Both 30 and together for a decade after meeting at university, Sarah and Stephen tied the knot at the stunning Drenagh Country House in June.
But it all started with a magical proposal in New York at Christmas in 2014.
Sarah explained, “We got engaged on Christmas Eve outside Tiffany’s in New York. Unbeknownst to me, prior to going, Steve had asked my dad’s permission to go ahead and ask me to marry him.
“Then on Christmas Eve Steve said he was taking me for breakfast at Tiffany’s as it is my all time favourite movie. Once we got there and realised that we actually couldn’t have breakfast there Steve got down on one knee and asked “Will Ye?”
“We then went to a deli and had breakfast!
“The ring was from Purely Diamonds and Steve picked it all by himself. I had always wanted a princess cut ring as Sarah means princess in Hebrew but he got a brilliant cut diamond ring in the shape of a flower and had princess engraved on the inside so I could still have my princess ring.
“I wouldn’t have picked the ring myself but it is perfect and I couldn’t imagine it being any other ring. He also got the size perfect – apparently he got me to measure my finger but I don’t even remember doing this and still didn’t click on to what he was up to.”
Once back in Northern Ireland Sarah started to look for her perfect dress.
“My dress was from Perfect day in Lurgan. Growing up I always looked at a family photo of my mum at my aunt’s wedding from the early 60’s and my aunt wore a short wedding dress. I always said from a young age, ‘That’s going to be my dress.’
“I also knew I wanted red shoes as I am obsessed with red shoes so it was a must to have them on my wedding day. I needed a short dress to show them off!”
Sarah went with just her mum to pick her dress. “I wanted it to be special, not only for me, but for my mum as well. She always tells the story of when she picked her wedding dress – it was shoved into a brown paper bag and she got the bus home.
“So it was to be a special day for both of us. Also, one look from my mum and I knew it was the right dress. It was the second dress I put on and it is true what they say, you just know when it’s the one.”
The search for her bridesmaid Kerri’s dress was more complicated.
“We finally found Kerri’s bridesmaid dress in Creative Ideas Bridal in Cookstown. My bridesmaid Kerri is plus size and we had been finding it hard to find her a dress as most places we went to either didn’t have, firstly the style we wanted, or secondly, her size to even try on.
“This led us to being very frustrated as both myself and Kerri work in plus size fashion and knew that what we wanted is normal but we were made to feel that we weren’t being catered for.
“Then one of our customers in our work recommend Creative Ideas Bridal so out of desperation and curiosity we went. I remember to drive up to the shop saying we wouldn’t find anything and it would be another disappointment.
“However as soon as we walked in it was different from everywhere else we had been to and we felt at ease completely. The girls listened to what we wanted and we found the dress straight away. As soon as Kerri came out in it we just knew it was the one – she looked beautiful.
“I couldn’t imagine not having her by side throughout the whole process, she was the best bridesmaid ever!”
Aside from dress shopping Sarah didn’t do much more of the wedding planning as Stephen choose everything else.
“Steve says I just turned up on the day. He chose the date, the venue, the food, the band and had a design in the cake. He also had spreadsheets for everything.
“The best part of the planning for me was spending time with my family and friends and seeing their excitement for the wedding.
“I also made a lot for the wedding myself including the table numbers, wedding favours and my bouquet. I found making all these enjoyable as I could see the vision we had for the wedding coming together slowly.
“We also enjoyed picking the venue as we knew we didn’t want a church or typical hotel wedding and wanted to get married on the North coast as it was where we met.
“Steve had previously worked with Drenagh’s owner Chris, and he told us to have a look at it. As soon as we saw it we knew it was the one for us. It was the first venue we saw but it was everything we had dreamed of. It was magical walking round just imaging what our day was going to be like.”
And on the day itself the couple had their ceremony in the Moon Garden before hosting a reception for 100 guests in the main house. Their theme was simply designed to reflect the couple themselves.
“We wanted the wedding to highlight our personalities and everything we like so we put ourselves into the design of the venue, the ceremony itself and the cake. “We have always done our own thing so why would our wedding be any different? “I also made a lot of the decor as no one was offering what I wanted so I made it myself along with my mum – who made enough bunting to last us a lifetime. “The cake was also a major part in reflecting us as we both had different ideas of what we wanted so we came to a comprise and Steve got his side which showed his love of anything Marvel related, while I got my typical pretty wedding cake side.”
One particular special personalised moment was when Sarah walked down the aisle.
“I wanted Steve to choose the song I walked down the aisle and for it to be kept a secret. He kept joking that he was going to play the Jaws theme tune and I honestly thought he was joking.
“Turns out he wasn’t joking and that’s what I walked down the aisle to. The Jaws theme tune mixed with the Indiana Jones theme tune – again another favourite movie of mine – and yes, he had to do some editing for it to work, but it was a massive hit, not only with me, but for our guests as well, as it set the whole relaxed tone to our wedding.”
After a stunning day spent with their closest family and friends Sarah and Stephen took to the dance floor to have their first dance to Foy Vance’s Guiding Light.
“It was going to be Kodaline, The One, which is why I got ‘The One’ engraved into my wedding ring but Steve played the Foy Vance song about a week before the wedding and as soon as he played it I knew that we were swapping it.
“At least ‘The One’ is something acceptable to have on your wedding ring – it could have been a lot worse.”
Looking back on their day Sarah said, “Everything was a highlight. It’s exactly how we wanted it. I also liked seeing Steve at the end of the aisle and know that I was finally going to marry him.
“But I would maybe not get so nervous the night before as there is no point in nerves as it all works out perfectly in the end.
“The most stressful part was waiting on people to send their RSVP’s back!”
For their honeymoon the couple took three weeks out to take a road trip across America, travelling from San Francisco, LA, Vegas and finally finishing off where it all began in New York.
Now they are home and enjoying married life.
“Nothing much has changed apart from my name, while Steve is trying to get used to wearing a ring. But I look forward to seeing what married life has in store for us.”
Reception venue : Drenagh Country House
Wedding Dress : Perfect Day
Bridesmaids : Creative Ideas Bridal
Groomswear from: Moss Bros
Make-up : Kerrie Coll
Hair : Cuts Hairdressers
Room décor : The Wedding Room. However the bride made the majority of it including the centre pieces, the wedding favours, the table plan and the bride’s mum made the bunting
Rings : Purely Diamonds
Cake : It’s Complicated Sugar
Photography : Catherine MacKenzie
Entertainment : Erin Fullerton and Platinum