Kilmore Country House wedding | Photo by Hannah Julia Photography

Your Big Day

Real wedding: A glorious day at Kilmore Country House

Amy and Jonny tied the knot in the stunning exclusive venue of Kilmore Country House - and their day came complete with a surprise boat trip out around Cushendall Bay

Amy, from Ballymoney, and Jonathan, from Bushmills, met through friends of friends when they were in their teens. "He made me laugh!" says Amy.

The pair got engaged in Berlin on a crisp November day, which also happened to be Amy's 26th birthday. Jonny got down on one knee to 'tie his lace' at the Brandanburg Gate, and came back up with a question.

They opted for a traditional wedding to take place a year later, with 'not too many frills', and for the most part had fun with the planning. "I did enjoy the run up to the wedding but it wasn’t without its stresses, normally over silly things! The only DIY we did included spraying some pumpkins silver to decorate the entrance to the church."

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They tied the knot in Mosside Presbyterian Church before a reception in Kilmore Country House.

Their wedding photos are by Photography by Hannah Julia.

The Dress

Amy's elegant wedding gown was by Spanish desinger Paloma Blanca, and featured a beautiful embellished belt at the waist. "I really enjoyed dress shopping and thought it would take forever for me," she said, "but I did it all in one day! Even my bridesmaid's dress!"

The Ceremony

The couple exchanged vows in a ceremony in Mosside Presbyterian Church, a highlight of the day for them both. "It was so lovely to have all the people we love in one place witnessing our vows," said Amy, "and I really enjoyed walking up the aisle". The walk up the aisle was especially significant for Amy as she had lost her father four years ago, however her eldest brother was there to do the honours and, according to Amy, did 'a good job'! "We have 13 nieces and nephews between us and we didn't want to leave anyone out I so had them walk up the aisle before me with balloons for cuteness! Our eldest nephew is 11 so he handed out confetti outside the church." They played Biffy Clyro on the bride's walk up the aisle, and Journey's Don't Stop Believing as the couple left the church.

The Venue

Amy and Jonny held their reception in Kilmore Country House in Glenariffe, Ballymena. For Amy, finding their perfect venue initially took a bit of hard work:

"This was something I found the most stressful! We wanted to be married within the year and we wanted to get married in autumn but the venues had limited dates, we looked everywhere! But when we went to see our venue, even while it was unfinished, we loved it from the beginning and the views were amazing!  I liked how it was a country house and pictured it there from the start. However it was a bit further than we would have liked our guests to travel but it was so worth it to hear everyone say how much they loved it!"

The Food

The venue served a wedding meal of sweet potato and red pepper soup to start, and a choice of sourdough-crusted blade of beef or breast of chicken wrapped in parma ham for mains, and cinnamon apple crumble and custard for dessert. "It was yummy!" said Amy. For the drinks reception they had warm punch cocktails and served fish and chips later in the night.

The Stand-out moments

"An unplanned boat ride after our photos was a major highlight!" said Amy. "I’m not sure if Charles at the Red Bay Boat Club knows how much we appreciated it! It was very kind of him to offer us a trip out around Cushendall bay, it was great fun!"

Any regrets?

For bride Amy, planning the morning out a little better could have allowed her some more time to relax. "My makeup took a bit longer as I was feeling the nerves so had to rush getting ready. Having more time to put my dress on and enjoy that moment [would have been good]. But the nerves disappeared when I was standing in the house with my brother, waiting for out car!"

The Advice

"Don’t overspend, you could get so caught up in all the frills etc. Enjoy the planning. Try to remember the reason for it all!"

The Honeymoon

Amy and Jonny went to Thailand for their honeymoon, which Jonny booked as a surprise for his new wife. "He booked it as soon as we knew our date and kept it a secret, but it was somewhere I’ve always wanted to go!" The trip didn’t go as smoothly as Jonny had hoped however when he became sick before they left Ireland and ended up in A&E in the Middle East!

"Thankfully after a few days of recuperating Jonny was feeling more himself," said Amy. "We managed to get our flight to Phuket where we had a week in paradise at the Amari Phuket! Bliss!"

The Vendors

Photographer: Hannah Frizzell from Photography by Hannah Julia | Videographer:  Sixteen23 (Stacey Dickie) | Ceremony location:  Mosside Presbyterian Church | Ceremony music: Organist- Christine Stevenson, Pianist- Claire McLaughlin, Cellist- Susan Montgomery  | Wedding dress: Paloma Blanca | Shoes:  Dune | Accessories: Veil & head piece from Dream Weddings Bridal Boutique, Coleraine  | Engagement ring: Caldwell’s | Wedding ring:  Caldwell’s | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ghost | Grooms/groomsmen’s suits: Red Groomswear | Flowers:  Lavender Green Portrush | Decor:  Bike & crates outside the church ‘Finer Details by Alison’, Pumpkins: DIY, table candelabras were provided by Kilmore | Reception venue: Kilmore Country House | Hair:  Linda Connelly | Make-up: Tammy Macrory | Honeymoon provider:Trail finders | Reception entertainment:  The Promise | Cake by Rosalyn Kiernan | Tan & Nails: Bespoke Beauty Bushmills | Wedding favour: Pin for Diabetes UK and Flower seeds in support of Macmillan