You know you’re in for a treat when you get a sneak peek like the gorgeous image below in your inbox, and today I’m honoured to share the full gem from talented duo, Neal and Kristi of Campbell Photography! Like many of the greatest love stories, at first glance the timing seems like it couldn’t be worse, but in the age old adage, if it’s meant to be it will be, as was the case for Gillian and Mark!
“We met in winter 2006, while Gillian was still at Uni, and had rented a room which Mark had vacated in a student house owned by their future master of ceremonies! We met through Mark collecting his bits and bobs from the house, and generally hanging around unable to cope with life beyond uni. It wasn’t great timing, because Gillian was 6 weeks away from leaving for a semester in University of Hong Kong, and subsequent round the world trip. But Mark took Gillian ice-skating…and she fell for him.”
Mark wasn’t about to let the small issue of 5000 miles deter him from being with Gillian, so he followed her to China and beyond in their first year together! It was this epic adventure that inspired much of the vintage map and travel elements to their day. Combine that with the charm of the Ulstern Folk and Transport Museum and you have the perfect setting for their laid back and old world style.
“We chose Cultra Manor, in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was great. The special thing for us was the little chuch in the museum where we held our ceremony. We filled this little old place with friends and family and the oldey worldey charm and natural wood and brick really made it feel timeless and completely ours.”
Isn’t Gillian’s dress absolutely gorgeous? I love that tea length styles dresses are becoming more popular now, and wait ’til you see her fab veil!
See, didn’t I tell you her headpiece was amazing?! It’s light and floaty and yet still makes a stunning statement…and the really good news for you lovely readers, is that Gillian has put her veil up for sale in Style Serendipity’s Preloved Marketplace. So if you fancy getting your hands on your own piece of bridal fashion heaven, go see, quick!
Two of the big priorities for Gillian and Mark was for the day to be fun, and family friendly. I imagine the post ceremony ice-cream was a big hit with everyone, not just the little guests! Combine that with signature drinks (for the grownups!), and you know you’re onto a winner!
“We wanted to have everyone we know and love to be included and to throw a huge party! We are auntie and uncle to 10 little ones so we were thinking family friendly and chilled out for everyone. We had old fashioned lemonade and gnt’s for the welcome drinks, with beakers and stripey straws, a vintage ice cream bicycle serving cones just outside the church, huge bowls of traditional sweets sprinkled throughout the reception venue, a wedding cake made of giant traditional tea party cakes, instead of iced cakes”
It’s in these photos that the quirkiness and potential of the Ulster Folk Museum as a wedding venue, really shines! I love how Neal and Kristi captured the fun of the day, embracing the old world charm, while giving it a modern twist! They’re really special wedding portraits, that I’m sure will bring many happy memories back over the years!
What’s particularly impressive about the day, is that Gillian and Mark planned the whole thing in under 5 months! While it can be tough having the pressure on, as Gillian shares in her words of wisdom, it’s also great for encouraging you to make quick decisions. I know I ended up changing my mind many times over our two year engagement, so there’s a lot to be said for short and sweet!
“Do it quick. I am a procrastinator of the worst kind, but a short engagement made me choose without agonising, and the gut instinct decisions are always the best. We were engaged from Christmas and after a difficult month locating the venue, we managed to get everything else done in the remaining 4 months. Also, only follow tradition if you want to, not just because you should. Look for other options if you aren’t excited or even satisfied by a part of your day, that’s not good enough…change it!”
A trip to the wedding fair at the Crescent Arts centre in Belfast, was also invaluable, introducing them to stationers extraordinaire, Paper Bark.
“We went to the quirky wedding fair in cresent arts centre, Belfast in early feb. We knew we had our ideas fairly clear but we were looking for a computer/media design pro who could make our invites a reality. We found paperbark and fell in love.”
So from one epic adventure, to another, I’m sure your marriage will be equally as exhilerating as the trip that took you there! Thanks so much to Gillian and Mark for sharing your gorgeous day, wishing you both all the best. And massive thanks to Kristi and Neal of Campbell Photography for allowing me to give a home to their fantastic photography! Pop over to their blog to discover plenty more dreamy weddings!
Wedding Credits: Photography: Campbell Photography | Dress & Veil: Eden Bridal Belfast | Shoes: Monsoon | Wedding Rings: Murray & Co Belfast | Stationery:Paper Bark | Venue: Cultra Manor NMNI | Flowers: Penelope Flowers | Decor: DIY paper hearts and bunting | Hair: Simon Houston | Makeup: Sarah Caskey | Groom’s Suit M+S | Catering: Cultra Manor | Cake: Leonas Café | Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy | Flowergirls: Monsoon