Planning a Harry’s Shack Wedding

Updated 31 March 2021

I don’t really believe in the concept of ideal clients, not in the traditional sense, but for me Andrew & Louise were the perfect clients to work with and their Harry’s Shack wedding was complete goals. From the wonderful little details, the flowers, the unique two piece bridesmaid outfits, the cutest little page boy, amazing food and fab music, this wedding had it all. But more than all of those things, Andrew and Louise had the most brilliant approach to their wedding – an approach that I will keep with me as I plan my own wedding because it made it the wonderful day it was!

Harry’s Shack is one of Northern Ireland’s quirky venues. With it being situated on Portstewart Strand, it lends itself to a summer wedding. But many people worry about what happens if it rains. Louise and Andrew proved that this venue is incredible no matter what the weather.

Louise has been kind enough to share her experience so read on for more of her own words.


Planning a Beach Wedding

‘When planning the wedding I was very conscious that I wanted a fun, relaxed day that was personal to Andrew and I, without breaking the bank. We are fortunate enough to have very talented friends and family that we were able to lean on to help out.

Hair: Brassy 2 Sassy – Rachel had her work cut out for her doing 5 ladies hair that morning but they were all fabulous and stayed in all day (and the next) despite the wind and rain

Makeup: My other sister Nicola did our makeup. It was great because we were able to practise multiple times at home and I could be brutally honest with her, telling her what I did and didn’t like. She definitely had the most stressful morning out of everyone, getting herself ready and everyone else beautified.

Maximising Your Wedding Budget

‘Everything from the invitations to our simple table centres were created by Andrew and I, which we actually found very enjoyable and helped us save a fortune. I absolutely loved my wedding day, it was exactly what I wanted and Harry’s Shack was the prefect venue for us. The food was amazing and the venue lent itself to a relaxed sociable day. Donal, from the Shack was great to work with and also very relaxed, which suited me!’

Flowers: Lavender Green Portrush

Cake: I had the tastiest cake table, made by my sister Zara, my mum and one of my oldest friends Cathryn. All the different cake flavours went down a treat and there was only a few crumbs left at the end of the night.

Choosing Your Wedding Band

Music: Drinks reception and evening music was provided by Cool Hand String Band – they were amazing! Their music is great to listen to if you’re not a dancer although safe to say the dance floor was packed all night long! Ceremony music was provided by my brother Scott on the guitar and a friend Emma on the piano. It took a lot of persuasion to get Scott to play but it was so worth it and exactly what I wanted

Wedding Planning Tips

Throughout the process it’s so important to remember why you are planning a wedding in the first place and that all the extras don’t really matter in the long run. 

Dress: La Boda Bridal Banbridge – I couldn’t recommend them enough! I loved the experience in store and the girls are lovely

Suits: Statement Mens Wear, Portadown

Shoes: Good old New Look and they were so comfy, even when walking in the sand dunes

Bridesmaids: My lovely, very talented sisters. I knew from early on that I wanted them in a skirt and top and preferably something that they could wear again, so after purchasing the skirts online I got the gorgeous tops made by Elizabeth Frances Bridal Design. She also made the alterations to my dress and was a dream to work with.  

What Happens If It Rains On Your Wedding Day

As I’ve mentioned, Louise and Andrew have been incredible to work with from the moment they first enquired with me last year. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed shooting their wedding. When most brides would be absolutely freaking out at a wedding on the beach with non stop rain, Louise embraced every moment. Their approach, the love they have and their epic guests made these photos what they are, yet Louise still sent me the most incredible email. A bit of which I’d love to share because I’m just so proud and these words have meant the absolute world to me.

‘I am so happy that we picked you to take our photographs. You captured the day perfectly and were so easy to work with. You blended right in and took the relaxed photos I wanted… I am amazed by the quality of photos you got (not that I ever doubted you) and how much you were able to achieve with very little time with me and Andrew alone – you are one talented lady! That was so important to me and I am so grateful that you understood just how much I wanted to be present on my wedding day, without spending hours getting stuffy portraits. You succeeded beyond my expectations…we do not have one stuffy photo or one photo that we don’t like!

I also want you to know that your phone call the day before our wedding really stayed with me. You explained that this was our day, our story and the rain (that could have dampened our spirits) was part of that story. I kept that in mind the entire day and embraced it so that it didn’t ruin our day. Thank you for reminding me of that at a time when I could have freaked out a bit.

If you’re planning a wedding at Harry’s Shack, or anywhere on the Causeway Coast, please get in touch. I’d love to capture the fun of your day. Lx

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