Jaye + Ross by Kathryn Mervyn

Our wedding day was very different to what we originally planned, due to the pandemic. We had dreamed of getting married overseas on my mum and dad’s 40th wedding anniversary so that we could share their special date, but restrictions meant we had to change our plans. 

With our own 20th anniversary approaching in five weeks’ time, we knew that we’d regret not celebrating such a huge milestone so made a last-minute decision to push forward with the wedding.

In Northern Ireland, you have to give 28 days’ notice of marriage which left us with just 24 hours to find a venue. Ross convinced me to take a look at Clotworthy House. It all felt a little too conventional for me, but when I happened to look across the courtyard I fell in love with its greenhouse. At first, everyone thought I was mad. The greenhouse was a working space and had a lot of gardening tools, pots and storage equipment inside. But we managed to convince Clotworthy House to let us use the space and it worked out beautifully.

In keeping with restrictions, we only asked our parents to witness the ceremony. Ross and I got ready together in the morning before driving to the venue. Ross walked in with my mum and his parents, while my dad and I spent some time together in the car beforehand, which was really special. Our wedding day was wonderful. It was super relaxed and the greenhouse turned out perfectly.

The flowers, personal ceremony and the way that our photographer Kat made us feel was beyond what we had expected. Hollie from The Rosehip and Berry created the most gorgeous floral installation, which made it look as though the flowers were spilling out from the greenhouse. There were rugs inside which made everything feel cosy, while cluster lighting added a little sparkle when it started to get dark outside. I chose my ‘real’ wedding dress from Halfpenny London but decided to save it for our ‘second day’ which we hope to throw in the future when the restrictions ease. It’s currently hanging in Ross’ office and when he’s out, I sometimes sneak in to try it on! For our micro wedding, I chose a mini dress with a beautiful bow on the back which I plan to wear again on our honeymoon. I forgot to remove the label from my wedding dress which Ross discovered when I signed the register. But nobody was surprised, as this was typical of me!

When we exited the greenhouse as a married couple, we were welcomed with a round of applause and joyful cheers from a crowd that had gathered outside. We spent our first meal as a married couple in Ross’ mum and dad’s back garden. Local chef Tony O’Neill created a cook-at-home banquet of Thai and South East Asian cuisine for us to enjoy together. It was a lovely memory we’ll cherish for years to come. I love looking back at the photographs of our little greenhouse wedding and still can’t believe we managed to pull it all off in just five weeks.

photographer Kathryn Mervyn / bride’s dress Forever New at ASOS / groom’s suit Moss Bros / flora Hollie McNeice, The Rosehip and Berry / ceremony location Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House / reception location Ross’ parent’s garden / celebrant Jean Barrett Quinn / hire Kerrie Mann / catering & beverages Tony and Andrea O’Neill at Lucky Devil Belfast / lemon polenta cake Groom’s mum / rugs Kukoon Rugs / rings Fred J. Malcolm / bride’s shoes Ted Baker / groom’s shoes Kurt Geiger / bride’s hair Bride’s friend Jessica Lynn / bride’s fragrance Miller Harris / groom’s fragrance Coach