Ruth works in Design and Advertising for AV Browne and David works in Accounts Administration for Fold.
On the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Autumn bride Ruth took the time to reflect on her wedding day, which was made even more special by taking place in what has been described in poetry as the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.’
“I had always wanted a later summer wedding and tried to get late-September dates, but the only date we could get was 1 October,” says Ruth, who now goes by her married name Hamilton.
“But it all fell into place and I loved all the colours that were around at the time, especially the taupes.”
The happy couple first met as 16-year-olds in school and have been together for 13 years now, their romantic relationship even taking them both to live in Sydney, Australia, for a year.
Having got engaged in NYC two-and-a-half years before the wedding, Ruth had had plenty of time to think about how she wanted her big day to look and feel.
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“Because we got engaged in New York, I wanted an American retro vibe to the day, which we achieved with the American Cadillac we used, which belongs to my dad.”
It was Ruth’s love of vintage and her desire for a romantically retro feel which led to her add some very special touches to the big day.
“David’s dad is involved with the Co. Down Railway Museum and so we went there after the ceremony to have some photographs taken on the platform, which was wonderful.”
The dress: Ruth’s David Fielden Wallis Simpson dress in the colour Cameo was one of the first she looked at, after her sister pointed it out to her in Blush Bridal boutique, Belfast. “I looked at it and thought that it wasn’t my cup of tea and so I went to around 20 different boutiques after that but I didn’t see anything I liked as much. I’ve always loved silk and I love the champagne colour.” Ruth’s Wallis Simpson gown, which was complimented by Kurt Geiger shoes, exuded the charm and sophistication of a bygone era, and she carefully chose her jewellery to go with it. “My 13-year-old niece, Kristie McGready, is very artistic and she actually made my pearl and diamond bracelet. My earrings were a gift from my mum, who bought them in an antique shop and I chose a vintage broach to wear in my headpiece.”
Bridesmaids and Flowergirl: Ruth’s maid-of-honour was Caroline Kane and her bridesmaids were her sister, Anthea McGready, and her sister-in-law Catherine Hamilton-Cooper. Taking inspiration from both Ruth’s own vintage-inspired gown and the shade of a rose she’d liked, the bridesmaids wore taupe-coloured dresses from Karen Millen with shrugs sourced from eBay. “I’d seen a rose called Amnesia, and it was the most beautiful burnt-Autumnal colour, and I really loved it and it inspired the bridesmaids’s dresses.” The subtlety of the shade perfectly complemented the stylish look of the day and the bridesmaids wore pearls to contrast with Ruth’s pearl and diamond jewellery. Little flowergirl Jenny McGready, Ruth’s niece, wore a gorgeous dress from Pianta Bride in Ballynahinch.
Groom: All the men in the party hired their suits from Austin Reed, at The Outlet, Ballynahinch. “I bought ties off-the-shelf for the men as they matched the bridesmaids dresses, and chose cream rather than white shirts.”
Hair: “To go with the dress, I was originally thinking of having finger waves,” explains Ruth, who went to retro hair experts Vintage Rocks of Belfast. “But after having some pre-wedding hair sessions I thought they were a bit flat and too solid looking. For the day I got a bit of a quiff at the front, with my hair set in a wave then gathered as a bun at the side, with my hairpiece kept in place with pearl pins.”
Cake and flowers: Ruth’s talented aunt, Adelaide Rankin, created the marvellous cake, which was made of sponge and featured decorative flowers. “She has made a cake for a friend’s birthday,” says Ruth, “and I asked her to make mine too.” As for the flowers, Ruth opted for a simple yet exquisite posy of stunning Anemones, hand-tied with black lace, which wouldn’t swamp her or distract attention away from her dress.
Cars: Not many brides can benefit from their dad’s passion for vintage American cars, but Ruth did. She arrived at her wedding in style in her dad’s very own Cadellic. “As a child I hated it,” she laughs, “but it turned out to be really great as it was the perfect car for the day and fitted in with the vintage feel.”
Reception: The stunning Chandelier Suite in the Slieve Donard hotel in Newcastle was the location for Ruth and David’s reception. Their first dance as husband and wife was to The Mama & The Papas song, Dedicated to The One I Love, which held special memories for the couple. “When we were just 16-years-old, not long after we’d first met, David wooed me one night at his mum and dad’s house by putting this record on,” smiles Ruth.
The highlights: “I really loved the run-up to the day and all the organisation,” says Ruth, who relished getting right all those details that many brides face with horror. “I loved all the attention to detail and the challenge of getting everything right, from flowers to shoes, then seeing it all come together on the day. I loved the church ceremony too and I really listened carefully to every word the minister spoke. Getting our photographs taken at the Railway Museum meant that David and I could spend some time on our own, just the two of us, which was lovely.”
Bride & Groom: Ruth Kirkpatrick & David Hamilton
Bride’s Parents: Annie & John Kirkpatrick
Groom’s Parents: Miriam & Neil Hamilton
Maid of Honour: Caroline Kane
Bridesmaids: Anthea McGready, Catherine Hamilton-Cooper
Flower girl: Jenny McGready
Best Man: Shaw McVeigh
Groomsmen: John Kirkpatrick, Mark Hamilton, Jamie Hamilton
Bride’s gown: Blush Bridal, Belfast
Bride’s headpiece: Rachel Trevor-Morgan Millinery at Blush
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Karen Millen
Mother of the bride outfit: John Charles from Kate’s, Cookstown and hat from The Hat Shop, Lisburn
Mens’ suit hire: Austin Reed, The Outlet, Banbridge
Reception: Slieve Donard, Newcastle
Cake: Adelaide Rankin
Flowers: Essence of Flowers, Saintfield
Wedding bands: Down jewellers, Downpatrick
Hair: Vintage Rocks, Belfast
Make-up: Azelia Jackson, Monaghan
Photographer: Ken Haddock, Belfast
Honeymoon: Mauritius & South Africa