Couple prove they’re ‘barn’ for each other at Hillsborough farm wedding

The couple had no need to be sheepish during their first dance in the barn at Tubby's Farm, Hillsborough.

The couple had no need to be sheepish during their first dance in the barn at Tubby's Farm, Hillsborough.

There was never any doubt where creative couple Fiona Chapman and John Lynch would celebrate their marriage.

Coincidentally the quirky pair even met while decorating a barn for a wedding in Guilford some 10 years ago - making their choice of Tubby’s Farm in Hillsborough an entirely appropriate one.

The pair, who married in June, wanted a venue that matched their individual personalities – but with two kids of their own and a large extended family they had to make sure that their venue was also family-friendly.

“We are pretty creative people,” says Fiona. “And we had very clear ideas about what we wanted to do. We wanted a mid summer wedding to enjoy the long light evening, with a relaxed festival feel to it.

“Another factor was that we knew our wedding plans would be a little too alternative for most traditional venues. We really wanted our day to have a festival feel and we had created some great memories with our own kids at Sunflowerfest so already had a connection with the farm, not to mention Vanessa, Sunflowerfest Director and I trained as yoga teachers together.”

After a romantic proposal on a yacht of the coast of Magnetic Island in Queensland Australia, the couple got down to planning – and they looked no further than Tubby’s farm because of the magical experiences they’d had there before.

Set in rural County Down and with festival structures in place throughout the year, the couple used the barn and Moot on site to build their perfect wedding venue.

The couple were inspired to have a festival feel with a 1950s vintage theme, motivated by Fiona’s bespoke dress made by local designer and dressmaker Lynne Gregg and also used as many local and ethical suppliers as they could for everything.

“Where we could, we used local and seasonal produce – including the food and the flowers. We carefully chose all our suppliers. The barn was dressed using drapes, fairy lights, voiles, and dozens of paper globes from the ceiling. It was transformed into a magical setting, where only weeks before lambs were being born!

“As part of the playful festival feel it was important the children, and the young at heart, had plenty to entertain themselves with..”

“We decorated the kids table with art and craft activities and funky lunch boxes of food, as well as creating a fun outdoor play area for them. They had outdoor games and toys like silk streamers, giant bubbles, and hoops and it was such fun for us to see them all enjoying the space.

“Some of our friends and family even camped so it really was like our own mini festival inspired by the SunflowerFest. We have invited our guests to join us for a reunion at the Sunflower Fest in August.”

Northern Ireland’s leading lifestyle and alternative music festival Sunflowerfest are gearing up for this year’s three-day event, set to take place 22-25th August on Tubby’s Farm in Hillsborough.

Now in its 5th year, Sunflowerfest has quickly built a reputation for delivering an eclectic, family-friendly event and this year’s festival promises to be bigger and better.

For further information and tickets visit




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