Gabrielle and Peter’s Gorgeous Outdoor Wedding in Northern Island by Sheena T Photography

Happy Good Friday everyone. I hope you are all well and happy and enjoying the beginning of this Bank Holiday? Do you have much planned for the Easter break? Many eggs to devour? I am off to the theatre with Dexter today, then we are having friends round for a BBQ. Then Saturday and Sunday we are all off to York for the weekend. I am looking forward to getting away for a mini break with my boys and switching off for a couple of days. What about you? Whatever you do I hope you have a wonderful Easter break. Enjoy the rest if you are managing to take some time off and get stuck into those Easter Eggs! Now on with today’s gorgeous wedding and it’s the turn of Gabrielle and Peter who had to make several changes to their wedding due to Covid, but it happened eventually and the results are superb! Big thanks to Sheena T Photography for the lovely photos.

A miracle! Planned to a tee, thanks to Oliver at Kilmore

Gabrielle and Peter were married on 12th June 2021 at Kilmore Country House in Waterfoot in Northern Island. ‘We originally wanted to get married in Cala Conta in Ibiza but changed our minds when we realised elderly relatives wouldn’t be able to make the journey. I visited Kilmore for the first time on a beautiful sunny day, with my Mum, and thought it had scenery that rivalled our original plans – the sea, the cliffs, the greenery. It was the drive that really sold it to me. When Peter and I visited, it was a miserable day but the venue was still stunning. We were allowed risk assessment numbers but cut them from 120 adults plus evening guests to 55 adults, 5 children & 5 babies – including our own 5 month old, again due to concerns for elderly relatives. We got engaged in 2018 and I had been planning ever since! Changing to an NI wedding in early 2019 & taking a hiatus at the height of COVID, I’d still say a good 18 months to plan.’

How they met
Peter was my first boyfriend at school – I think I was first year and he was the year above. He took me on my first ever date to see Avril Lavigne in 2004 and we just kind of drifted apart after a while – there was never a break up! We started messaging again years later, drunk, and our Wedding Day was actually our 5 year anniversary.

The proposal
Peter had just moved in with my family and I in Randalstown, whilst we waited for the sale to go through on our first house together. It was Christmas and we didn’t to move until the New Year. Pete had said since moving that he wanted to walk the viaduct so we made plans to on Christmas Eve & then to go to the Wee Bar for drinks. I had spent a long time doing hair – curly girl problems!, make up, contact lenses & getting dressed inc heels & suggested we just go to the bar instead & Pete said no because “McGowan’s go for a walk on Christmas Eve, it’s tradition”. I said “Wilson’s go to the bar” but fell on deaf ears. When we got down to the entry way, Pete was striding ahead whilst I tottered after him in my heels. There is still a joke made every year because I said at this point, ”Peter, you’re ruining Christmas!” I was expected to find the route up to the viaduct as I had walked it many years before when it was first built as a Brownie but missed it in the dark and we ended up at Cashells Lane – the row of houses that look up towards the viaduct. Peter was doing the usual ”You said you knew were you were going” to which I Googled what age you are when you’re in Brownies & told him it had been 13 years!!!! When I turned round, he was on one knee with his late Mother’s engagement ring.

How did you allocate your budget?
My sister sent me over a Wedding planner which outlined what the priority spends were & we – myself, Peter and some of the bridesmaids – joined the Facebook group ”Wedding Help NI” where a lot of venues and vendors would advertise their business and sometimes do deals, and where a lot of previous brides and grooms give advice to avid planners.

Where did you splurge and where did you save?
I genuinely think that due to that Facebook page, we saved everywhere! The venue was obviously the most expensive but they also included everything & I cannot stress the point when I say they did so much!!! I guess we splurged on our rings but I reasoned that we were gonna wear them every day for the rest of our lives so should have something we really love. We did, inevitably, save from cutting numbers and we weren’t allowed an evening do at the time. We also cancelled our videographer very last minute due to cutting numbers and having no dancing – we didn’t think there’d be anything worth spending the extra £££ to capture and I really regret cancelling him.

How did you choose your photographer
I had actually chosen a photographer long before Peter and I were together. My friend’s Step Mother, Tracy. I’d seen her work and I adored her and the family. When we set the date, I messaged her and we arranged to meet but COVID hit and it never passed my mind until a year later when I saw the FB Memories of setting date and I messaged her to remind her and she was fully booked! This came after my hiatus from planning and I was BEREFT thinking everything would be booked solid or have shot up in price. A lot of tears were shed, I won’t lie, but it was entirely my fault. Tracy was a member of a Facebook page for photographers and she messaged in my details and sent me screenshots of who all responded and then who she would recommend from that – Sheena was one of them! & As it turned out, in my earlier planning and under strict instruction from my Mother, I had researched and priced other photographers and had already shortlisted Sheena & forgotten about her amidst COVID. If that weren’t enough, she also came highly recommended by three or four of my colleagues.

The dress
My dress was by Stella York and from Marie Me in Randalstown which is ran by two sisters who are ANGELS. I had Kate Spade jewellery and Kurt Geiger shoes, both to match the bridesmaids, although ended up switching out the earrings for larger Mother of pearl earrings that were a gift from my bridesmaid. I also had a denim jacket personalised for the evening by Emerald + Opal.

The suit and bridesmaids
The suits were from Ludlows in Belfast & Peter wore different shoes and waistcoat to stand out. The dresses were BIBA from House of Fraser and sourced by my wonderful bridesmaid, Sarah, when I was really struggling to find the colour I wanted in bridal shops despite it being popular only a few years ago.

Theme or colour scheme
Champagne and different shades of pink. No theme as such, I just wanted a nice relaxing day.

I had the most beautiful bouquet of pampas grass, roses, lilies and protea.

This was all taken care of by the staff at Kilmore – we had jars of flowers on every table, inside & out. Peter did the guestbook table & was very proud of it.

I had a cheese starter as having had it at the sample session, I couldn’t not have it again. Everyone else had Peter’s favourite vegetable soup followed by the choice of a beautiful roast beef or turkey & ham and then a trio of desserts.

Wedding cake
The wedding cake was beautiful – four tiers and white with little dimple detailing. We had went to Fairytree Cakes with a completely different cake in mind, a naked cake with berries and chocolate buttons, but Katie is an artist! The top and bottom tier was white chocolate and raspberry, a shock to the two of us, again not what we would usually pick but so light and refreshing! Then the other two were lemon drizzle and chocolate.

We had DJNI who, thankfully, included games as part of his package even before COVID as we could have music but no dancing so we really appreciated this.

Who supplied the stationery?
Perfect Day Print in Ballymena. They did exactly what I wanted.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We were originally going to do Bali or the like but that honeymoon fund ended up going towards our newborn! We had a minimoon at the Roe Park Resort in Limavady & had booked Croatia as a late honeymoon/first family holiday but travel agent went under…..We haven’t started planning again since and are in no real rush.

Personal touches
I had pyjamas made for the bridesmaids from Luna’s Lovely Things that were personalised with their initials, and robes from Lovelei left impersonalised so they could be reused. I bought gifts for the page boy and flower girl that were also largely personalised. I also had the little jackets for the girls. During the morning prep, my Mother and I enjoyed a cup of tea together – my cup said ”Something old, something new, something borrowed and a brew” & hers said ”Just another manic Mum-day”. I had a photo of my Grandmother, Granny Renee, attached to my bouquet with the quote, ”You weren’t with me on the day, but you were with me every step of the way”. She was the main reason we chose to get married in Ireland instead of Ibiza as she suffered from Dementia. She passed away in the March 2020.

Special moments
I loved the morning and getting ready with all the girls. Hair and make up were fantastic. My sister and one of the bridesmaids had sent Moët and we had a beautiful breakfast delivered by Breakfast by Justine. Family friends popped down to see us leave and it was all just really lovely. Highlights included walking down the aisle with my Dad and our dance together and having photos taken with the bridal party, my husband’s friends had me in hysterics. I also loved our first dance as a married couple to ”Tightrope” from ”The Greatest Showman”.

Advice for other couples
Don’t give up the day for anything. I would have had the same day whether we were allowed 3 guests or 300.

Biggest surprise
Peter didn’t write his speech on paper, instead he bullet pointed it on his phone. His phone then locked itself in his pocket so he had to wing his speech!



Supplier Shout Outs


Sheena T Photography

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 Colourful Northern Ireland Wedding Photographer



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