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Real Weddings: Vanessa and Terry’s vibrant Co Antrim affair
Image / Style / Weddings

Photography by Kat Mervyn

Real Weddings: Vanessa and Terry’s vibrant Co Antrim affair


by Shayna Sappington
07th Jun 2024

Vanessa and Terry recently tied the knot on the gorgeous Magheramorne Estate. Each of them donned not one but two dreamy outfits for their wedding day – first, a classic wedding dress and suit for the ceremony, then more traditional garbs to dance the night away in.

THE COUPLE
Vanessa Ifediora and Terry Chan.

THEY LIVE
in Belfast.

THE VENUE
Magheramorne Estate.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Kat Mervyn.

THEY MET
on Bumble!

THE PROPOSAL

In February 2023, we travelled to Hong Kong, where Terry’s parents are from, for a holiday. As it was my first time visiting, Terry planned the trip of a lifetime showing me all the sights and food, then proposed at the top of Victoria Peak on his late mother’s birthday.

THE DRESS & THE SUIT

Although I was interested in dresses by Eva Lendel, the boutique carrying them in Belfast was unable to provide a sample to try on, so I took a gamble and ventured further afield. I found my dream ceremony dress and veil from Chinese bridal designer Dear White based out of Beijing. My evening look was from Linh Bridal on Etsy.

Terry wanted to incorporate a little colour into his ceremony suit and found the perfect ensemble from Freddie Hatchet in Belfast. He purchased his evening look from a wedding clothing specialist on AliExpress.

THE CEREMONY 
Our ceremony took place in the ballroom at Magheramorne Estate. Although we originally hoped to have the ceremony outside in the garden, due to rain the day before we weren’t able to, but it was the best thing that could have happened. For one, everyone was warmer! But the red and pink florals by The Rosehip and Berry looked incredible against their signature teal blue walls.

We had the amazing Jean Barrett Quinn officiate our humanist ceremony with such care, empathy and joy in bringing our story to life. Although we had close to 70 guests, the ceremony felt intimate, and we faced out into the aisle so we could see all our guests’ faces throughout the ceremony. We were also joined by musician Wei Deng, an incredibly talented guzheng player, in memory of Terry’s mother who also played guzheng.

THE RECEPTION
Wei continued to serenade the guests throughout the drinks reception, during which time we ran to change into our second looks to make our entrance back into the dining room. As Terry’s family hail from Hong Kong, we held a Chinese tea ceremony before dinner in place of speeches, and for me as an Igbo Nigerian, a Kola Nut ceremony was performed by my uncle. Dinner was all prepared in-house by Jane’s Kitchen.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
After dinner the party could really get started, first kicking off with Chinese lion dancers and straight into our first dance. We really debated for the longest time if we would even do one, but honestly, we’re so glad we did now, if even for the laughter and memories of trying to get it together in our kitchen in the weeks leading up to the main event.

THE DECOR
We had a combination of silk lanterns, Nigerian wood carvings, brass candlesticks and incredible florals, including a whole tree constructed by our amazing florist to hang lanterns and tassel charms off of. We ordered an LED Double Happiness light to hang behind our sweetheart’s table during dinner that we’re now trying to figure out how to display somewhere in our home since we love it so much! The rest of our stationery was ordered from Papier.

THEIR TOP TIPS
Relax! You’ve made your plans; trust that things will run smoothly and just enjoy the day. We truly had an amazing day. The venue ran everything like clockwork, so we had nothing to worry or stress about once the day got started. Plan thoroughly in the run-up, then let it all go. A hugely important thing for us was making sure we carved out time throughout the day to just sit with each other and take it all in. We ate dinner alone at a sweetheart table as well which really helped us decompress. Also, booking vendors you can have the craic with really helped dissipate nerves the morning of. It was just like catching up with old friends.

THEY WISH THEY HAD
Worried less about the weather! Whether it’s rain or shine, trust your team will help you pull off the day you want and don’t let something so out of your control add extra stress in the run-up.

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
For both of us, seeing our secret evening looks for the first time. We knew we would both change into our respective cultural garbs, but neither of us could anticipate exactly what they would look like. And also the morning after, when we woke before all our guests, watched the sunrise and went for a walk around the grounds together before meeting everyone for breakfast.

THE FIRST DANCE SONG
Problemz by Jungle.

THE CREW
Ceremony Dress: Dear White. Evening Dress: Linh Bridal. Ceremony Suit: Freddie Hatchet. Florist: The Rosehip and Berry. Videographer: CinematicTide. Cake: Lily Pink Bakery. Lion Dancers: QUB Success Chinese Lion Dance Society.

See more photographs from Vanessa and Terry’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography by Kat Mervyn.

Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.

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