Inside My Wedding: NI associate’s special day at La Mon Hotel and Country…


A NI associate have shared a look inside their beautiful wedding day at La Mon Hotel and Country Club.

Maria (28) and Paul McCluskey (31) from Belfast got married third time lucky on April 9, 2022 at St Teresa’s Church on the Glen Road after two prior postponements due to the pandemic.

In Be ‘s weekly characterize Inside My Wedding, couples are delving into their special day to give brides and grooms-to-be some top tips.

Read more:Inside My Wedding: associate’s beautiful and typical day at Galgorm

The dominant school teacher and production operative said their wedding day was the best day of their lives.

Basic Getting ready (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

Maria told Be : “We got engaged in 2016. We would often visit Canal Court for a spa weekend. One weekend after I had graduated from Queen’s, we went for a relaxing break and Paul had used candles to spell out, ‘Will you marry me?'”

The 28-year-old has told all about their big day!

Tell us all about your day!

Our wedding day was the best day of our lives. It completely surpassed our expectations. We had a picture in our head of what we would like everything to look like and how we would like the day to run. However, it was better than we could ever have imagined. We couldn’t stop smiling the whole day!

Basic Husband and wife (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

How did you begin planning your wedding?

As soon as we got engaged, we knew it wouldn’t be long until we started hunting for a venue. At the time, we were both nevertheless living at home as we started planning in 2017. I was 22 and Paul was 25. We booked our wedding early as I nevertheless had to finish my education. I moved away to Carlisle to finish my teaching degree. Paul moved with me for the year as I am such a home bird. We started our planning with choosing a venue, as we knew that we wanted to have a venue picked out and a price in our heads early enough to start saving.

How did you decide on your venue?

We didn’t know where to start when it came to a venue. We truly Googled wedding venues in NI and then went from there. Paul loved the pictures online of La Mon and showed them to me. I had my heart set on a castle theme. However, when we attended a wedding show at La Mon we were blown away by the amazing surroundings and the fact it was 15 minutes from Belfast. You got the feeling that you were so far from Belfast when in fact, it was only a short car ride away.

Basic Just married (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

The foyer was a great selling point for us as we knew that our wedding was going to be a big one and that there would be a lot of space for our guests to mingle. We met with Megan and automatically knew this was the place for us. She knew exactly what we wanted and helped us from the get-go to have our dream day. We ended up booking both rooms due to our wedding size. When the partition was taken away, the hotel referred to this as the ‘Lisleen Suite’ which caters for 200+ guests.

Tell us about your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and suits!

Paul knew exactly what he wanted as his Granda and dad both wore tuxedos on their wedding day – so it was never going to be anything else. Paul got his and the groomsmen suits from Balmoral Suit Hire. Choosing a dress wasn’t as easy for me. I knew that I wanted something quite fitted. However, any dress I tried on didn’t give me the feels. I visited so many stores and little did I know I would find my dream dress right on my doorstep. I found my amazing dress in Blush on the Lisburn Road with help of the fabulous Fiona.

Basic Maria’s accessories (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

I explained to Fiona that I loved the Berta-style dresses and from there she introduced me to a designer that Blush had in store, which was Martina Liana’s range and is quite similar. After months of hunting for the perfect dress, I found it in Blush. Fiona couldn’t have done enough for me. My bridesmaids were originally black, long sleeved dresses as I wanted a black and white theme. However, when I really took notice of my dress, it had a honey underlay. consequently, I needed something brighter to match in with my own wedding dress.

Before I purchased the black dresses, Paul’s sister sent me a picture of some bridesmaids wearing Nadine Merabi dresses. I fell in love with them right away, but I knew it was going to be costly and that I wanted the girls to use black. However, many months later I went back to the original Nadine Merabi ‘Amie’ dresses and ordered them for my bridesmaids as I knew they would match more with my own style/colour of dress. The dresses were blush and very plain. However, I loved the aim the dresses had at the back – it was subtle and elegant.

Basic The wedding party (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

What was the best part in thebuild up to your day?

The best part of the build up was spending time with our friends and family. We have been absolutely spoilt rotten and have made so many memories with our nearest and dearest. We both had so much fun on our hen and stag dos – memories that we will cherish forever!

What was the best moment of your day?

It’s difficult to pinpoint our favourite part of the day as the whole day was perfect. However if we were to choose one moment, mine would be walking down the aisle with my dad and getting to see Paul as we had waited so long for this moment due to Covid. Paul’s favourite part of the day was people referring to me as his wife.

Basic Newlyweds (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

Collectively, our favourite part of the day was the laughs we had with our photographers, Mark Barnes and Brendan Gallagher and videographers, Nathan Hughes and Adam. We felt like we knew them our whole lives. When the day got too much, they made us laugh and reassured us. We also loved the moment we walked into our dressed wedding room in La Mon. We were blown away by how gorgeous it was. Wedding essentials dressed our room and it was literally something out of a fairy-tale.

Basic Maria’s gorgeous dress (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

What are your top tips for other couples?

Our top tip would be to enjoy the build-up, take a few minutes to really let everything sink in and let the happiness outweigh any stress or worries you may have. The day goes by so quickly that you will wish it was all happening again. Wedding blues are a real thing!

Basic Dog of honour Lillie (Image: Mark Barnes Photography)

What were the hardest parts to plan?

The most difficult thing to plan was figuring out and keeping track of our budget. In the end, we decided that this was going to be the most important day of our lives and that we were only going to do it once. After we had this mindset, we went with suppliers that we loved in spite of of the price. This can be difficult. However, it’s really worth it. You need to trust that your day will turn out exactly how you want it to.

Basic The reception room (Image: Submitted)

What was your theme?

Our wedding theme was typical – white and gold. We wanted to keep it bright and clean with a little bit of sparkle! We had initials in gold placed onto our white dance floor, gold initials on the flower wall, gold and white leather chairs and typical, plain white table linen. All of our signs, table place names, order of service booklet etc were also white and gold to fit in with the colour scheme. We also decided to keep it typical with our all white flower centre pieces.

Basic First dance (Image: Submitted)

Would you do anything different or wish there was anything you didn’t worry about?

It’s hard to believe but there is not one thing we would change. We had the most perfect day from start to finish. However, I wish I could go back and give myself a pep talk not to worry about every little thing, as this only causes unnecessary stress which is easily rectified and resolved. Our bridal party was the best we could ever wish for. Our parents were with us every step of the way so anything that needed collected or ordered was taken care of. We are very lucky to have so many amazing people around us.

Basic Wedding cake (Image: Submitted)

How did Covid impact your plans?

Our original wedding date was July 18, 2020. However, due to Covid we decided to postpone it until July, 23 2021. Little did we know Covid would nevertheless be around and restrictions would nevertheless be in complete force. consequently, when the opportunity to buy a house came up we jumped at the chance as we knew what kind of wedding day we wanted to have. With Covid nevertheless so present, we knew that the day we had always imagined would not have been doable. At this time, there was no dancing and vaccines were only on the roll out.

Basic Celebrations (Image: Submitted)

So we postponed for the second time and got settled in our new home. We knew that April 9, 2022 was going to be our date as not only was it third time lucky, but it was the exact same date only a year earlier that we were given the keys to our new home. We knew there was something special about this date and we were willing to wait for our perfect day. We did lose some important people along the way. However, we knew they would be with us in spirit on the day of our wedding.

Do you want to tell us all about your wedding day? Email [email protected] to be featured!

Read more: 11 wedding dress shops in NI for brides-to-be searching for their dream gown

Read more: Inside my wedding: NI associate’s beautiful day at Roe Park Resort

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