With an inspired ‘enchanted forest fairytale’ theme Tomasina and Noel’s wedding was a dream from start to finish – and they ‘wouldn’t change a thing’ about their magical day saying ‘I do’.
Both from Derry, the couple met at the gym where Noel worked as a personal trainer. But love didn’t blossom until a year after they met when Noel finally crossed the divide from friendship into love – when he kissed Tomasina unexpectedly! She said, ‘Talk about awkward! But it grew from there!’
And Noel continued with the surprises when he proposed nearly three years later with a proposal that Tomasina will never forget.
“If I put the proposal up on YouTube it would definitely go viral! I can honestly say it was the best day of my life after my wedding day. Noel put so much thought and effort into the proposal and I will always cherish that moment.
“He put weeks into making me a video of our journey together, our good times; our bad times; our funny times; he put silly videos in there that I didn’t even know he had kept. It honestly blew me away.
“He proposed in a theatre where he had tricked me into thinking we were going to watch an ad for a show that he runs yearly. Which to me was quite believable. When I got there and we sat down I still had no idea. The cinema screen lit up and of course there was maybe 10 seconds where it was an ad, and then words came up on screen saying ‘Now for the real reason you are here’ and from then on I finally got the memo of what was going on. It was beautiful. As you can imagine I was a crying mess.
“Noel also proposed with a very unusual ring – a black diamond ring made in Turkey a few weeks before. It is a style I always loved and he had clearly listened to my hints when we were there!”
With such a memorable proposal the couple wanted something as amazing for their wedding day in March and they found their ideal venue at the beautiful Lusty Beg in Fermanagh.
“I honestly had the best time planning the whole day. I was very easy going about things but knew exactly what I wanted all the same.
“When we booked the wedding it just all fell into place nicely. We had six months to plan and book everything. But if you don’t stress and take everything in your stride it all comes together and I tried to stick by that the whole six months of planning.
“Personally, designing the reception room with the amazing Annette was my favourite part. I always knew I wanted something unique done with my room. I didn’t want a typical hotel wedding with all white drapping and twinkle lights and mirror centerpieces.
“Although I think that look is beautiful, it just isn’t me. I wanted something more classic and quirky and for me, the day I got married felt like an enchanted forest fairytale.
“I honestly didn’t stress too much coming up to the wedding and I tried to make everything a positive when I was unsure about things.”
Tomasina’s dress shopping experience was also perfect .
“I got my dress in McElhinneys in Ballybofey. It was the third shop I went to and I just loved the whole experience they give the future brides.
“I was very open minded but had a few things I knew I definitely wanted but the dress I picked was not what I thought I would ever wear on my wedding day. But as soon as I put it on I just loved it. Sometimes less is more!”
But Tomasina had a personal touch to her outfit as the cape she wore was something she had always wanted to wear from a very young age.
“My mum is a dress designer, so we both designed the cape I wanted and a lady who works for my mum in the factory put her years of dress making experience into action. She made me the most beautiful cape I could ever have imagined. With it added, my look was finally complete.”
With five bridesmaids Tomasina turned to the ASOS bridal range for inspiration and all of their look was ordered from there – the dresses, shawls and hair pieces.
“They were simply stunning and the most beautiful bridesmaids I have ever seen.”
The men, and Noel’s son Luke (6) were kitted out at the Black Tie Showroom on the Strand Road in Derry. “They went for a peaky blinders style of suit, we even got the hats. They all looked super cool.”
With 150 guests at their big day the ceremony and reception took place on the island where the day went smoothly.
“It was amazing from start to finish; the weather was gorgeous; the music was sung beautifully; our room was out of this world; we had the most romantic and special ceremony with all our closest friends and family; the food was beautiful and the service Lusty Beg provided was top class.
“More than that, I married my best friend and gained a gorgeous stepson. It was the best day of our lives.”
And the budget was far from their minds … “Let’s just say to this day I still don’t know how much money we spent but I can tell you every penny was worth it!
“Looking back on the day we honestly wouldn’t change a thing. One of the highlights was during the ceremony when Noel’s son Luke did a speech to introduce the ceremony.
“It was just so beautiful to have Luke involved in the ceremony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. It was so cute, and top it off he called me ‘the bride’, his best friend.
“The ceremony also had a funny moment because Noel said ‘I DO’ about ten minutes before he was supposed to. May not seem funny to anyone else but the whole room when into convulsions.”
Adding extras special touches the couple had a beautiful array of cocktails instead of the usual champagne flutes in between ceremony and reception and a beer barrel for the men. They also splashed out on a chocolate fountain and beautiful cheeseboard.
Tomasina’s advice to other brides is simply to “take everything in your stride as a bride and groom and enjoy every minute of the planning right down to the day of the wedding because it honestly goes by too fast.”
The couple’s laidback approach also extended to their honeymoon.
“We didn’t have a honeymoon planned. So a few days after the wedding we went online to www.lastminute.com, which is exactly what we are! We booked our honeymoon to go to Thailand the very next day and had the most amazing ten days away.”
Since their perfect day the couple have been enjoying married life. Tomasina said, “If I’m honest things haven’t changed much between us both. We just get to call each other husband and wife now which still makes me giggle and smile every time I say it.”
Wedding Suppliers Info:
Reception – Lusty Beg Island
Wedding Dress – McElhinneys
Groomsmen – Black Tie Showroom
Make-up by – Lauren Carton
Hair by – Matthew & Lezah Ferry
Flowers – Bernies Blooms for bouquets and men’s flowers. Reception and ceremony flowers were by Imagine Flowers.
Room Décor – Look Crafty Events
Rings – Callaghans Jewellers
Photography: Inspired Photography
Cake – Cakes by Marcie
Stationary – Ryan Patrick Design