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Real Irish Wedding – Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

This couple went for an elegant black and white colour scheme incorporating… penguins!


RL Zoe and Stephen Lusty Beg

15th August 2015. Ceremony and reception at Lusty Beg Island, Fermanagh

Photos by Mark Barton Photography

This couple went for an elegant black and white colour scheme incorporating… penguins!

The couple

The Belfast couple first met as teenagers through mutual friends. “We shared a kiss in Shine nightclub at the age of 18,” Zoe begins, “then we met again New Year’s Eve 2007 at the Errigle pub and have been together ever since.”

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

The proposal

Stephen got down on one knee on 7th December 2013 while Zoe was putting up the Christmas tree.

 Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Venue

“We chose the island for our wedding day as it is a stunning island paradise with beautiful views, romantic feel, relaxed atmosphere and amazing food,” Zoe says.

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Theme

“We didn’t have a specific theme but wanted it to be as personal to us as possible; our main colours were black and white and we used this throughout the wedding incorporating things we loved,” Zoe explains. “Our black Labrador Harvey featured on our invite and wedding cake, we named our tables after different types of penguins, as again we love penguins (more so Stephen) and it fitted with the black and white theme. Penguins are also of one of the most loyal creatures with their partners and there is a lot to learn from them.”

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Wedding Dress

Zoe’s stunning wedding dress was by Maggie Sottero, from La Boda Bridal, Banbridge. “I had originally wanted a lace dress but I had seen an embellished dress in the window of another shop and when I asked had they something similar they brought out Janelle and when I tried it on I knew it was the one,” Zoe recalls. “My mum cried and I felt emotional and didn’t want to take it off. I looked around another few shops as didn’t want to settle on the first dress I had seen, I was able to get the same dress in another two shops (slightly cheaper) but the service had been so amazing in La Boda that I went back and they were able to do me a deal with a veil I also liked.”

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Groomswear

The groom wore a grey three-piece suit with black tie with white polka dots from Groom, Banbridge. The groomsmen wore the same suit with a black paisley tie.

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Bridesmaids’ dresses

The bridesmaids wore True Bride black from Perfect Day, Lurgan.

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Wedding flowers

Clare Flower, Irvinestown created the wedding bouquets. “My bouquet had ivory roses, diamanté clusters and a band of ivory satin ribbon,” Zoe said. “The three bridesmaids’ bouquets had ivory roses finished with a band of black satin ribbon with a black satin voile bow on each.”

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Stationery

The wedding invites were created by Love 22,  Ballymena. “We wanted something a little different and we got personalised cards done with ourselves on a pier with Lusty Beg Lodges in the background, and Harvey our dog,” Zoe says.

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Wedding cake

The wedding cake was made by Airy Fairy cakes. “We wanted a mixture of cake and cupcakes,” Zoe says, “we explained our theme to Gail who owns the company, I said I would like carrot cake as main cake with ourselves and Harvey, and 150 cupcakes and I wanted to be surprised on the day and we were not disappointed; the cake and display not only looked amazing it also tasted amazing.”

 Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum

Favourite moment

Stephen: “Getting pictures just two of us on the pier, it was lovely to spend some time alone away from everyone else as photographer was taking photo from a distance so it was lovely getting some time to talk and just be the two of us.”

Zoe: “Walking down the aisle and seeing Stephen’s reaction when I got to the top, the bit I had been dreading on the lead up to the wedding as I hate attention being on me and was so worried about it, was the best moment of my life so far.”

Real Irish Wedding - Zoe McDowell and Stephen McCallum