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Lynsey and Keith, also known as Dougie, were married on May 25th, 2013, at Loughinisland parish church, Seaforde, Northern Ireland, with the reception at Riverdale Barn. Lynsey says:

When we saw it, we totally fell in love with it, and didn’t even look at any other venue. We loved the fact that it was quirky and a blank canvas.

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The Beginnings

Bride and groom knew each other for years as friends before eventually getting together. They met through a mutual friend at university. Lynsey says it was about five years down the line before she realised Dougie is actually called Keith! She says it wasn’t really a conventional love story, and that’s why they chose the following Jane Austen quote for the order of service…

I cannot fix upon the hour, or the spot, or the look, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.

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The Proposal

Dougie proposed three years to the day that he asked me out. I was totally surprised; I didn’t see it coming at all. He had asked my dad for permission beforehand, and I loved that gesture. Dougie said he was more worried about asking my dad than asking me, as he was pretty sure I’d say yes, but wasn’t so certain that Dad would! He proposed with a little vintage ring that I had admired at a vintage fair we had been at, and had snuck back to buy it. We then chose the ‘proper ring’ together in the following weeks.

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The Style

The couple wanted to avoid starting with a theme, and to just bring together a day that was personal to them, and the bride says,

As a result of this, it kind of fell into a DIY, country, vintage theme – neither of us is into formalities, and I love all things vintage and home made. And as Dougie is a butcher, it was important to us that his company, Ballymoran Meats, provided the meat, and so a barbecue was the obvious choice for us for the meal.

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The DIY and Thrifty Bits

The wedding was packed with lovely DIY bits that had involved most of the couple’s families. The bride and her mum made the invitations:

I spent hours cutting out tiny mini-bunting, and Mum then sewed it on to the front of all the invitations. We wanted a rustic feel, so we used brown card and bunting as a theme throughout the stationery from invitations, to orders of service, to the table settings.

And there’s more!

Mum and I also stitched miles of bunting, and collected hundreds of jam jars, which we decorated with ribbon and lace. My sister made the desserts. My dad made an old-fashioned step ladder to use as the table plan, and some painted tables for the drinks reception. My mother-in-law and aunt made the wedding cake. My friend Danielle and I collected all the vintage china. I made cake stands out of mismatched vintage plates. Dougie and I made home made jam as favours.

And more!

My mum, dad, sister and I got up at 5 am the day before the wedding, and picked wild flowers to decorate the church and reception. My bridesmaids, mum, sister and sister-in-law decorated the church. We were joined by my mother-in-law and friend Lynsey who helped fill jam jars with flowers at the barn. These are to mention but a few! I absolutely loved that we did so much ourselves; it really did mean so much, and it meant that I had lots of time to spend with my family and friends in the run up to the wedding.

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The Planning

Lynsey advises a bit of delegation, especially with any DIY element!

Spending time with loved ones making things in the months before the wedding are memories we’ll treasure forever.

She’s also right in saying that time really flies when you’re planning a wedding, and doing your DIY…

You might think you have ages, but before you know it, it’s the night before the wedding, and you’re trying to stick and glue a table plan.

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The Dress

The bride wore Lou Lou Bridal from Ladybelle Bridal.

I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Laura, the owner, was so kind and welcoming. The samples in the shop were in realistic sizes, and Laura was always forthcoming with tea and traybakes. My veil was also from Ladybelle. I loved the fact that my dress had quite a vintage look and no train; it was quite similar to my mum’s wedding dress, which made it even more special. I had two pairs of shoes, both were eBay finds and cost less than £10! Bargain!

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The Photography

The couple were photographed by Photography by Brideen.

Brideen and Declan were wonderful from start to finish, and made everyone feel relaxed and at ease. Neither of us likes having our photo taken, but we decided to have an engagement shoot to get used to the camera and to get to know Brideen and Deci better. I would recommend this to camera-shy types; it made all the difference.


Nothing too disastrous! You just have to think that in the grand scheme of things, as long as you’re marrying the person you love, with all your friends and family around you, then nothing else really matters. I did manage to fall over whilst having our photos taken and snapped my nail off, but we laughed it off and found some super glue to fix my nail! We also had a giggle in the church when the elderly organist decided that he would double the tempo of Make Me a Channel of your Peace. It was like a dance version! No one could keep up, and it was so high that I’m sure dogs were barking for miles around.

The Advice

The bride has lots of great advice for you brides- and grooms-to-be:

  • Involve your family and friends in the planning and organising
  • Keep it personal to your style
  • Keep things in perspective: does it really matter if the icing on your cake is ivory, cream, true white, natural white, bridal white or white with a hint of white?  
  • Try not to forget your day-before pampering and R&R!

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The Music

  • First dance: In My Life by the Beatles
  • Father and daughter dance: I Loved Her First by Heartland
  • Walking down the aisle: Feels Like Home by Edwina Hayes (with hindsight, we maybe should have chosen something less emotional as this provoked a lot of tears of happiness!)
  • After the service: All You Need is Love by the Beatles

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 The Reading

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person: having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
George Eliot

Roll Credits
Photography – Photography by Brideen
Bride’s outfit – Dress was Lou Lou Bridal from Ladybelle Bridal, and shoes from eBay
Groom and wedding party outfits – Navy three-piece suits from Debonair
Bridesmaids dresses – Debenhams

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The Gallery