For everything from The Dress to the accessories, Joanne Ferguson Bridal a one-stop shop when it comes to beautiful bridal wear from head to toe. Unlike many bridal shops across the province, Joanne Ferguson - who has a BA Hons Degree in Textiles and Fashion - has been designing and making wedding dresses for many years and has built a solid reputation for helping to make the dreams of hundreds of brides come true.
When the bride and groom not only have a wine box ceremony, but matching ring tattoos straight after their outdoor ceremony, you know it’s going to be a super cool wedding. Add in an owl as a ring bearer, and a pole dancer as wedding entertainment and you have a wedding that I’m sure you will wish you were a guest at. Helena and Neill created a wedding that was perfect for them and I’m sure you will agree they both look amazing. A beautiful Northern Ireland Wedding, captured perfectly by Divine Photography.
IT ENCAPSULATED EXACTLY WHO WE ARE. IT WAS THE MOST RELAXED AND INTIMATE DAY OF OUR LIVES.
Helena and Neill were married on the 21st August 2016 at Lusty Beg Island in Northern Ireland. We always wanted to get married outside beside water somewhere be it Ireland or another country. The year before the wedding we went to visit Lusty Beg and as we arrived on the island a bevy of swans swam towards us and I just knew that was our place! We had 68 guests and we had it booked about 10 months in advance, most plans were arranged quite last minute and things really came together in the last two months.
How they met We first met in school, we were in different schools but I would join my friend in her art department which is where I first met Neill. It wasn’t until many many years later on a night out we both began to properly chat. We continued to chat until 8am in the morning, had told each other our life stories and realized that something special really clicked with us. We were together exactly 8 years on our wedding date.
The Proposal Neill proposed on my Birthday as we walked along the beach front in Newcastle. We were at the Sleive Donnard spa and we shut the world out for the weekend. No phones, no internet, just us. We told everyone of the engagement when we got home.
How did you allocate your budget? We wrote a list of what we felt was really important to us, the main things for us were location, good food, the officiant for the ceremony and photographs to look back on so this was the first of our allocations. After that we found it was quite easy to either splurge or save on certain aspects so we managed to keep within budget very well. The location was so beautiful it didn’t require large amounts of wedding flowers so that was a great save. With everything on the island, I didn’t feel the need for wedding vehicles. When it was time for the ceremony, myself and the bridesmaids jumped into my Daddy’s jeep and got a lift down. We created most of the props ourselves along with the wedding invites and other stationery.
Where did you splurge and where did you save? We splurged on the food, photography and videography. We were also expecting our second baby in June just before the wedding so budgeting strictly was necessary. We saved by creating the majority of decor ourselves. We didn’t want to get lost in trying to get around a lot of guests so only invited the closest family and friends which kept our numbers small. We wanted to support local businesses as much as possible for every aspect and I feel it made all our services so personal.
Why did you choose your photographer? I love how Catriona captures the perfect moments in such a natural way. It was exactly how we wanted our day to be captured- and it was! We also felt really comfortable around Catriona which was a big aspect for us as we didn’t want to feel like anything was being ‘staged’ on the day.
The Dress and Shoes I changed my mind on the dress a few weeks before the wedding! It was from ‘Joanne Ferguson’ who creates beautiful handmade dresses. I had previously chosen my dress when was pregnant and had a bump so when I tried it on afterwards I just couldn’t shake the image of a huge bump with the dress. Luckily Joanne was absolutely fantastic and said ‘If you’re not happy then I’m not doing my job right.’ Neill spotted the dress I wore in Joanne’s shop on the way to the bathroom. I tried it on and it fitted perfectly. The shoes were custom made by ‘Becci Boo’s custom shoes’. I wore my late great Aunt Mary’s engagement ring.
The Suit and Bridesmaids Neill and Kristian’s suits wear tailored made by ‘Dee Graham, tailor made suits’. He also made the groomsmen’s trousers which was no easy task as one of them lived in California. He had to go on their measurements with both groomsmen only having their fittings the week of the wedding. Dee also suggested the bows which the groomsmen wore and it all fitted in fantastic. The bridesmaids tops were created by ‘Fi Bourke Design’ who creates beautiful pole dance costumes for the pole dance competitions. Her designs are extremely well know throughout the ‘pole world’ as she creates such beautiful, unique pieces. The tulle skirts they wore were from ‘She’s fabulous’ boutique. Their shoes were Irregular Choice. The flower girl, Laura, wore her own communion dress which was given a little update with a pair of converse.
Theme or Colour Scheme Originally we didn’t although everything naturally swayed towards the rustic style with tomes of purples and blues throughout. As my partner’s tattoo studio is called ‘The Mad Tatter Studio’ we wanted to subtly include aspects of Alice in Wonderland which we did with my shoes and the table favours.
Flowers The headpieces, bouquets and table flowers were put together by Catherine Campbell atBeautiful Blooms. She knows me very well so completely ‘got me’ flower wise. I had shown her a few images of what I like and she created the beautiful bouquets and head pieces the bridesmaids wore.
Decoration We choose not to have the reception room decorated with drapes or chair covers as we loved it in its natural form with the high ceilings and the exposed wooden beams. We created the table centre pieces ourselves. Neill and his brother Shea chopped up the wood from the land we lived on and I had been collecting jam jars and Jack Daniels bottles from the previous year. The florist, ‘Beautiful Blooms’ put the flowers in for us and glued everything down so it was easily transferred. That was the creation of our centre pieces. The props were also put together by us, the pallet decorated by Neill and help from the bridesmaids with tying the string bows on many many items!
Food We had a trio of starters which were duck, salad and salmon tartlet, followed by red pepper soup. We then had Champagne sorbet as a pallet cleanser then a choice of turkey and ham or herb crusted fillet of beef which was amazing. We also had a trio of desserts to finish.
Wedding Cake The cake was made by a friend, Elish Fox, we choose a naked cake which sounds great in theory but quite difficult in reality. The cake maker had a difficult time preventing it from collapsing. It went slightly lopsided which I think added to its little quirks and it tasted delicious which is the main thing!