Accountants Sarah and Dermot may have had to downsize on the guestlist, but they certainly didn’t downsize on style with their fairytale day at Killeavy Castle!
HOW THEY MET
These two lovebirds first met in the office working for the same accounting firm, but little did they know a work trip away would spark an unexpected romance that would last a lifetime.
“It was around six years ago when we met through work, although it was a couple of years before there was any romancing!” Sarah laughs.
“We were always friendly with each other but then one weekend we had to go away together on a work trip and the sparks were flying.
“Then a couple of months later we were out and after a few drinks in Dermot said ‘Maybe we should make a go of it’ and that was it!”
Sarah and Dermot then made things official in December 2017 and it wasn’t long before they took their romance to the next level, moving into their home in Warrenpoint and getting engaged in January 2019.
It was a cold and dark winter morning in January when Sarah woke up to Dermot suggesting a surprise hike up to Cloughmore Stone – hmm… we wonder what this could be?
“We got engaged up at Cloughmore Stone in Rostrevor when Dermot dragged me out of bed at 6am in the morning,” Sarah laughs.
“I hadn’t a stitch of makeup on me and a messy bun on the top of my head, so I clearly had no clue what was about to happen!
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“We were just standing at the viewpoint when I stopped to take a picture and when I turned around, Dermot was there on one knee with the ring. I couldn’t believe it! We always knew we wanted to get married but I was not expecting it there and then – of course I said yes straight away!
“It was great to be so shocked, actually, and it was a really nice private proposal, just the two of us on the mountain with amazing views.”
Of course, wedding planning wasn’t all smooth sailing for Sarah and Dermot, who had to change their date three times before they finally said ‘I Do’ with ceremony in St Patrick’s Church followed a reception at Killeavy Castle.
“We were initially supposed to get married in June 2020, so it was only supposed to be a year and a half engagement, but we ended up getting married in June 2021 due to all the complications with restrictions.” Sarah says.
“We went from our date on June 2020, to a new date on September 2020 and then finally got to keep our date for June this year – third time lucky!
“We also had planned to have around 180-200 people but ended up only having 40 in the end due to Covid. I even had a cardboard cut-out of my best friend Shannon who couldn’t get back home from Australia. She is my best mate, so I knew I had to have her there in some shape or form!
Although their day didn’t turn out how they first envisioned, Sarah and Dermot realised having a smaller wedding was a blessing in disguise.
“Looking back now, it ended up a much more relaxed and chilled out day and we felt so grateful after a year of everything Covid-related.” Sarah explains.
“We were also able to have a wee Day Two party at my house where we got to celebrate with some more family and friends.”
DREAM WEDDING SUPPLIERS
Sarah and Dermot always had their heart set on Killeavy Castle, and it looks like fate played its part as what first seemed like a wedding day disaster led them right to where they were meant to be.
“We were originally supposed to get married in The Ballymac Hotel, but I had always wanted to get married in Killeavy Castle,” Sarah says.
“At the time we started planning, Killeavy hadn’t been fully built yet and once we came to the realisation that our first date wasn’t going to happen, we started thinking about what else we wanted to change.
“We both agreed we wanted to change the venue and we knew it was always supposed to be Killeavy Castle – we felt like this maybe was a wee blessing in disguise because that’s where my heart was always at.
“I just loved the whole setting and grounds, and you get a bit of the old historic charm with the modern new look and fresh hotel. They did a lot of our décor, but we also had EP Designs in Belfast who we had booked to set up a tepee which we ended up not needing, due to smaller numbers, so they did some lovely décor inside the castle for us too.”
Sarah and Dermot went for a natural wedding theme with white and pink flowers from Flowers by Arrangement in Dungannon.
Sarah says: “Sinead did all our centrepieces and made the whole day beautiful. My bouquet was mostly all white, but we added some colour with pink peonies which tied in with my Mummy’s dress because I wanted to incorporate her in the theme also.
“We went for a simple and natural three-tier wedding cake by Yummy Mummy Cakes in Enniskillen with one layer chocolate, one lemon drizzle and one Victoria sponge, and Sinead put some flowers around it to match the bouquet.”
CAPTURING THE DAY
Leanne and Johnny from Magill’s Film & Photography in Kilkeel captured Sarah and Dermot’s day beautifully with an array of cute candids and memorable moments to cherish forever.
Sarah says: “Leanne and Johnny were just amazing! They were supposed to do my brother-in-laws wedding, but at the time they were unable to do it as Leanne was pregnant. So the first thing they did was recommend them to us and we’re so happy they did!
“They were absolutely brilliant and such good craic. It didn’t feel like they were a supplier on the day, and everybody raved about them. Johnny also made us a video and we absolutely love how everything turned out.”
Sarah looked like the Queen of the Castle in a stunning Suzanne Neville dress from Serendipity Bridal Boutique in Fivemiletown and a beautiful headpiece from Deborah K Design Bridal Jewellery & Headpieces.
Sarah continues: “My dress was quite plain and simplistic. The top of it had a v-neck with a wee bit of lace and the bottom was totally plain with button details down the back and a bit of a train.”
Sarah’s bridesmaids rocked sky blue dresses from Pronuptia in Belfast with a flowy and minimal style that added an extra pop of colour to her summer wedding.
Dermot also looked dapper in a navy and blue checked Remus Uomo suit from Bogart Menswear with the groomsmen wearing matching waistcoats.
With so many memorable moments from their day, Sarah and Dermot found it hard to narrow down just one favourite moment.
“It was lovely seeing my dad for the first time on the day and seeing his reaction to me in the dress – it was a very special moment,” Sarah says.
“And of course, seeing Dermot was really emotional. I was a bit nervous at the house before I left but the minute I got into my dress and saw Dermot, everything just fell into place.
“I actually said the wrong vows at one point saying, ‘I Dermot’ instead of my own name, but the priest was so lovely, so we just laughed and kept going!
“For us, it was just so nice and relaxed with only four tables of guests so both sides of the family really got to know each other. We always thought we wanted a big wedding, but we are so grateful that we had a more chilled and intimate day.”
For all the busy brides-to-be planning their wedding in these strange times, Sarah has some positive words of advice.
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Sarah says: “I would say don’t get too caught up in all the details – ultimately you’re going to be marrying your best friend and the people you love will support you and understand it’s your day and all the planning and changes will be worth it in the end.
“There’s no point stressing about all the things you can’t control. If you’re at that stage where you’re ready to get married, then you should just go for it! It might not be the day you first had planned but there will be so many lovely elements that come out of it that you never even expected.”