Clare and Stuart didn’t want a big wedding. In fact they wanted their wedding to be so small that they went to Belfast City Hall for their ceremony with just 10 witnesses! Still wanting an awesome celebration with their loved ones though, they held this colourful party the following day at Brookhall Barn in Lisburn.
Clare explained, “We knew what we didn’t want – no white dress, no bridesmaids, no church, no rings, no walking down the aisle, no giving away, no big ceremony, no speeches, no first dance, no hotel reception, no florist arrangements. None of that stuff was ‘us’. Once we found the right venue, somewhere where we could do our own thing and where some of our friends could stay, everything else fell into place.”
“We had the wedding over two days as we wanted it to be as relaxed as possible. On the Friday morning we said our vows (in as brief and informal manner as possible) in Belfast City Hall with 10 members of our immediate families and then we all went for lunch after. Then Stuart and I met up with about 20 friends who were staying at the cottages at the barn that evening and had dinner and started getting the barn ready. On the Saturday we had the big party for 90 of our friends and family. We had bring your own drinks, BBQ food, Rock n Roll music bingo, and lots of dancing. We didn’t want to do things just because people expected it. Our plans took some getting used to by family, but in the end everyone had a great time.”
“The wedding was one big DIY project from the beginning. We made the wedding invites, the giant streamer installation, wedding favours and lots more bits and pieces. We even grew our own flowers! Our friends and family were a great help setting all our decorations up and clearing up after too. We did a supermarket shop for snacks, desserts and soft drinks to save going through the caterer. We had no DJ we made our own playlist and just hired in sound and light equipment which worked really well. And BYO booze!”
“The wedding days were perfect but the planning was exhausting”, Clare concluded. “We would not have tried to grow our own flowers in hindsight, that took so much work. We would have also skipped some of the decorating ideas that didn’t work out. Oh and we are selling our giant streamer installation. If anyone is interested you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org!”