BUDGET £17.5 – 20K
Happy Sunday, you fabulous wedding bunch. Hope the planning is going swimmingly.
Sunday is my favourite day to get some Wedmin nailed, so I hope you are making some progress today too (or relaxing and forgetting all about any hint of planning, that’s a good Sunday activity too).
Today the wedding chat is taking a bit of a masculine turn, as we talk about the groom and groomsmen…
Don’t the stables at Plas Dinam Country House in Wales look incredible? Sofya & Alex really have added a personal touch with all their gorgeous decor. I simply adore all the wild flowers, which seem to pop up everywhere. I have never seen any above a door frame before, but oh my doesn’t it look effective? Plus how can I forget all the the baskets dotted about full of beautiful blooms. So pretty.
I am also completely in love with Sofya’s David’s Bridal gown. The off the shoulder sweetheart neckline frames her hair beautiful and really makes her flower crown POP.
Hats off to Cassandra Lane Photography for capturing all the love and fun of this rustic wedding so spectacularly, it is definitely the perfect wedding to get you in the mood for the weekend.
I’m in love with today’s wedding. It is absolutely beautiful. As I looked through the images, EVERY SINGLE ONE made me smile.
I tried to put my finger on it…maybe it’s the magical eerie Northern Irish light? Or perhaps it’s the perfect elegance of Rachel’s gown? The abundance of gorgeous fresh flowers? The boats bobbing away gently on the lake in the background??
Then it hit me – yes, visually the wedding is amazing, but as the day progresses, you can SEE the excitement, anticipation, nerves, joy and unconditional love in Rachel and Rich’s faces. These two are truly, madly, deeply in love. Ready to share their journey?
Rachel The Bride: We wanted to get married somewhere to which one of us had a connection to and ended up keeping with tradition by getting married in the bride’s home county, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
My parents live by the lake and have a great view, so a marquee in front of their house seemed like the perfect idea. We wanted the wedding to be individual to us – the marquee provided us with a blank canvas that we could make our own.
Above all I wanted to make sure I didn’t look completely different as a bride as I do day-to-day, although obviously I wanted to look more glam! I rarely wear my hair up, so deciding to wear it down was an easy decision. I wanted a style that fit with our summer, rustic and informal theme.
My fabulous hairdresser Gemma Managh created my loose curls and added flowers to my hair. I wanted my make-up to be dramatic, particularly my eye-make up, and glamorous, but not too heavy or dark, and with a more subtle tone on my lips. Paddy McGurgan, my very talented make-up artist, created my look.
I wanted my dress to be simple and elegant, and ultimately went for a design by Phillipa Lepley in London. I absolutely loved the fitted corset, the flower in the centre of the corset, which I thought drew the eye, the ruched fabric on the corset and the train.
The Phillipa Lepley team were a delight to work with. I thoroughly enjoyed the dress-making and fitting process, and of course the end result.
My veil was also from Phillipa Lepley and was quite understated, as I didn’t want it to draw attention away from the dress. I wanted a pair of vintage style sandals as I thought they’d best suit the dress, and found exactly what I was looking for in ivory and pale gold, from Emmy in London. I didn’t think I needed much jewelry – apart from my engagement ring, I wore a pair of vintage-style pear drop earrings from Knightsbridge Boutique in Dublin.
My two sisters were my bridesmaids. They wore dresses from Two Birds in London. The fabulous thing about their dresses is that you could wear them in lots of different styles, so my sisters changed theirs throughout the day. As our wedding was in June, I chose a summery colour, which tied in with our wedding theme – a lovely dusky pink colour.
Rich had one best man and six ushers. He wanted to avoid having a traditional morning suit with a black jacket and pinstripe trousers, as he wanted something less formal and considered a lounge suit initially. However, ultimately he found a charcoal grey slim-fitting morning suit from Groom Formal Hire in Banbridge.
Groom Formal Hire were extremely helpful, professional and the quality of the suits was excellent. Initially Rich was going to have his suit made, but having tried on one from Groom Formal Hire suits he decided they fit so well he didn’t need to.
He loved the fit of the suit, and that the trousers, jacket and waistcoat were in the same colour and fabric. The charcoal colour and the pink and navy striped ties worked really well with the colour of the bridesmaid dresses.
We chose a rustic theme and, as we were getting married in June, we wanted it to include lots of summer flowers. As our marquee was completely white, we had free rein to do whatever we wanted! We covered the roof in Chinese hanging lanterns of varying sizes; some were pink to tie in with the bridesmaids dresses, and some were green and white lanterns.
We used hessian and hessian ribbon throughout the marquee to help create the rustic look, including on each of the table settings, the door and window dressings. We also positioned wooden barrels throughout the marquee, had signs made out of driftwood and used wooden flower boxes from Colombia Road, London for some of the table centre pieces.
We love flowers so we had loads! We had a gorgeous selection of summer flowers in pinks, greens, silver purples and blues, including hydrangea, vintage roses, lavender and thistles, casually arranged. In the church, we had large arrangements at the front and back of the church, along with flower boxes in each window and the porch, which were later used for some our table centres.
Other table centres had little white pots of lavender and hydrangea. We also had jugs of flowers on barrels in the pagoda of the marquee. They were really spectacular. Timothy Elliott, from Lisnakea, Co. Fermanagh was our florist. He helped create exactly the look we wanted. We had so many compliments on our flowers – hopefully you can see why.
The music was one of our favourite parts of the service. We had a group called New Voice Music, made up of a string quartet, guitarist, singer and pianist. They helped create a great atmosphere, which encouraged people to sing the hymns…loudly!
We wanted our entrance and exit music to be contemporary and fun. I chose to walk in to the Forrest Gump theme tune by Alan Silvestri, and we walked out to “I’ll Love You ‘Til The End” by the Pogues. We had two bible readings and a non-religious reading, which was an extract from Love Actually – the part you hear Hugh Grant saying at the very beginning of the film.
We had a band called Jungle Boogie, from Dublin – they were great and absolutely looked the part. We decided against a slow number for our first dance and chose “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons. We hadn’t practiced at all but didn’t want to just sway for the whole song, so instead galloped our way around the dance floor! We had a blast and entertained the guests, for all the wrong reasons.
After the band finished, we had a DJ – Malcolm Cathcart, who is the Dad of one of my friends and a guest at the wedding. He continued playing into the early hours and kept us all on the dance floor.
Our catering and wedding cake were done by Yellow Door from Portadown. For starters we had crispy hen’s egg with grilled asparagus, serrano ham, saffron aioli and soda bread wafers. We then had a choice of roast sirloin of beef or roast parmesan and parsley crusted hake for main, with barley risotto, watercress and black mustard greens, balsamic roast cherry vine tomatoes and citrus pesto. For dessert we had summer pudding with white chocolate sorbet and fresh berries.
We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake so opted for a layered sponge cake, with plain and chocolate sponge layers, covered in fresh fruit and Chantilly cream – the cake got a lot of attention!
Stationery was important to us – particularly the invitations, as we think they set the tone and theme of your wedding, and get guests excited about what is to come. Our invitations, menus and orders of service were made by La Lumiere Designs. They used a mixture of brown and white card – the text was mainly in typewriter font, to keep with our rustic theme.
Guests had individual menus wrapped in bailer twine with a brown paper place name, and a sprig of lavender. Instead of table names, we had 3D brown table numbers. For our table plan we stacked two distressed photo frames on top of each other, each containing a photo that had been taken by our photographers on our engagement shoot. We then hung large brown luggage labels over the top of the frames, one per table, with the names of the guests sitting on each table.
After the wedding breakfast we removed the brown luggage labels from the photo-frames and asked guests to leave comments on the surround of the photo. By the end of the night the surround was full of messages – it looked really great.
Enjoy every minute as it goes so quickly. Don’t worry about anything on the day – it will be fabulous no matter what. Make your wedding day your own – personalise it and make it unique. If you can, have a videographer as well as a photographer so you can watch the parts of the day you missed after the wedding. (Show and Tell were our videographers).
Our photographers, from Blackbox Photography, were absolutely incredible – not just because of the quality of their photos, but also because they were fun and easy to work with, and really enthusiastic. They helped make the run up to our wedding day and the day itself up more relaxed. They strive to get the best shots possible without being obtrusive. We really love the photos they took!
Bride’s Gown – Phillipa Lepley
Shoes – Emmy London
Bridesmaid’s Gowns – Two Birds
Groom – Groom Formal Hire
Hair – Gemma Managh
Make up – Paddy Mcgurgan
Band – Jungle Boogie
Caterer – Yellow Door Deli
Stationery – La Lumiere Designs
Florist – Timothy Elliott
Marquee Hire – North Down Marquees
Photography – Blackbox Photography
Please, please please click through to the gallery and have a good old look at all of the images. Blackbox Photography have captured the day perfectly.
Shall we petition for Rachel’s parents to open their grounds as a wedding venue?
Lots of love,