Jessica and Philip make memories for a lifetime during perfect day
As the golden sun rose above the crest of the Indian Ocean one beautiful spring morning, Jessica Beacom accepted Philip Boyd’s heartfelt proposal and their lives changed forever.
This beautiful scene transformed into a truly wonderful wedding almost a year later, when the pair were wed at Lisbellaw Presbyterian Church, on April 20, 2018 during a ceremony performed by Reverend Rodney Beacom, who is the father-of-thebride, assisted by Pastor Harry Dowds.
Their wedding reception took place at Solis Lough Eske Castle in Donegal – a castle of character, set beautifully into the Bluestack Mountains by the water’s edge complimented by helpful and efficient staff. Jessica, who is an orthoptist working within the South Eastern Trust from Lisbellaw, recalled always knowing of Philip, who is a technology and design teacher from Clogher.
However they formally met when they crossed paths during a mutual friend’s 18th birthday party. After spending sometime messaging via Facebook, the pair then exchanged numbers and decided to meet up for a special dinner date while Jessica was home during Easter break in her first year of university.
They became official just after Philip’s 21st birthday celebrations, around April 12, 2013. “I’ve always admired Philip’s kind and caring personality,” Jessica described. “Philip is extremely thoughtful and always puts others before himself. Most importantly we have a shared faith in Jesus Christ.”
Together for four years, it was on April 14, 2017, that Philip got down on one knee and asked Jessica for her hand in marriage during a scenic trip to South Africa. “We were going on a ‘special trip’ during the Easter break which made me quite suspicious to start with,” Jessica reflected. “It was intended to be a surprise, however Philip accidentally let it slip and it turned out that we were flying to South Africa for 10 days to visit some of his relatives.”
The pair travelled from Johannesburg, along the Garden Route to Cape Town, before eventually stopping in ‘Prana Lodge’ – a private spa resort on the beach. “Philip suggested that we go for an early morning walk on the beach,” Jessica explained. “And we were chatting as I was looking out towards the Indian Ocean, admiring the beautiful sunrise. “When I turned around Philip was on one knee with a ring in his hand, and asked me to marry him.”
The glittering platinum engagement ring featured a diamond cluster, with an Asscher cut centre, sandwiched by two tapered baguette-cut diamonds on either side. It was just the perfect size and style for Jessica. “I said yes, of course,” Jessica added. “It was a very emotional moment that we will always remember. “We were overwhelmed, and I think it took a while for the realisation to hit home that we were actually finally engaged – excited, thankful and blessed are words that come to mind. “Needless to say, South Africa is a very special place for us both now, and we hope to visit again in the near future.”
As the couple had spoken of marriage many times before they were engaged, they had a fair idea of what they wanted their big day to be like, and they got stuck into the planning when they returned home from South Africa. “We had always talked about the idea of a vintage and rustic wedding, so on our day we included a vintage bicycle; vintage cars; creamery can; painted crates and jam jars among other personal elements,” Jessica said.
“With it being a spring wedding, I decided upon dusty rose as the colour scheme. “As for flowers, I really loved the bohemian style, so I wanted a flower crown as I thought it would fit in, and a draping flower arch at the church door. “Because we got engaged in South Africa, I also wanted to include their national flower, the protea, in our bouquets.”
Another nice surprise which added a nice rustic touch to Jessica and Philip’s wedding was a special wooden swing, created by her in-laws. “They engraved our names on the seat and they located cherry blossom branches full of blooms, which the florist then weaved in around the ropes of the swing,” she said. “It was so beautiful.”
Happily Jessica had an enjoyable experience when shopping for her wedding dress, and she found the perfect gown from Serendipity Bridal Boutique in Fivemiletown. The vintage ivory lace dress, designed by Pronrovias and called ‘Dracane’, featured a matching diamante belt around the waist. “The dress was perfect,” Jessica said. “I felt very comfortable in it, and a fitted lace dress was exactly my style. “The girls at Serendipity were so lovely and I really felt at ease with them,” she added. “They made the whole experience so enjoyable and I didn’t feel under pressure at all. It was very relaxed and informal.”
Happily the wet and windy weather in the days leading up to Jessica’s wedding ceased, and on her big day the sun shone and the skies were a deep blue. “It was so exciting and lovely to see everything coming together so perfectly after all the planning,” Jessica said.
“We couldn’t wait to be married and to begin setting up home together, but we were also sad at the prospect of leaving our families and the changes this would bring. “However I wasn’t nervous at all,” she added. “That is, until I started walking up the aisle and then I think reality finally hit me. By this stage Philip was a bit of an emotional wreck shall we say!”
As committed Christians, the service was the most important part of the day for Jessica and Philip, and it was made even more special as it was the Fermanagh woman’s father who wed them. The couple’s hymns included ‘Love Divine’, ‘My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness’ and ‘Here Is Love Vast As The Ocean’ and their two scripture readings were Ephesians 3:14-21 and 1st John 4:7-21.
“We wanted our wedding day to honour and glorify God our Saviour, and therefore a lot of attention was given to the planning of the service,” Jessica explained. “We felt both the hymns and Bible references conveyed the message of love that Christ has for us and His church, and reminded us of all that He accomplished when He died and rose again for our salvation.
“As my dad was the minister, it was very special to have him not only walk me up the aisle but also to marry me to my best friend – not everyone has that privilege!” Jessica added.
“It was also quite emotional when I met Philip at the top of the aisle. It was a very special moment for both of us to be joined together as man and wife. “We are very thankful to God most importantly for saving us, but also for bringing us together and leading us to where we are today.
“It was the perfect day from start to finish,” the 24-year-old concluded. “Looking back there is nothing that we would have done differently. It went all too quick and we would love to experience it all again. “It was a day filled with happy memories, and we feel very blessed and thankful to all our family and friends for making it such a special day, and for their generosity and kindness in the lead up to the wedding.”
• The Finer Details •
Wedding dress: Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Fivemiletown.
Hair stylist/salon: Danibelle Wedding Hair.
Make-up: By Kerri Professional Make-up Artist.
Bridal Shoes: Dune.
Head piece/ Veil: Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Fivemiletown.
Bridesmaid dresses: Serendipity Bridal Boutique, Fivemiletown.
Groom’s/groomsmen’s suits: SD Kells, Enniskillen.
Cake supplier: Mary Cashel, family friend.
Cake: Four-tiered iced cake with a fresh flower garland, set onto a wooden log which was engraved and decorated with moss.
Cake flavours: Fruit; lemon; chocolate; Victoria sponge.
Florist: Flowers by Ruth Hood.
Church: Lisbellaw Presbyterian Church, Fermanagh.
Minister: Reverend Rodney Beacom (father-of-the-bride), assisted by Pastor Harry Dowds.
Transport: I Do Wedding Cars.
Reception: Solis Lough Eske Castle, Donegal.
Number of guests at reception: 180.
First dance song: ‘God’s Plan’ by Derek Ryan.
Photographer: We Are The Lou’s
Videographer: Barry Porter Videography.
Honeymoon: Amalfi Coast, Italy for five days; Route 66 in the USA for three weeks.