Hayes & Jarvis
Crawfordsburn Inn
Justin Alexander
couple kiss under blue sky

Real Irish Wedding: Laura Breen and Alan Blayney

~ Real Life Wedding

1st June 2013, Jennymount Methodist Church with a reception at The Culloden Hotel

bride, groom and son

Photography by John Murphy from Aurora Photography

The Couple

bride and groom

Laura and Paul met as teenagers and had a similar circle of friends. They started going out in the lovely Paradise Lost and became childhood sweethearts from then on. 13 years later, Laura’s professional footballer boyfriend pulled off a very stylish surprise proposal as she reveals:  “Alan proposed at the Culloden Hotel.  He had hung the ring on a tree so when we went for a walk round the grounds I found it and he got down on one knee. After 13 years, he didn’t like to rush himself!”

The Reception

wedding ceremony church

Following the proposal, the Culloden Hotel held a special memory for the couple and they chose it as their wedding venue having fallen in love with the size and space of the Stuart Suite and the beautiful grounds.

Wedding theme

wedding scroll

The theme for the wedding was black and white and this was carried throughout the whole wedding – from the stationery and dress code, to the room dressing and favours – no details were overlooked. “I like everything kept quite neutral which was why I wanted a dress code and it looked beautiful on the day,” recalls Laura.” I had a good idea of what I wanted and used SBD to dress the venue. They were great and the room looked beautiful, everyone complemented it.”

Wedding Dress

bride, groom and mob

Laura’s incredible dress was by Oscar de la Renta, as was the belt and accessories. “I loved my dress and it felt great on.” Structured and figure hugging it showed off her incredible figure while the high shoulder and detailing on the waist made this a real stand out gown!


bride and groom

The groom wore a black fitted suit with ivory shirt, tie and waistcoat. “We argued the whole week about his footwear as he wanted to wear Converse,” reveals Laura. “I said shoes and in the end we compromised and the Converse came out as soon as we got to the reception.”


bride and friends

Laura’s only bridesmaid was her best friend, Shauna, who wore a black customised Dessy dress from the Bridal Suite in Holywood.

Wedding Flowers

wedding flowers

Laura’s family flower shop, Abbey Florist in Newtownabbey created all the wedding flowers which were all white, made up of mostly hydrangea and avalanche roses. “The flowers were always going to be a big thing for me,” she explains. “ My sisters and added family and friends did a great job, I had no input in the actual work except for saying yes I like it or no I don’t. The church it looked fantastic, passers-by were calling in just to get a wee look at it. The reception also looked great and the white hydrangea and pearls on the candelabra’s looked beautiful in the evening with the candles lit.”


wedding favour

Eden Stationery made all the stationery and carried through the black and white candy stripe theme with the evening invites, order of service and name tags. “We had tags made rather than place names as these were then tied to a wishing tree when our guests wrote their messages on the back.”

Wedding cake

couple cutting wedding cake


The five tier white chocolate cake was by Jenny’ s Cakes.  “It was made in waves with little roses to tie in with the shape on my dress.”

Favourite moment

wedding dance with child

Alan: The first dance was my favourite as our little boy wanted in on the action so he lay on Laura’s train and refused to move. I had to trail him along with us and people thought we had rehearsed it.

Laura: My favourite moment was when Cameoflage performed. He came dressed as a p.s.n.i. officer and pretended that a mobile phone had been stolen everyone looked petrified. When he burst into song the room erupted, the faces were priceless.



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