On The Day We Wed
Writing by Alyssa Wilcox (myself)
Photos by: Paula McManus
Several years ago, when Billy and I were planning our first trip abroad together, Billy asked me what other places I’d like to check out. My first instinct was to suggest Ireland. So he said, let’s make it happen. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been infatuated with a world full of lush greenery, rainbows, cliffs, and the icing on top; castles. In the midst of booking tickets to Ireland, I was in contact with another photographer named Paula who is from Northern Ireland. Instantly I responded to her encouraging the idea of basing our trip around Belfast where she and her husband lived. After spending the week with them we both fell in love with how genuine they are and became sold on the idea of coming back someday to be married.
A few years passed and then it was actually happening. We were back in Belfast spending the most relaxing time in their home, playing with their new daughter Isabella, having quality conversations over tasty wine and home cooked meals. We all started feeling extra giddy in the days leading up to our elopement.
We wanted the day to reflect us as a couple. From our dearest friend Finn marrying us while delivering the most thoughtful words we could have ever imagined, down to the glasses we would clink together while cheering and attempting to sip as each gust of wind blew past us on the cliff top.
I was a long time fan of Shop Gossamer and nothing inspires me more than the timeless beauty with their vintage pieces. Even before I met my husband, I constantly had my eye on the gowns in that shop. Not necessarily envisioning myself in them, but dreaming of brides I could shoot in them. One night THE dress was posted on Instagram and it stopped me in my tracks. I’ve never seen a piece of clothing that felt so right. So I ordered it that night, assuming that it was such a risk, I’d for sure have to get it altered, but when I hurried and opened it up, it fit like a glove.
We wouldn’t change a thing. The choice to not include more friends and family was our attempt to maintain privacy during these moments of intimacy. There was a lot going on around us and all of our senses were fully stimulated. We could have spent a week there and still not taken everything in. It felt as if we would never be able to make the moment last long enough. We made sure that our photographer knew a thing or two about documenting everything in such a way that when we framed those photo up on or walls, we would be taken back to that day over and over again.
The bouquet was so whimsically fitting thanks to Holly from Rosehip and Berry. I will stand by greenery to the day I die. It’s all I wanted. Loose and free flowing. We initially thought the gesture of throwing something out to the unknown would be a good idea. Turned out tossing the bouquet off the edge did the job, but I made sure to save a piece to store in our vow journals.
Not having ate since earlier that morning, we urgently drove back to the city in need of a good burger and a drink or two. The celebration was small, the cocktails were plentiful and Paula and her husband were able to spend their first night out away from the wee one. The perfect ending to such a magical day.
Photographer: Paula McManus
Dress: Shop Gossamer
Bouquet: Rosehip & Berry
Ring: Isadora’s Jewelry
Necklace: Bare and Golden
Makeup: Alima Pure