'Personal, relaxed, chilled': Annastasia & Josh

This couple overhauled their wedding plans and were thrilled with the results!

There's no doubt about it, most of the couples who tied the knot in 2020 didn't have the guest numbers they wanted, but, at least, for the couple in today's real wedding, pandemic restrictions brought about some positive changes! Annastasia and Josh had planned a big celebration at a top wedding venue, but cutting the guest list and ditching the full reception did have some advantages. Annastasia got to get ready in her family home, the couple got to have their ceremony in her family church, and the day took on an exceptionally relaxed atmopshere - for example, their wedding feast was a takeaway served up by the couple's Dads! Their sensationally stylish downsized wedding at Tullymurry House was captured by Karen Grattan Photography and we can't wait to share the images with you!

Annastasia tells us that she first met Josh on a mission trip to Uganda. "Both of us had been to this particular place before to work, but never at the same time. However, this year was different. We were given our seats for the eight-hour plane journey to find we were sitting beside each other and we just clicked! We got on so well - we chatted the whole plane journey and were so comfortable with each other right from the start. I also really fancied him!"

From there, the pair spent two weeks working together. "We saw each other for who we really were - there was no makeup or straighteners and minimal showers due to lack of clean water, so it was really a 'what you see is what you get kind' of experience! In returning to Northern Ireland, I was heading back to London for work, so we decided we wanted to make this long-distance thing work and we both jumped in head-first! We did long distance for about six months and then I got a job back at home. It all just fell into place perfectly!"

Annastasia tells us that the proposal was a complete surprise. "We had talked about getting married, but Josh knew that he needed to do it really spontaneously or else I would suspect something, so he literally got down on one knee in the living room one evening and it completely shocked me! I cried for ages! And then we kept it a secret for two days until we went to pick the ring and tell our families together, it was the best few days!"

Annastasia and Josh were planning a more typical pre-Covid wedding when the pandemic hit, so they had to make some major changes. "Our priorities from the start were to get married, and our venue being 'the one', and, after changing our plans numerous times, we kept that our priority! So that's what we did - got married slap bang in the middle of a global pandemic with 25 guests in the church and no reception."

This meant that the couple had to find a new venue for their sit-down dinner, and chose Tullymurry house, a self-catering house just down the road from where they live. "Josh and his Dad are landscape gardeners and they keep the gardens around Tullymurry house, so it’s a really personal, special place to the whole family," Annastasia says. "We had our engagement photos there because we love the grounds, so to actually have our wedding there was amazing. We had to organise a local restaurant, Number 7 Duke Street, who were doing take away meals, to deliver a three-course turkey and ham dinner, and our Dads served it to us. It was so relaxed."

Because of their change of plans, Annastasia got ready in her family home, and the couple got married in her family church. "The original plans were to have the whole day at our original venue, but it worked out so much nicer," Annastasia says. "My step-Dad driving me to the church in his Morris minor was so lovely and meant so much to us both!"

The couple live-streamed their ceremony for friends and family members who couldn't attend. "It was so special, because there were so many people who couldn’t be there with us due to Covid. It was lovely to know they could watch us live!"

One of the couple's favourite moments from the day was taking a detour on the way to Tullymurry House to visit Josh's Grandad. "He wasn’t able to come to the church, so this was so special." Annastasia tells us.

Annastasia tells us that the big day was "perfect - personal, relaxed, chilled, and based in stunning surroundings."

The couple's nephew Harry stole the show on the day! Annastasia tells us, "He was our page boy, slash mini groomsman! He was so good all day and he looked absolutely gorgeous in his little suit!"

Two of Josh's Aunts made the couple's wedding cake and arranged the flowers - what talented women!

Annastasia has two clear pieces of advice for engaged couples. "Enjoy the planning," she says. "I loved planning my wedding despite the stress! It’s so exciting. I had two wedding planner journals I used all the time and loved ticking things off ! And keep the focus! Focus on why you're getting married and what it’s all about, because, for us, we wouldn’t change a thing!"

Thanks so much to Annastasia and Josh for sharing their gorgeous downsized wedding with us, and to Karen Grattan for providing the beautiful imagery! There are even more images in the gallery below.

Suppliers 

Bridal Boutique //
Divinity Bridal
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Shoes //
Dune
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Bridal Makeup //
Julie Quinn
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Bridesmaid Dresses //
ASOS
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Wedding Rings //
Shannon’s Jewellers
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