Today’s wedding is super special as it takes place in the bride and groom’s own...
We are in Belfast today courtesy of Rob and Hannah from Epic Love Photography. They shot this gorgeous wedding in Downpatrick in April and I just love it. Filled with lots of vintage touches and influences, this wedding is brimming with pretty. As well as this the bride and her wedding party have worked hard on many DIY projects which really pull the wedding together to make it their own. That coupled with a dress from Etsy and another dress for the evening reception, this wedding is FULL of personality.
Laura and Martin were married on 12th April 2013 at Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, Belfast with the reception at Ballydugan Mill, Downpatrick. ‘My brother and his family attend the church and as Martin and I live in Dublin and wanted to get married at home, we decided to have it at his church. I knew the Minster Steve Stockman from many years ago and it turn out that Martin had listened to his radio show for years. We choose The Mill as we fell in love with the place the first time we saw it. It has a great reputation and we loved the informal relaxed feel to the place. We started out with too many guests on narrowed it down to 120 guests and on the day we had 105.We got engaged in Dec 2011. I probably started to plan the wedding, looking at venues in Feb 2012 and we booked the mill about March.I was then working on making different things from then. Not flat out, just had plenty of time to come up with ideas and get some family and friends to help.’
How they met
We met about 6yrs ago through Martin’s sister, who I have known for about 16yrs.
When we first met, we both liked each other but no one made a move. As time went on we met at different parties and weddings. It was his mum that pushed Martin to get in touch and told him I was single. He messaged me on Facebook for a while and then we met for dinner. And the rest is history….. That was July 2010.
We were travelling in Vietnam for a month on holiday. Martin waited to the very last minute before proposing. We were on the balcony by the pool at night, overlooking Ho Chi Minh City. He had bought a ring from the market and got down on one knee and asked. I think you can guess what my answer was…..
I couldn’t justify spending a lot on a dress I will only ever wear for one day, so I had a look on EBay. I got the dress quite early on. I bid on it, not thinking I would get it. When it arrived, I tried it on with my mum and Sister- in –law (bridesmaid) and we all loved it. It needed a bit of altering which a friend did for me. I decided then with the first being such a good bargain, I would try and get another one to change into in the evening, which I did. A second hand one, a short fifty style dress.
My shoes were Irregular Choice. I bought a little lace butterfly which I sewed on to my dress the night before. It helped me think my Granny was with me going up the aisle, as she always bought me butterfly brooches.
The weather took a turned for the worse and I was starting to worry. I bought some thermal leggings, wellie boots and a little fur jacket.
Thankfully I didn’t need the thermals but the boots and the jacket were great for outside.
The suit and bridesmaids
Bridesmaid’s dresses and shoes were from Debenhams
Suits from a local hire shop – Balmoral hire
Page boys – BHS
Why did you choose your photographer?
I was at a wedding fair having a look around, not really looking for a photographer, as I already had someone in mind. Then I met Rob from Epic Love Photography. Each of his pictures tells a story and he captured the feel of the day. They looked relaxed and not formal, exactly what I wanted. After having talked to Rob, I knew he was the man for the job. Rob clearly loves his job and it shows when he is working with you and through his photos.
Theme or colour scheme
I loved the idea of lace and when I bought my dress I decided to use lace on the invitations. I also used Cath Kidston flower tissues as the image. I was going for a vintage relaxed feel.
I was going with purple or green in the beginning. Once we found the bridesmaids dresses we went with purple. I didn’t really want everything to match so I used other colours in the flowers and invitations.
After the ceremony we had a tea party in the church hall, with sandwiches, scones from The Kosy Bakery, shortbread, brownies and mini cupcakes.
At the reception we had carrot and coconut soup, Roast beef for main, Trio of desserts – Banoffee, hot brownie & Bailey’s cheesecake
The wedding cake was made by the Kosy Bakery with a traditional bottom layer of fruit cake followed by fifteens then coffee cake on top. Delicious!
At the Mil we had a falconry school there with different types of birds of prey.
We had a band called The Russian Dolls who were great and a DJ after that, finishing the night off with a guest sing a long!
There were 3 different types of flowers, I did centre pieces with the tea cups containing pink carnations and baby’s breathe. The flowers for the church were made by my cousin Gillian. She collected about 40 tin cans (with the help of family eating a lot of beans) and covered them with Raffia and stacked them in tiers to look like a wedding cake. These flowers had tulips, iris, roses.
The bouquets and button hole were from a local florist. They had beautiful purple, pinks and green flowers. I added to mine and Martins some buttons.
Personal / DIY
This wedding won’t have come together without the help of my family and friends. It was great that everyone got stuck in.
• My mum and I designed and made the invitations and the order of service from lace, ribbon and Cath Kitson tissues.
• In the church I had the tiered flowers at the front with handmade hearts hung on the pew ends on both aisles.
• I decorated the tea cups with cut out tissues too.
• The table decorations were also folded books with the table names from all the places we visited in Vietnam
• I and others folded books for the table décor.
• We made our own Kelly Wine labels for the bottles on the table.
• I made over 200 paper cranes for the tea party
• Louisa my Sister – in- law and I made posters for the church hall
• I made a runner for the aisle as a surprise for Martin. I used a purple blind and with the help of friends cut out the words and stuck them on material. I used the words of a John Lennon song ‘Grow old along with me and the best is yet to be.’
• My dad and I made a guest book with a difference. It was a frame spray painted and decorated with tissues and keys. With the saying on it ‘What are your keys for success in marriage.’ There were tags for people to fill in and hang on the board.
• I put buttons unto wire and used them in my bouquet and in the tea cup flowers.
Walking up the aisle and seeing a sea of beaming faces and flashing lights was surreal and wonderful with my brother singing Joshua Radin’s song ‘I’d rather be with you.’ My Brother, David also wrote a song for us and sang it as we signed the register.
At the mill I had a falconry school there with different types of birds of prey. We got a flight demonstration and flew a barn owl and a vulture. The little barn owl seemed to have a mind of its own and flew off onto my dad’s shoulder and onto my friend’s camera as she was filming.
Plan as much as you can in advance. I really enjoyed the week before the wedding and the few days before as most things were down, just last minute touches.
Ask for help, people love to be involved and have fun with them.
Don’t stress about the weather, it is out of your control. My day was grey skies and some rain but my memories are so colourful.
When all the guests started to laugh in the middle of the vows, not realising that I had asked Martin to be my wife!!! The Minister Steve had printed the vows out and had just cut and paste it without changing the wording and I didn’t notice cause of nerves. It broke the ice and it will be a story to tell the grandchildren.