Now today’s bride Clare is a girl after my own heart, as she planned all the décor for the wedding around some black and white stripy table cloths, which were not simple to source from America. She knew she wanted them to form the basis of their décor and these tones informed the look of the whole wedding.
Clare and Paul tied the knot on the 9th June 2018 at Drenagh Estate in Northern Ireland. Following a church ceremony, they celebrated in a monochrome marquee of dreams. As a designer herself, Clare relished putting everything together and I think it all worked out rather well, don’t you agree?
The brilliant Honey and the Moon Photography captured the beautiful images you see here today, thank you ever so much for sharing them with us Karolyn and Jess.
I think you’re going to enjoy the fashion at this wedding too. Who doesn’t love a groom in braces and a bow tie, plus there are the glamorous gold bridesmaid dresses as well as Clare’s beautiful altered ASOS dress. Take it all in WWWers!
Paul’s proposal to me was extremely sweet and very personal. We got engaged on the Saturday morning 30th April 2016, which was my mum’s birthday. I had a night out planned with friends the night before and was under strict orders to be home relatively early, as Paul didn’t want me to be too delicate the next day for my mum’s celebrations, when really, it was because he was proposing. Sneaky.
So on my night out, my friend Emma and I left for home, she stayed over at ours that night (making sure I was home early – she was in on it) Next morning, Paul woke me to tell me he was bringing Emma to work. As she lived close by he was back within five minutes, and as I lay in a slightly groggy sleep, he had asked me did I see the dogs new dog tag he had had purchased for Peppermints, I said, no and with that he placed her on the bed and as I read “Mummy will you marry Daddy, Paul was sitting was this amazing ring! For a moment, I thought I was still feeling the effects from the night before haha but then the excitement kicked in and it was amazing! Soooo personal and sweet to have the dog included in the proposal. I still have the dog tag on my car keys! It was just a total shock and surprise. It was just amazing. And sneakily, Paul had arranged for his parents to join in on my mum’s birthday celebrations that night, which had turned into engagement celebrations!
We’re both huge fans of keeping things clean and sleek in terms of design and we just love anything that is black and white, as we feel black and white is classic and just never goes out of style. Even our home is all just black, white and few shades of grey in between. We also really wanted to incorporate loads of greenery and really have the outside feeling, inside.
For us, the venue was the most important factor, we wanted something clean, with minimal design so we could style the venue to our liking and the décor would make an impact.
We really wanted our guest to leave feeling like they had an amazing day, with a very relaxed vibe so this was the driving force in terms of our vision.
As I (Clare) am a designer I was going to be designing all the creative stationery etc for the wedding, so I knew I could deliver what I wanted.
The Planning Process
I think the day we got engaged, we had already jotted down our guest list! We were on the ball, and I think by two weeks after the engagement the venue and church was booked. We kind of knew from the outset what we wanted to achieve. From early on we had researched all the different elements we wanted to have at our wedding, priced them up, worked out how much we needed to save! We were very on the ball in terms of booking bands and florists etc as I was going to be designing and making a lot of things for the wedding, I didn’t want to stress myself out too much on the run up to the day.
For us we worked out roughly how much everything we wanted was going to cost at an early stage, by getting prices from suppliers, and working off our top number of guests. We then split out the cost of the wedding over the remaining months left to the wedding, and we saved that amount every month! For us it was a good way to save and track what we had for the wedding. And then if we needed to add anything in, we adjusted our monthly savings accordingly!
Drenagh House Estate, Limavady, N.Ireland
Your Outfits & Accessories
So for me I wasn’t overly fussed on the wedding dress, I wanted it to be nice, but it wasn’t a huge important factor for me, because I mean every bride is beautiful in their dress and for me it doesn’t make the day!
Initially I had purchased a wedding dress from ASOS as I just loved it, it was sweet and quirky, everything I wanted, but it just need reworking to suit my body better. So I took the dress to a fabulous designer in Belfast City Centre, called Mary Rose McGrath, and she basically recreated the dress for me with more structure, incorporating lace trims and adding in some gold embellishment to the dress, as we had pops of gold running throughout the décor of the wedding. I wanted my dress to be comfortable as I love to dance, and wanted to be free to move. Plus we had booked for June and were hoping it would be warm, so didn’t want anything too stuffy!
For the evening, I had a second lighter dress, which I lovvveeedddd and was a bargain buy from asos at £150!
I wore gold flat sandals from New Look, I wanted to have flats to be comfortable all day – and it was the best decision ever!
All the girls hair was created by Hair by Sam & Co from Belfast City Centre
Makeup by Lilybee (Debbie McKernon)
As it was June, and we were wanting a more relaxed wedding, we felt the men should be in something lighter. We kept the groomsmen in black trousers, white shirt black bow tie and braces and for Paul, he wore black trousers, white shirt, with black and white striped braces and bow tie.
We even had Paul’s mum remove the standard buttons of the shirts and replace them with black satin covered buttons.
The trousers were purchased from Topman, the braces from New Look, and shirts from Next. All the shoes were purchased from ASOS.
I knew I wanted the bridesmaid in gold/champagne colour from the start. My bridesmaid Emma, luckily came across a gold dress from the Debut section in Debenhams. Again, we wanted their dresses to be light and comfortable and some of the girls feel like they could wear the dress again to a black tie event!
For shoes, I let the girls pick their own! Some wanted heels, some didn’t and I just wanted everyone to be comfortable so letting them pick their own was easier!
Tortraits Florist, Portglenone
We were very lucky that my lovely aunty created our wedding cake!
The Details & Décor
Early on in our planning stage we set up a meeting with Victoria from The Wedding Room to discuss what I wanted. As I had been researching online what I was after, I found these amazing black and white striped table clothes from USA – which didn’t ship to the UK. So I had to get these shipped to my uncle in USA for him to then ship them to me but basically the whole wedding had been planned around these table cloths. They were in my mind when I was looking at venues! So we discussed with Victoria what we wanted to do with them and she was amazing at helping us bring the vision to life.
She really took the stress from us in terms of décor, no problem was too big for her and when we walked into our marquee with everything set up we were just blown away!
I designed our guest place names to have individual messages, so things like “Nice dress Lucy and Loving the suit Ciaran”, I just thought this would be a nice touch for the guests to sit down to and to try and connect with the guests on the day. Plus they had little illustrated animal characters to show what food they were having!
As I wanted our guests to have an amazing day instead of having wedding favours that guest would forget, we wanted them to leave with something they’d love. We decided to have a raffle, giving away restaurant vouchers for places in Belfast. So I designed up individual menus for our guests, and designed raffle tickets with gold foil type on the front tied with black and white ribbon. I created a small box with the number raffles, and during Pauls speech we drew out 5 numbers which corresponded to guests! It was totally random and the reactions were amazing.
I also got a wooden sign made saying “The Faloons” and I sprayed it with gold paint, and I got it hung just behind me and Paul at the top table.
For the table plan I created it in the style of the wedding invites, all the stationery was very light hearted, relaxed quirky font and quirky little illustrations which was carried throughout the whole wedding.
I also had created several snap chat filters for different locations throughout the day at different times and was amazing to see everyone use them! :)
Honey and the Moon
10 days at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Bahamas.
We had heard of swimming with the pigs in the exuma Islands in the Bahamas so this was on our bucket list! And we got to do it! It was amazing!
The thing we took away from my wedding, or that I remember the most is the amount of laughing we all did and how relaxed everyone was. It was just a day full of laughter and sweetness! Something that will stay with us forever and we’re lucky to cherish. I don’t think we could have wished for anything better.
Advice For Other Couples
Our advice would be if there is something you want, and can afford it then do it, but if not, don’t beat yourself up over it. There were plenty of ideas we had, and things that just weren’t feasible and to be honest when it came to the day, it didn’t even matter, because you will have the most amazing day with your loved ones, and you won’t even care that you didn’t have a particular table cloth or centrepiece and when you look back on it you’ll just remember the incredible love and laughter you experienced on the day! :D
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Honey and the Moon Photography
Mary Rose McGrath
The Wedding Room
El Dude Brothers
How glamorous! Thank you ever so much Clare and Paul for sharing your wonderful day with us. Rachel x