A Quirky & Homemade Budget Party Wedding

quirky belfast wedding


Shane and Gillian first featured on WWW back in February with their amazing engagement shoot, so i am very excited to share their wedding with you today.

They married in the Spring holding their wedding reception at The Empire Music Hall, Belfast. These two are one super stylish and cool couple who wanted a relaxed day with a big party to celebrate. To keep to their small budget they DIY’d many of the elements of their wedding. With balloons, guest book suitcase, table plan and cigar table all created by themselves and their loved ones.

I so love Gillian’s swishy tea length dress, birdcage veil and bright red rose bouquet. Shane looked super dapper in a Next suit with bold shoes and red accessories. WOW.

Thanks so much to the fantastic Epic Love Photography for sharing their photography with us today.


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The Proposal… We went to Donegal for my birthday and when we were taking a walk on the cliffs looking over the sea in the wind and rain…shane got down on one knee. And of course I said yes.

The Vision for the Day… our main goal for the day was to have a really relaxed atmosphere bringing our families together for a big party. No fuss, no stress!

The Planning Process… Planning the wedding was pretty straightforward, we had a great bunch of vendors who couldn’t have done enough for us. both of us are pretty laid back so nothing really got us stressed out. Having Shane work in the Events Industry and the wedding industry was great, he knew the best places to go and we could share the planning.

The Budget… We had a very small budget for our wedding because our dream was to go travelling on honeymoon. So our wedding was completely DIY. I think it paid off because we got to put our own stamp on the day.

The Venue… The Empire Music Hall means a lot to us as a couple. We have alot of memories there so it was the obvious choice. We didn’t need to do a lot with the empire because it has a lot of character as it is and was decorated perfectly. That definatly suited our budget.

The Dress & Accessories… Lizzie Agnew. Finding the dress was difficult. I had a particular style I wanted and went to what felt like thousands of bridal boutiques could not find anything close to it. Lizzie was fantastic, as soon as I described my dream dress she brought it out and I fell in love with it.

I had a Birdcage veil, which fitted my vintage look, I found on the Internet after days of searching.

Groom’s Attire… Next. We got Shane’s suit from Next, he always wanted a French Blue suit. His shoes were a little out there…but it made his suit.

The Readings & Music… They were very simple and short, we had both our God Mothers do the readings. They asked for them to be as short as possible…understandable.

-Solomons Song chapter 8 v6-7

-I Carry Your Heart by E.E Cummings

Music: We had a female soloist and piano player. I walked into Everlong by Foo Fighters. Then we walked out to You Make my Dreams Come True by Hall and Oats.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had my two sister-in-laws as bridesmaids. They were fab, anything I needed they were there. They wore red 50’s dresses that were also knee length. Suited both of them perfectly…they were beautiful.

The flower girls were so cute…they were all my nieces, I loved the lace on the top of their dresses and our little page boy was so good and was gorgeous in his navy suit!

The Flowers… This was very simple. I didn’t want any fuss. I wanted small bouquets of roses for me and the bridesmaids and a single rose for the men. I couldnt have asked for a better florist than Victoria Gault.

The Cake… I loooved the cake. It was my favourite…Red Velvet. When you cut into it, it was so vibrant and tasted amazing! The ribbon and brooch I sourced from eBay.

Your Photographer… As soon as we met Rob and Hannah from Epic Love Photography we fell in love with them. Their portfolio is amazing. we knew right away that we wanted rob as our photographer. He made us feel so relaxed and got to know us before the day to get the best from us.

One thing that everyone has commented on us how good our photographs are.

The Details & Decor… We made everything ourselves with a lot of help from family and friends. Without them, we couldn’t have put this wedding together. The venue was decorated by my friends from work. they did an amazing job and completely took the stress out of it for us. All the tables are named after musicians that Shane and I love, we raided our parents attics for old books collected jars for months before the wedding and got everything else off eBay.

We had tea and cupcakes as guests arrived at the reception (kindly made by Shane’s cousins)

The table plan was kindly designed by Shanes cousin who did an awesome job. the frames matched the centerpeice frames luckly because its actually a Mirror we borrowed from Shanes Nanny’s living room.

We also had a cigar bar with old matchboxes which went down a treat (all sourced from ebay)

I loved the guest book…and we had to come up with it the day before the wedding, a vintage suitcase filled with some of our clothes and a map of the USA, guests could write on luggage tags and tie it to the suitcase. It was to symbolise our 6 month honeymoon travelling the states.

The Honeymoon… We’ve both taken six months out to see some of the world, so we’ve headed to the USA travel and make some memories.

Memorable Moments… One of our most memorable moments is seeing each other at the church. Couldn’t believe that moment was here after all these years.

I’ll never forget the moment when Shane got up on stage in The Empire and played with the band a song he wrote for me. Totally out of the blue!

Walking into The Empire for the first time…seeing everything we made put together. Oh and the food was out of this world!!!

Advice for Other Couples… You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an amazing wedding. It’s the company your sharing your day with that matters, not what extravagant luxuries you have. Shop around, make things yourself, it will save you a lot and its more personal for your guests. Most of all enjoy your day, it goes by in a flash!

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Photography: Epic Love Photography www.epiclovephotography.com

Church: Christ Church, Lisburn www.christchurchlisburn.co.uk

Venue: The Empire Music Hall, Belfast. www.thebelfastempire.com

Caterer: Yellow Door www.yellowdoordeli.co.uk

Bridal dress: Lizzie Agnew www.lizzieagnew.co.uk

Bridal Shoes: Debenhams www.debenhams.co.uk

Birdcage veil: Vintage Styler www.vintagestyler.com

Groom/best man/groomsman/page boy’s suits: Next www.next.co.uk

Grooms shoes: Office www.office.co.uk

Bridesmaids shoes: New Look www.newlook.co.uk

Flower girl dresses: Monsoon www.monsoon.co.uk

Flowers: Victoria Gault florist www.victoriagault.com

Cake: Airy Fairy Cakes www.airyfairycakes.com

Band and DJ: The Jukebox Jurors www.thejukeboxjurors.com

Cars: Star Car www.starcarhire.co.uk

Hair (bride/bridesmaids): Ashley Waterworth Hair www.facebook.com/ashleysmakeovers.northernireland

Barber: Blood and Bandages, Lisburn

Centerpieces and Cigar Bar: www.ebay.co.uk


How very stylish and super fun! Thanks so much to Shane and Gillian for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us XOXO Lou

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