenery from my mum’s generous friends and we ended up with an abundance of ferns, ivy, honeysuckle and heather. The final result was a stunning mix of greenery with delicate pops of colour, arranged into a seasonal, rustic country garden aesthetic. We kept the table arrangements as simple as possible, a collection of amber glass bottles with key stems of colour and a collection of terrecota pots filled with heather, which made them easy to transfer from the church to the venue. We sourced the flowers from the very helpful McGarry’s Wedding Flower and Venue stylists, who also provided the beautiful, seasonal bouquets.
Throughout the process Saddlers were wonderful to work with. They listened to our feedback and came up with wonderful dishes and vegetarian alternatives. We wanted the food to be as local and seasonal as possible, to fit with the wedding theme which they delivered wonderfully and their service throughout the day was impeccable.
The Aunt of the Bride, Margaret Burleigh who has become an expert at making wedding cakes for family and friends took on the mammoth task of providing the cakes, and she did a wonderful job. David’s one request was the main cake had to be a fruit cake and we thought it would be fun to have 7 smaller Hummingbird cakes, topped with seasonal fruit which were shared out across the tables for the guests to cut themselves.
As the majority of our guests travelled from afar to the wedding we wanted to give them a taste of some real Irish culture that is close to my heart, which meant lots of music performed by talented local musicians. The celloist Edel Monaghan and her accompanist played during the church service, Aoife Cathcart’s trio played traditional irish reels on the banjo and accordion throughout the reception and after the meal McStocker Ceilidh Band Northern Ireland put on a wonderful ceilidh which was a great way of getting everyone on their feet and for David and I to dance with everyone at the wedding.
Due to the time scale of our planning, I knew one of the first things that had to be ordered was my wedding dress. I did my homework and within two days of fittings I had found the perfect combination, thanks to the help of the beautiful designers and staff at Halfpenny London. Their outfits have a mix and match approach, and after I fell in love with the delicate detail of the climbing floral embroidery of the sheer tulle skirt we paired it with the sheer Iris slip, and the long sleeved draped backline top was the perfect final addition to deal with the unpredictable Northern Irish weather. My accessories reflected my love of colour and I paired the dress with a comfy pair of mid-heel antique mustard shoes from Hobbs.
David gave me his great-grandmother’s antique emerald and diamond engagement ring which set the tone of our other jewellery purchases. My aunt, Rosalind Burleigh works at the jewellers T A Mercer, from whom we purchased my wedding ring and they resized my late-fathers wedding ring for David, which had been bought from Rosalind at the same jewellers many moons before.
The Wedding Party
We were thrilled when we found the Claudia Dress in Emerald Sea from GHOST. The colour fitted perfectly with our palette and the shape of the dress was extremely flattering on all four of our beautiful bridesmaids, with the scooped back detail matching the bridal dress. Their style was completed by the natural hair and makeup look created by the wonderful Jill Wallace and Rachael who were a joy to work with.
The Groom & Groomsmen
David’s full tweed ensemble of the Edward Jacket and trousers in Charcoal Donegal Pattern came from Walker Slater, which was perfect for the Fermanagh weather and a rustic country feel. The grooms men’s Dark Grey Herringbone Tweed 3 Piece Suits came from tweedmaker.com who were very accommodating and great to work with. The pop of mustard colour in the socks and the Moss Bros silk knitted ties complemented the suits and tied in with the bridal outfit.
We advise those planning their wedding to make sure they invest time in the things they enjoy doing and if they can learn a new skill along the way then they should go for it! If you have creative family and friends that are willing to lend a hand make the most of those skills, as those personal touches add special meaning to the wedding day. Finally, make sure your personality shines through in the little details, no matter what your time scale! All the wedmin planning pays off, and creates a day filled with unforgettable moments and magical memories that make all the hard work worthwhile.