Hannah Rodgers and Campbell Kee made the most of the Glorious Sunshine and Tied the Knot at the Old Rectory, Killyman, Surrounded by all their Nearest and Dearest.
If you are looking for a quirky Summer wedding that your guests will remember and cherish, make sure to keep reading this real-life wedding that took place at the Old Rectory, Killyman!
Date of Wedding: 9th June 2023
How did you meet?
We first met at Balmoral Show in 2018. I was working on a stand and Campbell came over to talk to me! We bumped into each other again in the beer tent later that day. Unfortunately at that time my mum was terminally ill, and I was not looking for a relationship. However we talked regularly and Campbell always had a way of making me laugh and taking my mind off what was happening at home. Shortly before my mum passed away, I had told her about Campbell. She suggested that I go out on a date with him, which I did and it really went from there. I am glad and fortunate that my mum got to meet Campbell a few days before she died.
We quickly found out we had a common interest! I love food; cooking, baking and finding new local products. Also, Campbell loves eating food! They say the way to a man’s heart is through a stomach and this was very true in our case!
Tell us about the proposal!
Campbell asked me to marry him on the morning of Christmas Day 2022, very quietly with no fuss! Engagement was something we had joked about for quite some time, but I was not expecting it at all.
When did you start planning your wedding?
After we got engaged, we started talking about the best possible times to book. Campbell is an animal feed merchant and farmer. Therefore, it gets very busy from August onwards. He suggested early summer, to which I responded that Summer 2024 would probably be ideal.
He had meant summer 2023! I agreed on the condition that I could find a dress. On the 5th January, I started dress shopping with my mums best friend Anne. From that moment we discovered that my only option was to find a dress off the rail. On the 7th January, I visited Perfect Day in Lurgan and explained my circumstances to them. After that, together we found my dress! So home I came, with my dream dress! It looked like I had just agreed to a wedding in Summer of 2023!!
Why did you chose the Old Rectory, Killyman?
My mum is buried at Killyman, and I had heard of the Old Rectory which was just across the road. I had liked the idea of getting married close to mum. We went to look at it and I was blown away by how stunning the venue was. As it was a total venue hire, it allowed us to bring in our own caterers! It was ticking all of our boxes. We both knew it was the perfect venue and didn’t look at any others. Campbell and I left the venue with a list of dates that they had available for Summer 2023.
We also discussed the things that were important to us. Neither of us wanted a formal traditional wedding, and were keen for something more casual. The Old Rectory, Killyman was perfect for this!
All I wanted was fantastic food on the wedding day. I had used Smoq Artisan in the past and knew they would be perfect. Campbell wanted a band called, ‘The Untouchables’.
We contacted Smoq Artisan and the Untouchables to find out their availability for this summer. When we put their dates beside the potential dates for the Old Rectory, Killyman there was only one day that was free! It was the 9th June, so thats how we chose our wedding date!!
Things moved pretty quickly after that, and as we knew we had the perfect venue, food and band we wanted. We were willing to compromise on all other vendors. I was expecting to find issues with vendors as everyone talks about wedding suppliers booking up years in advance. I didn’t find that issue at all!
What did you and the bridal party wear?
Well, bridesmaids dresses were the next on the list as I was told these were usually on a 4 month waiting list. I used Perfect Day for this as well.
The girls did a great job by managing my expectations on what was available at short notice. The dresses were from True Bridesmaids in Teal and their shoes were from Quiz!
All of my suppliers were fantastic and went above and beyond. I would highly recommend all of them.
- My Dress: Ronald Joyce
- Dressmaker: Agnes at Sew Good, Portadown.
- My Shoes: Pearly Girly (matched the bridesmaids dresses and was my ‘something blue’ and also would be a pair that I would wear again).
- Brooch: I had borrowed a locket from Anne (mums best friend) and put a picture of her in it. I also sourced a plaque from Etsy where they could engrave my mums handwriting on it. Both of these were tied around my flowers, and I left my flowers on mums grave after the ceremony.
Would you like to give a special mention to other wedding suppliers?
I found most of the vendors through my own awareness of them, or recommendations by others.
We chose the Old Rectory, Killyman for our venue. They are also such genuinely nice people and really fitted in our casual and laid back vibe! They also arranged to transport a few of us to mums grave across the road before the meal. This was super special to us all.
We would really recommend using Margaret Ramm Travel Counsellors as we found it very difficult planning our honeymoon. Campbell and I are not beach lovers but settled on South Africa which had fantastic food and countryside! We had a mini-moon on a boat in Lough Erne after the wedding and went to South Africa in July.
Our caterers were SMOQ Artisan. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from these guys. Their standard of food is excellent and provided exactly what we wanted. This included live BBQ cooking of ‘beer snacks’ after the ceremony.
What about the owls?!
The owls were a very late addition (evening before the wedding it was confirmed). Campbell has an owl on his farm that came to visit him every evening which he took quite a fancy to. About a week before the wedding, he had sent me a video of his owl. I thought it might be nice to have an owl as a ring bearer during the ceremony at the Old Rectory, Killyman! I found NI school of falconry who weren’t sure if they would be able to make the wedding.
They rang me the evening before to confirm they would make it! They turned up to the Old Rectory, Killyman 15 minutes before the ceremony with Ollie the Owl and we had a couple of practice flights (Ollie had never been a ring bearer before and they weren’t quite sure how he would react – they were quite apprehensive about using the real rings, but I was all for it in a spontaneous notion, knowing that the owl would come back at some stage and would add a bit of laughter to the ceremony if nothing else!!) Thankfully Ollie delivered the rings safely to me during the ceremony to the surprise of Campbell and all the guests!
What was your favourite part of the day?
My favourite parts of the wedding day would be how we managed to incorporate mum into the wedding. I had her picture on a locket and a handwritten plaque on my flowers. I also wore her wedding ring on my other hand. the minister started the service by lighting a candle of remembrance, and this theme ran through the day with the table centerpieces containing a large candle surrounded by animal grain. We also had a memory ladder with pictures of those who were no longer with us to join in on the celebration. We also were able to visit mums grave before the meal where I left my flower bouquet.
The food was unbelievable, a lot of our guests were farmers and the food definitely threw them out of their comfort zone – people are still talking about the food (and the owl!)
Campbell liked that we could incorporate his farming into the day – with the vintage tractor and grain used as part of the centre pieces. We also had dried barley sheafs used as part of the mens buttonholes.
We had a great day, all very relaxed with our close family and friends.
Any advice you can give?
Our advice to people planning a wedding:
- Pick about 5 aspects of the wedding that are important to both of you and focus on them. You won’t get everything you wanted either due to availability or budget but with a list of must haves, you can easily compromise on other things.
- Learn to realise that things will happen which are outside of your control, whether its family disagreements, guests cancelling last minute, issues with weather or suppliers! These things will happen and there is very little you can do about it. You just need to roll with it, and embrace it the best you can. The wedding day is about the bride and groom. As long as the two of you are happy don’t worry about everyone else. There is no way you will please every single guest, no matter how hard you try or plan!
- Enjoy the day, it really is the fastest day of your life, everything goes so fast. Try and make an effort to get round all the guests during the meal, as when the evening guests come there just simply isnt enough time.
Wedding Dream Team
- All Dresses: @perfectdaybridallurgan_
- Dressmaker – Agnes at Sew Good, Portadown
- Venue: @oldrectorykillyman
- Minister – Rev Alister Bell
- Vintage Tractor: Stephen & John Kelly, Markethill
- Beauty & Tan: @lbeautyportadown
- Makeup: @catherineflemingmua
- Mens Suits: Robert Paynter Menswear
- Rings: @campbellsjeweller
- Honeymoon: @thetravelguru_ni
- Band: @briangiffen
- Florist – @claraagnewfloristry
- Caterers: @smoqartisanbbq
- Video: @orchardvideojohn
- Photographer: @sashatreanorphotography
- Harpist: @harpfusion_weddingmusic
- Owl Ring Bearer: @nischooloffalconry