Sarah & Ian

Twirls & Tea: Sarah + Ian's Vintage Wedding At The Hillgrove Hotel

This vintage wedding is just darling. The bride always fancied flirty tea length dresses for her bridal party, these paired with quirky little details, formed the basis of Sarah and Ian’s utterly sweet wedding theme. Delicate lace scalloped detailing and floral print bow ties added a pinch of whimsy to their wedding day style.

The pair went all out when it came to throwing a memorable party, with guests enjoying a marvellous afternoon tea spread while the newlyweds ventured to a series of unique backdrops for their wedding photos – before twirling the night away on the dance floor.

Prepare to get lost in this lustful lilac romance.

The Proposal

“It was a lovely warm, sunny day and we went for a drive up the coast. We visited the Giant’s Causeway and took a spin round to Portrush where we had a romantic walk along the beach. Ian was acting very strange all day and he was very quiet, so I was wondering what was wrong with him. We were just leaving the beach to go back to the car and Ian was as white as a ghost – I thought he was coming down with something! As we got to the car, he asked me if I had any bags or anything that I wanted to put in the boot. I remember thinking something was definitely wrong as we hadn’t been shopping and I wasn’t carrying any bags. He went ahead anyway and looked around in the boot and I went and sat in the car. I was on my phone, so had my head down. When I turned round to put my seat belt on, there was Ian with his arm out and an open ring box in my face. I was so surprised and I just sat looking at it. Ian was so nervous and just turned around and said ‘Will ya?’. So romantic lol! Of course I said yes. To this day though, I still can’t believe he proposed in the car! After all the opportunities we had when we were out walking. I wouldn’t change it in any way though as this was just typical Ian.”

The Venue

“From day one, the staff at the Hillgrove Hotel made us feel at ease and assured us that nothing would be too much trouble. The venue itself is beautiful and quirky which suited us perfectly. We didn’t even have to go home to make a decision together – we booked our date there and then! We dealt initially with Monique but Linda and Mary also kept in contact throughout our planning. Towards our wedding day, we were working with Mary as our main coordinator. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better. Every time I phoned with a question, it was answered immediately. If I had an idea, Mary was happy to help me see it through. She made us feel very welcome anytime we visited the hotel. The set up for the meal taster was unreal – it was like being at a real wedding dinner – the Hillgrove went all out. Attending this evening also gave us the opportunity to check out some new vendors and do some last minute preparation. This is where we got the idea for our Mr & Mrs sign and our centre pieces. On our actual wedding day, the service was excellent and nothing was missed. Our guests were well fed and everyone commented on how lovely the food was. We really had such a special day and we have Mary and all the staff at the Hillgrove to thank for that!”

“The thing that impressed us the most is the fact that we were made to feel like we were the only couple to get married at the Hillgrove. When I phoned up with a question, and believe me I did this a lot, there was always someone to help me. The staff were always very friendly and we can honestly say we did not have one bad experience throughout our wedding planning. The decor was another big hit, especially the big pink chair which allowed for plenty of photo opportunities!”

The Photographer

“Our wedding photographer Roy Smyth was amazing. From day one, he made us feel at ease. He was very friendly and approachable. We had our pre-wedding photo-shoot at Tannaghmore Gardens and this gave us the opportunity to practice a bit for the big day. Roy also gave us tips and told us about the kinds of poses we would be doing on our wedding day. We also decided to go with a second shooter for the actual wedding day, so Roy brought along Dale of Dale Robinson Photography. We absolutely love our photos and have had a lot of positive feedback – probably because we had them all over Facebook when we first got them and people were sick of looking at them! A lot of the guests have mentioned that you wouldn’t even have known Roy and Dale were there on the day – they were so discreet which I thought was great as they just blended in with the wedding and got some amazing shots. Roy let us come to him with ideas and included everyone as we had asked.”

Special Moments

“I think we both agree that one of the most special moments was after the ceremony when we were finally husband and wife. We were sitting in the wedding car with a glass of champagne on our way to get photos done. We had been so busy the week leading up to our wedding that we didn’t have a lot of time to sit and take everything in, so when we were in the car, it was just us and we were able to relax and enjoy everything. We also had guests fly in from Canada – this was really special and we will always be grateful they made the journey to be a part of our big day.”

A Few Kind Words

“We hired a singing waiter for our reception – Greg from Cameoflage. He was amazing and very accommodating. We booked him last minute, so he had another booking to be at. However, he was able to fit us in and he really made our day. Our guests were very surprised and he really created such a nice atmosphere – everyone was in the mood to party afterwards! My dress and the bridesmaid dresses were all bought in Perfect Day, and we couldn’t have asked for a better shopping experience. I also had some alterations to my dress, this was done by Ellen Lambert who was amazing. The finish was exactly what I envisioned and it was so comfortable.”

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Ciara Moore

Ciara Moore is the Blog Editor & Social Media Manager at WeddingDates HQ. Anything you want to know about weddings and what is on trend - she's your woman!

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