20th June 2015. Ceremony at 1st Presbyterian Church, Killyleagh, followed by reception at Millbrook Lodge, Ballynahinch
This country themed wedding featured bales of hay, tractors and a toe-tapping ceilidh band
Photos by Peter Thomas Photography
County Down couple Kyle and Laura met about 10 years ago through mutual friends at a Young Farmers event. “We were friends for a few years before we starting going out,” Laura begins, “I was still at university in Edinburgh for the first year of our relationship.”
After almost six years together Kyle popped the question in June 2013. “We went for a Sunday walk in Tollymore Forest Park, Castlewellan – I love it there,” Laura recalls. “Kyle got down on one knee on the stepping stones across the river… it was a magical moment.”
The couple feel in love with the Millbrook Lodge on the first visit. “It had been refurbished and the room and gardens are beautiful,” Laura says. “The staff are friendly and helpful, and the venue wasn’t too far from where we live so it was handy for people to travel to and from. We wanted the whole day to be a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone.”
Considering the couple both come from farming backgrounds and share “a love for everything country,” there could only be one theme – DIY rustic country.
The theme was incorporated in the many ways, “from the old tractor as transport which Kyle had built back together, the tractor table names, the milk churns outside the church, wellies, straw bales on the trailer and photos in the barley field,” Laura says. “I wanted our wedding to be personal to us and I love making things so DIY was a big part of the day. All the stationary, table centres, table plan, cake decorations, dress hangers, favours and place names were all handmade. Kyle did the tractor and trailer up so that was a big DIY job. We had a ceilidh band for our music in the evening and they were brilliant. They were called the McStockers and I couldn’t recommend them enough.”
The bride wore a David Tutera for Mon Cheri wedding dress from Naomi Bridal, Ballynahinch. “They are a very friendly bunch and they were very helpful,” Laura says. “I had always admired the style of David Tutera’s dresses when going through magazines and when I tried my dress on it was just a wonderful experience. I loved the lace detail, the shape and the little bit of sparkle. The girls at Naomi’s added a bit of material across the bust for me as it was a bit low cut and you wouldn’t have even noticed. I loved everything about it, it was just perfect. With the dress, headband and veil on, I felt amazing.”
The groom wore a navy suit from Whites of Comber and shoes from Next. The two mini ushers who wore matching suits from BHS.
The bridesmaids wore liliac Victorian dresses by Jordan from Naomi Bridal, and the flower girls’ dresses were from Debenhams.
Watsons Flower Stop, Ballynahinch created the wedding flowers. “Louise was brilliant; she produced exactly what I was looking for,” Laura enthuses, “pink and purple roses in beautiful arrangements. I was amazed when I saw what she had done. I couldn’t have asked for better. I absolutely loved the flowers and I accessorised my bouquet with my Granny’s brooch which she wore on her wedding day and every other female in the family has worn since on their wedding day.”
“I made all the invitations including a hand drawn map, order of service, place names and table plan myself,” Laura says. “I used hessian and lace for the most of the decorations. The place names were on luggage tags attached with a decorated peg and a piece of handmade Scottish tablet.”
Mother of the bride and groom
Both mums got their outfits from Magowans in Ballynahinch.
“My Mum made the fruit part of the wedding cake and then my boss Audrey, made the sponge layers and iced it all. I made the cake toppers; a bride and groom peg dolls with the bunting,” Laura explains.
Kyle: “I liked it all but seeing Laura walk down the aisle just changed my life forever.”
Laura: “It is difficult to pick a favourite moment as it was all so special but one of my most precious memories is when me and Kyle were sitting at the top table and looking down at all our guests talking and laughing together. These were all our close family and friends together and it was so special to have then all there.”