Real Weddings

Ice-creams, sunshine and a perfect wedding day for Hannah and Richard

By  | 

A surprise proposal on a glistening Galway pier transformed into a wedding filled with beautiful music, unique features and perfect moments for the new Mr and Mrs McIlwaine. Hannah Rainey, who walked up the aisle to a beautifully piped version of ‘Highland Cathedral’ played by one of her very close friends, wed Richard McIlwaine on August 3, 2018 at Clogherney Presbyterian Church, Beragh.

The pair’s personal service was performed by Reverend Norman Smyth, and their ceremony saw many of their talented family and friends take part to make it even more special. Their wedding reception took place at the award-winning Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel in Enniskillen – a venue surrounded by private grounds and lakeside gardens. Hannah, who is a credit controller from Roscavey, first met Richard, a farmer from Plumbridge, on a night out at Eastertime, 2013.

Together for more than two years, it was during a special trip to Galway on November 25, 2015 that Richard got down on one knee on the scenic pier at Salthill Promenade. And although the pair had already picked the engagement ring together months previously, the romantic proposal was still a genuine surprise for Hannah.

Hannah McIlwaine (née Rainey) alongside her proud parents, George and Thelma.

“Richard had me convinced that we weren’t getting engaged that weekend, so even though I had picked the ring months before I was still shocked, and for once, speechless!” Hannah described. The ring, which the Roscavey woman said she ‘absolutely adores’, features a double halo platinum design and a diamond studded band. “I’m a bit of a magpie, so all the sparkles suited me perfectly,” Hannah smiled.

As the couple got engaged exactly a month before Christmas, they enjoyed the festive celebrations and then began their wedding planning at the dawn of the New Year 2016. “I knew I wanted a mid-summer wedding,” Hannah explained. “However even though I always said blue would be my main colour, surprisingly I chose pink instead in the end. This was something a lot of people weren’t expecting.”

Hannah added, “I wasn’t overly set on having a traditional wedding; I just wanted it to be a day that showed our tastes. Looking back, I feel we had a nice mix of modern and traditional elements.”

Groom Richard McIlwaine and his beloved parents, Noel and Hilary McIlwaine.

Wedding venue, the Killyhevlin Hotel, stole the couple’s hearts immediately when they went to view it. “As soon as we walked into the Lisgoole suite, we knew it was perfect for us,” Hannah said. “The big windows at the back of the room with a beautiful view down the lough, and the amazing chandelier in the middle of the room just blew us away. “We knew straight away that it was the perfect place for our wedding.”

When it came to picking out her perfect wedding dress, Hannah only had one place in mind – the amazing ‘Indie Grace Bridal Boutique’ in Fintona. Prepared, Hannah went to the store to purchase what she thought was her dream dress, and one which she had seen previously on their Facebook page. However, a totally different dress featuring elegant back detailing and dainty cap sleeves by designer Jesus Peiro, won her over in the end.

“It may not have been the dress that I originally went for, but it was even better and it suited me perfectly,” Hannah described. “Siobhan was so helpful and attentive the evening I visited the boutique.”

Bride Hannah McIlwaine shows her bridesmaids, Bethany Rainey and Naomi Rainey her gorgeous wedding band and sparkling engagement ring on her wedding day.

In the run up to her August wedding , Hannah described feeling ‘very emotional’ – but on the day itself, there were very little tears and excitement was shared by all as the sun beamed down. “We had a beautiful sunny summer’s day, which given the Northern Irish weather is something you can’t guarantee, so we were very lucky,” Hannah said.

“We had booked an ice cream van to be outside the church after the service as we both love a whipped ice-cream, so I was worried it would be wet and we wouldn’t get to enjoy them.”

Hannah’s cherished mother, Thelma and her bridesmaids, Bethany Rainey and Naomi Rainey and flower girls, Freya Barfoot and Evie McIlwaine all travelled to the church via a classy limousine, while the beautiful bride was whisked away to her ceremony with beloved father, George. “I loved having those last few private moments with dad,” Hannah reflected.

Hannah described her ceremony, which saw minister, Reverend Norman Smyth craft a wonderfully personal service, as ‘perfect’. “Our service was very beautiful and personal to us,” Hannah said. “One of my very close friends piped me up the aisle to ‘Highland Cathedral’ and it was amazing. My two best friends read readings that I had picked myself. One of my cousins played the piano for both of our hymns, and another cousin played the flute when we were signing the wedding register. We’re so lucky to have such talented friends and family who took part to make our wedding even more special.”

Reflecting upon the amazing day, the 25-year-old concluded, “There were a few small hiccups in the runup, but our wedding came together perfectly and the whole day ran so smoothly. “We had the best day, and I wish I could do it all over again!”

Having the best day are newlyweds, Hannah and Richard McIlwaine, best man, Alwyn McIlwaine, bridesmaids Bethany Rainey and Naomi Rainey and groomsman, Tom McIlwaine

• The Finer Details •

Wedding dress: Jesus Peiro, from Indie Grace Bridal Boutique, Fintona.
Hair stylist/salon: Donna Gallagher from HairFlair.
Make-up: Melissa Bolton from The Beauty Boutique.
Bridal Shoes: Ted Baker.
Head piece/ Veil: Indie Grace
Bridal Boutique, Fintona.
Bridesmaid dresses: She’s Fabulous, Garvagh.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: The Bank Menswear, Randalstown.
Cake supplier: Caroline Clements from Classy Bakes, Ballygawley.
Cake design: Three tiers, of different colours, decorated with initials of the couple and fresh flowers on the middle tier.
Cake flavours: Victoria sponge, chocolate and lemon.
Florist: Pollocks Flowers, Castlederg.
Church: Clogherney Presbyterian Church.
Reverend/ Priest: Reverend Norman Smyth.
Transport: Glendale Limousines.
Reception: Killyhevlin Lakeside
Hotel, Enniskillen.
DJ/band: The Liberals.
First dance song: ‘A Woman Like You’ by Lee Brice.
Photographer: Lauren Coulter.
Videographer: J Mac productions

Newlyweds Hannah and Richard McIlwaine enjoy a romantic dance on their August wedding day.