A Christmas proposal and a summer wedding for Lydia and Christopher.
Nurse Lydia, was dating Personal banker Chris for two years before he proposed. They met on a night out in Belfast and all Lydia can remember is seeing a tall man with a funny accent and talking the night away – the rest is history!
The couple love to travel and planned a trip to Galway close to Christmas to see the Christmas lights – where Chris had decided to propose. But it didn’t go as he had planned! Lydia said; “I had just finished a night shift that Friday morning, so I had to rush home, pack, shower and then get ready for a five-hour journey. By the time we arrived I was exhausted, felt sick and was grumpy.”
Chris wanted to go into town and watch the Christmas lights being turn on, but Lydia convinced him to let her sleep and start fresh the next day.
The next morning, they went for a walk along the pier and as they reached the end, Chris got down on one knee and asked “Will you marry me?” Lydia immediately said yes, he started to tell her that even when he plans on asking her to marry him, she still got her own way as he wanted to propose the night before by the lit-up Christmas tree!
Lydias ring is white gold with a large square diamond surrounded by two square lines of small diamonds as well as diamonds along the band. Chris picked the ring himself but knows Lydia’s motto of ‘go big or go home’!
After this, they didn’t focus on planning the wedding due to the pandemic. The couple told us, “It isn’t easy planning a wedding but it’s even harder to plan during a pandemic when weddings are not allowed to happen and if they do, they are with restrictions.”
The couple booked their wedding in January 2020, the 30th July 2021 was their original date. Every weekend they spoke about what to do as many of their friends had cancelled their weddings or moved dates.
It wasn’t until Easter 2021 that the couple decided to go ahead with their wedding. They said, “covid or no covid, six people or six hundred people, we wanted to get married to each other. The wedding would be going ahead whether it would be in just a small church service or a full-blown mega party.”
They then had five months to plan their wedding as everything had been on hold.
Lydia went dress shopping with her mother and two sisters, Rebekah and Chloe who were also her bridesmaids. Lydia knew she wanted a dress with sleeves and heavy lace. She felt like she tried on every style and shape on in the shop – she had never experienced anything like it. They narrowed it down to two dresses – one that she loved and one everyone else loved. However, they left the shop without a dress and feeling emotional.
In June 2020, they returned to Elody bridal in Newry, her mother and Rebekah went with her while Chloe was on call to get her opinion. After trying on the 4th dress, her mum started to cry, Rebekah said ‘wow’ and Lydia didn’t want to take it off. Chloe was watching on Facetime… They found the dress!
Next was the bridesmaids who also got their dresses from Elody after the great experience they had choosing Lydias dress. Lydia let them go wild and pick whatever style and colour they wanted. She didn’t mind if they were different styles and colours as she wanted them to be in something they loved and was comfortable. They ended up picking different styles that matched with each other and in the same colour. This colour was then decided as the theme for the wedding.
The grooms’ men were harder to get sorted, so Lydia took the lead as she knew from her wedding dress that it was very formal. It was decided the men would wear a tux and what she picked they would love and wear.
Freddie Hatchett in Belfast accommodated exactly what Lydia had in mind and pulled it out for her straight away. Chris was to be in a double-breasted waist coat with a dickie bow and the best man and grooms’ man to be in a single-breasted waistcoat and black tie.
The couple got married on their original date of 30th July 2021 in Sandy Street First Presbyterian Church in Newry, followed by the reception in La Mon Country Club in Newtownards with just under one hundred and fifty guests. When the guests arrived at La Mon, they were greeted with a drinks reception which included beers, Pimm’s and a light lunch. They had a traditional Irish Folk Band playing to entertain their guests while the couple got their photos taken with family and friends on the grounds of the hotel. On the week of the wedding, her original band caught covid and couldn’t play, but they sorted out another band to replace them. The first dance song was Randy Travis – Forever and ever, amen and the father daughter dance was a slowed down, acoustic version of Tina Turner – Simply the best.
The couple said “the day went fast and they didn’t have a budget”. They told us, “Chris and I are only ever planning on being married once and to each other. So why not spend that little bit more? If we like something, we got it. If we didn’t, we didn’t.”
The day was perfect and they wouldn’t have changed anything. One of Lydias favourite moments was when her father – who is a man of few words – made his speech. They couldn’t get him to sit down and near the end he tried to auction off her older sister for marriage and she was absolutely mortified.
Their advice to couples planning a wedding would be “Enjoy every minute. Do the little extra things, spend that little extra if you like it and want it. Don’t listen to other people’s opinions because it is your wedding and you are marrying the person you love – that is all that matters.”
The couple had a two-week Greek honeymoon which they split between Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.
Reception Location: La Mon Hotel & Country Club
Weddings dress from: Elody Bride
Bridesmaids’ dresses from: Elody Bride
Grooms wear from: Freddie Hatchett
Rings From: Jack Murphy Jewellers
Transport: Ideal Wedding Cars
Photography by: Sara Dalzell Photography