Sabrina and Christopher celebrate with country-themed wedding
A country-themed wedding featuring personalised décor ensured that Sabrina Barrett and Christopher McKenna’s big day was simply perfect. The dedicated pair, who have been together for six years, were wed by Fr Dermot McGirr at the Sacred Heart Church, Omagh on October 24, 2015.
Despite not initially looking for love, Sabrina (27) described being on a “man-free night out” in April 2010 when she locked eyes on the lorry driver from Clogher for the very first time during a Mike Denver concert.
Ironically, this meeting at the Mellon Country Hotel would be the foundations for their friendship, which eventually blossomed into a relationship in the mere weeks that followed.
“It was love at first sight for the groom, but for me, I was out to enjoy time with the girls!” she joked. “But we both loved country music, so we had a lot in common.” It was on a cold and windy summer’s day on Buncrana beach, three years into their relationship, that Christopher (30) asked the beauty therapist from Omagh for her hand in marriage.
Though being too nervous to get down on one knee, ‘Chrissy’ held Sabrina’s two hands and presented her with a white gold engagement band, decorated with a cluster of diamonds. “He insisted on stopping off at the beach as we were on our way back from a wedding – but I didn’t want to get out of the car, ” Sabrina laughed.
“He insisted, and told me to put on his coat for warmth. Little did I know, the ring was in his coat pocket.” Sabrina reflected, “He told me how much he loved me, and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and I became really emotional.
I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling with happiness. “And I loved the ring even more as he picked it himself – it was me to a tee.”
Eager to tackle wedding planning as soon as they could, within two months of their engagement on August 17, 2013, the couple had their special day organised and booked. Describing wedding dress shopping as “so stressful”, Sabrina visited four stores before finally falling in love with the first gown she tried on in Perfect Day, Lurgan.
The high-neck, fitted number featured lace decorated with diamonds, an open back, and netting where the dress flared at the bottom. “I just knew it was the one for me,” she said. Hoping for a “traditional and very personal” autumn wedding, Sabrina said that she chose the Mellon Country Hotel as her wedding venue to fondly remember the place where she first met Christopher.
Basing her wedding upon the theme of ‘love and country’, Sabrina also spent the two years running up to her big day personally hand-crafting the chapel and reception’s decor. With Christopher’s help, these meticulous touches included personally hand-making glass jars, frames, lanterns and furniture.
“It all looked very rustic,” she explained. “We both love autumn, and my favourite colours include burnt oranges and golds, and this colour scheme tied in with the season nicely. “We used rough cuts of wood, branches, lanterns, gold frames and lots of candles which gave a romantic feel to decorate the chapel with.
“We also personalised the tables at the Mellon with vintage hand-made jars containing pictures of us from the day that we met. “These pictures told the story of our love. “Each table was also named after our favourite country singers – and each one had a frame which contained a quote from them.”
Before the newlyweds danced into the early hours with their 225 wedding guests to wedding band Atmosphere, Sabrina’s bridesmaids surprised the happy couple with one last special gift. “They made me a video which featured some of my favourite country artists,” she said.
“These included Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, along with a list of others. “Their personal messages on our wedding day topped the whole theme off for us. It really was the perfect day for love and country,” she concluded.