Wedding Planning with our real-life bride Danielle

When it comes to wedding planning we all want to know everything! We definitely want to hear how the story began and Danielle doesn’t disappoint. She shares how Gerard proposed, how they picked their wedding date and so many other wedding planning tips you ‘brides to be’ are going to love! Side note…..I can’t believe Danielle’s Mum & Dad got married on her mum’s 21st birthday…..I got married on my 21st too!

Danielle & Gerard ~ 20 February 2020

Meet the Team

Over to our bride Danielle……

THE PROPOSAL

In April 2018, Gerard took me to the Merchant for lunch. When we arrived our table wasn’t ready and we were shown into a side room. The room was filled with flowers, and champagne, I turned round and there was Gerard down on one knee. Followed by a superb afternoon tea and a copious amount of celebratory champagne. It was a magical day!

SETTING THE DATE

Fast forward a few weeks all conversations turned to setting the date. After debate, we decided to follow in my parent’s footsteps (they got married on my mum’s 21st birthday). 20th Feb 2019 was too soon and then I realised 20th Feb 2020 was a stand-out date 20-02-2020 (here’s hoping 2 is a lucky number).

CHOOSING THE VENUE

We 100% wanted the wedding venue to be somewhere amazing. Especially given Northern Irish weather in February. After viewing a couple of wedding venues none gave us the wow factor and ‘that feeling’. Then we took a trip up North (considering we live in Bangor) and we came across Drenagh, and oh my goodness I instantly fell in love from the drive into the estate, to the house, to the gardens. It was just perfect!

THE TEAM

The next stage in planning the wedding was the dress. From just visiting to try on some fits, I tried on my 3rd dress and that was it. I’m an avid Instagram addict and knew I wanted Gemma to create our cake. I had a few ideas and Gemma turned that vision into reality. We then went and met with Victoria from Tortraits who took our colour scheme and venue into consideration and came up with the most beautiful array of bouquets.

We booked all the other wedding suppliers and loved meeting with everyone and touched base every so often on the phone. My very talented auntie did all the stationary for the wedding and before we knew it it was November 2019 and the invites were going out. We had family from across NI, others flying in from England, Australia and the best man who worked on cruise ships to spend the day with us. It was only in December 2019 the rumblings of a terror flu started making the head lines. January rolled in and everything was all systems go. COVID-19 was getting more and more of a hot topic, even then threatening to stop family and the best man attending. Thankfully our family and best man were able to fly over. At that time we thought, awk sure it will never come here. Little did we know……….

on THE DAY

We always knew booking a wedding in February with Northern Irish weather would be temperamental. The week running up to the wedding, snow was forecast. I could hardly sleep the night before watching the weather app for the heavy snow. I had visions of none of our guests making it over the Coleraine hills. The day arrived, I stayed in Roe park and was woken up with whistles and my bridesmaids singing happy birthday. In the end I woke up to sunshine and no snow 😊 our day was just perfect. The year and half of planning and organising (mostly thanks to my mum) went off without a hitch. We were so thankful to be able to spend the day surrounded by our family and friends.

The rest of 2020 as we know turned the world upside down. We entered Lockdown and had to cancel our honeymoon. We were just so lucky and incredibly grateful to be able to have our day as planned and I just felt so sorry for so many COVID brides who have had to reschedule, but my advice to you, is it will be worth the wait to be able to have your day as planned and how you dreamt it to be.

DANIELLE’S WEDDING TIPS

My advice to other brides would be…..

  • Look for inspiration, be it Instagram or Pinterest.
  • Look for venues and set a date everything falls into place around the wedding venue and date
  • They say planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things you can do. Make the planning fun, not forgetting the groom (even with the guest list 😉)
  • Meet with your photographer. They will be there to capture some of the most important parts of the day. You really need to have a good relationship with them. They need to be someone who understands you as a couple (ours literally felt like family on the day)
  • Remember through everything the day is about you and your partner making those vows to each other.
  • Most importantly, have fun.. the day goes by so fast. (Can you tell I am a Harry Potter fan 😉)

Wedding Cake Blog, Real Wedding, Danielle & Gerard
Floral Bouquets, Danielle & Gerard, Gemma's Cakes Blog
Real Life Wedding, Danielle & Gerard, Bride's Bouquet
Danielle, the bride, Gemma's Cakes Blog, real life wedding
Danielle & Gerard with wedding cake, Gemma's Cakes Blog, Real Life wedding
Danielle & Gerard in the Moon Garden at Drenagh, Gemma's Cakes Blog
Bride in front of fireplace at Drenagh, Danielle & Gerard, Gemma's Cakes Blog
Danielle & Gerard say I Do at Drenagh, Gemma's Cakes Blog, Danielle & Gerard
Bride and bridesmaids, Drenagh, Real life wedding, Danielle & Gerard, Gemma's Cakes Blog
Bride's mum and bridesmaids first look at bride, Danielle & Gerard, Wedding Blog, Gemma's Cakes
Champagne fountain at Danielle & Gerard's wedding at Drenagh Estate
Little flower girl at Danielle & Gerard's wedding
Wizard welcome, harry potter nod at entrance to Danielle & Gerard's wedding
Sparklers at Danielle & Gerard's wedding, Gemma's Cakes Blog
The Guest Book at Danielle & Gerard's wedding
Just married, confetti shot of Danielle & Gerard at Drenagh Estate, Gemma's Cakes Blog
Harry Potter at Danielle & Gerard's wedding at Drenagh Estate, Gemma's Cakes Blog

Thank you to all the amazing suppliers who contributed to making Danielle & Gerard’s wedding so perfect! If you would like to discuss a wedding cake or if you’re a past couple who would like to feature on the blog please get in touch using the form below.

Gemma x