We actually had to change our date 4 times and our venue due to the pandemic. We eventually got married July 3rd 2021 - the best day of our lives! We got married at the amazing Tullyglass house hotel in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
We met in our hometown of Pomeroy County Tyrone, way back in 2008. I was 15, Brian was 17. It was raining and I remember he stopped and asked me if I wanted his Hoodie. I actually knew his brother before this and when I saw Brian I knew who he was from then we were the best of friends for almost 4 years. Skip on 4 years, Brian plucked up the courage to ask me out, 1 pizza and a cinema date later we were ‘official’ on June 9th 2012. Then on 25th December 2017 I got the best present under the tree. A little blue tiffany bag, which I thought was a necklace. Safe to say my heart skipped a beat when I saw the stunning engagement ring. I was that busy crying, jumping and shouting with excitement I forgot to say yes but I think we both knew the answer! It was certainly a Christmas I will not forget. We are not people for an extravagant engagement and think it’s so nice and special for it to be intimate. Between Brian and I, it was the perfect engagement. We love the privacy to have the memories of that day between ourselves.
I knew I always wanted simple, timeless, and classy. Therefore you could say I had a theme in mind. It was all very minimal but I have an eye for detail and that helped me with the finer details of the big day.
I honestly loved planning the wedding, apart from pandemic changing plans of course, I really have to say I was quite calm and organised. My bridesmaids could not believe how well I was dealing with it all. I knew the main goal was to marry my best friend, so all the planning was worth it!!
We knew we wanted a church wedding, and we knew it was always going to be at home. We aren’t ones for destination weddings, we just wanted a traditional wedding that all our loved ones could attend. The church we got married in was where I was christened, and this meant a lot to me to be able to walk up the isle in an intimate ceremony with family and friends.
When I first got engaged the vision I had was totally different from what I went with. I tried on a few dresses and then discovered that what I wanted did not suit me. I knew I wanted plain and sleeves after trying on all other types.
I visited 2 dress shops, I went with all my bridal party to one shop then only myself and my mother to the one where I found my dream gown. It was perfect. Definitely better to go with a smaller entourage.
As soon as I saw the gown hanging up, I was obsessed! I tried it on first then tried on gowns after but even my bridal consultant knew how happy I looked in my dress which was the Ronald Joyce Tai gown, style 18202. My parents bought me my gown on the day I found it which so happened to be my birthday. It was from McElhinneys Bridal Rooms in Ballybofey Co. Donegal Ireland.
Honestly, it was the elegance of it. The way it sat on me and how the little detail made it so eye catching. The feel of the material alone along with the neckline and low back I really did feel beautiful in it. Which is not something I often feel!
The store was amazing, if any bride wants a wedding dress in Ireland it most definitely where I would recommend. From personalised signs welcoming me, to champagne and velvet bath robes. It was just stunning!
The actual wedding day went as smoothly as it could. It was amazing and everyone agreed. Due to people not getting out in so long then attending a wedding. Everyone had an absolute blast!
Seeing Brian at the top of the isle, he even shed a tear which got me going. It made me realise how lucky I was and how lucky we were to be able to have our day at long last. That and the fact we were able to share a day with those we had not seen in so long due to covid restrictions. To see people laugh and have fun was unbelievable.
Both of us were so happy with every aspect of the day, we were nervous about changing venues from the south of Ireland to the north, but we took the risk and it was the best decision we made. The hotel was amazing, and they really went above and beyond for us. Nothing was a problem, the proprietor Gus is made for the job, he really went out of his way for us. Therefore, the change of venue turned out better than we could have even imagined our first venue could achieve.
I am a nurse and Brian is a company director and during covid we had not much free time to plan everything. During this time I graduated, started as a neonatal intensive care nurse, changed our wedding 4 times moved house and started our own self-build. Through it all Brian was there for me, and it made us stronger.
My main tips for other brides-to-be would be to limit the amount of people you take with you wedding dress shopping, grab hold of every opportunity to do something wedding related, whether it be go for a cocktail to talk about themes with your bridesmaids or to take a day out shopping for anything for the big day! It goes by so quick and these are the things you will miss. I would also say, relax. I was not nervous or up tight at all, I found it overwhelming at one stage of the day so we took ourselves off to a room to just sit down and breathe for 5 minutes. We chose to travel separately from the bridal party and I found this the only time we actually got to be by ourselves and talk about the ceremony. We really enjoyed this part.
Our photographer was the amazing Hannah Mckernan she was the best. Every spot of light she saw we were there and we cannot wait to see the final images. Her work is incredible, she has such a natural take on photography which is the main reason we chose her.