Inside My Wedding: A Couple’s Beautiful Day at the Millbrook Lodge Hotel in Ballynahinch

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A couple currently living in London have shared a glimpse of their beautiful wedding day in Co Down.

Sara Askin, 30, from Belfast, and her husband Adam Askin, from Monaghan, spent their special day at the Millbrook Lodge Hotel in Ballynahinch on October 29, 2021, after it was twice postponed due to Covid.

In Be Inside My Wedding’s weekly feature, the couples dive into their special day to give the bride and groom some advice.

The teachers had their ceremony ahead of time at Sara’s mother’s local church.



Ceremony

The newlyweds have been together for 12 years and got engaged on vacation in August 2018.

Sara told us all about her wedding day at her home in Northern Ireland.

Tell us all about your wedding day!

We had the best day and it was definitely worth the wait. We were both so happy to get married and have everyone we wanted with us. Everything went well, even the weather cooperated.



Sara’s beautiful dress

How did you start planning your wedding?

First of all, we just enjoyed being engaged for a few months. I had no idea what kind of wedding I wanted but we knew we wanted to get married at home, rather than in England.

For a semester we came home and looked around in different places and decided on the Millbrook. It was the first thing we had booked. I really think it’s best to start by finding the place you like and then plan the rest from there.



Sara and her bridesmaids

How did you choose your location(s)?

We looked at a few different options, some hotel options and some where the venue is rented out and then you can hire caterers etc. After looking at Larchfield we loved it and considered booking there but then went to see Millbrook Lodge and loved it. The grounds are so beautiful and they were so friendly and helpful.



On the grounds of the Millbrook Lodge Hotel

We also thought that booking somewhere where everything is run by the venue itself worked better for us as we plan from afar. The ceremony part of our wedding was a little trickier to decide. We come from different religious backgrounds, so we weren’t sure if we should have a church wedding or have our ceremony there, but we finally decided to get married at my mother’s local church. .

Tell us about your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and costumes.

I loved my dress. It was an Enzoani dress and I got it from Elody Bridal in Newry. I had it at home for a long time before I could wear it, as our appointment was postponed due to Covid. But I still loved him so much.



Husband and wife

Originally I had ivory dresses for my bridesmaids as this was going to be a summer wedding. When we moved on to our third and final date, I decided to change the bridesmaids’ dresses to green as I thought it would work better for fall. I ended up saving one of the ivory dresses and wearing it in the evening. I ordered them online from ChiChi and we were all happy with them. They were good quality and really flattering. We bought the Statement boy’s costumes at Portadown, they were fabulous!

What was the best part of preparing for your day?

Covid has thrown some wrenches into our build. We had to postpone our wedding twice, so for a while the excitement of the day got a bit lost and it became hard work. However, once we found out the wedding was going to happen, we were able to get excited again. I don’t really know if there was a particular best part, I think when I look back it’s just a really fun and special time in your life. I absolutely loved my hen, it was a surprise I didn’t know anything about but my bridesmaids had planned it perfectly.



Sara, Adam and their beloved dog Ezra

What was the best moment of your day and your other favorite parts?

I don’t know if there was a defining moment. We both enjoyed every second of our day and felt so happy. Even in the morning I felt very calm, chilled and energized for the day. Many of our friends came over from England and it was so nice to have all of our family and friends together. We definitely enjoyed being able to dance at our wedding and didn’t leave the dance floor. Our band and our DJ invited everyone, so it was fun. We also have a small dog, Ezra, who we brought. One of my mom’s friends took care of him for us but took him for some pictures. We were so happy to have him there too.



Ezra

What would you tell other newlyweds to plan first and what are your top tips?

I would definitely say find a place you like and decide on a date. Once you know this, it helps you decide what type of wedding you want to have, the season, etc. In terms of best advice, I would say just remember that you are doing this for yourself and your wife/husband, so do what makes you both happy. Don’t try to please everyone. Also try not to sweat the small stuff, enjoy.

What were the hardest parts to plan?

Covid has definitely made the planning process much more difficult. We were originally supposed to get married in August 2020, before postponing to April 2021, then finally October 2021. Not knowing how the restrictions were going to be made difficult as to how many guests we could have, what rules there would be about dancing, etc. Especially as we live in England it was difficult as the restrictions in England were very different to those in Northern Ireland which definitely added stress to the whole process.



the wedding

Tell us about the “atmosphere” or the theme of your wedding?

I don’t know if there was a theme as such but I wanted a very simple and classic atmosphere. I wanted to make sure that when I look at pictures 20 years from now, I’ll still love them. I tried not to do or have things just for fun, and to make sure it was something we really wanted or needed. I think the things that stand out when you go to a wedding are the people that are there, the food and drink, and the music. We wanted to make sure it was all on point.

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

I don’t think, in the end, everything came together perfectly. So I wouldn’t change it. I think I was a pretty relaxed bride, so I didn’t really get stressed or worried about things coming up. Covid was definitely the hardest part when things were so far out of our control.



The Askins and their guests

By dint of postponing twice, we lost a few suppliers who couldn’t meet our new dates. However, for the third time we had the best combination of vendors and it wouldn’t have been the wedding it was if it had been the first or second date.

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

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