Having known each other since school, Steph and Tim’s journey down the aisle began with a super romantic trip to Australia. Tim, a marine biologist, drew the words “Will you marry me?” in the sand on a deserted island off Mission Beach in Queensland. “Tim had duck taped up the ring box to make sure there were no ring disasters. It was a complete surprise but something Tim had been planning for a while,” recalls Steph.
“We had quite a long engagement. Having known each other so long, we weren’t in any rush to get married. The plan was to buy a house before spending so much money on one big day. But being inspired by Mount Stewart and deciding on this venue started our planning, and we got married 11 months later!” they told us.
“Not only does Mount Stewart have the stunning manor house and incredible award-winning formal gardens, but also the extensive walks around the lake and surrounding woodland. On one visit it came up in conversation, wouldn’t this be a lovely place to get married… and the planning stemmed from there.”
When it came to budgeting, the couple spent the bulk of their overall cost on the venue and making sure the catering (and drinks of course!) were top notch, and opted to DIY the rest. “We both enjoy being creative so the DIY element added a personal touch to the process. This included making all our stationary and wedding decorations. Tim is great with Photoshop so designed all the save the dates and invites. It was a lot of cutting and sticking to put it all together! Tim also made wooden crates from reclaimed wood for the bar.”
Steph admitted that there was a slight hiccup on the day, but in the best kind of way. “We planned for the forecast bad weather so bought umbrellas, ponchos and blankets for the guests. However we hadn’t anticipated glorious sunshine and guests getting sunburned!
“After the speeches and dinner, we loved seeing all the guests grab a drink and wander out to enjoy the evening sunshine, play lawn games and potter around the lake. Everyone was really relaxed and gearing up for the night ahead.”
What would the couple’s words of wisdom be for anyone planning or leading up to their wedding? “Enjoy the whole process,” they advised. “Don’t see it as just one day, enjoy the build up and the months running up to it to make the most of it all.”
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