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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!