A Fairytale Wedding at a Flour Mill: Jessica & Ciarán

October is now our favourite colour...

Pardon the pun, but this is a seasonal wedding you are going to 'fall' in love with! If you are in search for autumn inspiration bursting with vibrant colours and vivid blooms - then no need to look any further than Jessica and Ciarán's real wedding. A crisp October morning saw the The Mill at Ballyduggan, Co. Derry, an 18th century restored flour mill, transformed by rays of sunlight, blossoming love, burnt orange dahlias and even a hint of Irish mythology. Photographer Francis Meaney captured all the golden moments so prepare to be colourfully blown away...

wedding bouquet orange bright
wedding invite
Wedding dog
wedding corsage
wedding shoes
wedding dress getting ready

There were many special touches seen during the morning preparation. From the personalised message embossed on the bridal shoes and the hand-painted bottle of bubbly, to the draped velvet ribbon hanging from the bridal bouquet. And of course special mention goes to the furry guest of honour. Earthy greens took the spotlight coming through in the bridesmaids' dresses, the groomsmen's ties and the gorgeous tri-fold invitations. As for the breathtaking bouquets by Victoriana Floral we can see a gleeful selection of hydrangea, roses, dahlias amongst other meaningful flowers tied loosely together creating a relaxed asymmetrical shape.


Ciarán and Jessica both live in Belfast and work in museums. When choosing a wedding venue, this decision was simple. "From the outset we wanted a venue that was a little different and historical. We chose the Mill at Ballydugan for many reasons, but mainly the friendliness of the owners, the history of its restoration and the colours of the trees and foliage around the lakes for an autumn wedding," says Jessica.

getting ready wedding morning
wedding dress

Jessica's wedding dress combined elegance with craftsmanship. The details in the skirt feature 3D leaf applique whilst the half-sleeved bodice is timeless and sophisticated. The bridesmaids contrasted magnificently against Jessica's golden tones and the red and copper foliage. The pearl hair embellishment in the bridesmaids' hair complemented Jessica's single pearl necklace.

bride and bouquet
bride and father

The proposal was a big surprise for Jessica. Ciarán bought the engagement ring with a plan to propose around the couple's second year anniversary. He then decided to send the ring to his parents house to ensure Jessica wouldn't become suspicious. "When the lockdowns hit, he was unable to go and visit to get the ring and our anniversary passed," said Jessica. Ciarán's moment arrived during a walk in the sunshine around Helen's Bay. They sat down to reflect on their move to Northern Ireland and all of a sudden, the ring box appeared and the rest is history!

wedding welcome sign
wedding floral ceremony
bride walking up aisle

The brick walls, burnt orange leaves and rustic surrounding created the most natural and earthy colour palette for the couple's autumn wedding. I don't mean to 'harp' on but I need to give the flowers the appreciation they deserve. A bold floral arrangement framed Jessica and Ciarán as a ceremony backdrop. Keeping with the colour palette, the same florals continued to create that wow-factor throughout the dining tables. Keep scrolling to see!

bride and groom vows ring
bride and groom colourful flowers ceremony

The day was a celebration of all that is important to Jessica and Ciarán; family, friends and creating wonderful memories. "We wanted our personalities and interests to be a big part of the day. We both love music, so we were delighted that Ruth played the harp for our ceremony and reception. The band definitely brought the craic in the evening! Another priority was definitely the style of the photos," Jessica added.

bride and groom confetti
bride and groom confetti

We love a good confetti throw shot!

bridal party / wedding party autumnal green and orange
bridal party / wedding party autumnal green and orange
green bridesmaids

Jessica's gals looked oh-so-gorgeous in their green bridesmaids dresses.

table plan
wedding table decor autumn orange rustic
wedding table decor autumn orange rustic
wedding cake green

As the dinner bell rang, the guests were welcomed to a warm, cosy, candlelit room. Each dining table was styled with an antique gold floral bowl with overflowing blooms and foliage. Amongst it all sits the gorgeous gold leaf wedding cake.

wedding table decor autumn orange rustic
wedding table decor autumn orange rustic

As a bit of fun and a nod to their wedding taking place over Halloween, the couple creatively came up with an Irish mythology table plan. "We made table cards for guests to read about various myths and legends such as the Clurichaun, Dullahan, Oilliphéist and Púca, but we assured them it wasn’t personal," laughed Jessica.

bride and groom autumn
bride and colourful bouquet
bride and groom colourful bouquet
bride and colourful bouquet
bride and bouquet
bride and groom

The father of the bride speech included asking various family members for their marriage advice. "It was a funny and heartwarming touch that so many of our loved ones had contributed to that part of the day," says Jessica. Another special moment recalled was during the ceremony: "We lit two candles at the beginning to represent our two families. Once we had completed our vows we then used these to light one candle together as a combined family and married couple. It was a lovely suggestion by our officiant and the candles are another keepsake from the day."

bride and colourful bouquet
bride and colourful bouquet
cottage bride and groom colourful bouquet

Jessica and Ciarán share some invaluable advice for couples who are in their planning process: "Discuss together what you would like you and your guests to remember from your wedding day. Also agree if there are any particular things that are important to you. This helped us prioritise where we wanted to spend our budget and where we felt we could make savings. Our photographs are our main memory of the day, so would say this is one of the most important vendors to get right in capturing the style and feel of your wedding."

mother wedding speech
wedding speeches groom
wedding toast

After the wedding, the newlyweds chose to explore locally and had a fantastic glamping mini-moon. The couple enjoyed their honeymoon relaxing in the private hot tub and star gazing through the clear roof of their hut. Magical!

first dance

Thank you to the lovely couple for sharing their beautiful Northern Irish wedding with us. A special thank you also to Francis Meaney for allowing us to share these incredible images.

Thinking of having an autumn wedding? Check out our seasonal inspiration for flowers and cakes.

Recommended Suppliers


Photographer //
Francis Meaney
Dress Designer //
Savin London
Bridal Boutique //
Petticoat Lane Bridal
Groomswear //
Bridesmaid Dresses //
Lucy Alexander Bridal
Bridal Shoes //
Charlotte Mills
Accessories //
Lily & Roo
Rings //
Cake & Favours //
Gemma’s Cakes
Stationery //
Inspired Hand

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