From Blind Date to Everlasting Love
El amor todo lo puede.” (Love can do anything.)
Secondary School Teacher Serena Barr from Lurgan met Pablo Campuzano Martinez a Charity Worker from Algeciras in Spain on a blind date. Serena told us “My older sister, Natalie met Pablo at a friend’s birthday party. We went to Hillsborough for coffee and a walk and both enjoyed it but thought friends more than anything else. We decided to meet again and on the second date Pablo was sold, but I took a wee while longer”
A very romantic proposal caught Serena by surprise, she said “We were up at the North Coast with some of my family for the weekend, we went for breakfast with everyone and then we went to Bothy for coffee. We walked round to the quiet beach where we always go and have had many serious chats. When we rounded the corner I saw the set up in the cave we were protected from the rain in the cave and then my twin sister and brother in law came out and snapped a few pictures of us. We facetimed Pablo’s family and then went back to the house and there was a surprise party for us with all of my family. My older sister who had just given birth came straight out of hospital with my 3 day old niece so it truly was a special weekend.”
A search far and wide started for a venue until they happened to look closer to home and found Edenmore House along with Waringstown Presbyterian Church for the ceremony, a date was booked for 3rd July 2023 and 70 guests were invited from Spain and N Ireland to enjoy a lovely beach and olive tree theme wedding.
Serena found her perfect gown in Wed2B, Serena explained “I didn’t really know what I was looking for, although as soon as I started trying on dresses I knew I liked the A-line style, so I narrowed it down to those style of dresses. It quickly became clear that everyone (myself, my sisters and my mum) had a favourite so we were all of a sudden down to one. I tried it on with a cathedral lace edge wedding veil and a headband and it was perfect.”
Bridesmaid dresses for Serena’s sisters Bethany (twin sister and maid of honour), Natalie and Rebecca came from Macy’s in America. Serena said “My mum went to visit my aunt (her only sister) in January in Los Angeles and my aunt loves shopping so I told her to have a look for bridesmaid dresses as I knew they would be cheaper than here. It worked perfectly, although my mum was very nervous we wouldn’t like them until she came home!”
Suits came from Balmoral Suit Hire, Belfast for Pablo and his groomsmen Sam (best man and college friend) along with college friends Andrew Morrow and Andrew Pedlow.
Serena and Pablo enjoyed planning their day, although finding a venue was quite stressful once that was done everything else fell into place. Edenmore were great at helping sorting things out.
A Spanish themed wedding helped Pablo’s family feel right at home, with tables named after beaches Serena and Pablo had visited in Spain and Ireland, sand from each beach was placed in a jar with shells on the respective tables, their florist incorporated olive tree leaves into the bouquets and favours were jars of olive oil from Spain. With Pablo growing up five minutes away from the beach in Spain and getting engaged at Ballintoy Harbour, Pablo’s favourite place in Northern Ireland. They told us “We both love going to the North Coast and the beaches there for a walk it seemed fitting.”
The day was perfect and went by in a flash, the ceremony and speeches were bi-lingual so everyone could understand and join in on the singing as well. Pablo’s Mum walked him down the aisle which is customary in Spain and was a lovely touch, they had Spanish sweets along with Percy Pigs for the kids to enjoy and a polaroid camera so the guests could catch some candid moments during the day.
Serena and Pablo told us about their highlights of their day Serena said “It’s really hard to pick! I enjoyed every aspect from getting ready in the morning to the evening. I was nervous in the morning, but the nerves disappeared as soon as I got down the aisle”
Pablo said “The whole day was perfect! It was also very special to know that people that couldn’t be at the ceremony could watch online (we had set up a livestream through the church’s YouTube channel)”
The only thing they thought that they would have done differently was to have a videographer although they needn’t have worried as Bethany caught some moments on video along with her husband which he then turned into a reel for them to look back on and enjoy for years to come.
Serena and Pablo jetted of to Italy to do some travelling around Rome and the Amalfi Coast. They gave this advice to other guests planning their own weddings “Check out all of our suppliers – couldn’t recommend any of them more for best value and quality! Don’t do anything out of pressure because it is the done thing. You can stay in budget and save money in so many ways by doing things yourself or utilizing the skills and contacts of friends and family. Look around for the best value and enjoy the process of planning”
They are enjoying a very busy married life, they told us “Our first month hasn’t been a normal month, we went on honeymoon a few days after our wedding and then came home for 2 days before heading to Spain to see Pablo’s family and friends who couldn’t come to the wedding and spend some time with his family. We had a second celebration out there which my family came over for, so it has been busy but it has elongated the celebrations and fun! We look forward to settling into married life and normality and getting to move into our new home in October”
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO NAME AND TOWN
Reception location: Edenmore House
Wedding Dress from: Wed2b
Bridesmaids dresses from: Macy’s Department Store, Los Angeles.
Groomswear from: Balmoral Mens Wedding and Formal Hire
Make-up by: Chloe Henning Professional MUA
Hair by: Sonya Smith Hair
Flowers by: Rose and Thorn
Room Décor by: Rose and Thorn
Signs and Table Plan by: Panneau Wedding Stationary, Craigavon
Photography by: Callum Small Photos, Lurgan