http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog Catherine MacKenzie Photography: Blog
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/img/s/v-5/u800399794-o315968488-50.jpg 2017-11-29T15:03:00Z (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography Catherine MacKenzie Photography http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2017/11/childrens-portrait-shoots-at-catherine-mackenzie-photography Children's Portrait Shoots at Catherine Mackenzie Photography

Get the details of my children's portrait shoots and learn why these are the perfect way to mark a special time in your child's life. 

"The eyes are the windows of the soul" - Thomas Phaer

While newborn photography has long been popular, more and more parents are choosing to mark the milestone of their children progressing into infancy. Chat to any parent and they'll tell you that kids grow up too fast. This is why it's nice to slow things down for a couple of hours with a children's portrait photo shoot.

And because I like to do things differently, you can expect a portrait shoot like never before. 

The aim of this shoot is to capture the soul of the child through the eyes. After all, the eyes are the windows of the soul. 

The shoot takes place at my studio in Limavady, where your child will be styled in beautiful dresses and headdresses by my professional stylist. During the session, I will capture a range of emotive images of your child, that brings out the best of them, and their best feature - their eyes. 

This style of shoot is perfect for creating an image which will become an heirloom. Images are printed and framed using only the highest standard products for a truly special memento that will take pride of place in your home.

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Children's Portrait

"In the eyes of a child...there is joy, there is laughter... there is hope, there is trust, a chance to shape the future..."

Children's Portrait

"To see the magic of life look through the wondrous eyes of a child.”

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"Be gentle my little thunderstorm, the world is not yet ready."

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"And though she is but little, she is fierce."

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“Is the sky cloudy? Can’t you see the shining stars? Take a look at the eyes of a happy child, you will see all the bright stars over there!” 

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"And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling."

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2017-11-29T15:03:28Z 2017-11-29T15:03:28Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2017/11/wedding-diary-laura-jonnys-drenagh-wedding Wedding Diary: Laura & Jonny's Drenagh Wedding

Drenagh wedding Laura and Jonny were married on the 1st of July 2017 at Drenagh Estate, where they also held their reception. As childhood sweethearts, the couple wanted to ensure the day was filled with loads of their personality. With the dreamy Drenagh as their backdrop, they effortlessly brought their wedding day vision to life. Here, Laura walks us through the inspiration behind their romantic day. 

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Laura, how did you & Jonny meet?

Well, we actually met in the Robinson Hospital in Ballymoney as we were born one day apart (some would say that’s fate) but we met again 13 years later at a youth club. We started going out when we were 14 years old so it’s safe to say we are childhood sweethearts.

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Tell us about that proposal!

Jonny told me to book a few days off so that we could go to his family caravan. However, he actually whisked me away to Amsterdam. We had gone inter-railing after we graduated and Amsterdam was the first city we visited. Jonny told me that’s when he knew I was the girl he was going to marry. If you haven’t been, Amsterdam is a gorgeous city. We stayed in a really lovely boutique hotel called The Toren, which made our stay very memorable.

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What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I loved having two years to plan all the little details. Having so long to do everything meant we got first pick of what we wanted in terms of dates, photographers etc. I was quite particular about our date. Jonny asked me out on the 1st of July and he proposed on the 1st of July so needless to say, I wanted to get married on that date. This turned out to be a Saturday so it worked extremely well. Because we had been together for so long I wanted to make the wedding as personal as possible. Each table setting was a year that we have been together and detailed our favourite song, favourite film and favourite moment from that year. Everyone’s place setting was a picture of them with either myself or Jonny, and some went way back so it was nice to have the time to do all those little details and see people’s reactions.

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Describe your dress. How did you find ‘the one’?

I tried on a lot of dresses... and I mean a lot! I knew what style I wanted though. I tried on different shapes of dresses on the first day and I knew they just weren’t for me. I didn’t get ‘the one’, feeling with my dress. After weeks of trying on dresses I knew I had to pick one and my mind kept going back to the dress I had tried on in Ivory Bridal. I still didn’t fall in love with it though until the amazing Bridgene Mullan worked her magic and fitted it like a glove. I loved it on the day.

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Who were your bridesmaids?

I had five bridesmaids. I know that’s quite a lot but I just couldn’t decide. I had my amazing big sister, Rachael, my step sister, Amber, Jonny’s sister, Sarah, and two of my friends, Jill and Katy. I always knew I wanted my bridesmaids in red as I absolutely love the colour and it just happened to be that they are all brunette so I knew it would suit them all. People did think I was a bit mad choosing red for a summer wedding but I think it worked really well. They wore gorgeous True Bride dresses from Dream Weddings in Coleraine, with some subtle diamante detail on the shoulders.

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Tell us about your bouquet

I actually decided that I wanted to do my flowers myself. Drenagh is such a stunning venue that I didn’t overly feel like I needed a lot of flowers to dress it. Linda McAllister, who is my bridesmaid Katy's mum, is one of those people that can turn her hand to anything. She had undertaken a florist course last year, as Katy was getting married and very kindly offered to make up my bouquets and buttonholes. I was absolutely delighted with how they looked. I alternated the colours with my bouquet being red and my bridesmaids having white bouquets.

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What did you love most about your wedding venue?

I have always loved Drenagh! Before anyone really knew much about the venue, and before it appeared in an episode of 'Don’t tell the Bride', I just fell in love with it. I didn’t get my hopes up though as my dad has MS and now uses a wheelchair. As it’s an old stately home I wasn’t sure if it would be suitable. I met with Joanne and she took my dad and I around the venue. She couldn’t have been more helpful and we decided that it was a goer! I was over the moon. My dad would usually have a lie down in the middle of the day, which was his plan on our wedding day too but he was having too much fun and partied right until the very end with all of us!

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Did everything go exactly to plan?

I’m quite an organised person, with lists and Excel spreadsheets galore. I had my favours made months before so everything would be nice and relaxed in the lead up to the wedding. I booked a hair appointment the week before the wedding, as we all do. For anyone that doesn’t know me, I’ve had long golden locks my entire life. Low and behold the toner took to my hair and turned it blue! I know you’re thinking I took the ‘something blue’ good luck charm a little too far. So I spent the entire week before my wedding trying to correct my hair. Thankfully it turned out ok in the end but it definitely wasn't the relaxing week I had hoped for.

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What advice would you offer other brides?

Make sure you give yourself time to eat and get a glass of water! It’s so simple but it’s amazing how the day just gets away from you. Try to be as organised as possible. I see some brides sitting up until midnight the night before doing projects that could have been done months ago with a little help from the bridesmaids. I would also really advise that you have who you want there on the day and around you. It’s your day, you’ll never forget it and you want to make sure it’s the best fun ever!

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Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

Jonny and I were at the Wedding Journal show in Belfast. It was one of the days the rugby was on so I had promised we wouldn’t be too long and would just have a quick scan around. I wasn’t taking time to stop at many stalls but Catherine was there and her photos caught my eye. We stopped and got chatting and I realised she was local to us and had been to Drenagh loads of times, which was something that was important to me. I can let myself get stressed easily so I wanted someone that would be quite easy going but knew exactly what needed to be done. And that’s the vibe I got from Catherine. She kept me calm but wasn’t shy in telling someone to move if she saw a great photo opportunity!

Get in touch here if you are looking for a wedding photographer Northern Ireland.

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2017-11-06T12:04:03Z 2017-11-06T12:04:03Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2017/10/your-wedding-morning-essentials-covered Your wedding morning essentials covered

As a bride to be, your mission is most likely to be as organised as possible. If you like to plan ahead and try to cover all bases, one area to consider is your wedding morning routine. With just a few hours for your bridal prep, no doubt you'll want to ensure it's a smooth running show. So to lend a helping hand, here we share your wedding morning essentials.

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Robes and slippers

Your wedding morning is such a wonderful time of the day, as you get ready with your bridal party, so it isn't surprising that so many brides choose to have this time photographed. With this in mind, a little coordination can ensure flawless photos. Choose to wear something comfortable and easy to get in and out of without ruining your hair and make-up. A robe is ideal and you can get your bridesmaids in on the action too. Choose a white robe for yourself and pretty pastel or matching floral robes for your leading ladies to ensure everyone is suitably dressed for those pre-wedding photos.

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Emergency kit

While there's no guarantee that everything will go exactly according to plan, you can prepare for life's little mishaps, thanks to a wedding emergency kit. These can be purchased online or it's the perfect easy task for your maid of honour. A few months before the wedding, start to gather up things which could come in handy on the day. White chalk, needle and thread, safety pins, hair clips, tweezers, tissues and plasters are just a few of things I've noticed have been useful over the years.

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A steamer

Yes, really! No matter how careful you are, an unexpected wrinkle can arise. Worst case scenario, hang your dress in the bathroom while the shower is on hot, or (extremely carefully) use the steam from the iron. If you'd rather be more prepared than this, believe it or not, hand-held steamers are relatively cheap, and will come in handy for those honeymoon clothes too.

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Flat shoes or wellies

If you're a bride on a mission for the perfect wedding photos, a pair of wellies or flat shoes will come in extremely handy. Whether it's photos on the beach, or walking through greenery, save your wedding shoes and opt for something a little more sensible as we find the perfect backdrop. 

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Food

I've heard many a mum reminding her daughter to eat on the morning of her wedding. With so much going on it can be easy to skip breakfast, but with a ceremony, greeting guests and wedding photos to get through, it can be a long time until that wedding meal. Again, assign someone the task of taking control of food for the morning. Whether it's picking up some fresh croissants or stocking up on fruit, your stomach (and your bridesmaids) will thank you for it.

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Champagne

The perfect way to kick off your bridal preparations, a small glass of fizz gets everyone in the mood for a great day ahead. Plus, it also makes for a wonderful pre-wedding shot. 

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A little music

Finally, a bit of background music goes a long way in settling nerves on the morning. Quickly put together a playlist of crowd pleasing hits or relaxing music to add a little atmosphere to your wedding morning.

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Co-ordination

In order to ensure a smooth running wedding morning, a little co-ordination is key. Ahead of the wedding day, liaise with your hair and make-up team so that we all give each other the time we need. This is essential if the you are to get the beautiful photos you wants in the morning. Hair and make-up need to be finished about 45 minutes to an hour before the photographer leaves.

Armed with these handy top tips, you can ensure you get your wedding morning off to the perfect start.

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2017-10-27T09:13:43Z 2017-10-27T09:13:43Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2017/10/wedding-day-diary-aimee-ryans-cabra-castle-wedding Wedding Day Diary: Aimee & Ryan's Cabra Castle Wedding

Cabra Castle wedding

Aimee and Ryan were married on 20th July 2017 during a gorgeous ceremony at St Mary & St Joseph's Church, Coalisland. They held their reception at the stunning Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan. Here, Aimee shares the inspiration behind their day, as well as her top tips for anyone currently planning their wedding.

Aimee, how did you and Ryan meet?

We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before.

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Tell us about that proposal!

We got engaged in August 2015. At the start of August Ryan asked if I fancied going away for a night. I jumped at the idea as Ryan isn't usually a fan of going away while I would go away every weekend if I could! So he booked the Manor House Hotel in Co. Fermanagh as we had been before and loved it. So on the 22nd August we headed down and chilled out for the day and had a few drinks. We went up to the room that evening to get changed and ready for dinner and Ryan had asked me to sit down on the bed. He connected his laptop to the TV and had made a Powerpoint presentation. To summarise, it was photographs of us before we met, photos of our families and of us over the 3 years. It was made to Ed Sheeran's song 'Photograph'. Of course, while watching it I was in tears thinking this was so nice but it never entered my mind that he was about the propose. At the end of the presentation I looked around and there he was on one knee with a ring.

We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before. We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before. We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before. We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before. We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before. We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before. We met at the end of August 2012 in a bar in Dungannon. I was out with a few friends and Ryan was actually out with my brother. I think we knew of each other but hadn't met or crossed paths before.

What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I loved everything about planning our wedding. I don’t have one thing I loved most. I had the best time doing it all. Although one highlight was tasting the food and cake, for sure!

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Describe your dress. How did you find ‘the one’?

My dress was a fitted mermaid style with a sweetheart embellished neckline. The dress was light gold in colour with lace appliqués and a full layer of sequins underneath. When the light hit it, it just glistened. I had the straps made with the lace appliqués and a few sequins to add some more sparkle! I loved it. The style I originally wanted was an off-shoulder structured princess gown. I heard so many times that what you don’t think you want is what you end up going for and in my case it was true. I loved everything about my dress.

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Who were your bridesmaids?

My bridesmaids are the three best girls you could ever meet. My chief bridesmaid was my cousin, Catherine Burke. We grew up together and she is like the sister I never had, so it was a no brainer really. Next is Megan Bothwell who I have known for 13 years. There was no doubt that she wasn’t going to be there! Then Caroline O’Donnell who is Ryan's sister-in-law. She has become more like a sister to Ryan and has become a good friend of mine over the past few years.

I purchased the girl's dresses in Creative Ideas, Armagh. The colour was called 'Rose Violet' but they were more of a deep raspberry colour. They had a high neckline with pearl and crystal embellishment on one shoulder and around the waist. The back of the dress had a gorgeous cowl detail and buttons. They were very elegant and suited all the girls.

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Tell us about your bouquet

I wanted my flowers to be simple and quite neutral in colour so that the dresses stood out more. They were perfect. Janice from The Flower Studio, Dungannon was a great help and knew exactly what I was after.

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What did you love most about your wedding venue?

We wanted either a stately home or castle for our wedding day. When we got to Cabra we both knew it was the venue for us. We loved the grand décor and just the overall feel. The staff are brilliant and the food is amazing!!

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Did everything go exactly to plan?

I'm sure everyone has a few wee hiccups along the way but everything fell into to place and was perfect. We wouldn’t change anything.

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What advice would you offer other brides?

I would say to make sure the day is about the both of you. It’s the one time that it's all about just you two. You can't please everyone. As long as you enjoy it that’s all that matters.

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Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

We seen Catherine at a wedding fair and loved her work! I started to follow her Facebook page to see all her latest weddings. Her style of photography was exactly what we had been wanting. She was brilliant on the day and made everyone feel at ease and was great at keeping everything on time!

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Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2017-10-03T12:49:35Z 2017-10-03T12:49:35Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2017/7/wedding-diary-sarah-and-steves Wedding diary; Sarah and Steves

 

Sarah and Steve got married in the beautiful Drenagh Estate in limavady.

What an amazing day from start to finish! Sarah and Steve wanted their wedding day to be full of fun and laughs, and from the moment they arrived at my studio to the end of the first dance, that is exactly what it was.

Sarah got ready in the beautiful "Orange Room" in Drenagh house, and they exchanged vows in the stunning "Moon Garden" in the house grounds.

Sarah told me during their consultation that she didn't know what song she was walking down the aisle to as Steve was going to surprise her, and boy did he surprise her! Sarah walked down the aisle to The "Jaws" theme. Everyone  cheered as the stunning bride laughed all the way to her waiting husband to be.

Sarah created all the centrepieces herself, and even made her own bouquet. The red shoes added a pop of colour to her stunning tea length wedding gown. 

I hope you all enjoy this fun wedding.

 

 

 

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2017-07-10T13:21:22Z 2017-07-10T13:21:22Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/12/wedding-diary-erin-shanes-inishowen-gateway-hotel-wedding Wedding diary: Erin & Shane's Inishowen Gateway Hotel wedding

Erin and Shane were married on the 20th of August, 2016 in a gorgeous ceremony at the Chapel of Ease, Fahan, followed by a reception in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel. With beautiful finishing touches, it was a stunning day from start to finish. Here, Erin shares an account of their wedding day, as well as some wise words for all you brides-to-be, currently planning their weddings. 

Inishowen Gateway Hotel Wedding

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Erin, how did you and your husband meet? Tell us about that proposal!

Shane and I met in college. We had a couple of mutual friends and so we were introduced through them. The very first day we met we ended up at the same party that night and we have been together ever since.

Shane proposed to me on a long layover in Chicago on our way home to Ireland for Christmas, as we live in Canada. Chicago holds a special place in my heart after spending a summer there, and then Shane and I holidayed there together a couple of years later. I actually booked the flight with the 7 hour layover intentionally so we could head down to the city for a couple of hours. It was absolutely freezing so we ended up opening a couple of pairs of mittens that I had in my hand luggage, which were supposed to be gifts for our families! We went to the Chicago Bean to quickly take some photos before going for lunch and that is when he said he had an early Christmas present for me and dropped down onto one knee. I didn't mind taking the mittens off then! We were going home as a surprise so we kept it to ourselves until we made it home and gave everyone a double shock!

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When and where did you get married?

We were married on August 20th, 2016, in the Chapel of Ease, Fahan, followed by a reception in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel.

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What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I really loved it! Shane and I didn't get stressed at all (until the seating plan!) and just enjoyed the whole thing. I loved working on little details along the way, like making our own betting cards for the tables, activity books to keep the kids occupied and having custom napkins made. I put a lot of thought into the decor of the room and loved how it turned out.

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Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

My dress was by Sottero and Midgley and was off-the-shoulder and pure lace with an illusion back. It had a full tulle mermaid skirt, which is not at all what I thought I would go for. I absolutely loved it. The material underneath the lace was a light gold colour and this ended up setting the theme for our wedding.

I only went to one shop and I thought I had found 'the one' already, before trying on mine. I really loved it and it was completely different from my dress. I had pinned the dress I ended up choosing, on Pinterest, so I knew I wanted to try it on, as it caught my eye as soon as I entered the shop. I wanted to make sure I made the right choice though so I went away and came back a few days later and just tried on the two again. The waterworks came and so the decision was made. This time I knew 100% that it was the one!

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Who were your bridesmaids? What style were their dresses?

My bridesmaids were my childhood friend, Gillian, and my auntie, Jade. We actually ended up changing dresses a couple of weeks before the wedding! I had bought ones a whole year before, but by the time my wedding rolled around, Jade was going to be 7 months pregnant. The other dresses wouldn't have worked, so I ordered dresses from Dessy in the bridal shop where I purchased my dress. We were able to get Jade an actual maternity bridesmaid dress, which was perfect. They turned out lovely and I loved the blush and gold theme that came together.

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Tell us about your bouquet

My bouquet was very meaningful to me as my granny actually made it. I wanted it to be big and full with pink roses and some greenery. She did it absolutely perfectly and I loved it!

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What did you love most about your wedding venue?

I loved that all the planning was so easy. I worked with Sinead, one of the venue's wedding planners, and from day one she was fantastic. Planning a wedding from the other side of the world has its challenges, but Sinead truly made me feel comfortable. I didn't actually get in to see the venue in person, and it had been renovated since I was last there, but before the wedding she sent me lots of photos and was always on the ball, answering all my mad emails and questions! On the day, everything ran so smoothly and the food was amazing. Everyone kept telling me how impressed they were.

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Did everything go exactly to plan?

Everything but the weather! Typical Irish wedding, but I swear I never thought it would rain on my wedding day. Don't ask my why! I was putting it out to the universe that the sun would be splitting the rocks. That definitely didn't happen and the rain poured from when I left the house to go to the mass, to when we arrived at the hotel. It worked out in the end though because we got amazing photos and just embraced it.

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What advice would you offer other brides?

Everyone told me this and I promised I'd listen but I didn't! Take your time walking down that aisle. We were late arriving at the chapel (blame the priest for once, not the bride!), so by the time I got there I just wanted to go. I feel like we raced up that aisle. So my advice is to take your time, breathe and enjoy the moment.

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Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

My mum was actually the person to recommend Catherine to me. She is into photography and I didn't have a clue. I looked at a few photographers' work but once I seen Catherine's relaxed style, I was so happy to go ahead and book her. I am not a fan of super posed photos and I definitely chose the right photographer. I don't know how many photographers would be happy to go out in the pouring rain with all their equipment, but she didn't even think twice. We had a great laugh. 

Get in touch here if you are looking for a wedding photographer Northern Ireland.

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-12-13T10:01:47Z 2016-12-13T10:01:47Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/8/wedding-diary-naomi-sandys-galgorm-resort-spa-wedding Wedding diary: Naomi + Sandy's Galgorm Resort & Spa Wedding

Naomi & Sandy were married in June at a gorgeous ceremony in First Presbyterian Church Ballymoney, before heading to their reception at the always stunning, Galgorm Resort & Spa. As they settle into married life, Naomi recalls her favourite memories of the day. Here's what she had to say...

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Galgorm Resort & Spa

Naomi, how did you and your husband meet? Tell us about that proposal! 

Sandy and I met through Ballymoney Rugby Club (which was quite funny as this was where my mum and dad met!). We have been together for almost 8 years since I was 16 and I can still remember our first date where we went to the cinema (of course with other friends, as at that age I was far too embarrassed to go on my own!) and we have been together ever since. 

Two years ago Sandy got me a trip to Edinburgh for Christmas. We were having a lovely day sightseeing, and had almost finished going around Edinburgh castle when Sandy suggested going to find somewhere to get a good photo of Edinburgh. I thought this was strange as he is never overly forthcoming about getting his photo taken. Sandy tried to opt for a quiet corner to get this "photo" however the Instagramer in me wanted the best place to take one, which incidentally was the busiest. Whilst looking out over Edinburgh, Sandy, who was behind me, said: "I have a question for you", my response being: "No you do not!!". I turned around and there he was down on one knee. With the shock I don't think I actually said yes but here we are happily married, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa    

When and where did you get married?

We got married on the 11th of June 2016 in First Presbyterian Church Ballymoney, followed by a reception in the Renaissance Suite in Galgorm Resort & Spa.

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What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I think most brides would probably say choosing the dress to this question, but I have to say what I loved the most was when we got to do things together. Sandy was studying very hard for a masters over the time of our wedding and I just loved when we got time together on our own to go and choose different things like the cake and the flowers, or where we were making things together, like sitting at my kitchen table pulling the petals off dried hydrangeas for confetti!

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Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

Being a young bride I was always very conscious of not looking too old in a very traditional dress. I used Pinterest and Instagram to gather together ideas of what I wanted, and generally tried to choose boutiques that were the only places in Northern Ireland that stocked certain brands so that I would know no one locally would have anything similar. I choose to go to see the lovely Kate in Ivory and Pearl in Comber as I had seen online that they stocked Anna Campbell, a designer that I had spotted on Pinterest and just loved. Kate was just lovely, and what I appreciated most was that she actually told you if you looked well in a dress!! I choose my dress because I just loved the back of it, and most important of all I felt comfortable in it.

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Who were your bridesmaids? What style were their dresses?

As with my own dress I wanted the girls to look young and fresh, and had an idea that I would like the girls to all have something slightly different in each of their dresses. Again, from Pinterest I had spotted the Two Birds dresses, which fitted exactly what I wanted. They could each be slightly different and were nice and young.

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Tell us about your bouquet. 

My bouquet was one of my favourite things about my wedding, and I just felt it really set off my dress. My flowers were done by Sally's Flower Studio in Ballymena. I wanted my bouquet to be nice and full, and Sally was great at suggesting different flowers that would create this, and having seen my bridesmaid colours, was great at getting my flowers to tone in beautifully with the girls' dresses.

Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa

What did you love most about your wedding venue?

I don't know if I could just choose one thing that I loved about Galgorm! The room is absolutely breathtaking! It's so beautiful and bright with natural light and of course the lovely view of the river. The best thing was probably the professionalism of the staff. Everything was taken care of. Running up to the wedding our wedding co-ordinator Karen was just fantastic and would answer all emails really quickly and would never mind how ridiculous the question was! On the day Frankie, our MC, was absolutely fantastic, ensuring everything ran so smoothly. Frankie was very attentive to make sure we were not worried or fussing in any way.

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Did everything do exactly to plan?

One of the biggest surprises was that after all the worrying that things wouldn't go to plan, everything seemed to run perfectly! I don't think we would have even noticed if anything hadn't gone to plan as we were just so happy that the day had finally come and enjoyed every minute of it. 

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What advice would you offer other brides?

Try and to fret too much about everything, which is advice I probably didn't listen to myself (my mum and Sandy, who had to listen to me are this testament to this!). You can get really hung up on silly little details that you don't even notice on the day.  

Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa Galgorm Resort & Spa

Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

Catherine has always had a fantastic reputation locally and having seen loads of her photos we knew we wanted to go and have a chat to her about our wedding photography. When we first met Catherine we knew she would be the perfect photographer for us. She had a great sense of humour, which was really important to us as we wanted to have good fun on our day! Catherine took time to really understand what we were like as a couple and so knew what our style was and what we envisaged our photos to be like! We cannot recommend her enough. Not only is she just a great person, she did a wonderful job. The photos are just beautiful and we had great fun doing them!

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-08-31T13:23:28Z 2016-08-31T13:23:28Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/7/advice-on-working-with-your-wedding-photographer Advice on working with your wedding photographer

It'll be no surprise to you that your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. The elements which go into making your day so special, such as the cake, the cars and the flowers all combine to create the day you had in mind. What these elements have in common is simple - they all play a special part in your wedding day but they won't be the lasting momentum of it. This is where wedding photography comes in - perfectly capturing all those little details of your day for you to remember for years to come.

Working with wedding photographer

It may surprise you to hear that wedding photography isn't easy. A good photographer will have dozens of variables in their head which they must consider in order to capture that perfect shot. Things like lighting and exposure, and even making sure a strand of hair doesn't fall in front of the bride's face.

As the only real physical reminder of your day, no doubt you'll want your wedding photography to be as perfect as possible. This is where working efficiently with your photographer comes into play. Ultimately, you are paying for a service and in order to get the best possible outcome there are a few things to keep in mind.

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Communication

The best way to ensure everything goes exactly to plan, is with good communication, not just with your photographer, but with all your vendors. Think of it like this - your wedding day is the wheel. Your vendors, including your photographer are the cogs in that wheel, ensuring it is a smooth running process, holding the entire day in place. When one of these elements wavers, the vision for your day changes.

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With only one shot at your dream day, communication is key. When it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, you should already have spoken in length about what you want from your wedding photos. It's also vital for your photographer to know if there is anything you aren't comfortable doing. Chances are, you and your other half won't have been professionally photographed before so a great way to break the ice and get used to being in-front of the camera is with an engagement shoot. Think of it as a warm up for your wedding day. You can practice poses together so that when it comes to the actual wedding, you'll be a pro. It will also give your photographer a greater sense of what you want from your photos, all-in-all making the process much smoother.

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Trust

Your wedding photography will go much more smoothly if you trust in your photographer. Remember, you have chosen this person for a reason; you love their photos, their style of photography and you get on like a house on fire. If doubts creep in, remember this. Your photographer will be able to sense your nerves, so if they can feel them, there's a chance the camera will pick up on them.

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Listening to direction is also a must. Brides are often surprised at some of the weird and wonderful poses I ask them to adopt. However, they have seen my work and know what to expect. Then, when they see the actual shot, it gives them a real 'wow' moment. Your photographer knows what they're doing and they always have the final outcome in mind so always remember those reasons you booked them and trust what they have to say.

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Working with wedding photographer

Finally, you don't need to provide your photographer with lists of photos that you want. If they're a professional, they'll have photographed hundreds of weddings and will make it their mission to ensure every single angle is covered. If however, you do have something in mind that is a little out of the ordinary, tell them in advance, especially if it requires a different location or props.

Timings

Ask any bride about their wedding day and they'll tell you it's the quickest day of their life! With so much going on and so many people there who are important to you, it can be easy to become distracted. It's essential to allow yourself time for those wedding photos. Speak to your photographer about timings and make sure you include a slot for not only group photos, but also photos with just your other half. A good photographer will be meticulous but also speedy so you'll be back to enjoy your wedding in no time.

In a nutshell, communication and trusting in not just your wedding photographer, but all vendors involved in your wedding day will ensure you walk down that aisle without a glitch, with the perfect wedding photos to prove it!

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-07-18T14:00:24Z 2016-07-18T14:00:24Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/6/wedding-diary-robyn-chris-lodge-hotel-wedding Wedding Diary: Robyn + Chris' Lodge Hotel Wedding

Robyn & Chris' fairy tale inspired wedding was simply perfection, with even the smallest of details considered. With a keen eye for finishing touches, Robyn talks us through her wedding day and has some great words of wisdom for all you brides-to-be!

Wedding diary

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Robyn, how did you & Chris meet? Tell us about that proposal!

Chris and I just met by chance on a night out. He started talking to me and it just snowballed from there. Chris proposed to me at Glenariff Waterfalls. For weeks I had mentioned about wanting to go walking there and one weekend he asked me if I would like to go. On our way back up to the waterfalls Chris told me to close my eyes and I thought he was just going to show me something! When I opened them he was down on one knee and at first I thought he had a cramp! I couldn't believe it when he asked me to marry him. I was over the moon and it was a total surprise!

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When and where did you get married?

We got married on the 7th of May in St Patrick's Church, Coleraine, followed by a reception at The Lodge Hotel.

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What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I don't really have one favourite thing but I love personal touches and attention to detail, which I believe is what makes your wedding so special, so I would have to say sitting down with Victoria from The Wedding Room. Designing the room down to the last detail was amazing and it was so exciting to see it all come together. I also loved choosing where to have our wedding photos taken. As we both love being outside and going for walks, I think Benvarden Garden was the perfection location to capture that.

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Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

My dress was fitted to just under my bum and then flared out. It was covered in soft lace with lace straps, a high collar and cut out back. I found it in the first shop I visited and it was the first dress that I felt like a bride in - it just felt so comfortable to wear. I loved the shape, as did my mum. I wanted my aunty to come back and look at a few of the dresses and as soon as she saw it she liked it the most without me saying anything so I knew from that, I had picked the right one.

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Who were your bridesmaids?

My bridesmaids were my three best friends and my oldest sister. These girls mean the world to me! Their dresses were grey with lace bodices and cap sleeves and had a low, sweeping back. Finished with a silver ribbon on the waist and flowing grey chiffon to the floor, they complemented my dress well with a similar neckline. The flower girls' dresses were the same, only in white.

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Tell us about your bouquet

Our bouquets were kept simple with lots of small, white flowers and a dash of lilac interspersed. They were teardrop in shape so that they didn't look uniform and I liked the wild meadow look evoked by my bouquet. Jil at The Stables Flower Co did a fabulous job!

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What did you love most about your wedding venue?

What I loved most about my wedding venue was that when you walked into the reception room, before the main room, it was draped entirely in white, with purple up-lights and fairy lights, and a tunnel leading into the main room. It was a dream come true and it just looked like a fairy tale. I can't thank The Lodge Hotel and Victoria and her team enough for all their hard work. Everything was so perfect!

Wedding Diary

Wedding diary Wedding diary Wedding diary

Did everything go exactly to plan?

Surprisingly enough, everything did go to plan, apart from a bit of rain but we are used to that so I didn't worry about it, and it actually helped enhance our wedding photos. 

Wedding diary Wedding diary

Wedding diary Wedding diary

Wedding diary Wedding diary

What advice would you offer other brides?

My advice would be to choose experienced people and venues. Our wedding day turned out to be the most perfect day for us because there was no stress and every little detail was handled because everyone was brilliant at what they did.

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Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

What led me to Catherine was that you just can't miss how amazing this lady is at her job! Her photos capture everything on the day, including all the small details and emotions. She's extremely creative and she really captures her surroundings in each photo as well as the bridal party, which I think is hard to find in a photographer. We also had an engagement shoot and I was so nervous but she put me at ease straight away and that really helped me on the day. She's a true professional!

Wedding diary

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-06-28T15:56:30Z 2016-06-28T15:56:30Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/6/wedding-diary-Lissanoure-Castle Wedding Diary: Karen + James' Lissanoure Castle Wedding

While Karen and James both live in England, they wanted to give their guests a true feeling of a Northern Ireland wedding and they did just that. The stunning Lissanoure Castle was the perfect backdrop to their day and good weather offered a wealth of photographic opportunities. In her wedding diary, Karen shares details of their special day.

Wedding day interview

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Karen, how did you & James meet? Tell us about your proposal

We first made contact through a social networking site. We met up for the first time in our local bar and as they say, the rest is history.

James proposed at the end of a long day of birthday treats for my 30th. We were just settling down to watch TV and he pulled the ring out from behind the cushion, asking if I would like the same surname as him and our daughter who was born 3 months previous.

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When & where did you get married?

We were married at my family church; First Presbyterian Church, Garvagh, on Saturday 9th April 2016. The church holds a lot of memories for our family, which is why we made the special trip back to Northern Ireland for the wedding. The reception was held at Lissanoure Castle.

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What did you love most about planning your wedding?

The two weeks before the wedding when I was back home I could see everything fitting into place. Also the use of Pinterest helped develop ideas such as cake toppers, colour scheme, room decor and wedding favours.

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Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

To begin with, I had no idea what type of dress I wanted so a couple of friends came wedding dress shopping and picked out lots of different styles for me to try on while I stayed in the dressing room. After numerous dress shops I'd narrowed it down to a fuller, strapless dress with some delicate detailing. It was then in England that I found the one I loved. When I was back home I thought I'd try some more dresses just to check. In Coleraine, I stumbled across the same one I found in England so I instantly bought it. It was very layered with ivory, moscato and while tulle and lace, with a moscato satin belt.

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Who were your bridesmaids?

My two sisters were bridesmaids and my daughter was flower girl. We were looking for slate grey bridesmaid dresses and were struggling to find a simple style that suited all shapes in the UK. My eldest sister found the dresses in Australia and after several photo and measurement exchanges, they were purchased. The dresses arrived in Northern Ireland with my sister, a week before the wedding! My daughter had a simple lace flower girl dress with a sash from the bridesmaids' dress sewn in tie them together. 

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Tell us about your bouquet

With it being spring I wanted the typical yellow flowers of the season including daffodils and roses. As I was arranging it from England, I left it up to the florist to work her magic and that she did.

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What did you love most about your wedding venue? 

It was a fabulous setting with beautiful surroundings. It had a homely feel which enabled everyone to find a comfy chair in front of the fire to relax. Since many guests were travelling from England I wanted them to get a little taste of Northern Ireland. The caterer was the most relaxed man you could ever meet! His approach to the wedding breakfast menu was perfect. Everyone raved about the food. I've never seen such big bacon sandwiches for an evening reception, if ever!

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Did everything go exactly to plan?

The day actually went better than we could ever have imagined. The entire week had been a complete and utter wash out. We woke up on Saturday morning to the most glorious blue skies and it stayed like that all day. Sure enough, come Sunday, it was raining again.

The weather assisted Catherine in producing such stunning photos at the church with my Dad's tractor, as well as at The Dark Hedges and Lissanoure Castle.

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What advice would you offer other brides?

Use Pinterest for a wealth of ideas! Also, the day will come and go in a flash. Allow yourself five minutes to sit back, relax and absorb the atmosphere.

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Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

Initially it was her portfolio that drew us in. Once we'd engaged with her, it was quite clear that her approach to the day was perfect. She's both pragmatic and professional but at the same time very easy going. It just makes having your photo taken on the day a joy rather than a chore.

 

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Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-06-07T13:05:29Z 2016-06-07T13:05:29Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/5/wedding-diary-laura-feragals-montalto-wedding Wedding Diary: Laura + Feargal's Montalto Wedding

Laura & Feargal's wedding was a classy affair from start to finish and I truly loved how every single detail was thought of. From her 'something blue' Carrie Bradshaw inspired Manolo Blahniks, to her 'something old' in the form of her brooch bouquet, nothing was left unturned. Today, Laura gives us an insight into her wedding planning experience as well words of encouragement for all you brides and grooms-to-be.

Montalto wedding

Montalto wedding Montalto wedding

Laura, how did you meet your husband? Tell us about your proposal.

We met over the summer holidays when we were at school through mutual friends. Feargal had just completed his GCSEs and we met at a BBQ. He proposed after our summer holiday in Mexico in 2015. We stopped off in New York to shop on our last night and he proposed in Central Park.

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Montalto wedding

When and where did you get married?

We were married on the 30th April 2016 in a ceremony at St Michael's The Archangel, followed by a reception at The Carriage Rooms at Montalto, Ballynahinch.

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What did you love most about planning your wedding?

That everything we wanted fell into place. It was planned in 8 months and yet everything we hoped for was possible. We had a lot of help from friends and family and most things were custom made so there was no stress.

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Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

I looked in two shops but neither offered what I wanted. I searched the internet and the designs I liked best were from a number of Israeli designers. I wanted a modern, vintage feel, and so I decided to have my dress made. I was delighted with the end result. The dress was made from lace and lots of tulle. It was backless, body-hugging and very comfortable.

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Montalto wedding

Who were your bridesmaids?

My sister was my bridesmaid and my niece was our flower girl. My mum made both of their dresses. They were designed similar to mine but with a twist to make them different.

Montalto wedding

Montalto wedding

Montalto wedding Montalto wedding

Tell us about your bouquet

My bouquet was a dolly mixture of bling! I love jewellery and as I have never thrown any out, I have hundreds of pieces. I gathered a box of earrings, brooches and necklaces, which included lots of personal items and some pieces that were given to me by my family and Feargal's. My cousin then put the tear drop bouquet together with a strong blue theme to match my shoes.

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Montalto wedding

What did you love most about your wedding venue?

The venue was magnificent. It had a country feel with an elegant, modern, high standard finish. As the day went on, the different rooms were as impressive as the one before and we loved the fact it was a private event. The grounds and scenery were beautiful and the catering company's tailored menu was delicious and quirky. Everyone spoke about the egg shell desserts!

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Did everything go exactly to plan?

Thankfully, yes! It could not have gone more perfectly.

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What advice would you offer other brides?

No matter what happens, you will have an amazing day so try not to stress about it.

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Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

We met Catherine at a wedding fair where we went to book our car. As we walked through the event, everyone was giving us the hard sell. As we passed Catherine her albums caught my eye so we stopped to look. She wasn't pushy or full on and seemed confident her work would do the selling. Her relaxed manner was exactly what we wanted. She gave us her details and continued to munch on a bar of chocolate. I contacted her the following day to book her.

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Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-05-31T19:20:30Z 2016-05-31T19:20:30Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/5/wedding-flowers-explained Wedding Flowers Explained

If you're a bride or groom who loves incorporating a personal touch through sentiment, wedding flowers are the perfect place to start. Stemming from the Victorian era, the language of flowers is a complex one, with each flower type evoking its own unique persona. Here, we pick popular fanciful flowers & take a look at the symbolic gesture represented by each one.

Over the years I've photographed many fabulous flowers. Check out a selection of them below. Plus, Jil Peterson, florist extraordinaire from The Stables Flower Co. shares her top 5 tips for choosing your wedding flowers.

Wedding flowers explained

Baby's breath

Wedding flowers explained

Belonging to the gypsophila family, the delicate flowers of baby's breath are an iconic symbol of lasting love, and so a perfect addition to your wedding. In bloom all year round, baby's breath work perfectly paired with another bloom, but these no-nonsense flowers definitely stand out on their own. Appealing in particular to brides and grooms wishing to evoke a vintage vibe, these cloud-like fancies allude to a bygone era, perfectly assembled in jam-jars adorned with delicate lace or spectacularly spilling from hand-tied bouquets.

Calla lilies

Wedding flowers explained

Wedding flowers explained

Signifying magnificent beauty, calla lilies in an all-white bouquet offer a sophisticated and classy touch to your wedding day look. Working particularly well with modern dresses, which demand attention, these understated blooms wow without overwhelming. For an autumn or winter affair go deep with divine purple for an instant pop of colour. 

Orchids

With an underlying meaning of love, it's easy to see why this exotic beauty makes a wonderful wedding flower. With over 20,000 types of orchids, the most popular include phalaenopsis, which are also referred to as 'moth' orchids due to their fluttering appearance, while dendrobium grow in a vast variety of shapes and colours, and cymbidium are renowned for their boat shape. Recognised worldwide for their distinctive style, orchids will offer your day a bright and airy atmosphere.

Carnations

Wedding flowers explained

Carnations have really shone in recent years, proving a popular choice with couples who love their simplistic style. Symbolising love and pride, their versatility and wealth of colour options shows they are more than just a filler flower. Allow carnations to shine in your wedding centrepieces, finishing touches and even bouquets. Their longevity means they stand the test of time and they dry out perfectly for a post-wedding keepsake momentum of your special day.

Daisies

Wedding flowers explained

Evoking memories of childhood days spent lovingly stringing together daisy chains and playing outside, it isn't surprising that daisies symbolise innocence and purity. Perfect for a spring rustic chick look, or a country-styled day, bring the outdoors inside with delightful delicate daisies. 

Gerbera

As part of the daisy family, gerbera are a bold bloom, which can really brighten up your bridal bouquet. Representing cheerfulness, these fabulous flowers are a popular choice with couples who wish to let their sense of fun shine through. When it comes to bouquets, go for one hue, or get creative with colours by opting for a variety to really stand out from the crowd. 

Hydrangeas

Wedding flowers explained

Symbolising understanding, hydrangeas' wealth of colour options ensure they work effortlessly for both bouquets and arrangements. In bloom during the summer months, hydrangeas prove the power of petals in stand-out creations, easily taking centre-stage. Small but mighty, these flowers are loved by brides who wish to make a dramatic style statement on their big day. Blush pinks and whites effortlessly combine for spring and summer weddings, or go bolder with the flower's iconic bold hue.

Peonies

To add a touch of romance to your day, nothing depicts love more than precious peonies, perfect for spring and summer weddings. Symbolising healing, this delicate yet dramatic flower boasts stunning style and colour selection. From more subtle pastel pinks to dramatic ruby reds, meet your exact flower requirements with powerful peonies.

Roses

Wedding flowers explained

Wedding flowers explained

One of the most popular flowers around the world, roses' widely recognised style ensures they are firm favourite for bouquets, centrepieces, corsages and buttonholes. With a rainbow colour palette of options available, each hue evokes a different meaning. While red signifies passionate love, ivory represents infidelity, pink stands for happiness and yellow envisions friendship; each rose is unique in its gesture.

Sunflowers

Wedding flowers explained

Wedding flowers explained

A happy and vibrant flower, sunflowers are usually used as the focal bloom. Representing pure thoughts, adoration and dedicated love, sunflowers' popularity have increased in recent years, often found at autumn weddings with a rustic outdoor or bohemian theme, providing a real style statement.

So now that you know the meaning behind the most popular wedding flowers, Jil Peterson from The Stables Flower Co. shares her top five tips for choosing your fabulous flowers!

Wedding flowers explained

1. If you want luxury, professional flowers for your big day, go to a designer, rather than a high street shop that specialises in funerals etc.

2. Use social media to check out a designer's work and then allow them the freedom to create your look.

3. Consider the guest experience when allocating the appropriate budget to flowers. One jam jar posy on the reception tables of a grand marquee can be a disappointment.

4. Book early to avoid missing a designer whose work you have fallen in love with.

5. Allow your floral designer to guide you in the look and how the flowers play their part in the overall set up.

Check out work from The Stables Flower Co. on Facebook here.

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-05-18T19:43:09Z 2016-05-18T19:43:09Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/5/finishing-touches-interview-with-vintage-style-hire-emporium Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Founded in 2012 to phenomenal success, Vintage Style Hire Emporium offers brides and grooms the chance to add unique finishing touches to their wedding day. I have photographed many weddings which Cindy McKendry- the force behind the Emporium- has been involved in. So we got together and got down to the finer details on what couples can expect from Cindy's alternative service. Check out what Cindy had to say, as well as a selection of photos from weddings we have worked on.

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Cindy, tell us about your background in the wedding industry and the services you offer couples.

The wedding industry in Northern Ireland is very close knit and as a result of working on weddings, I have met many friends. I love the diversity of each wedding and seeing the delight shared by couples who witness the elements of their day coming together, with their vision in mind.

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

What kind of service can brides and grooms expect from you?

Couples can meet me and we plan a mood board together, or I am happy to make style suggestions if they wish. Pinterest is a huge hit with brides lately and they usually have a scrapbook of ideas prepared in advance, which really helps with the overall theme for their day. I am naturally full of ideas and once I get a vision in my head I can give lots of input to deliver the end result.

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

What themes are proving popular with brides and grooms this year?

2016 is much more eclectic than the last few years. Couples have a firm idea of what they want and a lot like to incorporate their personalities into their weddings. Copper and rose palettes are huge this year, woodland themes are a lead on from the vintage trend, while boho and mismatched bridesmaids in a candy shop array of pastel hues in mint, blush pink or powder blue tones are proving popular. Dessert tables are an alternative option from the traditional cake, offering guests a wealth of choice. However, the trend that still remains is vintage! The 1950s bike I hire is still centre stage at weddings nearly every week. Finally, garden games are also a huge hit and a fab alternative form of entertainment.

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Who or what inspires you?

Fashion, art and music all combine to inspire me. I think my favourite place in the world is the V+A in London, where I could happily wander for hours. I love visual, art, flowers and beautiful settings. Social media is an incredibly useful tool for just flicking and spending a few hours being effortlessly inspired. Instagram and Pinterest are great sources for visual inspiration. 

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

What's the most unique request you've ever honoured?

I once had a Dukes of Hazard wedding as the groom was a huge fan! We did it by incorporating a beautiful vintage theme and it looked fun, while still having that classic touch. I have also styled a few weddings for brides living away and coming home to get married. I was their link to home and I had everything in place for them. It was lovely to be trusted with the most important day in a girl's life.

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

When do you recommend couples begin the search for their finishing touches?

My products are the little extras, so really about 6 months to a year before the wedding. The bride will look for the venue, photography and flowers first. If their budget allows, I will then add the finishing touches and help the couple with the little extras. Over the years I have met hundreds of couples and it has been a great honour to work on their weddings.

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Finishing touches: Interview with Vintage Style Hire Emporium

Check out Vintage Style Hire Emporium on Facebook here.

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-05-11T19:01:47Z 2016-05-11T19:01:47Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/4/wedding-diary Wedding Diary: Diane + Chris at Silver Tassie

Friends and family were very much at the centre of Diane and Chris' wonderful wedding, and their personal touch truly shone through, celebrating in style at the Silver Tassie Hotel. Today, Diane offers some words of wisdom when it comes to choosing that dress, as well as what she loved the most about their magical day.

Wedding day interview

Diane, tell us you and Chris' story

Myself and Chris met in Pulse Nightclub in Letterkenny. We hit it off straight away and talked for hours. The proposal was totally unexpected. Myself, Chris and my son Ben went Christmas shopping in Derry and visited to the restaurant my brother was chef in. We had a lovely dinner overlooking the Peace Bridge and when the time came for dessert, my brother brought out the ring on my dessert! As it happened Chris got down on one knee and Ben was there for the perfect shot. My mum, other brother, sister in law and nieces then appeared. I loved how Chris involved my mum and my son Ben. I'll never forget that.

Wedding day interview

Wedding day interview

When and where did you get married?

We got married in Doneyloop Chapel in my hometown, Castlefin. Our reception was held in Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny.

Wedding Day Interview

 

Wedding day interview Wedding day interview

What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I loved the vision, especially putting all the bits and pieces together and imagining what it would all look like on the day. I also thoroughly enjoyed the buzz of the few weeks leading up to the wedding with all our friends and family.

Wedding day interview Wedding day interview

Wedding day interview

Wedding day interview

Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

I had saved pictures of dresses that I thought would suit me. I was drawn to tight, fishtail lace silhouettes and became a bit disheartened after trying on four. Caroline from McElhinney's in Ballybofey recommended I try on a Pronovias taffeta wedding dress with a V-neck, gemstone embroidery and full pleated skirt with pockets. As soon as it zipped up I couldn't stop smiling. My mum and aunt shed a tear and I knew this was the one. It was just so me! I bought gloves from eBay and my look was complete. I felt so elegant and like a lady on the day. It was even better than I imagined.

Wedding day interview

Wedding day interview

Wedding Day Interview

Who were your bridesmaids?

My bridesmaids were my two nieces, Rachel and Katie and Chris' sister, Louise. Their dresses were a classy rouge red colour. Our beautiful little flower girl was Chris' niece, Lily. Myself and Chris are very family orientated so we wouldn't have it any other way than having our family a big part of our day. My son Ben walked me up the aisle, which was a very proud moment for me.

Wedding day interview

We loved your bouquet!

I had a picture in my head of how to co-ordinate all my colours and my rouge red bouquet of roses with diamond embellishments fitted in perfectly.

Wedding day interview

What did you love most about Silver Tassie Hotel?

The hotel is amazing and it was our first choice. They literally do everything for you and genuinely care about taking the stress out of it. The food was top class and the feedback from all our guests was so good.

Wedding day interview Wedding day interview

Did everything go exactly to plan?

Our day was so magical. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was January 26th and there was a storm the day before and through the night, so much so that the electricity was flickering on and off when I was getting my hair and make-up done and the hailstone were battering off the window. Then, at 10am, there were blue skies and the sun shone until the late afternoon. We were very lucky.

Wedding Day Interview

Wedding day interview

What advice would you offer other brides?

Just enjoy every minute of it and try to book an amazing honeymoon because that's the time for you both to cherish and look back on everything, as it's all over in a flash. We went to Mexico and Las Vegas after the wedding and had the time of our lives.

Wedding day interview

Finally, what led you to choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

I saw Catherine's work in magazines and online and I had to have her. I love the feel of her work and the colouring of her pictures. I think they are timeless and classy.

 

Wedding day interview

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-04-25T14:28:29Z 2016-04-25T14:28:29Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/4/10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos 10 easy tips to look your best in your wedding photos

When chatting to brides and grooms, one of the biggest pre-wedding concerns they express is how they're going to look in their wedding photos. For most of you couples out there, your wedding day will be the first time you've worked with a professional photographer, and with it being a once-in-a-lifetime kind of day, you'll want to ensure your photos are the best they can possibly be. So, to lend a helping hand, I've teamed up with Claire from Moods Hairdressing and Celebrity make-up artist Rosemary Wright to share our 10 easy tips to look your best in your wedding photos.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

1) Leave it to a professional

It might sound obvious, but if you want good photos, book a professional, rather than giving the responsibility to a friend with a good camera. Wedding photos serve as a reminder of your wedding day for the rest of your lives and so if you want professional images, call on the services of an expert photographer. Seek recommendations from family and friends, check out bridal magazines, websites and blogs for work that you like. As you review their portfolio of work, consider what you'd like to capture at your own wedding. Does this photographer's work meet what you envision for your wedding? Do the couples look relaxed in the photos? When you find someone who meets your criteria, get in touch to find out if they are available on your date and set up a meeting to discuss costs and key elements.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

2) Have an engagement shoot

A great way to get to know your photographer and to get comfortable posing in front of a camera is with an engagement photo shoot, which is a great warm up for the wedding, and also offers a perfect momentum of your engagement glow. I offer couples a half hour session in front of the camera to allow them to get used to it, and a few digital images to take home. Furthermore, for an additional cost, I offer a full engagement shoot at a location of your choice, with a diverse range of images.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

3) Put a little trust in them

You've booked this photographer for a reason - you liked their work and you've got a report with them so don't spend weeks worrying about your photos. Put your trust in their capable hands, safe in the assurance that they'll capture every detail of your day. Obviously if there is something a little different that you'd like captured, make sure to bring this up but you don't need to send them a list of every single obvious shot that you want. Plus, instilling your trust in them will allow them to do a better job so it's a win-win.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

4) Consider your light

When it comes to wedding photography, one major aspect to consider is lighting! Light changes throughout the day, which will result in very different photos. If you're having a winter wedding, the light fades much earlier so you may need to consider having your ceremony a little earlier to afford your photographer more time. 

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

5) Call in hair and make-up

No doubt you'll want to look your absolute best on your wedding day and so calling on the expert skills of a professional hairdresser and make-up artist will help ensure just that. Having a trial with both prior to the wedding will also offer reassurance as to how exactly you'll look, and so it's one less thing to worry about. While no doubt there are many skilled brides out there when it comes to hair and make-up, nerves on the morning can lead to shaky hands so why not sit back and relax and let the professionals take care of it?

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

When it comes to your hair, Claire from Moods Hairdressing, has some fab expert advice! She said: "Having your hair in tip top condition for your wedding won't happen overnight so you really need to start thinking about your hair at least six months before your wedding. Healthy hair is like healthy skin so you need to look after yourself from the inside out. Small steps such as getting plenty of sleep, upping your water intake and eating as clean as you can will all go a long way towards healthy hair. It's also important to try not to let the stress of organising a wedding affect you too much as stress can lead to hair thinning and loss. 

Here are a few tips to ensure your hair is looking great for your big day...

  • Many brides plan on growing their hair for their wedding day but it's important to remember to keep getting it trimmed every six to eight weeks to keep ends happy and healthy.
  • If you colour or highlight your hair, go to a reputable salon, who knows exactly what they are doing. Home kits aren't great and can cause a build up of colour which can lead to flat, dull looking locks.
  • When it comes to your chosen hairdresser for your wedding day look, it helps if you already know and trust your hairdresser, rather than booking someone new. Knowing your hairdresser makes for a much more relaxing morning, with the reassurance that you are safe in their expert hands as they know your hair well, what you like and what suits you.
  • There are some amazing conditioning treatments out there which can do wonders for damaged and unhappy hair. At Moods, we stock Label M for only an additional £5 on top of your blowdry. This warm, conditioning saviour works wonders! Blonds, especially, should up their conditioning treatments in the run up to the big day.
  • Use product and don't be afraid of trying out new things as everyone's hair is different and sometimes it pays off to play around with different things to see what works best for you.
  • Dry shampoo works wonders on curly hair and it's great to use as a refresher throughout the day. It will cull any moisture and helps give your hair extra body. Label M have a really good one, as well as one specifically for brunettes, which is fab!
  • Book your hair trial well in advance and take plenty of photos of your hair so you are able to show your friends and get their advice.
  • Finally, when booking a trial, just check your hairdresser is definitely available on your wedding date before confirming your appointment.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos When it comes to prepping skin for your big day, celebrity make-up artist, and proprietor of RAW Make-up, Rosemary Wright has some amazing expert advice! She said: "Many women attending the wedding will get their glam on and attempt a red carpet look for your event...but what smart bride wants to look like the rest of her guests? I feel the same way about brides that turn to runway and fashion trends - I'm not a big fan.

You have to be super careful with trend or runway look as they become dated very quickly! The last thing you want to hear is your guests murmuring in amusement at your 'interesting' bridal beauty choices. Do you want to be that bride? You know the one who looks at their bridal album a couple of years later, wondering "What was I thinking?"

Don't believe it happens? Well then go and ask an on-trend bride from five to ten years ago...ouch!

I'm a bridal make-up artist. A women should look like the most beautiful version of HERSELF on the big day. Looking timeless is the key, but timeless doesn't mean you can't look modern. Always keep the bridal 'ahhhhh' factor in mind. You want to hear the soft sound of recognition, confirming you are the undisputed star of the event. Beautifully applied make-up that accentuates all your best features is the only way to bring on the 'ahhhhhhs'."

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

Rosemary has also used her years of experience to share some top tips for your wedding day make-up. She said: "Between the cheers, tears, hugs, kisses and endless photos a bride needs to look fabulous throughout the event. It is imperative for make-up to not only look great, but to hold up...even under extreme circumstances. With thoughtful application and carefully chosen products, you can create what I lovingly call 'The bulletproof bride.'

Prepping the skin correctly is the ONLY way to ensure flawless, long-lasting make-up. The key here is well prepared skin that is cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised/hydrated properly. Proper skincare should be followed by a make-up primer. If you have a skin challenge like oiliness, enlarged pores or a rough skin texture, there are fantastic primers out there that address each of these concerns.

Choose a foundation that suits your skin type and coverage needs. Your foundation colour must be an exact match to your neck and should never look heavy or obvious, even if you need full coverage. Modern full coverage foundations are amazing, offering opaque coverage without looking thick or heavy. Here's where I jump on the new technology bandwagon. Silicone based make-ups float on top of the skin (not down in the pores) and create a long-lasting, water resistant, natural look.

I use a lot of waterproof, water-resistant and transfer resistant colour cosmetics in my arsenal of bullet proofers. Foundations, eye make-up, blushers and lip colours that have long-lasting properties will stay put and fresh looking, no matter what happens. Just remember to choose your products carefully. Make sure they're comfortable on the skin and have a natural look (not dry or cakey)."

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

6) Get creative

Wedding photographers tend to be a creative bunch and we relish the opportunity to dare to be a little different. So when it comes to those intimate portrait shots of you and your other half, if you'd love to do something off the wall, don't be afraid to speak up. No doubt your photographer will jump at the chance to get creative and the result will be some truly memorable wedding day photos - a perfect addition to your album.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

7) Let loose

It's no surprise that the more relaxed you are in your photos, the more natural the end result will be, so let loose! Avoid rigid arms and awkward mannequin poses, and if you need to, jump up and down to shake out your limbs.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

8) Strike a pose

Knowing your angles and different pose options will definitely work in your favour so while your photographer will guide you on the day, if there's a way you're more comfortable standing, practice this with your other half for effortless photos.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

9) Have a laugh

It's a good idea to have someone on hand (such as your partner) to make you laugh. The trick here is to keep it natural and not suppress it into a frozen smile. Natural laughter offers your photographer the opportunity to get some fabulous natural shots of you and your other half.

10) Have a back-up plan

Living in Northern Ireland means that the weather isn't always kind to us and facing the possibility of having rain on your wedding day will mean that you are well prepared to handle it. Be prepared for cold, wet weather with appropriate footwear, blankets and umbrellas. Check out my post on winter weddings here for great advice on how to handle adverse weather conditions.

10-easy-tips-to-look-your-best-in-your-wedding-photos

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-04-18T18:03:18Z 2016-04-18T18:03:18Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/4/top-10-bridesmaid-dress-trends Top 10 bridesmaid dress trends

When it comes to choosing attire for your leading ladies, it can be a bit overwhelming. Each girl comes with a different figure and often a contrasting opinion on what looks good and so satisfying everyone can get a little complicated. To give you an insight into what styles you should expect to see popping up in bridal boutiques, we've rounded up this year's hottest top 10 bridesmaid dress trends, with a figure flattering array of styles, sure to keep your pretty maids happy.

1) Cold shoulder

The latest craze in bridesmaid style is asymmetrical detailing, with one-shoulder gowns offering a welcome alternative to strapless gowns and the adored feature of a little added support. This truly flattering trend looks elegant on floor hitting styles, with black proving a popular choice for brides who wish to evoke red carpet glory. Complete the look with minimalist up dos to nail this trend.

top-10-bridesmaid-dress-trends

2) Be bold

For a true pop of colour in those wedding day photos, drape your ladies in a bold hues including canary yellow, fuchsia pink and exquisite jewel tones for sassy shades your gals will love. Add bouquets in neutral creams and whites with just a hint of colour to perfectly finish this look.

Top 10 bridesmaid dress trends

3) Mix and match

Perhaps one of the most alternative trends around, mismatched dresses are a great way to keep the peace with fussy maids and set your style stakes high. Co-ordination is key here as while your girls may be rocking different dresses, whether that be in style or colour, get it wrong and risk looking a little messy. For alternating styles, the rule here is to keep changes in each gown subtle, such as differentiating shoulder details. For varying colours, ensure these are similar tones as too much of a contrast will leave guests questioning who your bridesmaids are.

Top 10 bridesmaid dress trends

4) Heavy metal

Brides with a love for something shiny are drawn to sequins, embellishment and metallic tones, instantly adding glamour and a touch of luxe to their day. Metallic colours offer the perfect colour palette for any season. Plus, who doesn't love a little bling, right? Echo metallic touches in your own gown to nail this trend.

5) Short and sassy

Short, or tea-length dresses are having a serious moment, hogging the spotlight for a few season now, and we can't say we're surprised. More and more brides are evoking vintage vibes in shorter dresses, which is perfectly echoed in this dress length of choice for their maids. But the rule doesn't confine short dresses to this situation only, with brides choosing shorter lengths for their maids and floor length dresses for themselves. 

6) Pastel perfection

With a candy shop array of sugar coated hues including parma violet, spearmint and lemon sherbet, pastels are the colour of choice for bridesmaids, unsurprisingly proving particularly popular for spring and summer weddings. Choose a tone which complements all your maids' skin tones to keep everyone happy.

top-10-bridesmaid-dress-trends

top-10-bridesmaid-dress-trends

7) Terrific tiers

A popular choice with brides longing to break from the tradition of long, straight dresses in soft fabrics, a tiered skirt creates just the right amount of drama, while still allowing your girls to dance the night away with no complaints. 

8) Sleeves please

Some bridesmaids will prefer to be a little more covered up and pretty cap sleeves are a subtle way to do just that. Effortlessly romantic, these barley there sleeves will flatter the shoulders with just enough coverage. Nod to a bygone era with a cap sleeve in delicate lace.

top-10-bridesmaid-dress-trends

9) Stylish separates

An unusual choice and definitely one for the more daring bride, two piece dresses are perfect for the fashion conscious. Choose a mix and match lace and tulle number for a touch of romance, or go bold with a two piece skirt and crop top with just a hint of skin on show.

10) In the neck

Alternative necklines are hot right now and one which is demanding attention is the simple halter-neck. Demure, yet stylish, opt for blush pink tones for your maids, to evoke the essence of romance on your special day.

Top 10 bridesmaid dress trends

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-04-08T15:31:24Z 2016-04-08T15:31:24Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/4/wedding-diary-roe-park-resort Wedding Diary: Roe Park Resort

Carol and Noel's wedding was an alternative affair, and fabulous at that! From start to finish, it was a day like no other, with Carol's green dress embellished with peacock feathers. Today, Carol tells us why she opted for a day with a difference. This is what she had to say.

Roe Park Resort wedding

Carol, tell us you & Noel's story

Every weekend I went to The Empire in Belfast with my friends and it was here that I met Noel's two sons, Pete and Jamie. Years previous, my friend Karen had known them, as well as Noel and his late wife. This led to the boys convincing Noel to come along and that was how we met for the first time, before going out a few months later. A couple of years later, Noel asked my parents around for dinner when they were home from Australia and across the table he asked my dad if he could have my hand in marriage. I was so shocked to say the least! Noel's cousin and her sons own a jewellery shop and I designed my engagement ring and they made it - it's fabulous! Noel didn't tell me when it was ready. Instead, he collected it and we headed out to dinner one night, and I walked into a room filled with my family and friends and he got down on one knee and presented me with it. He loves surprising me.

Noel's cousin also made our wedding bands, each of which contains five rubies to represent our five boys. 

Roe Park Resort wedding

Roe Park Resort wedding

When and where did you get married?

As we are both Christmas babies it had to be during the festive season so we chose the 5th of January - my birthday. We were married in Noel's late father's church in Banagher Parish. It is the most beautiful church and the setting is amazing. We held our reception in the Roe Park Resort, Limavady.

Roe Park Resort wedding

Roe Park Resort wedding

Roe Park Resort wedding

What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I have M.E so I began planning and making things two years before our date. I was very hands on and made lots of finishing touches for our wedding, including peacock feather tablemats for the centrepieces, a table plan from an old frame, which I covered in bark and dried wild flowers. I love peacocks and so my theme was always going to be centred around this, but Noel loves hunting, so we combined our two passions with the tables' names being game birds, held on with bullets. My mum made my cake and also one for Noel which had: "The hunt is over" written on it. My best friend Gary created all the flowers in the church and the hotel which was spectacular. I loved seeing it all come together on the day.

Roe Park Resort wedding

Roe Park Resort wedding

Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

I knew I'd never find my Gone With The Wind dress in a shop and in my head I wanted the top of it covered in feathers. This led me to dressmaker extraordinaire, Bridgeen, who, I'm sure was ready to kill me when I declared that I wanted to change the style of the bottom half of the dress. 

Roe Park Resort wedding

Roe Park Resort wedding

Who were your bridesmaids?

My bridesmaids were my nieces Sabrina and Juliana from Perth in Australia. I knew they'd both be cold coming from 40 degree heat so I bought them real rabbit fur jackets to wear over their sapphire blue, straight skirted dresses, with a cape style top. It was a good job too because they kept them on all day, apart from the church service! The girls only flew in two weeks before the wedding so Bridgeen had to made them in a short space of time, but again, she was amazing!

Roe Park Resort wedding

You didn't opt for a bouquet. Why was that?

I walked up the aisle with my dad and my son so I didn't carry a bouquet. I wanted my dress to have all the attention! My bridesmaids carried gorgeous cream bouquets, which were beautiful against their dresses. 

Roe Park Resort wedding

What did you love most about Roe Park Resort & Spa?

We chose Roe Park for our dinner and Simone, Sam and Brian were amazing. I couldn't fault the experience. Our speeches ran over about an hour but the hotel staff again, were fabulous. I have to thank the chef as I'm sure he was in a panic but the food was amazing! Our evening reception was in Owens Marquee, Limavady and Gary was just brilliant. I couldn't recommend this place enough for something truly different.

Roe Park Resort wedding

Would advice would you offer other brides?

We decided not to have wedding cars and were lucky to have friends who took that bridal party to the church and reception. I really wanted a reindeer sleigh as it was so different and really wowed guests upon our arrival. They will definitely remember us turning up on that sleigh! I really recommend having a video as there is so much that you miss and it's great being able to sit down and watch it all.

Roe Park Resort Wedding

Finally, what led you to choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

I knew Catherine's work from fashion and hair photography and so there was really no choice in the matter of who I wanted. It was Catherine or no one. Her work really speaks for itself and my photos are out of this world. I can't recommend her enough.

Roe Park Resort wedding Roe Park Resort wedding

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-04-01T14:19:55Z 2016-04-01T14:19:55Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/3/wedding-diary-galgorm-resort-spa Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Laura & Barry's Galgorm Resort & Spa wedding was a day to remember. Laura was the epitome of elegance in a gorgeous princess style ballgown and oozed glamour! Their day was truly romantic with so many memorable little touches. Check out Laura's highlights as she shares her wedding diary.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Laura, tell us you & Barry's story

We met in The Anchor nightclub in Portstewart. Barry asked me if I would like a drink and the rest as they say is history. We hit it off straight away and we never looked back. From that night it was always going to be it for me and Barry. I never thought Barry was the marrying type as he told me that he wasn't into it and I was fine about it either way. Little did I know that he was planning on proposing to me and only telling me this to keep the element of surprise. Barry proposed to me in Las Vegas in the famous MGM Hotel on May 27th 2013. He had chosen the ring with my mum, which I had no clue about and he had also asked for my dad's hand in marriage, which meant the world to me as I am a daddy's girl! Barry also enjoyed his stag do in Las Vegas and we will be going back in May for our belated honeymoon. We had a little girl a year later, almost to the day on May 25th 2014 and she was our beautiful flower girl at our wedding.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

When and where did you get married?

We got married in my own church, which is a small village church in Mosside. Our reception was in Galgorm Resort and Spa in the new Renaissance Suite on December 17th 2015. It was a beautiful Christmas wedding.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

What did you love most about planning your wedding?

Spending time with my friends and family and meeting everyone involved in the wedding. Barry's favourite part was the cake tasting!

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

I always thought I would go for a slim fit, tight dress with straps but every slim fit dress I tried on just didn't feel right. On the off-chance, I decided to try on a large 'princess' style dress and WOW! It was sparkly, with a sweetheart bodice and no straps. It had a full netted skirt and the only way I can describe it is that it was like a princess ballgown, which is exactly how it made me feel. It was huge and fabulous!

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Who were your bridesmaids? What style were their dresses?

My bridesmaids were my two cousins and my friend. As it was Christmastime, they wore red which was very fitting, and also for Liverpool Football Club, which was our theme. They had cloak like element, which fell over their shoulders, but which was still part of the dress.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Your bouquet was gorgeous! What led you to that style?

As my bridesmaids were in red and I was in white, I had a simple bouquet of diamond embellished red roses, which perfectly tied everything together.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

What did you love most about Galgorm Resort and Spa?

Everything! I can't tell you how much Galgorm Resort and Spa made our wedding special. From opening car doors, to leaving a teddy on my pillow with our wedding cake, to Champagne on arrival... those finishing touches are what makes it so superb.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

What advice would you offer other brides?

Pick reliable people and do listen to hearsay and reviews as this is the best way to confirm someone's reliability.

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

I saw Catherine's photographs in magazines and thought they were amazing and relaxed and just what I wanted. Our photos are everything I hoped for and more. She was a delight to work with and made me and Barry feel at ease. She made the day special!

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

Wedding diary: Galgorm Resort & Spa

 

 

 

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-03-23T08:42:56Z 2016-03-23T08:42:56Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/3/10-tips-for-stress-free-wedding-planning 10 tips for stress-free wedding planning

Feeling a little overwhelmed with wedding planning? You're not alone. To help ensure you get hitched without a hiccup, check out these top 10 tips to ensure your wedding planning is a breeze!

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

1) Get clear on what you want

First things first... establishing a stress-free wedding planning experience stems from getting clear on what it is that you want. When you decide it's time to delve deep into planning, sit down with you partner and talk about what it is that you both envision for your big day. If you really have no vision in mind, take some time to get inspired. Flick through wedding magazines, browse blogs online and visit local wedding fairs for a boost of ideas. Secondly, determine your budget. As well as deciding on overall spend, decide what proportion of the budget will be spent on what. Most couples admit that this is the biggest stress of wedding planning so get it out of the way early.

2) Choose your venue

No doubt the biggest proportion of your budget will be devoted to your wedding venue so it's a good idea to start with this. You'll find that booking your venue will ensure it's easier to make other decisions as location may be a deciding factor in which vendors you book. 

3) Delegate roles

To ensure a stress-free wedding planning experience it's important to realise that you can't do everything yourself. And, even if you are secretly Wonder Woman, you'll usually find that people are more than willing to lend a helping hand so take it - the extra hands will definitely help in the long run. Call on bridesmaids to get hands-on with assembling favours or any DIY finishing touches. Make a girls' night of it and it definitely won't seem like a chore.

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

4) Book early

The best vendors in the business often take bookings up to three years in advance so if you have your heart set on someone, snap them up quick to avoid disappointment. When it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, I'd recommend booking X months before your wedding date.

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

5) Keep the details to yourself

When it comes to planning the biggest day of your life, no doubt you'll be bursting to spill all the details to anyone who will, but in doing so you risk stirring the old adage of 'Too many cooks spoil the broth'. You may find that people tend to have different opinions and advice on what's best. It's a good idea to always remember your vision for your day and stick to it. Remember, you can't please everyone all of the time so try not to get hung up on keeping everyone happy. The earlier you realise this, the more stress you'll save in the long run.

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

6) Be realistic

But also, be open minded. It's important to always work within your budget and means. Being realistic about what you can achieve will save heartache in the long-run. Another point here is to be open minded, especially when it comes to something like dress shopping. I'm sure you've heard from countless brides that the dress they choose wasn't what they had in mind initially, so when you attend your bridal appointments, be open to suggestions from the attendant. The same comes to other suppliers too. If say, you find that the flowers you had your heart set on are out of season, there are likely to be similar alternatives available. 

10 tips for stress free wedding planning  7) Prepare for bad weather

This might seem odd but sometimes preparing for all eventualities, including the worst case scenarios can help reduce stress, and when it comes to planning a wedding in Ireland, tackling the issue of bad weather head on is a good place to start. For tips on how to handle cold, wet weather, check out my post here.

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

8) Plan your holidays in advance

If you are afforded with the opportunity to choose your own holidays, consider how much time off you can take off in the run up to the wedding. Having a few days off beforehand will give you the luxury of time for all the finer details which needed smoothed out. This will definitely take the edge off and help ensure a feeling of calm wellbeing. 

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

9) Enjoy some wedding free time

Wedding planning can take over your life but it's important to set aside a day a week and install a wedding free policy. Use this time to plan a date with your other half so that you don't get bogged down with wedding planning 24/7. The same applies to spending quality time with your family and bridesmaids. Everyone will thank you for it.

10 tips for stress free wedding planning

10) Remember why

Finally, if you ever feel stressed, don't lose sight of the reasons why you are getting married. At the end of the day, if you get to say your "I dos" in front of your family and friends and everyone has a good day, those little hiccups along the way will be but a distant memory.

 

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-03-14T15:13:14Z 2016-03-14T15:13:14Z
http://www.cathmackenzie.com/blog/2016/3/wedding-diary-redcastle-hotel-donegal Wedding Diary: Redcastle Hotel, Donegal

Orlagh and Darren's December wedding in the Redcastle Hotel, Donegal was stunning. Orlagh also took part in a post-wedding cherish the dress shoot. This gave us the opportunity to capture some truly one-of-a-kind photos. Today, Orlagh shares her wedding day story and why it's a day she'll never forget.

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

Orlagh, tell us you & Darren's story

We met at Jordanstown University and started going out when we were both in our final year in 2009. We were on holiday in New York in December 2013 when Darren proposed in Central Park. We had just taken a horse and carriage ride around the park and afterwards we both walked into the middle of Central Park when he proposed. It was perfect!

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

What did you love most about planning your wedding?

I loved having the time to plan everything and being able to book our first choice of everything, including date, photographer, videographer, band, hair and makeup. Planning our wedding two years in advance definitely made that possible. Once we picked our date, everything else quickly followed and I was delighted with the results.

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

Describe your dress. How did you find 'the one'?

My dress was from Ivory Bridal, which is the only bridal shop in my hometown, Portstewart. It was actually the first dress I tried on and I loved everything about it! I didn't want to just go with the first one so we visited other bridal shops and tried on alternative styles of dresses before I made up my mind. I compared every dress to the first one so I knew I had to go back and get it. I just knew it was the one!

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

Who were your bridesmaids? What style were their dresses?

My bridesmaids were Amy, Meabh, Megan and Maria. I went to primary school with Meabh and Amy so we have been friends for a very long time. I went to secondary school with Megan, who quickly became my partner in crime. I met Maria through Darren and we have grown very close since we met. I don't have any sisters so my friends mean a lot to me. They all wore dresses from the Dessy range, in a gorgeous colour called firecracker. I had two different styles for their dresses but they all wore the same colour. It was a very easy choice as two of the girls loved one style and the other two preferred another, so we just mixed them and it worked!

Redcastle Hotel wedding interview

Your bouquet was gorgeous! Why did you go for something different?

My bouquet was a brooch bouquet, made by Innocent Chaos in Belfast. I always wanted a brooch bouquet as I think it is something very special that you will always have as a keepsake from your wedding. I was able to pick some brooches that were of significance to me and members of my family and add them into my bouquet. It now sits on our hall table and always reminds me of our wedding.

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

What did you love most about the Redcastle Hotel?

The view! The view over Lough Foyle at Redcastle is just amazing and it was lovely to have such a nice view over breakfast the morning after the wedding. We were very lucky with the weather in December.

 

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

Did everything go exactly to plan?

Yes! At 325, we had a large number of guests so the only thing I would love to change would have been for the clock to stop so we could have spent more time with everyone, as the day just goes so quickly. I have no doubt that every bride and groom feels the same after their big day. Lots of our friends and family stayed over for a second night so we had a big buffet dinner and live music in the bar, meaning that we were able to celebrate for the whole weekend, giving us more time together.

What advice would you offer other brides?

It is literally the quickest day of your life so there is no point in stressing over the small things. That also goes for the run up to the wedding - try not to get too stressed out as it will take away from the joy and excitement in the weeks coming up to the big day! Remember why you are getting married in the first place and that really is the best and most important bit. I was a very chilled out bride-to-be and really got to enjoy the build up to the wedding and the day itself.

Finally, what led to you choosing Catherine as your wedding photographer?

I admired Catherine's work long before we got engaged or long before I had even thought about getting married. I had seen a lot of her work in Local Woman magazine and always thought she was very talented. She was the only photographer we went to see and we were so impressed that we booked her on our first appointment.

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

Redcastle Hotel Wedding Interview

Catherine MacKenzie Photography (C) Catherine MacKenzie Photography 2016-03-08T15:16:24Z 2016-03-08T15:16:24Z