A traditional Catholic ceremony in Lanarkshire followed by a fun-filled, sunny outdoor reception on a farm in Ayrshire

Denise Tierney & Jordan McCann

15th July 2021

Venues | St Mary’s Catholic Church, Hamilton & Harelaw Farm Weddings, Ayrshire
Photography | Fern Photography

a bride and groom walking hand in hand through at field in sunshine at Harelaw Farm

“Jordan and I had been together for three years when we got engaged. He popped the question in our first home: it was the September weekend, and we had planned to do a mini pub crawl to relive our first date. We’d spent the morning together and he said, ‘Oh what a lovely day to remake our first date, but it would be even nicer if you’d be my fiancée.’ And then he got down on one knee and proposed!

Both of us knew we wanted to get married in a barn because we love country music, so one of the first decisions we made was to book Harelaw Farm Weddings in Fenwick for our reception. It’s got loads of twinkly fairylights and it’s so gorgeous, especially in the summer.

We were after quite a rustic, laid-back feel, but with a twist: Jordan and I always wear colours and patterns and have big personalities, so we wanted our decor to be bright to match this. We looked for inspiration on Harelaw’s Instagram page, as well as by checking out weddings at other barn venues.

We were originally meant to get married in July 2020, but we had to push that back a year. Because of Covid, we were limited to 50 guests. We also had to socially distance and make sure there was the correct number of households at each table. Jordan’s sister lives in Australia, so unfortunately she couldn’t come back for it, as well as some other family friends who live abroad.

In the run-up to my sister’s wedding, we put a Child of Prague statue in the garden, as suggested by my work colleagues. She ended up having the sunniest day, so she bought another one to give to me. It was in the garden for a week before the big day, and Jordan and I got married on one of the hottest days of the year, at about 26°C. My brother gets married soon and I’ve already given him one!

When my dad and I were in the car together on our way to the church, the buses were running late with our guests, so I actually arrived before some of them did. Our driver offered to take us on a detour to kill some time, but my dad wanted to go to the shop to get a water because it was so hot.

We ended up in ASDA. He was cutting about in his father-of-the-bride get up and I was sitting in the car park in my big white dress, with people waving by me as I went past. I went back to ASDA recently and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve not been here since my wedding day!’

Our ceremony took place at St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton. I teach in the primary school there and it’s also the place that my parents got married in 35 years ago. Our religion means a lot to us: we always knew we wanted to get married in a church and bring our children up in the faith, and so we opted for a Catholic service, led by Father O’Brien.

The church also didn’t have a limit on capacity, just social distancing, so a few extra work colleagues got to join us for the ceremony. There were still a lot of people who couldn’t be there on the day, however, so we set up a livestream with Sancta Familia Media so our loved ones around the world could tune in. It’s also now on YouTube so we can watch it back any time we want.

We took lots of steps to personalise our big day. We had lots of photos around the reception venue showing places we’d visited to document our journey as a couple, as well as pictures of people who had passed away and couldn’t be there. Our tables were named after all our travel destinations. Some of the decorations were also inherited from my sister’s big day, which was a nice touch.

One particularly important touch was a pin I bought for Jordan. His best friend and cousin, Darren died 10 years ago and would have been his best man had he still been here today. I bought Jordan a small pin with Darren’s picture on it to place inside his suit, so he felt like Darren was there and still had a vital role to play on our big day.

Our photographer was Fern Photography. They’d already worked at Harelaw Farm before and I’d seen their photos on Instagram, so I knew that they knew the best places to get our pictures taken. Also, when you look through their portfolio, their work is very natural and relaxed: it was just about the couple having a laugh together and capturing the right moments, and I think that came across in all their photos.

We were unlucky that the Covid restrictions changed the week after we got married, so we missed out on more guests and indoor dancing. However, the day before the wedding, Harelaw called us and suggested that the band perform outside since it was meant to be roasting. It was fantastic: the sun was shining, the band was playing, and everyone was able to get up and dance and not have to worry about restrictions. We also got to have our first dance, to Yours by Russell Dickerson.

There are countless moments we cherish from our wedding. I felt that having all our friends and family together again at the church after Covid was very special. Even though there were loads more people who should have been there with us, it felt like they were because they were able to watch on the livestream, they sent us cards and gifts – even Jordan’s sister sent us a video to play during the speeches, so she still managed to be a big part of it.

Because we had let go of caring about the small details, we were actually able to enjoy the day more, and soak in the moments that really meant something. In the end, we were happy that we got to celebrate with our family (and they were just happy that it got to take place!).”

Bride’s dress Melissa Sweet at David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ dresses Vera Wang at David’s Bridal
Flower girl dress Monsoon
Mother-of-the-bride outfit Catherines of Partick
Groomswear Slanj Kilts
Cake Tennyson’s Treats
Flowers Moody Cow Florist
Stationery Hip Hip Hooray
Favours Parkinson’s UK pins, Macmillan Cancer Support
Venue decor Purple Willow Weddings
Engagement and wedding rings ROX
Music Rogues Gallery
Filmmaker Code Word Zebra
Live-streaming service Sancta Familia Media
Cars Prestige Bridal Cars
Hair Hair by Natalie
Makeup Laura Hart Beauty

bride and bridesmaid wearing robes fixing a wedding dress standing next to mirrored wardrobesa smiling mother of the bride wearing blue with two bridesmaids wearing blue dressesa groom standing in St Mary's Catholic church in Hamilton getting his tie fixed by a malea bride stepping out of a wedding car by Prestige Bridal Carsa bride walking down the aisle towards a groom at St Mary's Catholic Church in Hamiltona wedding ceremony of a bride and groom at St Mary's Catholic Church in Hamiltona bride and groom kissing and walking up the aisle at St Mary's Catholic Church in Hamiltona man and a woman dressed for a wedding leaving St Mary's in Hamiltona bride and groom cheering with hands in the air outside St Mary's Catholic Church in Hamiltona smiling bride and groom in an open-top wedding car by Prestige Bridal Carsa wedding group portrait by Fern Photography at St Mary's Catholic Church in Hamiltona table and chairs set for a wedding at Harelaw Farmthe barn at Harelaw Farm set for a weddinga barrel with wedding sparklers and Let's Get Roasted' framea wedding top table and speeches at Harelaw Farma bride and groom on a top table at Harelaw Farm making a toast with glasses in aira bride and groom smiling and bride using a power drill while groom holds her up at Harelaw Farma bride using a power drill to afix a heart plaque at Harelaw Farma bride laughing holding a power drill while groom carries her at Harelaw FarmDenise loves Jordan dated wedding plaque at Harelaw Farmbride and groom standing in a field in the sunshine at Harelaw Farm with bride holding bouquet by Moody Cow Florista bride and groom smiling and walking across the grounds at Harelaw Farma bride and groom feeding a Highland cow at Harelaw Farmbride and groom sitting on a red Massey Fergusson tractor at Harelaw FarmRogues Gallery wedding band performing outside at Harelaw Farma bride and groom laughing in the grounds at Harelaw Farma bride and groom doing their first dance outside at Harelaw Farma bride dancing with her dad who is wearing a Steve Martin Father of the Bride t-shirtguests dancing in the sunshine outdoors at Harelaw Farmguests dancing in the sunshine outdoors at Harelaw Farm