Real Weddings

Love blossoms for Ruth and Robert in beautiful Knockmany Forest

Beautiful bluebells in full bloom in Knockmany Forest – a special place of fond memories for Ruth Blackburn and Robert Mulligan – gave the newlyweds a gorgeous backdrop for their wedding pictures which they will forever cherish.

The dedicated pair were wed at the Clogher Presbyterian Church on April 29, 2017 in a ceremony performed by Reverend Roy Campbell.

Their wedding reception took place in the Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen – a five-star venue nestled on a 600- acre peninsula with spectacular views of the glistening Fermanagh Lakelands.

Ruth, who is an environmental technician from Clogher, only grew up six miles away from Robert, an agri-mechanic from Augher. But it wasn’t until they met properly at the Clogher Valley Young Farmers Club in the Spring of 2013, that they got together.

Robbie and Ruth with their bridal party, David Caldwell, Ian Mulligan, Christine Paul, Thomas Blackburn, Roslyn Blackburn and James Bates.

“I always liked Robbie’s kindness and generosity,” Ruth described. “He works hard and we are good friends, which is important.”

It was the first Sunday in December 2015 that Robert proposed in truly romantic fashion. The pair, alongside Ruth’s beloved dog who always accompanies them on their adventures, had just reached the summit of Knockmany Forest. And as Ruth was gazing out at the breath-taking views, Robert got down on one knee and presented her with an antique, 18-carat yellow-gold ring which featured a trio of shimmering diamonds held together by a twist.

“I was so happy and excited,” Ruth recalled. “We had talked about marriage a while before we got engaged but he still completely surprised me. “We had planned to go to Christmas markets that day, but there had been a lot of flooding so he suggested we go for a walk to top of Knockmany to see where all was affected. I am a geography and hydrology nut, so that was right up my street.”

She added, “Knockmany is a special place to us both. “It’s where we walked a lot when we started going out – and we now live right beside it. “I’m very glad he made sure my dog was there too. Even if she was rolling in fox poop nearby. She is a best friend.”

The happy couple made sure to pick late April for their wedding day as that is when the bluebells are in full bloom – Ruth’s favourite wildflower.

“We wanted a calm relaxed day with all our family and closest friends,” Ruth said. “I’m a bit of a tom-boy and we both work outdoors so I wanted to veer towards elegant – just for one day. I’m not one who usually wears makeup or heels; I’m much more comfortable in wellies or walking boots.”

She added, “We wanted to include a specific rose in the flowers as well – a pale pink one called Aqua. It was a particular favourite of Robbie’s aunt, who passed away a few years ago from cancer.”

On the morning of her wedding day, Ruth relaxed in her home with her family with a tasty breakfast from the Clogher Mart. Then her surprise arrived. A pretty horse and carriage from her father. “I have always asked for a pony – and still do,” Ruth said. “But his response has always been, ‘Yes, if it snows on your birthday’ but my birthday is August. Like most farmers, he isn’t that keen so this was so unexpected and wonderful of him.”

Ruth’s daddy, John, had a special surprise for the couple, hiring a horse and carriage for their wedding day.

For the newlyweds, the service was the most important part of their day and they described it as ‘very moving’. “Our ceremony was perfect,” Ruth described. “Emotional moments included our vows and exchange of the rings – and also meeting each other at the top of the aisle and bumping shoulders!

“Our two hymns were ‘Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah’ and ‘Be Thou My Vision’ and the singing by our guests was brilliant.” She added, “It was also very good of Rev Campbell to give us a Bible – this holds more meaning now since his passing.”

The 26-year-old concluded, “We enjoyed a lovely, relaxed and special day with our family and friends. There was superb food for everyone, short and sweet speeches and a great night’s craic with mad dancing!”

Ruth and Robbie surrounded by family and friends.

• THE FINER DETAILS •

Wedding dress: Perfect Day, Lurgan with amendments by dressmaker
Hair stylist/salon: Bride by High Maintenance, Omagh. Bridesmaids and mother of bride by Hair@Main Street, Clogher
Make-up: Perfect Image, Clogher
Bridal Shoes: Irregular Choice
Head piece/ Veil: Perfect Day
Bridesmaid dresses: Ralph Lauren
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Tom Morrow, Dungannon
Cake supplier: Sandra Blackburn – bride’s mum, Carol Mulligan – groom’s mum and decorated by Lyn Winslow
Florist: Elizabeth Allen
Church: Clogher Presbyterian Church
Transport: Tommy Irwin, Fintona
Reception: Lough Erne Resort
DJ/band: Peach Band & Conor O’Neil DJ
First dance song: Stand By Me, Ben E King
Photographer: Jude Browne
Videographer: N/A
Other entertainment: Organist Dorothy Beatty, Piper Julie Robinson
Honeymoon: Galway for mini moon – big moon TBC.

Robbie and Ruth take shelter between the rushes.