The beautifully quaint Dickensian setting of the Craft Village, nestled in Derry’s city centre was the venue for the Walled City Wedding’s Winter Fayre. It was oozing a wintry ambience and was romantically lit with soft glowing candles and twinkling fairy lights, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere. There was a warm welcome for all couples with wine and treats.  It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas and with magic in the air and a hint of sparkle and excitement, I, in my capacity as both exhibitor  and blogger immersed myself in the event.

It was a fayre filled with bespoke, personalized products and services. The chosen suppliers were on hand to showcase their wonderfully unique services and answer any queries the couples had. The one resounding sentiment which was expressed by all the suppliers was their desire to tell each couples individual story, through their work. The event was designed to inspire couples who want to create a unique day to celebrate their love, which friends and family would remember forever.

With the Northwest Explorer’s staff photographer, the super creative and talented, Gav Connolly, at hand, some beautiful snapshots of the day were captured.

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Walled City Weddings

Walled City Weddings was set up by Mairead Henry as a quirky alternative to the more traditional wedding fayre.  Mairead saw a market to promote a variety of different wedding venues,  exhibiting a handful of select vendors with the personal touch.

Lovebird Books

This beautifully presented book stood out to me as I passed by the stand. Their bespoke, linen cover hardback books cry out nostalgia and invite you inside. The pages are illustrated with beautiful images and are filled with sentiment.

With a wealth of experience in writing and a love of all things bookish, married couple, Mairead and Lee Henry created Lovebird Books.  With love letters now a thing of the past, there hope is that Lovebird Books will preserve memories of how couples met and fell in love. A uniquely personal account of your love journey . At Lovebird Books, they believe that everyone’s love story is worth telling.

Missy’s Cakes and Bakes

There is no end to this lady’s talents! With a passion for home baking from a young age, Mairead decided to combine her love of sugar crafting with her love of baking. Missy’s Cakes and Bakes was born! From traditional tiered cakes to little moreish miniatures, we were treated to a taste on Sunday. Mairead’s cakes are both distinctive in style and truly delectable in taste. Locally produced with love!

Civil Celebrations

A civil celebrant with a warm and vivacious presence, Jillian Canney would most definitely make your dream day a reality. I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend and find out more about her new venture.

Jillian recognised that couples are looking for ways to make their day more meaningful; a day which, in today’s world, truly reflects both their personalities and lifestyles. It was her wish to enable couples of all backgrounds, beliefs and religious and sexual persuasions to celebrate the wedding day of their dreams.  With more and more people opting for a celebration which is less traditional, and more tailored to their specific needs, a civil celebration is the perfect alternative.

Your wedding day will be one of the best experiences of your life, so why not write your own script and personalise your ceremony. Jillian will work with you to design and perform your ceremony. The beauty of choosing a civil celebration is that there are no restrictions, from choosing the location to the content and even including heartfelt input from family and friends. You can make your ceremony even more special by adding a traditional ritual, such as Hand Fasting, Jumping the Broom, Tying the Knot, Unity Candle, Sand Pouring and Ring Warming.

With Jillian, you’re guaranteed a professional, fun, romantic, truly memorable and moving ceremony, with plenty of tears and laughter.  Set the tone for your day, with a beautiful ceremony designed under the guidance of Jillian.  A day of celebration and happiness.

The Wedding Hypnotist

Why not consider trying something a little different for your wedding entertainment? Why not try a stage hypnotist to make your day one to remember? Dale Thomas has been described as an all-round entertainer, perfect for weddings, parties and corporate events.

With his witty banter, he will have everyone from the age of 8 to 80 laughing all night. He has a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry having initially started out singing in bands; he then trained under some of the world’s best hypnotherapists.  Dale has helped couples celebrate their big day in style, hypnotising guests into thinking they’re celebrating their special day and bringing two family sides together through comedy and laughter.

Choosing the right entertainment is the key to the success of your wedding reception. The ‘party’ is the finale to your wedding day and should leave a lasting impression on you and your guests.

Define Aesthetics by Cornelia

Located in Fountain Street, a few steps from Foyleside, Cornelia and her expert team offer the people of the Northwest and beyond, the nation’s leading treatment in defining that perfect look. They provide a wide range of treatments, ensuring you look your very best on your special day; providing you with a framework to show the world your beauty. From semi-permanent makeup, enhancing and reshaping eyebrows, applying permanent eyeliner to lip contouring and teeth whitening, the list is endless.

They offer both comfort and discretion while delivering a fantastic service. “Wake up looking fabulous!” So make sure you pop in and pay Cornelia and her team a visit!

Colleenrose McCabe

Start your wedding on the right note with beautiful ceremony music. Taking time to choose the music for your wedding ceremony is so important, as your choice will set the mood for the day. Your chosen wedding music and songs will enrich and add something very special to the wedding ceremony.

The cottage setting for the wedding fayre was perfect for the dulcet tones of the charming and very talented Colleenrose McCabe. Coming from a musical family, Colleen has been steeped in both Irish traditional music and dance, from a very young age. With a wealth of experience, she plays a range of instruments including harp, flute, piano and tin whistle. Colleen is available for wedding ceremonies and both reception and meal background music.

Not only can she perform classical, traditional and contemporary pieces, but Colleen also offers a wonderful service where she can work with a couple to create a beautiful bespoke piece influenced by themselves. What a lovely way to add that personal touch to your day. Colleen’s music is a perfect accompaniment to making your day truly special.

The Best Guest Book

A fantastic new concept in wedding stationery was presented by the lovely mother and daughter duo, Joy and Dara. Their mission is to tell your story.

The book is essentially, a mini magazine which can serve as a favour or very sweet momentum of the day. The magazine gives a profile of the bridal party and guests; table plans; a page on how the lovely couple met; a welcome message from the bride and groom; a quote page, filled with your favourite quotes from your favourite people and any other information which you feel may be important to include. Filled with wonderful images of the bride, groom and other key players on the day, it is without doubt a lovely keepsake.

They offer both comfort and discretion while delivering a fantastic service. “Wake up looking fabulous!” So make sure you pop in and pay Cornelia and her team a visit!

Roisin O’Brien Photography

I had a chat with Roisin whose passion for her work was evident within minutes of meeting her. Roisin expressed her desire to tell the true story of each couples celebration. She is in the unique position of spending most of the day with the couple and therefore creates a unique bond with each.

She ensures the day is filled with fun, laughter and banter. Her style is natural and honest and has a documentary feel. Roisin specialises in capturing those intimate moments and little details, creating perfect memories for your perfect day. A friendly and helpful demeanour, Roisin is delightful and teams up with her other half, Neal, offering double the fun, laughter and banter!

Inishowen Gospel Choir

There was most certainly ‘music there in the Derry air’ on Sunday. The Craft Village was ‘alive with the sound of music’. Those present were totally uplifted and captivated by the soulful renditions of the magnificent and mesmerising Inishowen Gospel Choir.

I had a chat with Declan Magee who explained the origins of the choir. The 25-30 member choir is constantly evolving, and has a growing profile internationally. The choir perform from a diverse repertoire of gospel, folk, roots, rock, jazz and soul, guaranteed to keep your guests entertained. They have performed on a variety of platforms, from intimate churches to festivals, such as Glastonbury and Electric Picnic. They provide a repertoire of music which can be tailored at your request and makes them suitable for a church wedding, civil wedding ceremony or reception.

A wonderful addition to any wedding.

“Loose Change”

A variety of acts took to the stage on Sunday. One of them being “Loose Change”. This band is incredibly accomplished, playing everything from piano to drums to guitar. It was certainly an entertaining performance, including renditions of winter melodies, setting the mood and keeping  the whole crowd dancing and swaying along. Their many years of experience was evident from their flawless and engaging performance.  Their compelling combination of rich styles and array of music is sure to keep your guests on the dance floor. A truly talented band of musicians.

From church or service music, piano, guitar reception to your first dance, all your music needs can be met!


I met the lovely Amie Logue who was representing Tomorrow’s Bridal, situated in the Diamond, at the centre of the walled city. Celebrating 10 years in business, Amie believes it is their customer service which stands them out from the rest. With expert bridal consultants on hand, they stock wedding gowns from exclusive designers around the globe, and are specialists in men’s suit rental ‘hire’ and sales.

They had some beautiful designs on show, reflecting the trends for 2017. Exposed, bedazzled backs, dramatic trains, high necks, sleeves and yes lots and lots of lace! Make an appointment and pop in an avail of the full ‘TOMORROW’S EXPERIENCE’.

Aye Do

I was immediately attracted to this very vibrant stand. Ruth Graham, the owner’s personality hops straight out at you. A freelance illustrator, Ruth has designed quirky wedding invites for fun people.

You can show off your individual style with colourful portraits of you and your partner in crime, on your invites. A new addition to Ruth’s unique collection is the fabulous, uber trendy wooden invitation! Cut from sustainable Italian poplar, they would be perfect for a couple opting for a rustic/country theme, or for those who just want something really different?

Traditional invites with a contemporary twist appear to be the order of the day and Ruth is right on trend! Invitations reflecting the theme of the day and the personalities of the most important players are becoming more and more popular. I would most definitely suggest taking a little look at Ruth’s wonderful work!


Last, but not least, yours truly was exhibiting my bespoke designs! My premise as always, expressing the sentimentality of the day, which is what I found very endearing about my fellow exhibitors.  Their desire to provide a bespoke service with each couple in mind was of utmost importance!

At Bouquet-licious, I design brooch and jewelled bridal bouquets and wedding accessories. Each bouquet I design is bespoke and therefore unique to each bride. I encourage all of my brides to incorporate pieces of sentiment in their bouquet, making it truly personal and I source everything else.

I like to capture a part of your past, give you a reminder of your day and create an heirloom for the future with a stunning bespoke brooch and jewelled bouquet.  It is created either with treasured memories and family heirlooms or new sentimental pieces, chosen by the bride and groom, as they begin their journey together.

My bouquets are designed as timeless keepsakes, telling the bride’s own story. Lots of my brides have told me that they have become a talking point at their wedding, allowing family memories and anecdotes to be shared and cherished memories of loved ones who have passed, remembered.

At Bouquet-licious, my work is truly a labour of love and I feel privileged when a couple chooses to work with me and I can contribute in a small way to a couple’s big day.

Make your wedding day, a day to remember!


Keep an eye out for future Walled City Wedding events, in alternative wedding venues near you!

I hope we’ve provided some inspiration to help you start planning your ‘Happily Ever After’.

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