Inside My Wedding: Couple's beautiful wedding at Finnebrogue Woods

By Nadia Breen

A Co Down woman has shared a look into her beautiful wedding day after her original plans in Spain were cancelled due to Covid.

28-year-old Helen Hamill from Downpatrick and her husband Daragh Burke (32) from Galway tied the knot on August 8 at St Patrick’s Chapel Saul, before their reception at Finnebrogue Woods.

In Be 's weekly feature 'Inside My Wedding', Northern Ireland couples will be sharing an insight into their wedding to give you some tips and ideas for your big day.

The student midwife and finance worker, who currently live in Newcastle Upon Tyne had originally planned to get married in Calp on Spain’s Mediterranean coast on May 24.

Here is all about their beautiful wedding day.

The newlyweds with their beloved pup (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

How did you begin planning your wedding?

I rang my mum Fiona and told her she had a wedding to plan! But really my mummy helped me out so much. Once we had decided on the venue, mummy took the reins.

It was a bit of a nightmare at first because we had to let all our guests know the Spain wedding was cancelled, then we had to resend all the invitations out again with the new destination and date.

Making sure our family and friends could make it was our priority and that was very important to Daragh and I.

How did you decide on your venue?

The evening do took place at Finnebrogue woods. This venue was close to my heart as it is less than two miles from my mum and dad's house, and it is situated on the River Quoile that I grew up beside.

We thought this venue was perfect as it is an outdoor venue engulfed in trees and has always had a calm oasis about it. From the moment Daragh and I visited Finnebrogue we were in awe!

Helen en route with her father (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

The staff were down to earth and always reaching out to see if I needed anything and most importantly, they never got fed up with my relentless emailing and changing my mind at the last minute.

The photos of the venue speak for themselves.

Tell us all about your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and the shopping experience.

To be honest I am a real tomboy, so I was never really that excited for doing bridesmaid shopping, or wedding dress shopping for that matter - but it had to be done.

All I knew was that I wanted was a long train and a double tiered veil. I found exactly what I wanted in La Boda Bridal in Banbridge. The dress blew my mind and the girls in the shop were so amazing too, helping me get last minute appointments because it was hard for me to get home due to Covid.

Helen walking up the isle (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

As for bridesmaid dresses, I left that up to my sister Judith who was my chief bridesmaid. I am glad I did because she picked the most beautiful navy off the shoulder dresses that all the bridesmaids loved. I also had a 'bridesman' called Tony. He wore a suit that attached the groomsmen.

What was the best part in the lead up to your day?

Seeing all my friends and family come together the day before the wedding. It was the first time that a lot of our families and friends have met each other so it was quite nice to watch their interactions.

The wedding party (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

Also my sister Judith made me and the bridesmaids feel so special. She owns a beauty salon in Downpatrick, No10 Beauty and Skin. Two nights before the wedding she invited me and all the bridesmaids over while the salon was closed to get our nails and tan done. We had a wee private salon date with plenty of champagne.

What was the best moment of your day and favourite parts?

It has to be Fiddler Adam. As my mum played such an instrumental part in planning the wedding, I wanted to surprise her with something that she and daddy had no idea about.

Fiddler Adam came on stage and blew us away. He really got the party started and no one knew we had him booked. He was a pure geg.

Also, a huge highlight for me, my husband and guests was that we had our dog Bosie there. He is a tiny wee chihuahua. He was suited and booted for the occasion. He had a smart white shirt with a bow tie on, black trousers and matching braces. People probably think we are nuts, but we knew he had to be there.

The couple had vintage wedding cars (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

My 'bridesman' Tony was our MC for the day. I am so glad we picked him for the job because he was so funny on the microphone throughout the day - not only to let everyone know times of dinner and such, but he was also great introducing the speeches and hurling abuse at anyone who got up to use the bathroom during.

What would you tell other brides to plan first?

I would just say take it one step at a time. Make a to do list in logical order and don’t take on too many things too quickly.

Beautiful scenery (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

What were the hardest parts to plan?

Navigating anything through Covid-19 was a struggle. We had to plan but also we had to make sure we were observing government guidelines and keeping up to date with any changes.

Tell us about your theme and entertainment.

We wanted a rustic, woodsy wildflower theme. We didn’t have any specific colour, I just told my florist Patricia’s Petals I wanted all colours and bright flowers everywhere. Blue Moon events decorated the tipis with beautiful foliage to match our woody theme.

For entertainment I had a Sara Kelly, a local harpist playing for the arrival during the canapés. This was very last minute as two days before the wedding I saw her busking at Market St in Downpatrick and knew I had to have her at the wedding.

A special evening (Michael Williams @ Williamstudio)

Between the main and dessert, I had Fiddler Adam play. He was the best warm up I could have ever asked for.

My sister-in-law and her husband are in a band called Clean Cut Kid so we asked them if they would play one of their songs as our first dance, it was very intimate and meant a lot to both of us. Finally for the band we had Just Adam followed by a DJ who were both amazing.

Would you do anything different or wish there was anything you didn't worry about?

Nothing at all, I had the best day and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Do you want to tell us all about your wedding day? Email be@belfastlive.co.uk to be featured!


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