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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.