Golden rings, sunshine and a wedding dress with pockets gives Louise and Gary the perfect day
With her grandmother’s cherished gold wedding ring taking pride of place on her finger, Louise Montgomery wed Gary Mc- Farland in the same church where her beloved Granny Buchanan tied the knot 70 years previously.
Indeed these were just a handful of the many personal elements which helped to give Louise a wedding day that she loved every second of. As the winter sun shone brightly above Lower Langfield Parish Church, Drumquin on March 9, 2019, the Castlederg woman married Gary during a service officiated by Reverend Keogh and Canon Quinn.
Chief bridesmaid was Ruth Montgomery, best man was Adam McFarland, bridesmaid was Kirsten Buchanan, groomsman was Gary Smyth and junior bridesmaid was Jody McKinley. Zara McKinley was flower girl, page boy was Mark Brannigan and ushers were Kyle Buchanan and Niall McKinley.
The new Mr and Mrs McFarland’s wedding reception was held in the lovely Corick House, Clogher chosen due to its homely atmosphere, vintage feel, and beautiful gardens which were perfect for photographs.
Louise first met Gary in Main Street, Omagh on August 20, 2016 and exactly one month later the pair agreed to go on their first date at the Portrush Air Show. Then on November 12, 2017, while enjoying a scenic walk on the West Strand Beach as part of their break away to Portstewart, Gary got down on one knee and asked Louise to marry him.
In his hands, the Omagh man revealed a gold engagement ring which featured a trio of sparkling pristine diamonds – and Louise found it difficult to stop looking at it! “I couldn’t stop crying with happiness when Gary proposed, and I couldn’t wait to get home and tell our parents,” Louise reflected. “I adore my engagement ring. I wanted a gold engagement band as I hoped to wear my granny’s wedding band as my own, and it is also gold.”
The pair both agreed that they didn’t want a long engagement, and they felt a wedding date in early March 2019 would give them adequate time for them to plan for their perfect day. “I always knew that I wanted light purple or pink to feature in my day,” Louise recalled. “And when I saw my two bridesmaids in pink I knew then that I was going to base my wedding around this colour.”
The families of the couple were also keen to help out with the pair’s wedding day planning, which delighted Louise as the personal elements were something which she held close to her heart. “My cousin, Angela created our invites, order of service and table plans, and Gary’s mum, Evelyn wrote our invites and table place names using calligraphy,” Louise added. “My mum, Ethel also made us a fruit cake for our reception. “We wanted to keep our wedding very traditional and simple, and I loved all of the personal touches.”
Louise visited two shops, and tried on around six dresses in total during the search for her dream wedding gown. However, after spending just 20 minutes in an ivory gown from Belle Marie Bridal in Omagh, Louise’s mind and heart was set. The number boasted a fuller skirt – a shape that suited Louise best – and she was also so excited to hear that the dress had pockets. “I bought my gown from Regina, who owned Belle Mariee in Omagh,” Louise said. “This made it a really lovely experience for me, but sadly the shop is now permanently closed. “I simply had to choose the dress as it had pockets, and anyone who knows me well knows I love pockets.”
The morning of Louise’s wedding day was a calm and relaxed occasion – something which Louise attributes to being so well-organised. However she did panic a little when she woke up and it had been snowing. “Thankfully though, while getting my hair and make up done, it all melted and the sun shone all day,” Louise said. “I felt very lucky as the weather in March has not been great so far. “But when I saw a picture that Gary’s brother posted about them going to the church, I got butterflies, and felt excited with some nerves again, wondering what Gary would think of my dress,” she added.
After being whisked away to the church in a vintage Branford Elite car, it was time for Louise to enjoy her perfectly simple and traditional wedding service. “There were several readings, and my dad also recited a poem which was a surprise,” Louise said. “I also had a song performed to Gary before I came in. I loved ‘Ave Maria’, and when I heard Maeve Glackin singing this on Facebook, I knew I had to have her at my wedding.”
Louise added, “The minister also read out a small piece on the history of my wedding ring, and explained how it had been my Granny Buchanan’s. “He also spoke of how she, too, had got married in the same church with the same ring over 70 years ago. This was emotional to hear.” Louise added, “The day went in so quick, but we both loved every second. Nothing went wrong, and we couldn’t have wished or hoped for our day to go any better.”
• The Finer Details •
Wedding dress: Grace Phillips, Belle Mariee Bridal, Omagh.
Wedding ring: Bride’s grandmother’s wedding band from 1949.
Hair stylist/salon: Toni Kelly from Enchanted Hair and Beauty.
Make-up: (As above).
Bridal Shoes: Rainbow Club.
Head piece: Ellie Annon.
Bridesmaid dresses: She’s Fabulous.
Dress alterations: Lily Anthony.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Red Groomswear, Cookstown.
Cake supplier: Jeanette Moore.
Cake topper: Flip19.
Cake design: Three tiers of red velvet, chocolate fudge, vanilla sponge and flowers on each tier.
Florist: Bumble Bee Garden Florist, Dromore.
Stationery: Angela (cousin of bride).
Church: Lower Langfield Parish Church, Drumquin.
Reverend/ Priest: Reverend Keogh and Canon Quinn.
Church music: Maeve Glackin (vocalist) and Patrick Slevin (pianist).
Transport: C4 Wedding Car Hire, Cookstown.
Reception: Corick House Hotel and Spa, Clogher.
Number of guests at reception: 145 guests.
Decor: Mr and Mrs Balloons.
First dance song: ‘The One’ by Kodaline.
Photographer: Gemma G Photography.
Videographer: JMAC Productions.
Minimoon: Lough Eske Castle, Donegal.
Honeymoon: Will be booked soon by newlyweds.