Sometimes a bride throws caution to the wind and does her wedding, her way. Lisa McCabe, a fashion designer and blogger, did exactly that for her wedding to Stuart Hetherington in November 2017.
Explaining her approach, Lisa said, “We wanted a day that was about us and based around us. We didn’t do anything that we personally didn’t enjoy or want. I have watched so many couples booking things for the benefit of certain people in their family etc but at the end of the day it was our wedding not theirs! And her advice for anyone planning their big day is simple, “It’s your wedding, no one else’s. Do what you love not what you think everyone else expects or wants. Don’t waste money on things you don’t think will be a highlight or is needed. “Don’t feel like you have to do every tradition just pick the ones that work for you! I had so many people telling me I need to do this or that, and my response every time was, ‘No I don’t, it’s our wedding’.”
The couple met in a bar in Enniskillen in 2015 and Stuart planned a romantic engagement in London. Lisa remembers, “Stuart knew I had amazing memories at the Tate Modern Art museum in London so he took me to the embankment in front of the Tate at night were there were Christmas market stalls. Above us were trees full of fairy lights and in the distance, I could hear the vintage merry-go-round and he popped the question. “It was just perfect and I will never look at fairy lights the same again without remembering that life changing night. The ring is a vintage 1940’s deep blue sapphire. Stuart knew I wanted something unique that no one else would have and I was always stunned by Princess Diana’s statement ring so he took that as inspiration. I wanted a ring fit for a princess!” Just the next day Lisa found her dress but she used her designer skills to make a few changes, “I found my vintage dress very quickly online, literally a day after I was engaged. I just went for a shape that I knew flattered my body shape and I would feel comfortable in. It was a very plain vintage ball gown style dress. I ordered it knowing I could do any work to it that it would need. I made the sleeves and added beading and lace to make it more me.” Lisa’s bridesmaids, her sisters Donna McCabe and Christine McCabe, wore dresses from Chi Chi London. They too needed to be restyled and altered which were completed at Sew It Seams, Enniskillen. “They did an amazing job not only on the day, but during the build-up too.
“I wanted the flower girls to have different dresses as they both have very different personalities. They were bespoke and I even made burgundy fully skirt tutus under for a bit of a fun twist.” Stuart, along with his groomsmen, his friends, Lyle and Ryan Gawley, had suits from Ted Baker.
Thankfully Lisa found the planning went smoothly, mostly down to her precise planning, and the fact her and Stuart agreed on everything easily.
“The fact that we have the same taste in things went a long way. It was exciting choosing what we would have and day dreaming about what it would feel like on the day. “Visiting the stunning venue gave us butterflies and we tried to involve our parents/close family in the process so it felt so special to have them involved and get their feedback along the journey. “I planned everything down to a tee including timelines/deadlines which for me made it very manageable. As long as I kept to my timeline I was happy with how it was going. Being organized makes it a lot easier.
“But the most stressful part was chasing people for replies for the invites so we could do the table plan. Ten people missed the deadline which meant me double checking with everyone to make sure they were still 100% coming. I am OCD so bad time keeping drives me mad as it is!” And her attention to detail was evident throughout the day at both St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen and The Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran, as the couple went with an autumnal theme – with their personalities scattered throughout.
“Autumn is our favorite month so there was no question as to when the wedding would be, with geeky hints to suit our personalities. It was extremely important to us the wedding was very personal and represents us.
“The colors we went for were very autumnal alone. We made sure that our professional photos were shot in an area with lots of beautiful orange leaves. We went scouting for locations a day or two before too.
“My favorite Disney film is Beauty and the Beast so the dining room was full of red roses and chandeliers. The flowergirl baskets had real red rose petals. We had a rose replica in its own glass case from the movie also.
“The groom’s cufflinks and tie pins were Batman logos and he had a Darth Vader Star Wars patch on the back of his tie. We also had our favorite books stacked on the card table and our typography was cut out magazine punk style letters to reflect Stuart’s love for punk music.
“We had gold pumpkins on the tablets to represent our love for Hallowe’en.
“Stuart has stunning tattoos and we both love rock music so made sure we got shots of my leather jacket and his tattoos.
“Those are just to name a few things we did to put our own stamp on the big day!”
With Lisa’s watchful eye, the couple’s day went to plan. “As my friends and family said, it was like a military procedure due to my timelines which were emailed to the full bridal party/wedding suppliers the day before to make sure everything went smoothly. Which it did! In saying that, it felt very natural and relaxed. Everyone said they had an amazing day and no one stopped smiling the whole time. “
The couple were also careful not to go over budget, and also stuck to a small wedding with 60 guests, “We always wanted a small wedding but we also didn’t want to borrow any money so when we started planning we worked out how much we could afford and saved that amount up until the day.
“We didn’t go over budget and we had every penny paid off before the big day which was such a relief. It meant any money from guests was spent during the honeymoon.”
Looking back Lisa said, “I don’t have any regrets. I probably spent too much on things that we didn’t need and we could have done without. We had a photo booth plus wedding favors and people took the photos home but weren’t as bothered with the chocolate wedding favors. The things that stood out were the little things personal to us.
“Thankfully there were no big disasters at all but the groom came into the dining room wearing a Star Wars storm trooper helmet to the Imperial March theme song as a surprise and everyone really thought that was hilarious.
“Also, a very small thing was we were also meant to bring our main centre piece for the top table from the church but it was forgotten but thankfully no one noticed.
“Stuart’s highlight was walking back down the aisle hand in hand for the first time as husband and wife as all our family and friends cheering us on – the support for our marriage was over whelming.
“My highlight was having all our family and friends altogether in one place and seeing everyone’s reaction to all the hard work that went into the wedding.”
After a personal day spent in the company of their closest family and friends, the couple honeymooned in New York.
“We were there during Thanksgiving which was just magical. There was such a festive feeling in the air and we got to see New York all dressed up for Christmas which is just something else.
“I had never been to America so we got to see and do so much. It was a very fast paced trip and we didn’t get to relax much, so we booked a second Honeymoon to Tenerife in February 2018 the second we got back!”
And married life? “We just love it! We are having a great time just being together and getting used to being a married couple. It’s hard to remember at times my second name has changed but apart from that everything is perfect. We truly believe we were made for each other.”
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Reception location: The Great Northern Bundoran
Wedding Dress: Restyled Vintage by Nor Lisa Fashion
Hair: Eden Hairdressing
Millinery: Nor Lisa Fashion
Jacket: Nor Lisa Fashion https://www.facebook.com/NorLisaFashion
Cake: Gabrielle Sweeney
Transport: Glendale Limousines
Photography: Brendan Gallagher Photography
Entertainment: Niall Dooris Live Musician and DJ
Photo Booth: D + D Snapping Gorgeous
First dance: Baby Blue by Bad finger – This is from the first TV series the couple finished together – Breaking Bad