ELEGANT AND DELICATE THEMES SHAPED HANNAH’S BIG DAY!
When the bride’s dad is a respected wedding planner, she can be sure that her wedding day is going to be everything she ever dreamed of and more! This was the case for 28-year-old Hannah McConkey, a teacher from Annahilt, Hillsborough, and her groom Michael Evans, also 28, a managing director from Ballynahinch. The couple wed in Ballynahinch Baptist Church on 28th September 2018, and afterwards hosted a reception for 260 guests in the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.
They met through Michael’s best man, Aaron. He and Hannah had been friends since they were children and were catching up one night with a group of friends when Aaron suggested he had a good friend he would love to set Hannah up with. ‘One thing lead to another and then Michael was taking me on our first date to the dog racing at Drumbo. After a few more dates I realised that this was something special,’ Hannah said. The couple got engaged on 3rd November 2017, following a bit of scheming by Hannah’s friend Emma, Hannah’s dad David and Michael. ‘After Dad and I met for a coffee in Belfast, Dad, being a wedding planner and florist by trade, suggested we walk down towards Malcolm’s Jewellers window. This is a pretty normal thing for my dad and I didn’t think anything of it, until, as I approached the window, Michael was standing there holding the door open and asked me to come in. Before I could think, we were inside, in the room and he simply said: ‘Do you want to get married?’ ‘Not the most romantic proposal, but it worked, I said yes, and we picked the ring together.’
Hannah’s dress was by bespoke designer Elizabeth Frances Bridal Designs. ‘I knew I wanted my dress designed for me and wanted something that I knew you couldn’t buy in other shops,’ she said. ‘Elizabeth listened to what I liked and took on board my style from the moment we sat together, and then she created the dress of my dreams. ‘I loved the experience of seeing it all come together, from cotton material to silk, it was amazing.’ The dresses for bridesmaids Louise, Claire and Emma and flower girls were also made by Elizabeth Frances. ‘Louise, Claire and Emma were my three best friends and were the three girls who I wanted beside me throughout the whole day,’ Hannah said. Smartly attired in their tuxedos were best man Aaron, and groomsmen Michael’s bother Paul and brother-in-law Thomas. Hannah and Michael opted for an ‘elegant’ theme for their wedding, and Hannah’s dad played a big role in ensuring elegant is what they got.
‘As my father is a wedding planner and very well respected in the wedding business, he used all his contacts within the wedding industry, and everyone who came on board fulfilled my dreams in every way,’ said Hannah. ‘The day was simply amazing, from beginning to the end, music was very important and I was delighted to have Marion Jordon and Karl McGuckin taking part in the church service with Johnny Ireland playing a beautiful baby grand piano and his choir Concentio Chamber singing as well.’
Hannah added that her highlight had been her father walking her down the aisle. ‘Michael just beamed from beginning to the end!’ Guests enjoyed an amazing ice cream cart with personalised wafers set up by Genoa Ice Cream from Warrenpoint. The weather was kind and the Mourne Mountains made a stunning backdrop for photographs. The couple’s first dance was to ‘When You Got a Good Thing,’ by Lady Anabelle. Hannah said she enjoyed every moment of planning the day – with a bit of help from Dad! ‘I am very lucky and blessed to have David McConkey as my wedding planner and proud to call him my dad,’ she said. ‘He took the stress out of it and ensured everything came together.’ Having this help meant Hannah remained calm and relaxed at all stages during the planning, preparation and on the big day. ‘I can’t speak for my dad but I enjoyed every moment of the planning and preparation for the most important day of my life, so far,’ she said. Having a wedding planner on board meant that the couple also stuck to their budget, something dad David was very strict about, although he was more liberal with the flowers. ‘What he created was amazing,’ Hannah said.
The couple would recommend that other couples organising their wedding should consider booking a wedding planner, adding that it really takes all the stress away. Admittedly, their wedding planner had provided his services for free – being the bride’s dad! After the wedding, the couple went to Spain for a week, but will be heading to Cape Town and Dubai for their ‘proper’ honeymoon. ‘Married life is amazing; it is great to be able to share my daily routine, thoughts and worries with the person I love every day, see them every day and look after each other. I couldn’t imagined it to be any other way,’ said Hannah.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Reception location: Slieve Donard Hotel
Wedding Dress from: Elizabeth Frances Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses from: Elizabeth Frances Bridal
Make-up by: Clare McKinney – Make-Up & Beauty
Hair by: Annika Olsen Hairstylist
Flowers by: Wedding Designs by David McConkey & The Wedding Planner Service
Room Décor by: SBD Events
Rings from: Malcolm’s Jewellers
Cake by: Jenny’s Cakes
Stationery by: Darling Stationary
Transport from: The Ghost Galgorm / Bobby Morrisons Cars
Photography by: Matt Symons Photography
Videography by: Video Visual
Johnny Ireland Painist
Reception Eimear Bradley Violinist
Fiddler Adam entertainer
Band The Gents
Kenny K DJ
Firework by Jim Belfast