A Sweet & Romantic Larchfield Estate Wedding

A Sweet & Romantic Larchfield Estate Wedding

Today’s summer real wedding in Northern Ireland is a real charmer. An adorable pair, lovebirds Hannah and Matt’s Larchfield Estate wedding radiates happiness, colour and above all, LOVE. Lots of fresh blooms, an utterly romantic sunken garden ceremony, a palette inspired by Grandad’s garden and an amazing linen wedding dress are just a few of the many moments you can expect to swoon over from their day. If you need us, we’ll be admiring the newlyweds’ wedding album by Laura Parkinson Photography for the foreseeable future. Scroll on to join us!

Today’s lovely couple are Hannah and Matt. Belfast born and bred, the pair now live in London. The pair have known each other for many years, Hannah fills us in on their love story. “It’s a bit of a strange story” We met years and years ago – Matt is my brother’s good friend. I’d always fancied him desperately, and probably didn’t do a good job of hiding it from anyone. One New Year’s Eve, Matt told me how much he liked me back. I was just over the moon. My brother still calls Matt “Sister Kisser” but it’s affectionate!”

The proposal happened while the pair were on a romantic staycation in West Cork. “We got engaged in a little place called Castlefreke. It was a beach full of black sand, and the waves were crashing. Matt was weirdly quiet that day, and to fill the silence I was singing Castlefreke loudly to the tune of “She’s a Super Freak” by Rick James. He turned to me and asked me to marry him. He’d been thinking of asking for ages but hadn’t got a ring (my sister works in Steensons and later helped design my ring – a yellow diamond). We made a little ring out of some plaited grass. I was so excited and in love I don’t think I slept for a week afterwards.”

Once engaged, they knew immediately where they’d wed, Larchfield Estate, in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Hannah had actually worked there many years ago, plus it fit their large guestlist. “It has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, including gardens and greenhouses that people could spread out into,” she says. “Our guestlist was very long – 150 people all – I’ve got a huge family and we’ve got loads of friends. It felt like a once in a lifetime chance to have everyone together.”

Once they began planning, the couple knew they wanted a relaxed, summer wedding that was filled with “food, friends and family”. Hannah adds, “we’d never intended to have a big, over the top wedding. I worked in weddings and events for years, and saw hundreds of weddings which were so steeped in luxury. That wasn’t really our vibe. We wanted a relaxed day that brought together our favourite things and provided a really good excuse for everyone to meet up and party!

The couple wanted their relaxed personalities to shine through in their wedding details and the most obvious place to allow their personal style to shine? Their wedding day looks of course—and there was no small amount of thought that went into each of their outfits. “Our aesthetic was very relaxed,” Hannah says. “I wanted to wear linen on my wedding day because Ireland is known for its linen industries – my very clever grandad has written a few books about it. I chose a short dress that I could move in. I felt it was important to not lose my sense of self being swept up in the traditions of the day. I didn’t want anything too fitted or formal looking.” For his wedding day look, groom Matt wore a breezy cotton suit with 1920’s tailoring.

The talented bride made all the signage for the day – “I found it was a way to help me destress when planning became a bit too hectic!,” she says.

Hannah’s beautiful linen dress midi wedding dress is by Sachin and Babi. She completed her bridal look with gold platform sandals from Esska and floral-style Aligheri earrings which she rented from Hurr.

On a beautiful sunny day in the Northern Irish countryside, Hannah walked up the aisle to her beloved Matt to You Ain’t Going Nowhere by Bob Dylan surround by 150 of their nearest and dearest.

“We both agreed the ceremony was the best part of the day – it was a moment of stillness in a frenetic day,” the bride says. There were lots of children at our wedding who were all too small to stay still during it – it was outside in the beautiful sunken gardens of Larchfield. When it all became a bit too emotional, I could look around and see my nieces and nephews doing a brilliant job of dismantling our flower bouquets and blowing bubbles, playing in the borders of the garden!”

“Our celebrant John Foley came recommended to us as ‘a star’. He was more than that – warm, funny and really sensitive to what we wanted from our ceremony. He told our story beautifully, and allowed us freedom to celebrate each other in a way that was so personal to us. We wrote our own vows, and the things we loved about each other.” Hannah reminices, “Matt told me I was otherworldly beautiful, and I told him about his generosity and the way his eyes sparkle bright green when he looks at me”.

Ceremony readings were performed by the couple’s friends and included The Song of Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats and Beneath my Hands by Leonard Cohen.

Another of Hannah and Matt’s friends made bespoke silk hand-ties for the couple’s hand-fasting ceremony painted using the Buchanan tartan colours. “Matt is a Buchanan, and although I didn’t take his name it felt right to have his colours binding our hands together, ” Hannah tells. “There were paintings of seascapes, including the sea at Castlefreke and North Donegal where we’d spent some really special times together.”

Once the ‘I do’s’ were said the pair walked down the aisle to New Morning by Bob Dylan.

Hannah’s grandad’s garden inspired the gorgeous florals by Harriet Reilly floral design and the colour palette for the day. “The flowers we chose echoed the flowers that I grew up with in my grandparent’s garden,” the bride says. “My grandad was too unwell to be there on the day, so it was beautiful to have the sweetpeas and peonies that he grew and indulgently let me rip out of the garden when I was a little girl.”

Overall, the wedding aesthetic for their Larchfield Estate wedding celebration was soft, romatic and bohemian with a hint of vintage.

The couple’s bespoke summer wedding menu has us positively drooling! “We wanted family style dining – Posh Nosh did the most delicious sharing platters of food – roast lamb and butternut squash with aubergine and couscous. Pannacotta for desert which is still being spoken about as stuff of legend. The catering staff were amazing.”

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the pair served tasty traybakes from the local Dunnes Stores!

For their first dance, the newlyweds danced to B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas.

This couple tell us their best wedding planning advice is to “remember it’s a day for you both”, and we are here for their wisdom. Hannah adds, “You will always have people who want to project what they think should happen on your day. Make sure you speak with your partner about what your priorities really are – it’s easy to get wrapped up in people pleasing. We helped each other plan every aspect of the day so there were no traditional gendered roles. We wanted to share the commitment and share roles and responsibilities so we had the opportunity to stay in the moment and be together that day. We both made speeches too – it was so important for us both to stand there and acknowledge the kindness and love we felt from our friends and family – it was also a time to remember those who couldn’t be there.”

We were a bit “rebellious” – Matt had seen my dress, I’d seen his suit, we didn’t have a wedding cake (buns, cheese and biscuits at 10pm were enough to soak up some of the wine!), I had my stepdad drive the bridal party to the venue in our people carrier with the flowers in all the drinks holders – it was so silly and fun to be dressed to the nines and falling out of the old family car at the venue!”.

And finally, the bride adds, “try not to get stressed about things “going wrong” on the day – things will always change and shift at the last moment, but you need to remember the bigger picture – your love and your partnership, and a bloody great big party. We had the next night in the Ulster Sports Club for a proper de-brief. It meant that we felt less pressured to “get round” everybody on the wedding day itself – we could actually sit down and have dinner!”

A year after their Larchfield Estate wedding celebrations, the pair travelled to the USA for their honeymoon. “Our honeymoon was a whole year later – we went on a road trip from New Orleans to Atlanta in Georgia, lasting 3 weeks,” Hannah tells One Fab Day. “It was fueled by good food and culture. We went to the Stax record museum in Memphis Tennessee and saw the original pressings of the single B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas – the song we chose for our first dance. We’d recommend having your honeymoon a while later – it stretches out the party (lots of complementary fizzy wine at restaurants for example!) and gives you the opportunity to save for and plan something properly after your wedding.”

 We have to say a huge thank you to Hannah and Matt for letting us take a peek into their big day, and to Laura Parkinson for providing the beautiful imagery! There are lots more images from their beautiful Larchfield Estate wedding in the gallery below so be sure to click through for a look.

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