Even with Covid restrictions remaining in force, Carrie Jameson and Marc Simpson's church ceremony and wedding reception were celebratory in every way
How did you meet?
We met at a friend’s wedding in January 2018. Marc asked me to dance and I was taken aback by his confidence; he came straight up to me, grabbed my hand and said: “Can I have this dance?”. I just got lost in his brown eyes and danced all night with him. I’m a sucker for old school romance and actually getting to know someone, so that sold it for me.
After dancing all night to Elton John and some flirtatious banter back and forth, we exchanged numbers and arranged to go on a date the following weekend. He messaged me every day, and I guess the rest is history.
We had an instant connection, both wanted the same things in life and had strong family values. We both couldn’t believe the other one was single and in their 30s. It just shows you never to settle in life, it's worth the wait and I truly believe our love story has been all about that.
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
Our original wedding date was 7th May 2021 and unfortunately, we had to postpone due to Covid restrictions. There were still restrictions on our October wedding date and we had to cut our guest numbers from 240 to 80. However, we were just relieved that we were able to finally have our day and get married. It was actually more relaxed with the reduced numbers, and it's not often the bride and groom get to spend time with each other on the wedding day.
I didn’t even have to change my colour scheme and it worked out for the best on all counts.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Picking the venue was easy for us we knew what we wanted, but we still looked at others before setting our sights on Castle Leslie. We fell in love with it and nothing compared. I always said I wanted to get married down south in a castle, but I didn’t want guests to have to travel too far either.
Annaghmore Church was a must. My mum and dad got married there, and there is a lot of family connections on both sides with this church.
How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?
My dress was by Aire Barcelona from Orchid Bridal Studio in Portadown, the first and only shop I went in. I always knew I would have lace, but I didn’t think it would be this style of dress due to my curvy figure. However, when I put it on it took my breath away, and I got that bridal feeling instantly... it was magical.
On the wedding day I have never felt as beautiful, confident and good about myself. I just didn’t want to take the dress off. Guests kept saying it was like a royal wedding dress. I completed the look with a long veil and a tiara, from Orchid Bridal too.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
The bridesmaids wore sage green dresses from Perfect Day, Lurgan. I had my sister as maid of honour, and my niece and cousin as my other bridesmaids.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum wore a stunning piece from Queen Bee in Fivemiletown.
What did you choose for the suits?
Marc wore a black tux from Statement Menswear, Portadown. Marc had a different waistcoat and a pocket watch to stand out from the other groomsmen, who also wore tuxedos.
The page boys wore black braces that we got from Etsy, and the shirt and trousers were from Marks and Spencer.
Tell us about the details of the day.
- I had a charm of my grandparents wrapped around my bouquet so they would be with me on my special day every step of the way.
- My sister made personalised cupcake favours for every guest, which read Carrie & Marc 08.10.21.
- We had a selfie booth and a DIY balloon arch in the green room while guests had their canapés and cocktails on arrival.
- We ran out of the church to petal confetti, which Marc and I had home-made.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was nervous and excited, and couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. I walked down the aisle to Never Enough played on the harp. I walked with my dad, which was an emotional moment as he is disabled and we have always talked about this day.
However, once we said our vows, I was fine and I could relax. Our wedding day had arrived and it was finally sinking in, which was such a surreal feeling.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
The songs we chose reflected every stage of our courtship. We also had two readings, which were read by one of my oldest friends and my niece.
What was your most memorable moment?
I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite moment as the whole day was just perfect. It truly was worth the wait. However, we did get a laugh in the church and I think it helped calmed the nerves...
When we were saying our vows, the minister asked me for a kiss and Marc called him a chancer. I just burst into laughter, as did the whole congregation. It was so unexpected.
Also, our first dance to Take My Hand by Emily Hackett was just amazing.
Marc loved seeing the page boys walk down the aisle and the undercover singer was a great surprise. He lifted the roof singing Sweet Caroline.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
The constant change of restrictions and not knowing if we were able to get married in May or not was tough. Then having to cut numbers for a second time in October was hard, but people understood. We also lost suppliers when we had to postpone, which meant starting from scratch again and losing money.
What was the most important investment for you?
The honeymoon, as you need that quality time together after the wedding just the two of you.
Due to Covid and travel restrictions, our honeymoon was cancelled, but we are due to take it soon. We jet off to Dubai then the Maldives, and we are looking forward to celebrating being newlyweds. Just like our wedding, it will be worth the wait.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
Yes, we had the band Manouche Boys, but due to restrictions they were only allowed to play until 11.30pm. They were great and everyone was dancing. We also had a singing garda, who I would highly recommend.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
My sister made our wedding cake and it was sensational.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Don’t panic too much, what’s meant to be will be. On the day, nobody cares about the font on the menu cards. Try and relax; time moves super quick on the day – it's about you and your partner, no one else.
Research, research, research. When you find something you like, don’t commit straight away, research it more to see where or how you can make it cheaper. Don’t rule an idea out just on the price; keep researching and I bet you find a way to make it work.
Steal their style:
Ceremony venue: Annaghmore Church
Reception venue: Castle Leslie
Photography: Treasure and Heart
Videography: ER Film
Dress: Orchid Bridal Studio
Bridesmaids' dresses: Perfect Day
Make-up: Carla Bailie MUA
Hair: Samantha at Peter Marks Salon
Suits: Statement Menswear
Cake: Emma Jameson of Emma Grace Kitchens
Entertainment: Clara Wilson Harpist; Raguire; Manouche Boys; Camaflouge – Singing Garda