Blaine Leathem from Lurgan chose a wine cellar in Ashford Castle to propose to Sarah Curran, from Moy, making them the first ever couple to get engaged in this very romantic setting! Sarah, a financial accountant at McAleer & Rushe, and Blaine, a building contractor and owner of BCL Properties, are both 31. They met at a show jumping competition at Meadows Equestrian Centre in September 2015.
The proposal came during a weekend break in Ashford Castle for Sarah’s birthday “It was so romantic and something I will never forget,” Sarah said. “Blaine had booked a wine tasting experience in the newly opened wine cellar in Ashford Castle. Little did I know that Blaine had planned to propose. It was such an incredible surprise, it was just magical.” Blaine had asked her dad beforehand. “This meant the world to me as I am the only daughter,” Sarah smiled. Blaine picked the engagement ring which Sarah absolutely loves “He had sized it against a ring I wear on my right hand and it was a perfect fit,” she said.
Sarah loved choosing her wedding dress. “I wanted to enjoy it as I knew it would be the only time I would have this experience,” she said. “I tried two other bridal shops before I picked my dress in Pronuptia Bridal in Belfast. I fell in love with it instantly. I wanted something timeless, pretty and comfortable, I knew I would be dancing all night. I couldn’t have found a more perfect dress, thanks to the girls in Pronuptia and my mum who has great fashion sense. “The experience was great fun. It was very special for my mum and I, as she got her dress in Pronuptia Bridal also, 34 years ago.”
The Angeleye London bridesmaids’ dresses were bought online through Next. “I loved them as the style was similar to my dress and they were stunning on the girls, also easy to alter. I do have very glam friends, they were going to look good no matter what they wore!” Sarah said. Sarah had five bridesmaids – friends Orlagh Hughes, Amy Boyd, Sara Coyle, Suzie Cave and Blaine’s sister Eimear McShane. “As I have no sisters, I wanted to ensure my best friends were all by my side along with my new sister-in-law,” Sarah said.
Blaine’s uncle works in SD Kells in Lurgan and he kitted out the groomsmen in a simple, sharpe black tux. Suits were Remus Uomo and shoes from Kurt Geiger. The grooms’ party was made up of best man Tomas Barrett, the groom’s brothers Fergal and Phelim Leathem, and Sarah’s brothers Frank and Fergus Curran. “They all looked great,” said Sarah.
The couple married at St Brigid’s Chapel, Killyman on October 6 2018, and hosted their reception in a marquee at Sarah’s family home.
“Blaine and I planned it all together, and as it was at my family home, we had to think of everything,” Sarah said. “We both knew what we liked and as we have similar taste it made it easier. We both didn’t want a theme or anything gimmicky, we just wanted simple, classy and timeless, which is exactly what we got.
“I think the best part was the two weeks build-up to the wedding as the marquee was being built and we were involved in it all. It was great to see it all coming together, the flower pelmets being hung, decorating, making the dance floor, it was a great experience. All the suppliers we worked with were incredible, we wouldn’t change a thing.”
Sarah admits to finding pricing and organising the suppliers quite stressful. “The price variances were crazy but we priced around and got the best value for us. This is definitely advice I would give to any couple planning a wedding, don’t rule any supplier out because you think they might me too expensive, always ask.”
The couple had 140 daytime guests, and around 150 more at the evening party. The day went perfectly. “Obviously picking October we knew we couldn’t guarantee the weather, but the sun shone all day, it was the most wonderful autumn day,” Sarah said.
Sarah wore her grandmother’s wedding ring on her right hand and Blaine’s grandmother’s earrings. “Both passed away in the year leading up to the wedding, so it was nice to have them with me in that special way,” Sarah explained.
Guests were entertained by singer Finbarr Keaveney during the meal. “Guests were up dancing during the meal, he created such a special atmosphere,” Sarah said. Something else which added sparkle to the day was a fantastic fireworks display organised by Blaine’s father.
Sarah and Blaine’s first dance as man and wife was to Elvis Presley singing Can’t help falling in love.
The Bentley Boys, who played during the drinks’ reception, laid on a full night’s entertainment, starting with an eight piece band for three hours, followed by a four piece band, finishing with the DJ. “The dancefloor was full all night,” said Sarah.
Looking back, the couple say the highlight of the day for the both of them was the vows and wedding ceremony. “Getting married in front of our family and friends was amazing,” they said.
Their advice to other couples is to plan together as a couple. “It’s a wonderful experience and we have amazing memories,” they said. “Price around suppliers and don’t waste money on gimmicky things unless it’s something you both love.” And an extra word of advice from Sarah – “Make sure your shoes are comfortable to dance in, I had mine on all day and night!”
For their honeymoon Sarah and Blaine returned to Ashford Castle, scene of that romantic proposal, for two nights, before Blaine surprised Sarah with a trip to Venice.
The couple said they are enjoying married life. “We are loving seeing photos from guests and the professional photos are better than we could have hoped for, who knew we were photogenic…” they joked.
WEDDING SUPPLIERS INFO
Wedding Dress: Pronuptia Bridal
Groomswear by: SD Kells
Hair by: Hair Boutique
Flowers by:Edwards Flowers
Room Décor by: SBD Events
Rings from: D & K Jewellers
Transport from: Bentley Wedding Cars NI
Photography by: Padraig Donnelly Photography
Entertainment by: The Bentley Boys
Magician: Rodd Hogg
Caterers: Yellow Door
Marquee: AR Marquees