Almost a year ago, I photographed Laura & Blair’s stunning Culloden Hotel wedding day. As they prepare the celebrate their first wedding anniversary and reminisce on an amazing day, I caught up with Laura who shares the inspiration behind their big day. Plus, she shares 5 crucial top tips for couples currently planning their own wedding days.
Laura, how did you both meet?
We both moved into student halls at the same time, and moved in similar friend circles, so it was only a matter of time before we got talking. The rest, as they say, is history.
Tell us about married life. How has your first year been?
Blair and I hadn’t lived together before getting married, so I had prepared myself for a year of ups and downs as we worked out each other’s rhythms, assessing how much alone time we needed and what kind of schedule we keep to – but it’s actually been really nice. We’re both pretty chilled, and I like the way we fit around each other.
What is your favourite memory of your wedding day?
I think we both agree that it’s the walking-up-the-aisle moment. I suppose that’s the classic wedding scene you see in movies, so it’s a bit surreal being at the centre of it.
What 3 words would you use to describe your wedding?
I asked Blair this and he said ‘surreal’. I’ll add the other two words: fun and summery.
What was the overall vibe for your day?
For me, it was just pretty chilled and fun. Nothing major went wrong, and the day was quite well timed so we never had to rush anywhere. My mum even set up a little table in our church’s choir room so that Blair and I could have some lunch on our own and just chat. In all honesty, neither of us felt particularly romantic that day. It was just really fun – swapping stories about that morning, telling stupid jokes, cringing about our first dance. Normal stuff.
Tell us about the search for your dream dress.
The dress hunt took forever – or at least, it felt that way. I wasn’t super into the wedding planning, but my mum was and she was very keen to see as many different bridal shops as possible. I must have tried on about 30 dresses over five different stores, before I found the one I liked best in McElhinney’s in Ballybofey. I think it was the first one where I thought “I’m getting married” rather than “I’m just playing dress up”.
And the bridesmaid dresses?
I only had one bridesmaid, which made things much easier! We tried three or four shops over two different days, before deciding on a blush dress in Divinity Bridal in Lisburn.
Where did you honeymoon?
We went for a road trip in and around California, starting in San Francisco and finishing up at the Grand Canyon. It was amazing!
What 5 tips would you offer anyone currently planning their wedding?
1. Enjoy as many free samples from possible venues as you can. Major perk.
2. PACK SNACKS. It’s a long day.
3. Put your guests first. Seems weird to say because it’s meant to be your day, but if your guests aren’t having fun, it’s a total bummer.
4. Invest in a good band. You’ll enjoy your reception so much more if people are up dancing, instead of cringing at the dodgy discount singer.
5. Just have fun with it. People get really stressed out about it being a big glam day, but really, it’s just a party for you and all your favourite people.
What do you love the most about your wedding album?
I love that we’ll get to sit back on every single one of our anniversaries and have something really beautiful to look through and remember the day.