When Ria asked me to write a blog detailing our wedding I jumped at the chance to document this special time in our life, it will be lovely to have something to show the grandkids, reminisce and generally give all the creative people I met a shout out, I am as stubborn as a mule and couldn’t pay for anything that I didn’t love or tweak to just the way I wanted it, so these people earned their money when dealing with me!
A year later I still feel the whole experience a little surreal but the whole adventure began in 2008 when my now husband (eek!) congratulated me on a speech I made at my sister Catriona’s wedding and then asked me to dance. As a lover of old fashioned romance I was taken by this request as I have never been asked to dance before and the rest as they say is history! Six years later Paul asked me to marry him in California, on Twin Peaks, San Francisco. With a trip to Tiffany’s for the only gold simple ring in the shop, the fairy tale had well and truly begun…I didn’t have a set look I was going for but looking back it I probably wanted my day to look like a slightly relaxed Chanel advert with a hint of vintage- think the wonder years (I don’t ask for much!).
This is a vision I had in my head and had to communicate it to suppliers which was enjoyable for me but not so much for them as my finishing sentence would always be, ‘it’s hard to express exactly what I want but- I’ll know it when I see it.’ I went to a few wedding fairs and found it all a bit stale so I was delighted when I arrived at the Quirky Wedding Fair, there were so many unique and talented stall exhibiters. Paul and myself booked the majority of our needs that day and felt very smug about it all! We are a sentimental couple (and slightly vain) so we wanted to book the best photographer/videographer we could afford and whilst all the stalls offered a good service Creative Flux stood out a mile to us. Their portfolio had us believing that they could make us look very handsome and reflect our love of life in their relaxed and distinctive cool style and they did not let us down!
Our eye was then caught by an epic Game of Thrones cake and beside it a three tier hanging cake by the company Candy Tuft. We were sold when we tasted all their samples – they are a lovely couple to deal with and provide a first class delivery service. They iced the cake in baby blue to co-ordinate with my bridesmaids Ted Baker Dresses.
In the wedding invitation section I was inspired by a particular set of designs and was delighted to see they were by local artist Dee Tyndal who was a school friend of my cousin. We chatted and I could tell she would be able to take my ideas and create something wonderful so Hey Doodle Dee was recruited and she did a stellar job with the long list of requirements I had given her! I wanted San Francisco referenced as well as our love of playing music, not forgetting The Beatles and she had to dress us in the fictional engagement outfits that I was yet to source! We loved our invites as we felt they set the tone for our wedding and gave a personal touch. I sent Dee drawings and ideas from Pinterest and the finished product is also now a full sized framed painting in my kitchen. I wanted the guests to suggest songs for the band and so worked with Dee to incorporate this on the RSVP’s on a retro tape cassette drawing- we loved seeing what people requested and they make great keep sakes.
Outside Star Hire exhibited a cream vintage camper van and we booked it as the look was fun but elegant and again they provided us with an easy stress free service.
Creative Flux not only gave us a great deal on photos and videography but they offered us a complimentary free engagement shoot- I was giddy at the prospect. Although I knew I wanted a Church wedding as my faith is very important to me in the back of my head I felt a City Hall Wedding in Belfast with a Priscilla and Elvis Rock and Roll vibe really appealed to me, so this shoot was my chance! I found a Jackie O inspired Whistles dress in Brown Thomas which confirmed the look I would go for and paired it with blush pink Dune shoes and a bunch of Sunflowers. Hair was by Vintage Rocks and Make up by Olivia Muldoon. We kitted Paul out in a blue suit with matching braces with the help of Glen Jameson in Statement Menswear who helped us create the men’s wedding look also- he has great style and we were delighted with the overall result. Ria and Paul from Creative Flux asked us where we wanted to shoot and we suggested our house and the Cathedral Quarter. The pictures are stunning and it’s all down to Ria and Paul making us feel so comfortable, we liked the whole experience a little too much…
I then wanted to plan a Hen Party with a difference. Many of my friends and family have small children so I decided to have it in my beloved Belfast to ensure I had all the people I loved there. On the Friday night it the theme was ‘Flower Power’ so we headed out to The Sunflower Bar- Rebecca Bryson did my hippy make up and we ended up in The Hudson Bar for the the remainder of the night. The next day the theme was vintage so the girls and I headed to Vintage Rocks Parlour with Creative Flux in toe for a photoshoot and copious amounts of pink champagne and cupcakes. Again the memories and pictures will always be treasured. Everyone loved their hair and Nicola O’Neill did a great job with the make-up, Nicola also did my wedding make-up, she is very talented and lovely to boot. We headed to the Belfast Cabaret Supper Club and danced the night away.
The wedding dress was tricky, as in 15+ shops later tricky. I was about to lose all hope when I arrived for an appointment at Reflections Bridal Boutique in Lisburn. The poor lady who helped me had to deal with the sour puss expression on my face as I refused many of her suggestions until she pleaded with me to try the last one she had pulled out. I did so reluctantly and after a number of shocked expletives I declared to my mother this is it! I finished off the look with a handmade veil from Lizzie Agnew and looked forward to wearing the outfit as I had worked hard to get a lean physique with the help from Rory Girvan at HENCH gym.
I couldn’t believe how reasonably priced my dress was so that gave me the licence to put a little more money into my Church music. I have followed the Dublin City Gospel Choir for many years and literally jumped up and down when they confirmed they could come to Glen Chapel on the 9th of August 2014. When everyone had left the Church I asked if I could sing with them and they obliged- a true highlight of the day.
I was struggling to find a wedding band that reflected Paul and I’s eclectic taste in music and laid off Rock the Boat, Come on Eileen, waltzes and the like but we struck gold when we heard about ‘The Breakfast Club’. We went to see them twice in establishments around Belfast and knew they were different. They had a fresh sound and could seamlessly switch from Bruno Mars, Matchbox 20 to Oasis and even learnt our first dance ‘Budapest’ by George Ezra. They genuinely wanted to know what songs we wanted to hear and were excellent to deal with.
My flowers were by Stephen Mallon who matched the baby blue dresses and baby’s’ breath flower girl head pieces and flower balls that complimented their dresses from Littlewoods Catalogue. We especially loved the arch Stephen created for us outside the Church. Stephen provides his clients with a lot of flowers, time and attention and is very reasonably priced.
Our car was a classic Mercedes in a mint Godfather green. Our best man Rory asked his brother Garrett to do it for us as a gift and we really enjoyed sipping our champagne in the back!
We travelled to Cultra Manor which catered ice cream, sandwiches and Pimms for our guests on arrival. The bridal party went to the museum and had so much fun getting pictures in the old school house and sweet shop. We went back to have a beautiful meal and everyone seemed to enjoy the speeches, I couldn’t resist saying a few words also and remember feeling so happy to have everyone I loved in the one room.
We had our first dance and watched as everyone made use of our home made photo booth. We partied into the small hours and jetted of to the sublime South Africa. I was floating on air and I haven’t really come down since. We have since contacted Ria and Paul at Creative flux to see if they could accommodate another photo shoot but this time it won’t be just the two of us but hopefully one extra wee face ;)
(Thanks so much to Emma for taking time out to tell us about her wedding day and all the beautiful moments leading up to it. Emma & Paul truly are a gorgeous couple and deserve every happiness, it has been a privilege to capture so many special moments for them. We are really looking forward to meeting their new baby boy and capturing some of his first moments tomorrow. -Ria & Paul)