On a wintery Tuesday in Co. Antrim, Ashleigh and Michael, our real wedding couple were married in a humanist ceremony under the shimmery chandeliers at The Loft Templepatrick at The Rabbit Hotel. Evoking a cosy, relaxed ambience was crucial for our couple who wanted to incorporate as much of themselves into their day as possible. Effortlessly chic, their banquet-style reception was the perfect backdrop for our relaxed bride and groom. Their no-fuss policy saw them rent a “fake cake” and create their own DIY wedding invites and favours for their 100 guests, as they wanted it to be “the biggest party they’d ever throw.” All of the gorgeous celebrations were captured by photographer Victoria Whiting. Let’s a take a look!
This pair crossed paths with one another on a night out in Belfast, when they bumped into each other and began texting. Next thing they knew, every Tuesday and Saturday night was reserved especially for an Ashleigh and Michael date night.
With an emphasis on luscious greenery and florals, Ashleigh’s gown beautifully mirrored the vines that fell gracefully between the chandeliers at their ceremony and reception, and also featured floral accents to echo her gorgeous bouquet.
Picture this: It was a rainy New Year’s Day in 2019. Ashleigh and Michael were on a staycation at Carton House in Co. Kildare. As the couple’s room wasn’t quite ready on arrival, Michael suggested that they take a leisurely stroll in the downpour, to a rather reluctant Ashleigh. After begrudgingly agreeing, before she knew it the rain had cleared and Michael was down on one knee asking her to spend the rest of her life with him – after the rain comes the rainbow and all that.
The Rabbit Hotel is one of the most stunning wedding venues in Northern Ireland. It oozes class and sophistication while also boasting comfort and cool interiors – the perfect fit for our no-stress couple. “We wanted our wedding to be personal and fun,” says Ashleigh.
Macarons and bubbles? Always a good idea!
Their humanist ceremony allowed them to really personalise their vows and tell their story. Their celebrant helped them to put more of themselves into their truly sentimental ceremony. Encompassing their whole family into the day, Ashleigh and Michael also made vows to their four-month-old little boy, Patrick who has completley stolen our hearts.
Patrick joined mammy and daddy on the altar in the most gorgeous little suit. So dapper!
This couple really marches to the beat of their own drum, and speaking of, Ashleigh even walked down the aisle to a Lady Gaga song Is that alright? sung by singer and close friend, Mollie McKeever.
Next, the newlyweds braved the winter chill for a beautifully orchestrated outdoor photoshoot on the grounds with photographer Victoria Whiting who maximised the beautifully moody natural light to perfection.
This floor-length cathedral veil is everything!
Their goal for the day was to feel relaxed and achieve a super easy-going ambience; the venue leant itself perfectly to a chill, cottagecore chic style with luxurious Persian rugs, warm Hygge lighting from chandeliers intertwined with hanging plants, and Ashleigh’s DIY wedding day crafts. Ashleigh and Michael were inspired by Pinterest and say, “We wanted something different and a bit of a quirky atmosphere.”
We love the rustic feel of this top table!
What a way to do a winter wedding. Check out this incredible pampas grass Christmas tree – that’s one way to do a subtle nod to the festive season!
Check out this guest book idea! Pop an Instax camera on the table for guests to leave their photo and a personalised message inside. Maybe even some advice on what makes for a happy marriage!
This savvy pair has some practical advice for any engaged couples – essentially, they just reckon you need to relax. “Don’t stress over the little details, no one notices! Remember its also your day, everyone will have an opinion on the way to do things, but just always think what do you really want.”
Ashleigh and Michael opted for a “fake cake” which is an interesting option for anyone in the planning phases who doesn’t have cake high on their list of budget priorities. But anyone with a sweet tooth still got their fix as dessert was a New York-style cheesecake or deep-pan apple pie, with plenty of macarons to boot. Yum!
For their first dance, the pair chose a modern love song – Perfect by Ed Sheeran…
But they were interrupted by a flash mob of Riverdance, as five dancers from Unity Irish Dance took to the floor to wow the crowd. The craic continued when the music started with everyone up on the dancefloor for a good aul boogie!
We would like to wish a special thank you to our couple Ashleigh and Michael, and photographer Victoria Whiting who captured the day beautifully.
Looking for more wedding inspiration? Take a look at our catalogue of real weddings right here.