Oh what a glorious evening! The sun really does make everything so much nicer, doesn’t it? Tonight we have a beautiful wedding story with an international feel. Emma and Ben met in Australia originally, and after a few months Ben packed up his life in Australia and headed to Northern Ireland to be with Emma. Their story is lovely as was their November wedding at Castle Ward. Photographed by Mark Barton, we’re so delighted to share it with you.
“Ben and I met in February 2013 when I was visiting friends in Airlie Beach, Queensland. I had arrived the previous day and was out to celebrate my birthday. After that, whenever he wasn’t working, Ben was a fixture in our group – teaching me how to wakeboard (badly) and desperately trying to keep me out of the sun!
Ten days later I was on the move again and told him if he ever needed a holiday to get in touch. A few weeks later he booked a flight into Dublin.
Ben arrived for a two week holiday in April and ended up staying for a month. The next time we saw each other was his 30th birthday at the end of June, when we both flew to Canada. In the meantime he had applied for a UK visa, handed his notice in at work and was clearing out his house, and by August he was back in Northern Ireland to stay,” explained Emma.
“A year after we first met we celebrated my birthday, and first anniversary, at Beech Hill Country House…. and Ben proposed, but not before having been, good-naturedly, put through the wringer by my dad!” she added.
Emma and Ben’s wedding day was an elegant affair with guests travelling all the way from Australia to share in the couples special day. With a passion for adding personal touches, both Emma and Ben and their families helped make their day totally bespoke to them.
“Because we did so much ourselves, including hand making – with a lot of help, an enormous ‘B&E’- the wedding preparations were hugely enjoyable. Our families were incredible – my mum and dad’s generosity and support helped us more than we can ever say. Ben’s mum made the most beautiful invitations and my aunts and uncles, among many other contributions, created stunning floral displays and laboured over the Orders of Service. Their help and thoughtfulness made every detail of the day so very personal,” said Emma.
“On 29th November we were married at Castle Ward, Strangford – a place where we had spent many happy weekends. The wedding itself was, of course, a blur. Despite a lengthy car journey from Omagh to Strangford – a pleasure thanks to our wonderful driver, Jim – and a ‘slightly’ late start to the ceremony, the day went off without a hitch. Clear skies and mild temperatures were just the icing on the cake for what was an absolutely wonderful day – or, in the words of our flower girl, “the best day of my life, ever!” added Emma.
“My dress was from Serendipity Bridal in Fivemiletown. It was a front-runner among the many dresses tried on across Ireland – north and south – and even London. It was finally chosen after my dad gave his seal of approval – a first for the team at Serendipity!
Originally strapless, my Madeline Isaac James dress was customised with beautiful lace capped sleeves, all thanks to the skill of Arlene at The Sewing Rooms, Enniskillen,” said Emma.
“With Ben’s family having arrived from Australia, and my brothers from Scotland and Wales, it was probably the one and only time we’ll have both families together. Having all our siblings and my best friend, Ros, involved in the ceremony meant the world to us. We had an amazing day – and in fact an amazing week – with all our loved ones,” said Emma.
“By March this year it was all change again as we said goodbye to family and friends at home and made our way to Brisbane. For the many good friends who were unable to attend the wedding, another celebration is now planned for 16 May – back in Airlie Beach, where it all began!
Now, as we settle into our new life in Australia, there are even bigger changes ahead – baby Edwards is due on 9 October!” added Emma.
Ceremony & Reception: Castle Ward, Strangford, tel: 028 4488 1204.
Photographer: Mark Barton Photography, Belfast, tel: 028 9048 6447.
Wedding dress: Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Fivemiletown, tel: 028 8952 1371.
Transport: Regent Chauffeur Services, Ballyward, tel: 028 4067 1257.
Hair: Hair Flair, Beragh, Omagh, tel: 028 8075 7252.
Makeup: S.A.K Designs, Markethill, tel: 07738 090 660.
Cake: Pat Wilson, Killough.