Real Weddings

Hearts of rose gold on display as Karen and Stephen wed in Fivemiletown

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Beautiful warm colours which perfectly complimented the autumn season was just one of the many elements that gave Karen Wiltshire and Stephen Keys a wedding day they will never forget.

As the sun shone brightly in the sky, the pair were wed at St John’s Church of Ireland, Fivemiletown by Canon Kyle Hanlon on September 15, 2018. Clive Keys was an excellent best man, while bridesmaids were Zoe Deery and Hayley Bell, groomsman was Jonathan Keys and Graeme Wiltshire was usher.

The newlyweds’ wedding reception took place at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell in Cavan – a place the pair said they ‘loved every part of’. The hotel is famous for its luxury accommodation, but the new Mr and Mrs Keys said it was the venue’s friendly wedding co-ordinator and staff, delicious food and beautiful grounds which were just perfect for photographs that won their hearts.

The newlyweds couldn’t hold back their smiles as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife.

Though the pair had some mutual friends, Karen, from Fivemiletown, first met Stephen, from Dromore, at the Balmoral Show on May 12, 2011, and they began dating in the winter of that year. Together for almost five years, it was on the evening of September 30, 2016 that the Tyrone man asked Karen for her hand in marriage. “We went out for dinner that evening, and afterwards, went for a walk down by the water at the restaurant,” said Karen. “It was dark, and we were chatting, and then Stephen went quiet and when I looked back, he was down on one knee.”

Karen’s engagement ring, which she described as ‘ideal’, featured a solitaire diamond on a shining rose gold band. “I was shocked, but so delighted when Stephen proposed,” Karen said. “He always said he’d do it when I least expected it. It took nearly the whole weekend for it to really sink in.” At the time of her engagement, Karen was in her final year of university, so she began planning for her big day during her Christmas holidays that year – and she spent any spare moment she had booking the different elements of her day.

“I had the main parts booked within a few weeks,” Karen said. “I love warm colours, so we just went with flowers that matched my bridesmaids dresses, and the rose gold jewellery scheme that I love. “We also got the most beautiful flowers and church decorations from McGarry’s Wedding Flower and Venue Stylists. “We didn’t really think too much about whether we wanted a traditional or modern wedding, and instead just booked things that we liked or wanted, and went with the flow.”

The new Mr and Mrs Keys alongside their loved ones on their September wedding day.

Deciding to shop locally for a wedding gown, Karen fell in love with the first gown she tried on – a beautiful white, fitted number from Pearls and Lace in Donegal. The gown, designed by ‘Martina Liana’, also featured delicate lace detailing and a lace train to match. “I tried it on, and then a couple of others,” Karen described. “However they didn’t suit me, so that was the decision made. “Pearls and Lace then sourced me extra lace from the brand for my dress and veil, which were then added on.”

Karen said that she was ‘so giddy’ while getting ready on the morning of their wedding day – but, understandably, she also recalls feeling nervous at the thought of speaking in front of all the guests at the church. In unique fashion, Karen actually drove her father, Wilmer to the church in a Scania R580 V8, which was supplied by her employer. Her mother, Louise and bridesmaids made the journey in a vintage car, which was supplied by Jonny Mills, from Mill’s Oil in Trillick.

The newlyweds enjoy a romantic moment on their wedding day.

Happily, the weather was dry and beautifully bright that morning, and when Karen reached the church, her nerves disappeared and she began to feel an excited anticipation for the day ahead.

Karen described her beautiful ceremony as both ‘light-hearted’ and ‘lovely’. “We had picked upbeat music for the church,” Karen described. “An important song for me was ‘As The Deer Pants’, as it was my late grandmother’s favourite hymn. “It was the most wonderful day ever,” the 25-year-old added. “I’d love to do it all over again and I would not change a thing. “I also wish to say a massive, massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who came to our wedding, and made it everything that it was.”

Newylweds, Karen and Stephen Keys, alongside best man, Clive Keys, bridesmaids, Zoe Deery and Hayley Bell, and groomsman, Jonathan Keys.

• The Finer Details •

Wedding dress: Pearls and Lace, Donegal.
Engagement ring: Lunn’s, Londonderry.
Wedding ring: Lunn’s, Queen’s Arcade, Belfast.
Hair stylist/salon: The Hair Lounge, Dromore.
Make-up: Beauty by Jill Wallace.
Bridal Shoes: Roland Cartier, Dune.
Head piece/ Veil: Milk and Honey, Fivemiletown.
Bridesmaid dresses: Perfect Day, Lurgan.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: Red Groomswear, Cookstown.
Cake supplier: Annika Latimer.
Cake design: Three-tiered, semi-naked and rustically iced.
Cake decoration: Fresh flowers and rose gold glitter.
Florist: McGarry Wedding Flower and Venue Stylists.
Church: St John’s Church of Ireland, Fivemiletown.
Reverend/ Priest: Canon Kyle Hanlon.
Church music: Judith Anderson.
Transport: Jonny and Nigel Mills (Mills Oil, Trillick).
Reception: Slieve Russell.
Number of guests at reception: Approx 140.
Decor: Newlyweds, and the staff at the Slieve Russell Hotel.
DJ/band: Atmosphere.
First dance song: ‘Today’ by Brad Paisley.
Photographer: Erica Irvine.
Videographer: Motion Media.
Other entertainment: Elite Photobooths.
Minimoon: Rhodes for one week.
Honeymoon: To be planned later in 2019.