Like any good Irish celebration, great food and drink were at the heart of this stunning real wedding by the fantastic Sarah Fyffe! Tammy a Scot, met Northern Irish lad Pete when they’re were studying at St Andrews University (the same place where Prince William and Duchess Kate met would you believe!) and spent five happy years together, before Pete summoned up the courage to ask Tammy to be his bride.
The foodie connection started early with a proposal which took full advantage of Tammy’s love of cooking…and proves the point if a man isn’t hungry there must be something going on!
“On Christmas day he dropped the bombshell at his family home in Lisburn, it was the first time I remember Pete turning down seconds of a meal, but apparently he was so nervous about the proposal not even he could manage another spud! I’m a keen cook and was excited to unwrap Jamie Oliver’s latest, then I opened the cover to find a sparkly little number and the question written in his best handwriting!”
I’m always reinforcing the importance of following your instinct when it come to your big day, making sure all the choices you make, feel right for you as a couple. Tammy and Pete stuck to this plan which helped their rustic and welcoming day at restored 18th century Ballydugan Mill, to be better than they could have dreamed!
“We wanted our wedding to reflect our down to earth, natural personalities, and it just so happens when you get married in a mill full of rustic character, the wedding picks up that vibe too! So once we had the mill, the rest fell into place, it was definitely my inspiration but at the same time we didn’t go in search of a theme, we just wanted the wedding to be ‘us’ and it seemed to work! When we saw The Ballydugan Mill near Downpatrick, we instantly knew it was the place for us. Little did we know it would turn out to be so special.”
They took every opportunity to make their day as personal and authentic as possible with details and favours following the culinary influence.
“I made heart shaped shortbread for the drinks reception, people know I like to get creative in the kitchen so it probably came as no surprise that I tried to pass this on to the guests…the ladies all got a mini wooden spoon tied to a heart shape cookie cutter so that they could all go and make their own shortbread. The men all got a jar of the new Mrs Gilpin’s homemade Irish whiskey marmalade”
Who wouldn’t want homemade whiskey marmalade or the chance to bake your own shortbread? Such a creative idea for DIY favours!
Apart from the all important foodie details, having the whole day in the one place was another factor that was really important to Tammy and Pete and went towards creating the relaxed and laid back party atmosphere they craved.
“Above all else, we wanted the day to be fun for everyone and stress free for us. We wanted it to be one big Irish/Scots celebration so we had to get the balance right and have inputs from both countries. I think if you asked Pete the same question his response would be ‘the venue had to stock a good Guinness and a choice of drams’! The fact that we had the ceremony, the meal, the dancing all under one roof and then people could crawl up to bed meant that everyone could just enjoy themselves for the day. Drop into the equation locally sourced fine food and a well stocked bar and we knew our guests would leave happy!”
They were lucky enough to have talented friends who made a special contribution to the musical aspect of the ceremony.
“Our family friend Maureen played the piano throughout and introduced us to a beauiful piece of music by Phamie Gow called ‘War Song’ which I walked down the aisle to even hearing it now brings out goose bumps! She also played ‘I’ve got a friend in you’ from Toy Story for us to walk out together to…one of my favourite photographs of our day is the black and white one of us leaving the ceremony…we look so happy and it’s because we were almost singing along! Finally, I had arranged our friend Bill to play his guitar and sing as a surprise for Pete during the signing of the register. He played Ray Lamontagne – ‘You are the best thing’ and it was one of our most memorable moments of the day.”
I think you’ll agree the style and overall colour scheme for the day is just eyepoppingly gorgeous! Teal green is such a striking colour, and picking up those tones in Pete’s kilt is a lovely touch, and those flowers? Stunning! Sarah Fyffe did an amazing job of capturing the beauty of the countryside around the mill, as well as the pure joy written all over Tammy and Pete’s faces! You can’t but smile looking at photography like that.
Apart from Tammy showing off her skills as a culinary goddess for the favours, the piece de resistance has to be the beautiful wedding cake that she made with the help of her mum! As a bride who’s husband decided to make the wedding cake the night before our wedding in France (that’s a whole other story to be told another time!) I can fully empathise and say what an impressive feat it is to manage DIY wedding cake land so beautifully!
“The cake was also made in my kitchen…mum did the cake mixture and then I iced it…I was so proud when we went to cut it at 10pm that it was still standing and looking good!”
Having done such a beautiful job organising their day, seasoned advice is always welcome!
“Wedding planning isn’t worth getting stressed about. We enjoyed making all the decisions together and only went with ideas that we both agreed on. Remember your wedding should reflect you as a couple…there’s no need to go over the top, just keep it real to you both and have fun.”
I think my favourite advice from Tammy and Pete is to take a moment to enjoy the day! And judging from my favourite photos above (surely every Irish wedding should have a classic Guinness moment, no?!) they did exactly that!
“Once the party is in full swing, take hold of your husband and stand in the corner of the room – take a minute to watch your guests and think how lucky you are that they are there to celebrate you both.”
Thanks so much to you both for sharing all the secrets and details from your gorgeous day, and to Sarah Fyffe for capturing it so beautifully! There are more stunning weddings on her blog, so be sure to go see!
Wedding Details: Photography: Sarah Fyffe | Dress:Charlotte Balbier – ‘Betsy’ | Shoes: Rachel Simpson | Venue: Ballydugan Mill | Flowers: All Seasons | Hair: The Attic | Makeup: Beau Visage | Bridesmaids dresses: Alfred Angelo