I’m sure that any ‘Covid Bride’ will agree that planning a wedding during a pandemic was far from ideal. We reached he decision very early on to postpone our wedding in 2020 and continued to enjoy the build-up for another year, however I personally enjoy organising events and planning all the little details of every occasion so I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this extra time to put into our day. I worked with so many amazing vendors who made everything easier and brought my vision to life. I would love to go back and do it all again, perhaps not the pandemic stuff though!
Ferghal and I met in 2015 through a set-up by mutual friends. We had no idea that within the next 18 months we would be engaged and planning our big day. I guess when you know, you know! Ferghal proposed to me privately at home after arriving back from a very stressful year completing my PGCE where we done long distance for 9 months. It was very understated but romantic, we celebrated at our local pub after with our close friends which was typical of our relationship to date.
I had some ideas in my head of what I wanted in my wedding dress, and hade some screenshots of dresses I liked, but ironically none of these ideas suited me in the end. I was fearful I wasn’t going to get a dress that flattered my shape. I had never been previously involved in any weddings or ever set foot in a bridal shop so I had no idea what I was in for really.
I visited two Bridal Boutiques in Belfast on my first day out wedding shopping with my Mum and bridesmaids. I tried on a few dresses in the first shop and was feeling deflated that none of them really felt like ‘the one’.
After my first shop I was ready for home when my best friend got me a last minute appointment in Pronuptia Bridal Belfast, and the rest is history! Nancy was the first dress I tried on and I instantly fell in love.
I picked the Nancy dress (style 69306) as when I put it on I just felt amazing. It suited my petite frame so well and I just didn’t want to take it off. The material was so rich and suited my skin tone. I loved how it came with a large train and detachable bow…this felt like I was getting two dresses for the price of one and I knew that I could transition from day to night easily. Plus my best friend cried when I walked out in it, this never happens!
The shopping experience was just the best feeling. I walked into Pronuptia and instantly was made to feel like a princess. When we said yes to the dress the popped open champagne and we celebrated in the store. They were extremely accommodating and took into consideration what I was after and found me my dream dress. All of the ladies were brilliant.
We got married in St Peter’s Church, Lurgan Co. Armagh; the same church where my Mum and Dad got married in the 80s. It is one of the most beautiful chapels in the local area. Our reception took place in Cabra Castle Co. Cavan, our dream venue which we booked during our first visit in July 2017. I loved this venue for the classic, antique atmosphere which needed very little in terms of decoration, we just let the history and character speak for itself. The Irish Wolfhound greeting was an added bonus to our day! I didn’t have a specific theme in mind but I knew that I wanted the BIG DAY…I wanted everything to be simple and classy to tie in with the classic appeal of the Castle but I wanted a ballroom filled with friends and family.
Our photographer Mark McCullough Photography was simply the best to work with, his non-intrusive photography style suited the theme of our day so well, we just wanted to relax and enjoy the company of our family and friends and we feel that Mark captured the joy of our day so well.
After postponing and with all of the uncertainty in the world right now filled me with dread in the lead up to the wedding, we were constantly checking the news regarding restrictions and to be honest it did take away a bit of the build up, but the stars aligned and our day went off without a hitch, even the weather was beautiful, not so typical for an Irish wedding. We smiled from start to finish.
My favourite part of the day was getting ready in my Mum’s house that morning with my bridal party, it was so much fun, very relaxed and filled with emotion.
I think after going through a global pandemic and numerous lockdowns causing so much uncertainty and postponing, we were just so grateful to walk down the aisle and say I do. We were blessed to have the best day and to be able to celebrate at a beautiful venue. Even the sun came out for us…it was like a dream come true.
Written by Emily Cook