Chris and Kimberley wanted an unconventional and small wedding in the city where they met: Belfast. “We knew we didn’t want a religious service or a big wedding”, began the bride. “We didn’t want to spend our wedding day talking to people we didn’t know or didn’t want to! We had 38 guests, which was perfect.”
The couple also knew they didn’t want a traditional venue, so the wedding was held on Holohans: The Belfast Barge. “It was the first place we looked at and the last. We had the ceremony and the meal on the top deck and then we moved downstairs below deck for the evening. Calvin, the owner, is such a great host. We had so many people telling us how brilliant he was and how much they loved the staff (and food!). It was a small intimate wedding and the location lent itself to that perfectly.”
“Our wedding was relaxed and fun, will no bullshit!” she laughed when I asked about their theme. “We also did a lot of DIY. We designed and printed all the stationery, invites, table plan and name settings. We also created a ‘wedsite’ for our guests with useful travel info etc. as a lot weren’t from the area. We made the bridesmaid’s flowers, men’s buttonholes, and pom pom flowers that we placed in old beer bottles. Also a few hundred metres of bunting! Chris also made his own beer for the toast, so each guest had a bottle.”
The gorgeous, heavily tattooed Jacinta married Paschal in July in Ireland. “We met through music and going to festivals”, wrote the bride. “This is where the inspiration for the cake topper came from as we were known as ‘two peas in a pod’ because we were so similar. It was more about our mutual love for music at that stage, but soon a fabulous romance blossomed.”
“My wedding dress was always going to be alternative”, she continued, “and I wanted Bonzie at Willow and Wild to make it. After an initial meeting I fell in love with her vision, passion, friendliness and attention to detail. She blew me away and I could feel the love that she had put into my dress at each fitting.”
The wedding was held at Barnabrow Country House in Cork. “It was a dream venue”, Jacinta said, “the perfect romantic setting and not very formal. We only had a guest list of 26 adults and 7 children, so we wanted to keep things casual. It was a magic rural experience. We all sat at one banquet table and the laughter filled the room, it was like a giant family dinner. The food was divine and the wine glasses magically never emptied. Each room had a different décor which added to the magic.”
Suzie and Marc were married in Cork in June. They wanted their wedding to be fun, with hints of the 1950s. They were inspired by their favourite movie, The Quiet Man, for their overall retro theme.
“Our wedding was a Irish festival with fifties touches”, began Suzie. “Everything was unique in the sense that we wanted to make it our own and completely different to any other wedding we’d been to. Our venue was Glengarriff Lodge in Cork and was the perfect setting for our wedding as it is steeped in history. It is the former hunting lodge of The Earl of Bantry and is located on a man made island surrounded by The Glengarriff River and one of Ireland’s only ancient natural forests.”
Stacey and Rob’s gorgeous wedding was full of fun touches. From the lighting to the reception décor, and the flowers to the homemade hessian bunting, everything was planning with meticulous attention to detail.
“Pinterest inspired a lot of ideas for our wedding”, began the bride, “but I think mainly, our wedding was unique because we just did what we wanted. We didn’t stick with tradition, didn’t go with the rules, didn’t do what we ‘should do’ at a wedding. We just designed the day by asking ourselves if we were at a wedding what would we want.”
If there’s one thing the Irish know, it’s how the throw a good party and this was the exact criteria for Ana and Ricky’s humanist wedding. Held on the Liss Ard Estate in County Cork, they wanted a colourful day that celebrated them, but that was also really fun for all their guests.
“My family is half Colombian and we wanted to celebrate the mixing of cultures in our wedding so we decided to have a wedding with a Latin theme”, explained Ana. “Both being fans of bright colours, we hoped our special day would reflect our gregarious personalities and loving relationship. We are definitely more spiritual than religious, so we took a lot of inspiration from traditional folk celebrations such as the Mexican Day of the Dead as well as the decorative religious imagery found in catholic churches around Latin America.”
“We wanted an event that was unconventional, joyful and exuberant, in contrast to the muted and restrained style of weddings traditionally held in the UK and Ireland, but with a touch of the vintage glamour we both love. Our priorities were for their guests to relax and have fun, and for everyone to be pleasantly surprised with the originality and creativity that had gone into planning the day.”
Amanda and James were married in Derry, Northern Ireland. The day started with the bride getting ready at her parents’ house and a catholic ceremony, but that’s where the tradition ended! Their reception, at Thatched Cottage in Craft Village, was a true reflection of them as a couple. Casual, laid back and thrifty. They spent just £1500 in total!
“Our wedding was bohemian, handmade and vintage inspired”, began the bride. “We didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen (just two witnesses) and chose to keep thing as simple as possible. We wanted a low key wedding, something special and intimate to share with family and friends… no fuss! We also wanted the wedding to reflect who we are and not get lured into the circus and stress that often surrounds weddings. We aimed to create an artistic, homemade, bohemian atmosphere.”