Real Irish Wedding – Samantha Bogle and John Mitchell

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25th July 2015. Ceremony at St. Bestius Church of Ireland, Killeter, followed by reception at Castle Leslie Estate

A truly magical Midsummer Night’s Dream themed wedding

Photos by Ten21 photography

The couple

“We went to the same primary school but never spoke to each other and we never saw each again until twenty odd years later one day I almost ran him over outside our local shop,” Samantha begins. “We then seen each other on a night out and he came over and joked about me trying to kill him.  I didn’t know that he owned a dairy farm so when I asked him what he did for a job he replied, ‘I put the milk in your Coco Pops’! We arranged to go on a date and after that we have been inseparable ever since.”

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The proposal

John surprised Samantha with the perfect Christmas day proposal. John asked his other half to meet him at the grotto and when she arrived All I want Is you was playing. “I walked inside and the grotto was a winter wonderland surrounded by trees and it was like a maze with a real reindeer,” Samantha begins. “As I walked around fake snow was falling on me and there was a note. It was an old style letter written from Santa saying I had been a good girl all year and I was going to receive a beautiful gift and to follow on around the path and it would be waiting for me. As I continued around the forest there was John kneeling in the snow with a beautiful ring and the words, Will you marry me’ on the ground!”

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The bride had always dreamed of a marquee wedding and fell in love with Castle Leslie Estate on first sight. “It is such a stunning location beside the water and the grounds surrounded with trees is so magical,” Samantha recalls. “The castle itself is steeped in history and has such an old style look, even the bedrooms are fantastic – each bedroom with its own theme.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting.”

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“As I own my own wedding hire company I wanted to do something a bit different with our wedding,” Samantha explains. “I chose a Midsummer Night’s dream as my inspiration incorporating loads of moss and woodland elements throughout the church, castle and marquee.  The church was so magical. The aisle was decorated with tall trees which draped down creating a tunnel of beautiful greenery walking up the aisle and each window had little wooden lanterns surrounded in moss and crazy beautiful flower displays placed around the church. I love all things to do with nature and loved the idea of having tree stump tables and trees wrapped in ivy and flowers for my centre pieces.  I also wanted to make a feature of my cake table too so we decorated an old dresser with flowers and gold accessories.”

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Wedding planner

“I hire out items for weddings with my company Lily Annabella, so we used our own props plus added a few new ones,” Samantha explains. “I love the rustic woodland theme and this is carried throughout.  We made up quirky little plaques that related to us as a couple and our table plan was made with milk churns from the farm and an old wooden pallet. Our table numbers were little cut slices of wood with the numbers painted on and we had a wooden archway, decorated with beautiful wild flowers at the ceremony guiding us into the church, which was beautiful for photos.  I am always on Pinterest creating new ideas for weddings so when my own came up I had a ball!”

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Wedding dress

The bride had worked for London-based designer Hermione de Paula who offered to design her wedding dress. “I was so excited to work with Hermione in creating my very own bespoke dress; it every girls dream!” Samantha says. “I wanted something simple at the front and all the drama at the back, so I went for a low cut back and extremely long train.  I had painted a swan flower illustration during my first year with Hermione for one of her collections so she used this design and incorporated it into the stunning floral embroidery. Hermione also made a cathedral veil for me which had matching pearl detailing along the bottom the same as the dress and little embroidered daisies up the side. It turned out even more amazing than I could have ever imagined, it was the perfect fairy-tale dress.”

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The groom hired the men’s suits from Red Groomswear in Cookstown and opted for navy tails, with a grey tweed waistcoats and ties

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The bridesmaids

The bridesmaids’ mauve cowl back dresses were from Debenhams and the flower girl’s gown was from McElhinneys, Donegal.

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Wedding flowers

“John’s aunt Joan and her team did our ceremony flowers which were absolutely breathtaking and Skea flowers did my reception and bouquets,” Samantha says. “Everything looked perfect and even more than I could have wished for.”

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The bride designed and created all the stationery from the invites, order of service menus through to the place names in Ferrero Rochers. “I had drawn a pencil sketch of Castle Leslie for the front of my invites and added loads of glitter to the water fountain to make it look like water,” Samantha explains. “The design for the inside of the invite was based on the design for my wedding dress. I tied dried lavender to the outside of my invite so it would have a beautiful smell when they were opened – these had a rustic touch and were in keeping with my overall woodland theme.”

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Wedding cake

“Our wedding cake was by Truly Scrumptious and it lived up to the name!” Samantha says. “It looked absolutely amazing sitting on our dresser with the flowers around it.  The little cupcakes dotted around with leaf detailing were such a beautiful touch and the overall display was stunning.”

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Favourite moment

John: “The ceremony was a highlight, seeing Samantha walking up the aisle which was dressed in trees to a string quartet playing in the background was a surreal magical moment.”

Samantha: “The ceremony was highlight of mine; walking up the aisle with my dad who has Parkinsons was a definite highlight as he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to walk up. Seeing John waiting for me with the music playing was very surreal and because the church looked so magical it was just perfect. Entering the marquee and seeing how beautiful it looked was a highlight of my day too. The evening with the band and dancing was also a high point for both of us.  The dancefloor didn’t stop all night!”

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