Melissa and Mark finally said ‘I Do’ with a stylish and rustic celebration at The Wool Tower!
We’re in awe of today’s real life wedding which is giving us all the rustic and romantic vibes – from a statement cake to stunning bridesmaids dresses and personalised wedding boxers for the groom. Keep on scrolling for some killer wedding inspo!
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HOW THEY MET
Does anyone else remember Bebo? Well it just so happens that’s how these Dunmurry lovebirds met! Melissa made it into Mark’s top three friends 13 years ago and the rest is pretty much history – who said romance is dead?!
Melissa tells us: “We actually met through Bebo on 19th June 2008 when I was 20 and Mark was 22. We’re both very different but they say opposites attract and for us, that’s definitely the case! 13 years ago things were so different, so sending our love on Bebo to each other daily and being in Mark’s top three friends, I thought it was the best thing in the world! It’s now been 13 years and we have an eight-year-old daughter, Safiyah-Hope and just got married!
“One night Mark was out with his friends and I was with mine and he came to meet me and we hit it off right from the start! Mark made the first move and from then we spent very few days apart. I knew he loved me from the night we met – he even told his mum I kidnapped, him but not once did you hear him complain!”
Fast forward to June 7th 2019 (these guys really love June!) when Mark finally popped the question on their 11th anniversary on a romantic break away to The Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen.
“We went there twice before for our anniversary and loved it, so when Mark decided to book it again for our 11 year anniversary, I didn’t think much of it!” Melissa says.
“We were back in the hotel after going out for a couple of drinks when Mark came back from the car sweating and pulled out the ring box – I couldn’t believe it, I instantly thought he was joking and we always laughed about him saying the only ring I’m getting was a Haribo ring!
“I didn’t want to get too excited but when he opened the box, it was just perfect. We rang our family and friends straight away and as he had made me wait 11 years, my sister had just got married the month before, so all things weddings were fresh in my head and I started planning right away!”
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Melissa and Mark wasted no time in starting their wedding planning journey and initially had their hearts set on Greece, but of course Covid-19 had other plans.
Melissa continues: “I’ve always dreamed about my wedding since I was small and would even design my dress as I loved art, so when it was actually my turn to get married my mind went crazy and I just couldn’t wait to get planning!
“We originally booked to get married in Rhodes Greece on 21st June 2021 (June just seems to be our month!) and we had everything planned from our save the dates to personalised items with the date and venue details – I love being organised!
“So when Covid hit we held out hope for our day, but by the end of February we got confirmation that Greece was cancelled. I didn’t cry I just said ‘what will be, will be’, and we didn’t look too far when we found our stunning venue at The Wool Tower in Broughshane!
DREAM WEDDING SUPPLIERS
So with a swift change of plans, Melissa and Mark weren’t allowing Covid to get in the way and planned their perfect day at The Wool Tower which they describe as everything they wanted but only at home.
Melissa continues: “It was rustic, old and different – we hadn’t been to a wedding somewhere like that or knew anyone who had got married there, but when Adam told us they had a barbecue for the food Mark was instantly sold! He is literally the barbecue king! He barbecues in all weather and at any time of night, which ‘m sure our neighbours love!
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“Caufield and Dorrity were the catering company and were amazing – nothing was too much trouble and all our guests commented about how beautiful and different the barbecue choice was. Mark loves to DJ and before Covid he worked in a few local bars so we added a few touches of that to our day with our invites, table plan, welcome sign and music with Mark’s friend Jamie Brown as the DJ. We also had Hannah Lynn play the saxophone and our guests just loved it!
“My makeup artist was my sister Courtney (Luxe by Courtney) and best friend Ashlee Brown. It meant so much to me to have my sister do my makeup on my wedding day and it was perfect. My hairdresser is my friend Danielle (Hair by Danib) – she has been my hairdresser for a few years now so she was more like my seventh bridesmaid! I felt so lucky that my makeup artist and hairdresser was so close to me and I never had to worry or stress about those finer details.”
We love a DIY bride and Melissa gets brownie points for making her own bouquet along with friend Cathy, which led to her starting her own flower business, FAUX.
“I always loved to make things and I knew the type of flowers I wanted and I also wanted to keep them after the wedding so I said from the start that was one thing I was doing myself. From the wedding, we’ve recently started up our own little business page, FAUX which we’re very excited about!”
Melissa and Mark also went for stunning rustic stationery and signage made by Rebekah at Clockwork Bubbles and Designs.
CAPTURING THE DAY
Samantha Quinn Photography captured every moment of Melissa and Mark’s unique day with an array of beautiful candid shots and picture-perfect moments.
Melissa says: “Our photographer was amazing! I came across Samantha on Facebook and her style was exactly what we wanted. The whole way through the planning she would just always check in with us and offered to do an engagement photo shoot with our daughter and dog and made us feel so at ease.
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“On the day I actually forgot there was a photographer there! Samantha got the most amazing photos without them being posed and our group shots were so much fun – she was very relaxed and made everything look so natural.
“Our videographer was Matthew from Fields Media. He was great and very easy to talk too, and again it was so nice to not have anything too posed or structured and he just went along with everything. We can’t wait to see the end result!”
Melissa looked like a dream after choosing the perfect dress (third time lucky!) by Dando London from Forever Bridal in Belfast.
Melissa says: “The girls at Forever Bridal were so lovely. I actually got numerous dresses delivered to my house during lockdown and sold the first two. I had a lovely night with my Mum and bridesmaids trying on dresses, and as soon as I tried on my dress, I felt emotional and just knew it was the one! My daughter made me a ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ sign and loved it as much as me!
“The men’s suits were hired from Freddie Hatchet in Belfast. Mark wanted something different and I’m glad he did. We wanted rustic but he still wanted navy, so they helped us put it together and it was perfect. It went so well and all the men looked very handsome.
“Our bridesmaid dresses were my favourite buy from Asos and were the only thing I didn’t want to change – we bought them in January 2020 and this year they were just so on trend and all the girls looked amazing!”
With a such a special and unique day, Melissa and Mark shared so many favourite moments and made some hilarious memories.
“My favourite moments were definitely getting ready with the girls,” Melissa says. “We had such a relaxed morning, even if I did arrive 40 minutes late! I loved my daddy driving me in his vintage car, having that lovely wee moment with him!
“I loved that the venue made points in the day where me and Mark were alone together and we were able to have a few moments to ourselves and take it all in. Our daughter also does freestyle disco dancing and learned a routine which we performed on the day which was definitely a moment we’ll cherish forever.
“Mark’s favourite moment has to be seeing his wife walk up the aisle…he said that was the best part! He also loved his gifts I bought him – his brother and cousin passed away a few years back so I got him personalised cufflinks with their photos on them, and I knew it would make him a bit teary so I had to have something funny in there which explains the personalised boxers.
“When he seen the boxers with my face on them, he burst out laughing and we always joke about who wears the trousers so it was the only right I made him wear a pair of boxers with a lot of Melissas on them – I’m definitely the boss and he knows it!”
For all the brides-to-be planning their wedding during a pandemic, Melissa has some wise words of bridal advice.
She says: “Honestly, just enjoy it and try not to stress! I know planning a wedding during these times is hard and so much is uncertain, but I promise it’s worth it when you look back on your day – make as many memories as you can, plan nights with your bridesmaids just because and do everything you can to get the most out of it!
“I stressed for months leading up to the day and when the wedding came, I didn’t stress one bit! We honestly had the best day of our lives from start to finish, everything was perfect and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
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