After Covid-19 ruined their original plans, Rebecca and Chris finally got their dream wedding with a rustic and romantic backyard celebration they never knew they needed!
If your dream wedding plans have been affected by the pandemic, just know you’re not alone – our Wedding of the Week couple, Rebecca and Chris Patterson from Laurelvale, had everything set for a romantic castle wedding but of course, Covid-19 had other plans.
Although it may not have been their original vision, this perfect pair managed to pull off a beautiful backyard celebration with a rustic barn reception following their cosy church ceremony.
Our bride Rebecca Patterson told us all about their unique love story and the lead up to their creative and homely wedding…
“It’s a funny story really, we first met in July 2015 through a friend and Chris added me on Facebook. We started texting before Chris went to England to drive tractors which lasted about 3 weeks before he came home because ‘there was no more work’, when really he came back to start a relationship with me!” Rebecca laughs.
It safe to say that Chris’s leap of faith paid off, as the two fell madly in love and got engaged three years later on a romantic getaway to Croatia in the summer of 2018.
Rebecca says: “Our engagement was beautiful – we went for dinner along the beach watching the sunset. Chris actually dropped the ring when going up to pay for the bill, but he was able to get it back in his wallet which I don’t know how I didn’t notice, but we’re just thankful it didn’t land in the water!
“We asked the waiter to take a photo of us and he was also in on the proposal and knew what was about to happen. When the waiter started to record a video on my phone, I turned around to Chris who was down on one knee holding a ring saying all these lovely things and asking me to marry him!
“I just burst out crying, I couldn’t believe this was actually happening and I couldn’t even respond, I just kept crying and Chris said ‘I take it that’s a yes?!’ and I nodded, it was such an amazing moment.”
Rebecca and Chris wasted no time and started planning their dream day straight away, but little did they know would it turn out completely different to what they had originally envisioned.
Rebecca continues: “I couldn’t wait to get married and knew I wanted to have the wedding within the next 1-2 years. We started looking around different venues, but I didn’t feel like any of them were ‘the one’ until one Sunday Chris suggested Darver Castle.
“I didn’t think I’d want a castle wedding, but I went anyway and when we arrived I was immediately blown away. I nearly cried when I saw the banquet hall that the meal and dance would be in – it was breathtaking.”
After finding their dream wedding venue, Rebecca and Chris had everything booked for the 6th June last year, but little did they know a global pandemic would strike and turn their plans upside down.
“We had it all planned for Darver Castle with a big wedding of 180 people and an extra 50 coming to the evening do, but when Covid hit around March we got a call to say we would have to postpone our wedding.
“My heart just sank, I couldn’t believe this was happening. I cried for days even though I knew I wasn’t the only one in this situation. And to make things worse, it had to be postponed a whole year until 26th April 2021 as that was the closest date they had.”
Just when things seemed hopeless, Rebecca and Chris were reminded of the true meaning of marriage – to make that special commitment and start their new chapter together as husband and wife.
“Chris and I decided we would get married on the 26th of April this year, no matter what,” Rebecca says. “The most important thing to us was getting married and we didn’t want to keep postponing the day any longer.”
This is when they came up with the creative change of plan to have a special and Covid-safe church ceremony followed, by a cosy and magical barn celebration.
Rebecca continues: “We were allowed 70 people at our church at Waringstown Presbyterian, which we were so grateful for. We then had the bridal party and immediate family come back to my Mum and Dad’s garden for a little at-home celebration/reception.
“My Mum and Dad really went above and beyond for us to make sure we had a special day – they decorated the big shed with drapes, fairy lights and lots of greenery and flowers.
“My auntie also made a floral archway and decorated the garden beautifully with bales of straw and milk churns and I was able to do some DIY pieces like the ‘order of the day’ pallet and a seating plan.
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“I wanted a rustic country-themed wedding as Chris came from a farming background and he arrived in style in a tractor and lorry!”
Rebecca went for a floral combination of scented stock, hydrangea, ammi, sweet avalanche roses, upper secret and vintage style ‘memory lane’ by Donna Designs in Lurgan.
“The flowers were amazing,” Rebecca says. “I wanted pinks, creams, whites and greenery, and I got so many compliments from everyone loving them on the day. My nanny’s brooch was also attached to my bouquet, which made them even more special!
“We also had Chris Semple as our photographer and he is fantastic, we loved how our photographs turned out! We also had an amazing videographer, John, who was brilliant and we completely forgot he was even there!”
Rebecca fell in love with a stunning in a lace sparkly dress by Justin Alexander she found at Orchid Bridal Studio in Portadown.
“I had been to a few dress shops and tried on a lot of dresses, but I couldn’t find ‘the one’ until I went to Orchid Bridal Studio. When I tried on the dress, I immediately fell in love – it had everything I wanted from the cap sleeves, lace and sparkle! I just felt amazing all day.”
For all the brides-to-be out there feeling the pressure of planning a wedding during the pandemic, Rebecca has some positive words of advice.
“If anyone is unsure about whether to go ahead with their wedding or not after being postponed, I would really recommend you just go for it!” she says.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is getting married and starting your life together. Even if your wedding has to be smaller, it can still be really special – ours was so lovely and personal with just our immediate family and friends with us.
“We are also hoping to have a bigger celebration with the rest of our family and friends in a few months’ time when the dancing & DJ restrictions are lifted, which also gives us something to look forward to as well!”
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