A summer’s day in July saw the heat level rise, thanks to the love in the air and red hot style, that our real wedding couple, Rachel and Ally brought to The Carriage Rooms at Montalto in Co. Down. A colour palette of taupe, blush roses, gold accents and dapper black tuxedos created a style that was understated and elegant. The fun- al fresco day took place in Northern Ireland, and invited 120 of their nearest and dearest to celebrate with lawn games, sparklers and an incredible red Ferrari making for some gorgeous portraits. The Magills captured every magical moment beautifully, and we think you’ll find lots of inspiration for your own summer wedding below. Let’s get started…
Ally and Rachel were first introduced through the church they attend. As their relationship blossomed, the couple became huge fans of the north coast and spent a lot of their weekends there, of course, it was only fitting for Ally to propose in their favourite place! She explains: “In September 2021 we enjoyed a typical north coast weekend, we had a nice meal out and went for a walk along the coastal path beside the sea. Ally surprised me as he pulled a ring out of his pocket and proposed! We kept it to ourselves for a day or two before travelling home to surprise our families with the news.”
Ally the groom opted for a classic black tuxedo to complement his stylish wedding transport – a sleek red Ferrari 488! “Glen and the guys at Statement Menswear were superb in helping to try on various styles for the big day. After linking in the bridesmaid colour and considering my dress, Ally’s tux got my approval,” says Rachel.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were simplistic and beautiful. The neckline paired with the neutral taupe tone, was a timeless choice. “The off-shoulder style with a split was different to the traditional bridesmaid look and suited the three girls. I spent time debating over colour, and eventually after staring at swatches for a few weeks I settled on taupe and Ally agreed! This was a light and neutral colour that matched the tuxedo look and the simplicity we were going for,” says Rachel. These were the gals who also helped Rachel bake the wedding favours! “We began baking a couple of days before the wedding and set up a production line for fondant iced sugar cookies. We baked heart shaped cookies and covered these with blush fondant icing which were stamped with our wedding date and names. Having so many friends and family involved made such great memories in the lead up to the wedding day were made.”
Ally wasn’t the only one arriving in style on the big day! Rachel was chauffeured by her father in his very own 1956 Split windscreen black Morris Minor car. “Dad had long awaited the day to polish the Morris Minor up so he was thrilled when the big day arrived and he got to chauffeur me to our wedding venue in his pride and joy! The car had actually failed to start the previous day – so the mechanic had an early morning call out and thankfully the car was up and running again for its journey to The Carriage Rooms and made it there, almost on time! It was so special to spend time with dad on the journey and travel in the Morris Minor,” she fondly recalls.
From the ootset, Ally and Rachel tried not to get caught up in the little things and focus on the reason for the wedding – their marriage and commitment to one another! “We put a lot of thought and planning into our wedding ceremony, in particular, the most important part of the day. We prioritised ensuring our family and friends had a fun and relaxed day helping us to celebrate becoming Mr and Mrs,” they say. Their favourite ceremony piece of music was a song named Living Hope by Phil Wickham, a song that they both love, with lyrics that hold a lot of meaning.
The couple’s wedding day was a super relaxed day and full to the brim of personal touches which made it very sentimental. “Arriving in my dad’s car, baking the favours with my bridesmaids, and my sister making signs for the venue were just to name a few of the special touches! Also, on the morning of the wedding, my sister gave me a denim jacket to wear during the evening sparkler send off, which was personalised on the back with my new surname – the perfect relaxed bridal accessory!”
Let’s dive into Rachel’s beautiful bridal style! After visiting six shops and seeing lots of beautiful dresses, she was still searching for something to meet her dream style. She explains: “I was looking for a minimal style, something modern and simple yet classic and which had a small amount of detail. I spotted a designer I loved, Anais Anette, based in Canada, and booked an appointment at Indie Grace Bridal Boutique for my mother, sister and I. I loved various elements of the Anais Anette dresses and luckily, they allow for customisation options. After some thought, I booked a retry and placed an order for my custom dress. I went for their ‘Rhyan’ style dress with ‘Poppy’ pearl beaded lace inserts and an ‘Ezra’ split and eagerly waited in anticipation to see the dress come to life.”
The venue that won their wedding hearts was The Carriage Rooms, Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch. The couple wanted a venue which could cater for both ceremony and reception, with an outdoor area to allow for relaxation in the afternoon sun! They explain; “We knew that we wanted something different from the traditional hotel wedding, and had been researching modern venues with a rustic twist online.” After viewing a few and researching online Ally came across The Carriage Rooms. “After bringing our family to see the venue, we knew it was ideal for the relaxed day we were after. We loved the rustic stone walls and vaulted ceilings, beautiful gardens and the spaces there were for guests to relax – it ticked all of the boxes! We settled on July, hoping for better weather allowing the use of the beautiful gardens. The staff at The Carriage Rooms were so helpful from start to finish, nothing was ever any hassle – they made the whole planning process, including the running of events on the wedding day, totally seamless!”
We love seeing creative couples get to work. This rustic wooden table plan is such a gorgeous and easy DIY! Also, how adorable are the miniature guests playing garden games?
The wedding day aesthetic was made up of an abundance of fresh foliage, full florals, gold accents and subtle rustic elements. Rachel opted for a clean and neutral palette, made up of whites with a hint of blush to lift the bridesmaid dresses and lots of green foliage added in. “Our florist Diane helped to add some touches of ‘home’ to our wedding day, and she filled two milk churns from my parents’ home with flowers which proudly sat at the main entrance doors of venue. She created stunning floral pillars for the front of the ceremony room, fireplace displays, table centrepieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, cake flowers and more – her attention to detail was superb!”
As for wedding advice, the newlyweds say enjoy the planning! “Don’t get caught up on minor details and what others have done or what seems to be the norm! Suit yourselves and make your day special to you both. Take some time out for each other on the big day, as being a bride and groom is pretty hectic – you don’t stop all day and everyone wants to chat or get a picture with you! Ally and I got to enjoy some time together at the beautiful Montalto gardens and lake in the afternoon,” they say.
After a magical sparkler tunnel display, followed by the cutting of their drool-worthy three-tiered wedding cake, they shared their first dance as husband and wife to Perfect by Ed Sheeran. There was also a surprise novelty cake for Ally on the day with a cute cake topper showing Ally and Rachel as bride and groom on a motorbike. “Anyone who knows Ally knows that this is his favourite mode of transport. Beverley the baker, also made a beautiful surprise cake for my mum, who turned 60 the day after the wedding.”
A very special thank you to Rachel, Ally and The Magills for sharing their beautiful Northern Ireland wedding day with One Fab Day.
Check out some more spectacular Irish seaside venues here, or why not dive right into One Fab Day’s Wedding Venue Guide and take your pick with an endless amount of dreamy wedding venues!