Nicola and Leonard: A Fairytale Wedding Day

Leonard and Nicola's wedding day at La Mon Hotel & Country Club

Looking back on their dream wedding day, Nicole and Leonard McClure reminisce on their wedding day at La Mon Hotel & Country Club in Belfast, Co. Antrim.

Nicola how did you meet Leonard?

Leonard and I met on a dating app and matched on Boxing Day 2019. Once we began talking, we realised we had a lot in common, and that we both wanted and needed the same things in life, and with a partner! 

Tell us about the proposal.

We got engaged on the anniversary of our first date on 20th January 2021. Leonard had planned everything with the help of our mums, sisters, and my best friend. I had just found out I was pregnant 18 days before, so Leonard had suggested because it was our anniversary and that because the whole country was in lockdown, he would plan a little date night in the house. I was oblivious to what was actually going on. On the day we got engaged, he sent me to my best friend’s house, she had set her home up as if it was a spa, and helped me get dressed for the date night (while I was being sick all day due to carrying twinnies).

Little did I know back at home, Leonard, our mums and sisters were setting everything up – fairylights, table set for two, balloon display, and ‘Will You Marry Me’ sign – and lots of little gifts! Leonard also got us a three course meal, from three of our favourite restaurants – a starter from one restaurant, and main and dessert from two others.

Leonard picked me up from my best friend’s and drove us home. When I got home, I walked into what I could only describe as a dream, it was everything and more than I always wanted, I was still oblivious that Leonard was about to propose as I hadn’t noticed the sign to after we had eaten dinner and he took me to it. It’s funny because during dinner Leonard barely spoke, of course it was because he was nervous, but with me not knowing, I thought to myself, why would you set up this beautiful date night to sit in silence, but then I was taken to the sign and it all made sense!

Most people say ‘Yes’ straightaway, but not me, instead I kept saying over and over again, ‘is this a joke?’, but thankfully it wasn’t and with my dream ring, dream proposal and feeling so blessed that our twin girls, Deisy and Meisy, were tucked up in my belly for the proposal I said: ‘Yes’!

All of this was filmed secretly with out me knowing, still to this day we have only ever watched a bit of it as both of us cringe so hard at how soppy and cringy we both were! After that Leonard and I went to my mum’s where everyone surprised us by being there to congratulate us and have a little drink to celebrate It really was everything we both wanted and more! We both felt so blessed, and completely overjoyed with so much love! 

How did the planning process go?

We booked our wedding nine months after getting engaged. The planning process, had lots of ups and downs, but the ups definitely outweighed the downs. We planned the day with a little biut of help from friends and family and our amazing wedding co-ordinater Chelsea from Chelsea Creations. Everything we told Chelsea we wanted, she did it better than we could ever imagined. 

Where did you get married and why you choose this venue?

We got married in La Mon Hotel & Country Club. We had decided that we would look around different venues, but La Mon was our first venue we viewed and on that day, we booked it. The venue was beautiful, and the staff couldn’t do more to help us! I would 1000% recommend La Mon to any brides and grooms looking for a beautiful venue. 

Who were your wedding suppliers?

Chelsea Sessions did the hair, she was amazing and put up with me always changing my mond about my hair! Amanda Wilson did my make-up. I knew from the minute I saw Amanda’s work that I wanted her as my make-up artist! She is so well known in Belfast and for all the right reasons. I am so fussy about who does my make-up, but she made me feel so relaxed and I couldn’t recommend her enough to any future brides!

We worked with NI Cakes for our wedding cake, which was the beautiful and timeless show stopper we were after – plus it tasted great too! We choose our wedding cars from David Andrews and Wedding Essentials supplied our draping and dance floor. As mentioned, Chelsea Creations helped to co-rodinate the day and Chelsea worked with us on our signage, flowers, photo booth, audio book, floral arch, DJ, candy cart, kids corner, the list is endless! We are so glad we booked her for it all (we didn’t make it an easy job changing our mind about colours, etc), but nothing was ever a hassle for Chelsea and her husband Scott. Anything you explained or asked them for they sorted it, but made it even more special than you ever though was possible. From our first meeting we knew we could trust them one million percent to make our day perfect. Not only did they out-do themselves making our whole day a fairytale, but they became two very important people to us that we now class as friends.

Nicola and Leonard with their groomsmen and bridesmaids

Who captured your day?

We knew we wanted Ryan Ward from Ryan Ward Film and Photography, so instead of booking our wedding and then our photographer, we messaged Ryan to see if he had a date available and when he said yes, we booked him and then booked our wedding venue. We are so glad we did. Neither of us our like posing for photographs and alongside his wife, they made it a really fun experience. We couldn’t have asked anymore of them on the day, they made us feel so comfortable and the pictures and videos we have to look back on are beautiful! People always said to us ‘why spend the money on a video when you will watch it once and that’s it’, that couldn’t be further from the truth, we have watched ours near enough every day from we received it! 

What did you wear?

I wore a gown by Jenny Yoo, but that wasn’t the dress I had originally picked, in fact I had a completely different style of dress, which was a Rosa Clara dress. It was absolutely stunning and any bride that wears it will look beautiful, but I honestly believe I got caught up in the moment and me being so impulsive, I bought the dress there and then, but then when I went back to try the dress on, I knew deep down it wasn’t the one for me, so there were lots and lots of tears! With the wedding just round the corner, I thought I had to keep this dress and just get on with it, but as always mum to the rescue, and two weeks before the wedding we visiting any bridal boutique that we could to look for a new dress! Thankfully, Forever Bridal fitted me in, but only had three dresses in my size that I could take home that day, and that’s how I ended up with my gown Elliot by Jenny Yoo.

I also had a dress to get changed into that night, which was a gorgeous satin short white dress, with detachable sleeves and the perfect pair of bow shoes to match. On the day I completely forgot to change as I was having to much fun, but hopefully one day it will come in useful!

Leonard’s suit and the groomswear were all from Freddie Hatchet. When picking the suit Leonard knew what he wanted, and where he wanted his suit from, so the process of that was a lot more straight forward than my wedding dress!  The guys all wore black tuxedos, and Leonard’s suit was then finished with bespoke button holes with ‘D&M’, our twin girls initials.

I purchased the black bridesmaids dresses online, but my seamstress customised them for me by adding a belt and the slits.

What was your favourite moment from the day?

Leonard’s favourite moment was seeing me walk down the aisle, he said it was a sign of relief I didn’t stand him up! My favourite moment of the day was straight after we got married and went out of the doors from the ceremony room to be greeted by our singer Johnny Kay singing ‘My Girl’ and instead of hugging and greeting our guests, we took that song as our five minutes with each other before the madness and danced with each other like we were the only two people in the room!

A little funny story about the day though, for about six months before the wedding I had Leonard practicing every day for our first dance, but when the day came, I had completely forgot we even had to do a first dance, so was in complete shock when our DJ called us up! Thankfully, it all went smoothly and neither of us fell over as we had done lots of times when practicing!

Another favourite memory would have to be the speeches. There were lots and lots of tears with them, but also so much laughter and love in the room as they were being read out. 

Do you have any advice for other couples planning their wedding?

ENJOY IT! Don’t get too swept up in all of the planning that it starts to become unenjoyable. Remember the reason you are both getting married and do what pleases you both. Also on the day, take ten minutes out and spend some time together, the day goes so quick, so take those ten minutes to soak in the fact you have just got married.

A few little tips for the bride for the day would be: put perfume on your veil, hold you flowers below your waist when walking down the aisle! If any marks end up on the dress before the big day white chalk! As for the groom, a spare white shirt as you can sweat and it’s a long day! Go with your heart when doing a speech and don’t forget the rings!  

Nicola and Leonard - the bride and groom

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