Inspiration

I'm completely blown away by the effort and love that has gone into this Northern Ireland rustic wedding. Not just from the Bride and Groom, but also from their family and friends. Seriously what a beautifully styled reception. Those ribbons! Those florals! Every element seems to reflect this gorgeous couples personality wonderfully. From saying I do at Bride Ruth's family church, to her stunning vintage Edwardian gown complete with flower crown, and not forgetting Groom Conor's amazing carpentry skills in crafting the very tables guests sat at, as well as his performance on the mic with his fellow band mates as they performed all their favourite songs. It's hard to imagine that this wedding was anything but relaxed, stylish and super fun.

The Dress

Ruth the Bride: I had always wanted a vintage dress and after seeing Heavenly Vintage Bride’s collection online I knew I would find something beautiful from them. I travelled to London where I selected an Edwardian dress with ¾ length sleeves, lace crochet detailing and buttons down the back. Helena from Heavenly Vintage Brides arranged all the alterations required. I wanted my shoes have a mid to low heel and be very subtle. It was a challenge finding shoes which really complemented the era of the dress but the soft pink pair I found at Debenhams were perfect and the addition of the floral show clips added a pop of colour.

The Grooms Fashion

Conor wanted something quite contemporary and selected a wool herringbone tweed 3 piece suit in a dark navy. He chose a floral bow tie from Mrs Bow Tie.

The Venue

We visited only a handful of potential reception venues but finally selected The Retreat at Field of Dreams because it was so unique, set in the depths of the countryside and had an informal and relaxed feel plus it was completely private. The Retreat was a blank canvas for us to decorate and style as we wished. We thought the large glass walls and timber structure of the Retreat would complement our own style and taste. Alongside the Retreat we had a traditional canvas marquee for our drinks reception.

Colour Scheme/Décor

There was no formal colour scheme- although I always knew I wanted peach roses for my bouquet, which led to a palette of colours reminiscent of a meadow with lavender, shades of green, pale yellows and pinks. Our décor evolved around The Retreat so it felt very natural with a hint of woodland inspiration drawn from the countryside around the venue. We created a birch branch arrangement which was hung from the roof of the marquee and strung with fairy lights and paper lanterns. We included hay bales and rustic tables in the marquee alongside ivy twisted around the supporting pillars of the marquee. Outside we had a fire pit with marshmallows for toasting. Conor is a fine bench joiner and wanted to make the tables for our meal in the Retreat rather than hire them. In the end he made 12 maple and beech wood trestle tables with parquet tops. My Mother, sister and Aunt, Conor’s Mum and Dad and our good friend and Usher, Ben Bennett, all helped us with the decorating.

Flowers/Florist

I love flowers, so to some extent the flowers dictated the colours that would appear in the rest our wedding! Tracy from Floral Creations was our florist. She created a beautiful bouquet for me which combined Peach Avalanche Roses, freesia, Astillbe, Orchids, sweet pea and honeysuckle from my mother’s garden. Our centrepieces combined white stock, lavender, birch twigs and tanacetum. They were set into jars that had been wrapped with strips of birch bark- which my mother and I had made. Tracy also created a range of jam jar posies to be scattered throughout the church, marquee and the Retreat- these combined garden flowers such as hydrangeas, lavender and dahlias. We didn’t want a traditional altar piece or top table arrangement so Tracy created a cascade of eucalyptus for both the altar and top table, which had little jam jar posies nestled into them. I also wore a floral headband, which complimented my dress perfectly and combined honeysuckle and rosemary with some of the flowers in the my bouquet.

The Wedding Party Fashion

I eventually selected the In One Clothing dresses in the forest green as I thought it was a beautiful rich colour that would work with the palette of flowers we had chosen. I left it to the Bridesmaids to decide what length they wanted and how they wished to tie it. On the day our Hairdresser then chatted to them about how they wanted to wear their hair based on how they would be wearing the dress. They each had a neutral wrap from Zara and wore different shoes- they were all such different heights so it was impossible to find a suitable shoe for them all! The Groomsmen wore the same suit as Conor but with their own choice of tie or bowtie. We had two very small Flower Girls (our nieces who were around 1 year old). They wore a Marks and Spencer Autograph Collection floral dress with a cardigan from Jojo Mama et Bebe.

Ceremony

Our ceremony was very relaxed and informal and took place at a local Church-St. Mary’s Parish Church in Kilmood. We had some beautiful, personal moments. Conor’s relatives played and sang the procession music that I walked into- 49th Street Bridge Song by Simon and Garfunkel. They also sang one of our favourite songs while we signed the register- Our House by Crosby, Still and Nash. Our friend Rebekah Harris performed St. Patrick’s Breastplate – acapella, which was a beautiful, magical moment. We had two hymns- Be Still for the Presence of the Lord and Be Thou My Vision. Our Friend Poppy Kohner read a poem she had written for us and our Usher, Ben Bennet read a Celtic Blessing. We also had two Bible readings from the Songs of Solomon. Our exit music was Hall and Oates- You Make My Dreams come True... which led to some impromptu dancing! In particular from Conor’s Grandmother!

Entertainment

In the evening we had a mixture of friends of family members who had formed a band especially for the wedding. They’d met up with Conor (who plays guitar) and rehearsed in the months prior to the wedding and performed a non-stop set for 2 hours featuring all our favourite songs. Conor got up and played with them for a few songs- a highlight of which was the Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys. This was followed by another friend and experienced wedding DJ, Johnny McGurgan, helping us dance into the even smaller hours.

Food

Posh Nosh supplied our food and they designed the menu to be in keeping with the venue. They created a gourmet Barbeque featuring lots of vegetarian and vegan options- the salmon baked on the barbeque with lime and courgettes was a particular highlight. Our dessert was cheesecake with blackberry compote and our starter was a mixed plate of olives, breads, pate and crudités. Our cake was a ‘naked’ cake- a Victoria Sponge with fresh fruit and butter cream made by Judith Currie. My mum also made a vegan cake with chocolate sponge with peanut icing with fresh fruit. In the evening we served finger sandwiches, cake and tea/coffee, masrhmallows for toasting and lots of sweets!

Photographer

Our photographers were Honey and The Moon. They were the perfect photographer for our relaxed day. They were never intrusive and captured all the best moments of our day in a beautifully artistic documentary style.

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer & Boutique: Heavenly Vintage Brides | Bridal Shoes: Debenhams | Bridal Accessory: Etsy Shop ZBaccessory | Veil: Floral Creation Comber | Reception: Field of Dreams | Caterer: Posh Nosh | Liquid Crew | Stationery: The Art of Kieron Black | Transport: Star Car Hire | Bridesmaid Dresses: In One Clothing | Grooms Suit: ASOS | Tie: Mrs Bow Tie | Shirt : TM Lewin

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