A Proposal in the Park
From the Spanish proposal to the Italian themed wedding décor, this wedding was all about the European flavours.
Erin and Paul originally met during their school days in Belfast Royal Academy but met again by chance in the Beach Club in Belfast after Paul had left the school. “Paul asked for my number and our mutual friend passed it to him. From then he put in quite a lot of work.”Paul’s subsequent text messages eventually paid off and they officially became a couple.
The Park Guell in the beautiful city of Barcelona provided a stunning setting when banking analyst Paul proposed to legal analyst Erin after six years together.Paul surprised Erin with a proposal on a stone bridge overlooking the Catalan city.
Erin said, “He asked me to turn around to take a picture, there he was on one knee with the most outstanding ring. The ring is from Murray & Co, Paul designed the ring and it is perfection. An oval diamond with a halo and plenty of sparkle, exactly what I always dreamed of!”
Erin’s favourite part of the wedding planning was the hunt for the perfect dress, she really enjoyed the experience of visiting the boutiques with her mum, the maid of honour Catrina Campbell and bridesmaid Erin Walsh, both close friends of the bride.
The search for the perfect wedding dress took her far and wide. She tried many boutiques throughout Northern Ireland and even travelled to New York City in search for the dress of her dreams.
Erin hoped her desire for simplicity would make the search easy but there were too many beautiful dresses to choose from. “Each time I tried on a dress I got a better idea of what I did and didn’t want.”
After searching online, Erin fell in love with a dress from the Barcelona based designer Pronovias. As fate would have it, she found a sample dress in her size for a fraction of the original price.
The perfect bridesmaids’ dresses however proved to be harder to find. Erin said, “I tried a few high street brands but the quality didn’t seem great.”
Erin knew what she wanted in a bridesmaid dress and brought her idea to Newtownabbey based dress designer Kelly Black. Kelly understood Erin’s vision and went above and beyond to ensure the dresses were perfect. Kelly also designed and made the mother of the bride’s dress.
The groom’s party was a real family affair with Paul’s brother Ross Vance acting as best man and Erin’s brother Glenn McCarley as groomsman. All three looked dashing in suits from Suitor in Belfast.
The ceremony took place on Monday 27th May 2019 in The Stable Room at Ballyscullion Park in Bellaghy. The couple really enjoyed visiting all the different wedding venues. With a very specific idea in mind they travelled extensively to find the perfect setting. “We went as far as Wexford, only to discover the beautiful Ballyscullion Park was there all along in Bellaghy!”
The ceremony began with a tense moment for Erin, “As I arrived at the top of the aisle my head was jerked back by my veil which was stuck! The train of my dress & my veil were so long that they were actually still outside the room as I walked down the aisle.”
Thankfully no one seemed to notice and the wedding coordinator managed to discreetly save the day.
A reception for 100 guests followed in the marquee on the grounds of Ballyscullion Park. The couple had initially thought of celebrating their nuptials in Italy though decided they would prefer to marry at home. This led to the idea of a romantic Italian theme based on a colour palette of whites, greens and greys. Flowers and foliage provided the decoration throughout the ceremony and reception. A personalised coaster for each guest served as a place setting and favours of miniature prosecco bottles with paper straws.
Each table was assigned a quote from Erin’s favourite author, Nicholas Sparks with other quotes from the writer displayed throughout the venue.
The bride and groom danced together for the first time to Luke Combs’ song ‘Beautiful Crazy’. The song was chosen as a surprise by Erin and by a happy coincidence Paul had had the chords of the song printed and framed as a wedding gift to his new wife.
The guests were treated to an ice cream truck in the surrounding gardens as well as tasty s’mores cooked on the venue’s own firepit.
For Erin, the day was a fairytale from start to finish. “Everyone told us that it would go by in the blink of an eye and it really did, but it was the perfect day, exactly what I dreamed of.”
The highlight of the day for Paul was walking into the marquee after the ceremony with his new wife surrounded by family and friends.
For Erin the best part of the day was walking up the aisle on her father’s arm, “ I loved that I was walking down the aisle with the first man I ever loved to meet my Husband who was waiting at the end.”
Looking back over the whole experience Erin wouldn’t change anything about the day though in hindsight she wouldn’t have stressed so much over the little details. The couple stuck to their budget overspending in some areas but being savvy enough to make savings elsewhere.
The couple would advise those who are currently planning their weddings to invest in a good videographer and photographer, “ Once your day has been and gone, these are the memories you will keep for a lifetime.”
According to Erin, the ‘wedmin’ was the most stressful part of the planning. All the administration and form filling seemed to multiply as the wedding date drew closer. “Being a very laid back bride it seemed to get on top of me towards the end but I think if you are a super organised bride it probably isn’t an issue.”
Mr and Mrs Vance started their married life with a honeymoon to the USA and Aruba, combining Paul’s wishes for a driving holiday and Erin’s choice of a beach vacation.
Erin and Paul are settling into married life by redecorating their home and looking forward to their first Christmas as Mr and Mrs.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Reception location: Ballyscullion Park
Bridesmaids dresses from: Kelly Black Designs
Groomswear from: Suitor Bros
Make-up by: Makeup by O’Lovely
Flowers by: Victoriana Floral
Rings from: Murray & Co
Cake by: NI Cake Design
Stationery by: Darling Stationery
Photography by: Ciaran O’Neill Photography
Videography by: Wheatfield Productions
Entertainment by:The Goodfellas Band