“I completely fell in love with Dufferin as soon as I stepped foot in it and knew it was the perfect venue for the cosy wedding I had envisaged,” says bride Lauren.
Newlyweds Andrew and Lauren Blair had a cosy and very personal wedding at Dufferin Hall last September after getting engaged on a romantic break in Iceland. The couple had been dating for two years before tying the knot and chose Dufferin Hall to gather together their nearest and dearest after a ceremony at a nearby church.
Lauren says, “Our 'vision' for the wedding was to have it as laid back and cosy as possible. We just wanted to party and eat with our nearest and dearest. Planning the wedding was definitely not as stressful as people say it is. Everything was really relaxed.”
Andrew and Lauren also added a lot of personality to their wedding.
“Our wedding had a lot of 'our story' involved. From the invites, which were hand delivered in bottles with shells and sand from some of our favourite beaches (including Portmuck), to the table names, named after places we went to in Iceland.” (Andrew and Lauren not only got engaged in Iceland but also had plans to move to Iceland after the wedding so it seemed natural for them to integrate the country into the day's proceedings.)
The couple opted for a smaller number of people at their wedding, with just over 100 guests attending the day and evening celebrations.
“Dufferin is small and cosy but offers ample space for 100 guests. The tiles on the floor, the exposed brick and rustic interior just had me so excited. It really is a blank canvas and so you have the choice to keep it simple or to really make it your own, which is definitely something you don't get in fancy hotels … My mum still talks about how perfect it was!”
Not keeping all the planning to themselves, Andrew and Lauren also recruited friends to help on the day:
“There were so many people who made the lead up to the wedding so relaxing and exciting. I love to organise events and to put on parties for people so leaving 'jobs' to others was definitely something that I thought would have previously stressed me out but everyone was so amazing that I was the most chilled out I have ever been.
“We have lots of talented friends so we passed out tambourines and 'jingle ribbon wands' for the guests to join in on the music – played by a pipe band - at the church. It was so nice to walk out of the church as man and wife to the music and our guests’ boogying away with their tambourines and wands. A moment we will never forget.”
When speaking of his most memorable moment, Andrew mentions of course Lauren walking down the aisle but also turning up to Dufferin in their VW: “I remember the blistering sun and seeing all our guests outside soaking up the rays and mingling. It was fantastic.”
“For me the ultimate moment would have to be when we sat down for dinner,” says Lauren. “After all the speeches Andrew and I looked down at all our friends and family and saw them all chatting and laughing. Seeing all the people you love the most in one room chatting to each other is just the best thing. I was also so delighted to see some of my former pupils and their parents from my days as a teaching assistant appear on the day to give us their well wishes!”
When speaking about the venue Lauren says, “I would definitely recommend Dufferin to other couples planning a wedding. If you are looking for something laid back and cosy then Dufferin is the best you'll find and so reasonable too! Leontine was a great help for us and always responded to emails quickly and answered any questions we had. It is definitely the wedding venue for an easy going couple who either love simplicity or have a creative streak. We absolutely loved it and only wish we could do it exactly the same all over again.”
Car hire: Logybear campervan hire
Hair: Laura-lee Elliot
Make up: Olivia Muldoon
Men suits: Crawfords
Bride dress: Petticoat Lane
Music in church: Al and Susanne Bennett
Piper: Sinead Lennon
Flowers and head pieces: Noel and Eileen Hamilton
Photographer: Julie Hamilton
Videographer: Jamie Neish
Invites: Dave Galbraith