I know all about being a bride to be in 2020…the date was set (25/07/20), we had visited and booked our beautiful venue in France (Domaine de La Moinardiere). The planning was well underway, our guests were starting to book their flights and then it was March 2020 and well, we all know what that means…life as we all knew it was grinded to a halt and it hasn’t been the same since!!
The first few weeks went by and we though it’ll all have blown over and our dream French wedding will be fine. But as the beginning of May was approaching and things were getting worse instead of better we quickly realised our that dream was looking less & less likely as each day went on!
Like so many couples, we were devastated. It really is soul destroying and we really feel for all our 2020/21 couples who know only too well this feeling of despair, frustration and uncertainty.
So ‘What do we do?’ we asked ourselves, do we postpone until next year (July 2021) move the wedding to NI, cancel completely and just get hitched in Vegas (we did consider all of these options!!).
After much deliberation we decided it would be easier to move the wedding here as the majority of our guestlist was from NI (JM is French so all his family and childhood friends are in France).
So within a week we had booked a whole new wedding for 28th December 2020 because by the end of the year of course it would be all fine and back to normal (or so we all thought back then).
I remember seeing photos of a wedding at The Orange Tree House in Greyabbey and had said before, if we had been getting married in NI, this would be the place!!
So we booked the venue (without seeing it due to lockdown) and I started researching other suppliers, in no time we had our photographer Mark Barnes Photography, we loved his work as soon as we seen it and had met Beth from Minford Media at a friend’s wedding she was filming in February so that was that!
We knew we wanted everything in the same venue so we set about researching someone to marry us and we came across Stewart Holden and we knew straight away he would make our ceremony fun, personable and add some humour.
We initially enquired with Emily Rose Music who was unavailable for our date as she was also getting married that week and she recommended Rachel Toman (Thank you Emily Rose!!). As soon as we heard Rachel, we knew we had to book her! JM loves his music and was very impressed she could play the keyboard for the ceremony and then funk it up for the drinks reception with her electric guitar.
Orange Tree have a great list of recommended suppliers which was very helpful and definitely worthwhile checking with your venue if they have one. DJ Gaz is Orange Tree House Resident DJ and he also came highly recommended by our photographer Mark.
I already had my dress and bridesmaid’s dresses all ordered from the fabulous ladies at Eden Bridal, a beautiful bridal boutique on Belmont Road in Belfast in fact it was the only bridal shop I visited to for both my dress and bridesmaids. And to get us girls ready in the morning Olivia Muldoon has us covered for both hair & make up.
And of course for the VW wedding cars and the photo booth we’ll have our own Quirky Camper Booth & Bella!!
After the restrictions had eased we finally got to visit Orange Tree House and it did not disappoint, the views, the stone barn, the Hatchery, it really is a stunning venue!
Around the end of October we realised that it wasn’t looking great for December with so many travelling over from France so our back up date of 6th July 2021 was our third date although we have now postponed that again until July 2023!!
The first thing I did when we changed from a Christmas wedding to a summer date was book Brook Avenue the cutest little vintage ice cream cart!!
Although we are very hopeful that weddings will be back to some sort of normality by this summer, with the uncertainty of travel and JM’s immediate family being in France we just aren’t prepared to take the risk of them not being able to be here, between that and being so busy taking bookings for everyone else’s wedding we just decided that this would be best decision for us.
Postponing your wedding is not an easy decision and what is right for one couple may not be right for the next, weddings can and will go ahead this year albeit a little different than most originally planned but they can also be very beautiful, intimate and enjoyable and you can have a big party to celebrate when things return to normal. Everyone’s circumstances are different so do whatever feels right for YOU! Once you’ve made a decision and accepted it…wether that’s to stick with it and roll with the restrictions or to put it off a little longer, you’ll feel a million times better.
So we are going to forget about our own wedding for a while, enjoy bringing our quirky crew to lots of beautiful weddings across the country and no doubt I will also find a few more things to add on to our day between now & then…and we still have our own big day to look forward to for a while yet!
Lisa (nearly Pascal) xx