Deborah King and James Loughran, from Newry, tied the knot in style on 1 September 2012 on a gloriously sunny day in beautiful Tavira, in Portugal’s Algarve region.
The couple, who met on a night out in Newry, got wed after a six year romance and knew that they wanted to hold the ceremony somewhere sunny outside Northern Ireland.
Deborah, 31, who works in PR and James, age 30, who owns and runs Zest Healthy Fast Food in Newry’s Buttercrane Centre, are both from the small village of Camlough just outside the city.
“We knew we wanted to get married abroad, somewhere with guaranteed sunshine and where we could take family and friends,” says Deborah.
“We looked at places such as Italy, but we’d been to Portugal before and it was easy for people to get to with direct flights. We had 72 people in our group and a lot of them turned it into a week-long holiday. Tavira, in the eastern Algarve, was perfect, it’s uncommercial and really pretty.”
The dress: It was 30 Celsius on the day of the wedding but Deborah had chosen her dress with the beautiful weather of the Algarve in mind, and so she kept her cool in its hot, sunny climes. The gown she eventually chose, after a lot of looking, perfectly suited her gorgeous slim shape and she knew it was ‘the one’ as soon as she tried it on, even though she admitted that it’s not a style she would normally wear.
“It was a David Fielden Goddess dress in ivory, from Blush Boutique in Belfast,” says Deborah. “I felt very comfortable in it and it was the one I kept on me for the longest. But I didn’t think I would go for that sort of style as it was very low cut.
“I’d had a couple of big days out with my mum, mother-in-law to be and my sisters. I quickly decided that a strapless dress wasn’t for me but apart from that I wasn’t narrowing the styles down well enough.
Then my friend came home from London and wanted to go wedding dress shopping and we went to Blush.
“My gown was very elegant and light so I knew it would be suitable for the weather and after my first visit to Blush my mum and sisters came with me to give me their verdict.”
As for her stunning high-heeled shoes, Deborah had bought and returned three different pairs, at varying prices, from different shops. In desperation, four days before leaving for the Algarve, she picked up her
stunning peep-toe heels in Next.
Bridesmaids: Deborah was spoilt for choice when it came to bridesmaids, so she opted for having five of them – her four sisters, Orlagh, Caroline, Geraldine and Sinead, and James’ sister Yvonne Loughran. “I was the first in our house to get married,” explains Deborah, “in fact, this was the first wedding on both sides. I started off thinking about having one bridesmaid, then three, then decided on five.”
The V-neck dresses with a tied-sash on the back came from Elody Bride in Newry.
“With that many bridesmaids you have to be careful with the style of the dress and I wanted something elegant and quite simple. We chose the shade Daffodil because it tied in with the citrussy theme of the
wedding. We had oranges, lemons and limes in vases as table decorations and my bouquet had yellow and white roses.” The bridesmaids had orange flowers in their hair too which complemented their yellow and orange posies.
Groom’s party: James and his party, including three best men and two ushers, hired their suits from McCartan Bros of Newry. “They were originally going to wear grey suits, but James looked more like a
guest at a wedding rather than the groom in his grey suit, so they hired proper morning suits. They worked really well, they looked like a proper wedding party then.”
Mother of the Bride: Deborah’s mum wore a dusky pink outfit from Sally West boutique in Dundalk.
Reception: The reception was held in the outdoors cloisters of the historic Pousada do Convento da Graca in Tavira. The former 16th century convent has been converted into a stunning boutique hotel and its Renaissance cloister also dates to the 16th century. “The day after the wedding we held a big barbecue party, which extended the wedding and reception even further into a second day,” says Deborah.
The highlights: “The fact that we went to Portugal and our friends and family were willing to come with us was wonderful.
“In my job I’m usually the person with the clipboard so I wanted a wedding planner to be able to do all the organising for me. It was such a relaxed day. The night before the wedding, after James and I had been for a meal and before we said cheerio, we went back up to the villa and our friends were sitting around having a beer or sitting around the pool.
Some of the girls had rollers in their hair, it was all very relaxed. And that afternoon us girls had been sitting around in our bikinis by the pool making the flowers for the church, which were held together in music sheets.
“It all just came together. So much time and thought went into the wedding but it was very laid back. It’s the norm in Portugal to have an open bar and I think our guests appreciated that too,” laughs Deborah.
Bride & Groom: Deborah King and James Loughran
Bride’s Parents: Gerry and Sheila King
Groom’s Parents: Jim and Concepta Loughran
Bridesmaids: Orlagh, Caroline, Geraldine and Sinead King and Yvonne Loughran
Bride’s gown: Blush Boutique, Belfast
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Elody Bride, Newry
Mother of the bride outfit: Sally West boutique, Dundalk
Mother of the groom outfit: Emporio, Lisburn Road, Belfast
Mens’ suits: McCartan Bros of Newry
Reception: Pousada do Convento da Graca in Tavira, Algarve.
Flowers, cake, photography and videography: Organised by Algarve Wedding Planners
Honeymoon: A villa in Tavira after the wedding followed by the Vila
Vita Parc resort in Porches, also in Portugal’s Algarve