A Rustic Wedding in Ireland

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Louise and Kieran held their Ireland I do at Kilshane House, 13 years after they met.  Kieran describes his love of his new wife back then.  “When we started seeing each other we really hit it off. No one else ever came close.”  The couple spent a year of very detailed planning working on the wedding.  “Hit the ground running, looking for venues, a few weeks after engagement; that took a long time because we knew it was going to be a civil ceremony and we weren’t particularly tied to a location. We ended up seeing 18 venues, some twice!!”  According to Louise.

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 As for how the big day went?  Louise said:  “Great; really chilled and relaxed in the morning; then it totally flew by from the minute I stepped into the conservatory for the civil ceremony. Complete blur but in a very good way.”  And Kieran?  “The day was fantastic. We stayed in Kilshane with our wedding party the night before for meal etc. We all found this really relaxing and nice preparation for the day ahead. I got up early on the day of the wedding and had breakfast followed by a walk around Kilshane with my brothers Seamus & Rory. The day seemed to fly by and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were no disasters that I’m aware of, even the rain stopped and the sun came out for our photos. Rory my brother presented a Clare hurling jersey signed by the 1997 All Ireland winning team that beat Tipperary in the final during the speeches. The Clare crowd obviously found this hilarious. Louise wears it around the house now!”

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 Advice for future couples?  “Do your own thing; make sure it is your day and not what others want you to do or accommodate to. I know, easily said and not easily done, but you’ll enjoy your day more if it is really for you. Get lots of sleep the nights coming up to the day; you’ll need it for the partying, people seem to store energy to attend these occasions! Dance like no one is watching.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Poppies & Me

Wedding Vendors:  Wedding Dress + Veil: Cymbelline purchased at Cathy de Staffords, Bridesmaids: Dessy, Menswear: Hired suits from Patrick Burkes Menswear, Hair: Marie Hickey, Makeup: Yvonne Maher, Flowers: Cashel Flowers, Cake: Erma Barlow, Invitations:  Our good friend Joanne O’Connor and her husband Niall gave us a wedding gift of our invitations and rsvp’s.  Joanne is a graphic designer, Music:  Band – Tightrope, DJ – Mickey Fitz & Son, Reception Location: Kilshane House


Wicklow, Ireland Destination Wedding

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Ilana and Paul’s Ireland destination wedding was a worldwide affair.  It all began when Ilana was living in Ireland but visiting her twin sister in Canada and met an Aussie named Paul on that fateful trip.  Fast forward to happily ever after and Ilana and Paul now live in Australia but returned to her home country for the big day.

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The two chose to say “I do” at the historic Tulfarris House in the beautiful Wicklow County.   What a great backdrop for photos!

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The bride’s side bun with a broach is stunning!  Truly a blushing bride :)

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But the fabulous hair for the day didn’t stop there; bridesmaids also donned up dos, with the popular braid trend incorporated into them.

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Wedding planning for this couple was a family affair.  The bride’s twin sister, Natalie, made both the wedding invitations and the custom seating chart.  While the shawls worn by the bridesmaids were knitted by the bride’s grandmother.  How sweet!

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Before the wedding, the groom and groomsmen enjoyed a round of golf at Tulfarris while the rest of the group enjoyed cocktails outside.

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Then it was time for the joyous ceremony inside.

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We love the red carpet grand entrance idea!

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When we asked the bride what one of her most memorable moments were, she shared their time together.  “That’s so hard as I just think back on the whole day as I loved every part of it. One that stands out though is the first time Paul and I had a moment to ourselves after the ceremony when you realize you are now husband and wife, that was very special.”

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For the reception, guests went inside at this picturesque property for some fun, food and a night full of dancing.

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Such a fun seating chart designed by the bride’s sister!

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Many guests wore oh-so fabulous hats to the event!

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Table numbers gave this couple an opportunity to play with their guests a little.  Ilana told us, “The table numbers were customized, I’m Irish and my husband is Australian, I thought it would be fun instead of table numbers to have the Irish guests on tables named after very poisonous Australian species and the Australians on tables with very dangerous Irish species like the leprechaun. The dog we used, which was for our top table, was the Irish wolf hound.”

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Then when the end of the night came, a beautiful calla lily adorned cake was served up for something sweet.

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Congratulations to Paul and Ilana!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

Wedding Vendors: Location: Tulfarris House, Florist: Mary O’Gara The Wedding Florist, Wedding Dress: DeStafford Bridal,  Cake: Simply Elegant Cakes, Makeup Artist: The Powder Room Girls, Tuxedo: Aston Formal


Destination Wedding in Ireland Photo Shoot

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Today’s shoot comes to us from Benjamin Lowry Photography, who traveled to Ireland to capture a magical few days out with this bride and groom just before they tied the knot.  Mary and Paul were married in Shannon, Ireland but these beautiful photos were captured in and around Dublin.

The couple met while working together in Los Angeles and decided on a destination wedding in Ireland because Paul’s family is Irish  (with some family still there).  They spent a week in Dublin prior to the big day, and Ben accompanied them for a few of those days to shoot some extra special memories.

The groom looked dapper in Burberry.

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While the bride shined in Claire Pettibone.

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Ben shared a bit about this darling couple and their oh-so special shoot.  “We didn’t have a ton of time to photograph so we tried to make the most of it. One day we photographed at a local park in the town of Dublin named Saint Stephens Green.”

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“On the second day we had a little time to go to the Guinness factory which is one of Paul’s favorite beers!  I tagged along and took some photographs of them enjoying their time together. Most of the pictures of the Guinness factory were at the top called the Sky Bar where you can enjoy a free pint at the end of the tour. The top was amazing with a 360 degree view of the city of Dublin!” 

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“It rained a lot, so out of the short time I was there, we tried to make the most of it. On the last day prior to them driving to the town of Shannon, and I departing on my flight back to the states, we wanted to try and get something very “Irish” looking. Mary had done some research prior and found an old castle built in the 1500’s named Howth castle!”

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“It was a beautiful day! We had limited time, so they changed into their suit and dress quickly in the car. While they were doing that I walked around scouting a few good locations to get some great shots! It was a lot of fun, and with the amazing backdrop it made it even better. We were about 15 minutes in until someone from the grounds said that it was actually private property and we had to leave. So with no hesitation, we respectfully moved on. So therefore, it was a great short trip and got some great shots in a short amount of time. After their wedding, Mary and Paul ventured forward and honeymooned throughout England and France before their return home to NY where they currently reside.”

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 Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Benjamin Lowry Photography

Vendors: Castle: Howth Castle, Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone, Suit: Burberry


Honeymoon in Ireland

honeymoons in irelandCourt and Joe were married in Hagerstown, Maryland a few years back but we’re unable to take the dream honeymoon they envisioned at the time.  A quick road trip for a mini-moon to Savannah, Georgia was on their schedule, while they waited and saved up to the take the trip of a lifetime a bit later.  Court is Irish, so Ireland was where they planned their two week honeymoon to come.  And since she’s also a wedding photographer, the photos will be a lifelong reminder of their good times on the road.

honeymoon in irelandThe couple planned their own itinerary, renting a car and hitting the open road.  We rented a car in Dublin and drove south stopping at bed and breakfasts in towns like Kilkenny, Kenmare, Doolin and a few other quaint towns. I would HIGHLY recommend making your own itinerary and driving across the country.  We stayed at bed and breakfasts which was wonderful! Each morning we would have Irish breakfasts and sit with other couples from all around the world, it was a wonderful experience.”

towns in ireland for honeymoonersirish pubirish pub recommendationsruins in irelandOne of the stops along the way was to the beautiful Kylemore Abbey in Connemara.  A popular spot for visitors, could this couple be getting nesting ideas from the vast property?

ireland castlescastle tours irelandirish castlesireland bed and breakfastspink flowersWe asked the bride if she had any advice for those of you considering a honeymoon in Ireland?  And she shared her expertise with open arms.  “If you visit Ireland, take time to stop in Doolin, it’s a quaint sea town with great pubs, the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. The atmosphere of the town is like no other, the people are sweet, the pubs bustle with sing-alongs each night and the scenery is breathtaking.”

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Congratulations Joe + Court!  We hope you get to go back to the country again very soon!

Photographer: Courtney Reese

 This feature was submitted using Two Bright Lights.


Irish Wedding Traditions

ireland destination wedding{Photo: Alison Conklin Photography}

As we near St. Patrick’s Day you might be so inspired to jet set off to Ireland for your destination wedding.  While we love green and good luck infused weddings, Irish events aren’t all about the color or the clover.  So how can you infuse traditional Irish wedding elements into your destination wedding?  The luck of the Irish comes in many forms and we’ve compiled just a few of our favorites you can work into your big day.

Bride’s Hanky:  Not just a tradition of the Irish, many brides carry a family hanky down the aisle with them that can later be used for baby’s christening or baby blanket piece.  Consider using a family heirloom from your grandmother’s wedding, if one exists.

bridal hanky{Photos: Left: Pinterest, Right: Ruffled Blog via Pinterest}

Flowers in Her Hair:  Braids, braids, braids and beautiful wildflowers flowers filled within them is how many Irish brides walk down the aisle (think Kate Moss’ wedding day look).  Ask your hair stylist to include a few Bells of Ireland, a beautiful wildflower to accent your wedding day do.  And consider including your bridesmaids too!  One tradition suggests giving each girl myrtle to carry and telling them to plant in after the wedding.  If it grows, the myth says she’ll get hitched within a year.

wedding braids with flowers{Photos: Top Left: Flickr, Top Right: Sarah Gawler via Ruffled Blog, Flower Girls: Miki & Sonja, Ballerina Bride: Yan Photo}

The Claddagh Ring:  One of the more well-known traditions, the Claddagh Ring is a heart held between two hands with a crown atop it, symbolizing friendship or love.  It’s often handed down from mom to daughter for an engagement.  Worn with the crown facing inward symbolizes a modern day engagement, while outward says marriage.

Lucky Horseshoe:  Irish brides used to carry a horseshoe down the aisle, but that doesn’t seem all too practical these days.  Why not have a horseshoe (turned up) sewn into the under layers of your dress?  Or a charm on a piece of jewelry reflecting the idea?  Some brides today will carry a small figurine of a horseshoe or even tie one to the stem of their bouquet for good luck.

lucky horseshoe wedding{Photos: Left: Beau & Stella, Right: Melissa Dunstan Photography}

Irish Wedding Toast:  A toast given by the bridal party, the friends and loved ones surround the bride and groom, raise their glasses (filled with mead) and recite:

“Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.”

Then the guests at the event respond with:

“On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.”

Lace and Kilts:  Fashion is always a great way to incorporate local culture into your wedding.  For the ladies, consider Irish lace on your gown or trimming your veil.  For the gents, they may choose to wear Celtic Kilts, those oh-so fashionable plaid skirts of ancient times.

irish wedding kilts{Photos: Paul Johnson Photo}

Wedding Dinner and Dessert:  For your reception meal, consider serving up traditional Irish fare.  Corned beef and cabbage paired with Guinness are of course common on the menu and Irish soda bread on the side.  Okay, if this is a bit too much for you, serve it up mini during cocktail hour then move to a western-influenced dinner menu.  For dessert, serve your traditional wedding cake with theirs – a fruitcake!

How will you celebrate your Irish heritage or wedding location?