Book lovers Jenna and Ashleigh said ‘I do’ with a rustic and chic ceremony in one of Ireland’s hidden gems!
We love a good pre-pandemic wedding so today we’re sharing Jenna and Ashleigh’s stylish and cosy day at Tullylagan Hotel on 2nd November 2019 – just before the world fell apart!
This perfect pair had everything from famous quotes to DIY décor and a statement cake which has us head over heels in-love with their day! Samantha Quinn Photography captured every heart-felt moment where we could really feel the love, so let’s take a closer look…
HOW THEY MET
We’re throwing it all the way back to the early 2000s when Jenna and Ashleigh were classmates, but their love story didn’t really begin until one daunting friend request over 15 years later!
“It’s a bit of a strange one,” Jenna says. “We actually went to school together years ago but didn’t really ever speak so when Ashleigh sent me a friend request on Facebook years later, I didn’t fully recognise her – partly because her hair had changed from brunette to blonde, so not entirely my fault!
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“We were about 16 in school and I left in 2000 so we’re talking over 15 years before we started chatting online – I knew I recognised Ashleigh’s face but I just couldn’t quite pinpoint it, so I had to ask her ‘where do I know you from?’ which resulted in her unfriending me!
“When she uploaded a new photo on Instagram with her hair back to brown, that’s when I remembered! I liked the picture and she must have thought, ‘I’ll give her another chance’ and wrote to me again. We ended up meeting up a week later, had a drink and never looked back!”
So after a bit of a rocky start, Jenna and Ashleigh fell head over heels in-love and after one year of amazing memories, Jenna planned the perfect proposal on Lover’s Beach, Grand Canaria – who could turn that down?!
“We got together in August and then a year later in September, I proposed in Grand Canaria on Lover’s Beach – how cheesy!” Jenna laughs.
“I planned it all and was absolutely bricking it! I thought I would do it towards the end of the holiday but I just couldn’t wait so I took Ash down to what’s known as ‘Lovers Beach’ in Amadores Grand Canaria and while she was watching the sunset, I wrote in the sand ‘Will You Marry Me?’.
“When she turned around, she was totally and utterly shocked! She cried and I think she even swore a little – we were both just over the moon and of course she said ‘YES’ straight away!”
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Jenna and Ashleigh wasted no time in starting their wedding planning journey and began looking for venues straight away before they came across what they describe as a ‘hidden gem’ in Cookstown.
“We we’re so excited and started looking for venues and getting everything in order,” Jenna says. “One night we went to Tullylagan Hotel Cookstown for a wedding event they had on – we weren’t even going to go because it was a Sunday and we were a bit hungover, so we just went for the craic and ended up absolutely loving the place!
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“We spent another couple of nights there and got to planning with Crystal and John at the time who were brilliant! We thought for that time of year in November it was the perfect Autumn/Winter venue and we could decorate exactly how we want – it was a real hidden gem!”
When it comes to wedding planning, there’s always one strategically organised planner while the other one keeps them calm and stress-free – can you guess who is who here?
“I’m a pretty laidback person and Ashleigh is the more organised and strategic planner so she had everything in order, but when it came closer to the day I started to brick it a bit!” Jenna laughs. “But I like to think, we balance each other out and I kept her cool – overall, we really enjoyed planning it ourselves!”
DREAM WEDDING SUPPLIERS
“Our entertainment was Our Wedding DJ NI and Chris and Sarah were able to supply some décor pieces like backdrops and fairy lights and ribbons for the chairs. We all went down together to decorate and made a weekend out of it with my Dad who’s a builder and my Mum being a interior designer helping us along the way!
“We tried to do a lot of it ourselves and Ashleigh would be very into books so that’s where our theme came from where we used quotes from famous Authors and made it all very rustic!”
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“Our cake was from Sari’s Supreme Cakes, Helens Bay. We just found her on Facebook and she was great to work with and we had our little figures as well as our cat – we loved the simple and fun design which was perfect for us, and of course we needed the rainbow colours for a gay wedding!
“We got our flowers from Therese from Designs, Cookstown – we went for two different types as Ashleigh wanted something plain and I wanted something with a bit of colour and I think they really complemented each other!”
CAPTURING THE DAY
Samantha Quinn Photography along with Emer Agnew every heart-felt moment of Ashleigh and Jenna’s dream day with an array of beautiful candid and picture perfect memories.
Jenna says: “We actually had a different photographer booked who fell pregnant just before the wedding so they recommended Samantha Quinn to us and we booked her and Eimear Agnew. They were amazing and we also had our engagement shoot with them as well!
“We absolutely loved how they turned out! We’re not very posey people and it was just very relaxed and captured so many incredible memories with everyone that we love looking back on.
“Neil Hobson from Honour Wedding Videos in Dungannon did our wedding video. We only contacted him two days before the wedding because we actually weren’t going to have a videographer and he did it at the drop of a hat which we’re so grateful for!”
Both brides looked stunning as Ashleigh wore a princess ballgown ‘Delancey’ and Jenna wore a chic 1950s tea length dress ‘Audrey’ from WED 2B in Belfast.
Jenna says: “Ashleigh went one day and I got sent over to the pub for a drink because I wasn’t allowed to see her dress which she had picked months before me by the way!
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“I was kind of last minute, but I found it so hard to choose as I’m not one for a dress. I just went in one day with my Mum and sister and found the one – for me it was all about comfort and we both cried so that’s when you know!”
The bridesmaids wore beautiful wine dresses from Asos and the groomsmen and page boys were decked out in checked navy House of Cavani suits from StreetLife in Newtownards. Their little flower girl, Lily, also looked perfect in a princess Monsoon dress.
One of Jenna’s favourite moments from their day was seeing her new wife Ashleigh walking up the aisle – and she just couldn’t contain her excitement!
“My reaction to seeing Ashleigh walk down the aisle in her dress has to be up there with one of my favourite moments – when I saw her, I meant to say ‘WOW’ in my head but it came out really loud but it was really how I felt!” Jenna laughs.
“When were doing our vows we also felt really overwhelmed with emotion and even everyone in the room said they could really feel the love, so that for us was really touching.
“Getting to spend the whole day with everyone as well as our first dance were also amazing moments – we could do it all again tomorrow!”
For all the busy brides-to-be planning their dream day, Jenna and Ashleigh have some positive words of advice.
“Try to not stress the small stuff and go with the flow as much as you can,” Jenna says. “Remember to breathe! I know everybody says it, but it really does go so quick so try to take a bit of time to yourselves during the day to sit and have a moment to take it all in.
“We took ourselves off on a wee walk and had a cry and just reflected on the day and it was really lovely. I’m even getting emotional now thinking of it!”
If you would like your wedding day featured in Ireland’s Wedding Journal, feel free to contact us at: email@example.com – we would love to see your pics!
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