Real Irish Wedding: Larne Methodist Church and Ballygally Castle Hotel, Antrim
It’s a strange thing to say, especially in Northern Ireland, but Stuart and Kathy actually have the weather to thank for bringing them together on a night out in Belfast in June 2007…
“Stuart was supposed to be at a friend’s BBQ but due to the heavy rain he ended up giving it a miss and headed into town instead,” said Kathy. Thank goodness for rain, eh?
Stuart proposed during a special trip to New York in September 2011. He had secretly Googled the Top Ten most romantic restaurants in New York, purchased the engagement ring and had a table booked before they even left Belfast!
The wedding reception venue
Following an intimate ceremony in Larne Methodist Church, the celebrations continued at Ballygally Castle Hotel on the beautiful County Antrim Coast. “We both loved the character and history surrounding the castle and the fact that it is nestled between rugged cliffs and the shoreline made it a great setting for photographs and a great place for our guests to wander around,” explains Kathy. “The old fireplaces and spiral staircases, along with the ghost room, the candelabras and the scattered knights, all added to the atmosphere.”
“Our wedding was a mixture of classical and vintage with a hand crafted feel,” Kathy reveals. “I would be quite creative and I wanted to bring my own personal touch to the wedding so I created my own place names with wine corks, wire and beads. I also made my own wedding favours which came in the form of little jars of Strawberry and Rhubarb jam. Instead of the usual guestbook we had our guests leave their well wishes on a mounted engagement photograph which we later framed.”
Kathy’s wedding dress was by Maggie Sottero, purchased in McElhinneys. A beautiful ivory gown, it featured an embellished corded lace bodice with a dipped neckline and lots of layers of fluted tulle and lace. Describing the moment she found it Kathy says: “As soon as I set eyes on it I knew I had to try it on – something just drove me to it. When I saw my mum’s face, I just knew it was the one!”
The bridesmaids wore raspberry floor length dresses from Coast, accessorised with a simple pearl bracelet and necklace and a nude peep toe heel – perfect for spring! The flowergirls wore cute dress from Monsoon.
Stuart looked every inch the dashing groom in a charcoal suit with charcoal waistcoat and ivory shirt from Red Grooms, Carrickfergus.
Tasting every bit as good as it looked, the couple’s wedding cake was by Lizzy Wedge Cakes and consisted of 4 tiers including a tier of luscious lemon, chocolate fudge cake and Madagascan vanilla, decorated with delicate roses and a lace and pearl design.
Cars were from Vintage and Convertable Wedding Cars, Toome and included a black and ivory Daimler and a black and ivory Imperial bridal car.
Kathy: The best bit of the day was the ceremony. Stuart got quite emotional which was really nice to see as he is not usually like that! We pretended no one else was in the room when saying our vows – it was very special.
Stuart: Turning around and seeing Kathy walk up the aisle – she looked stunning.
Photography by Paula O’Hara