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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.