Waterlily Weddings is very excited to share with you our latest style shoot. We collaborated with some of Ireland’s most talented vendors to create a jaw-dropping, gorgeous shoot at the incomparable Mount Juliet Estate, a five-star luxury resort hotel in Kilkenny, Ireland. Shane O’Neill of Aspect Photography was on hand to take the gorgeous pictures. Together with the floral talents of Stephanie from The French Touch, the incredible cake and macaroons by Cupcakes and Counting, perfect hair and makeup from Leanne Nolan and Fiona Harrison, and gorgeous gowns from Little White Dress in Dublin, we completed two fabulous looks for the day, and created a spectacular setting that will leave you longing for the romantic Irish countryside.
Theme: Elegant Bohemian Feminine Power / Influence: French / Target Season: late summer/early fall / Color Palette: scarlet red, bright turquoise, softer blue, golden peach, soft pinks, soft greenery, dark grey/charcoal, pearl white / Accent Colors: black and gold / Texture: moonstone, opalite, rose quartz / Vibe: upscale bohemian / Venue: Mount Juliet
This shoot got its inspiration from a couple of sources. First, french textiles. A big trend for 2018 that some couples may find confounding, I wanted to take a textile pattern, deconstruct it, then redefine it throughout wedding elements for our shoot to show how textiles can be very inspiring for a wedding palette. I found a pattern with bright scarlet red and turquoise, painted with gorgeous flowers and pops of color that I just kept going back to. This exact pattern is the base for the second layer of our cake for this shoot, completely replicated and hand-painted to perfection by the very talented Jen. I was inspired in particular by that scarlet red, and tried using that throughout the shoot as base color and as accent to really draw the eye in quickly and invoke strong emotion. I feel like two styles that work best in Ireland are bohemian and classic, so for this shoot I was intrigued by the idea of merging the two, setting the example for what I call “elegant Bohemian” style: there is still a sense of freedom and earthiness about this shoot but it’s defined an elegant way. Third, of course I wanted to incorporate elements from Ireland. In keeping with the theme, I wanted this time to focus on the not-so-obvious Irish details couples can incorporate on their wedding day: we defined a bar menu showcasing Irish whiskey, we played off of Ireland’s green in the estate’s pastures and meadows that set the scene for our shoot, and we used a crystal-adorned chord for the hand-fasting chord which also hit the Bohemian vibe.
We wanted to create a shoot that was at once romantic and alluring, a sense of freedom and romantic adventure straight out of a novel, but that still had a modern undertone and solid sense of feminine confidence throughout. We envisioned a secret ceremony, the bride and groom saying their vows to one another under a beautiful tree, surrounded by wildflowers and tall soft grass.
When conceptualizing this shoot, Mount Juliet became the fast, easy first choice for venue. The estate is beautifully adorned inside, but for this shoot we really wanted to showcase the incredible scenery outside. Romantic climbing ivy is found in abundance throughout the estate and grounds, wildflowers in bloom and soft heavenly Irish heather is irresistibly romantic that subtly add that “something Irish” to the day, creating the perfect setting for our shoot.
The stationary was custom-created for our shoot by Brianna of Lichen Ink, hand-painted and drawn taking in Mount Juliet and nearby Jerpoint Abbey. We wanted to add that pop of scarlet red again to the stationary which complimented perfectly the creamy white heavy stock paper. It’s the perfect balance of timeless and elegant but with a pop of something unexpected and bold with that hand-died scarlet. Make sure to scroll down to see a close up of the vows: we love the idea of a couple writing their own vows on keepsake paper that matches their stationary suite!
We chose to do two looks for this shoot. For our first look, we envisioned a late morning / early afternoon wedding outdoors behind the estate. The meadow is full of wild flowers in bloom, gentle pale pinks and purples of wild Irish heather and delicate white flowers. It’s very romantic and has an exquisite softness about it. We wanted to echo that in her look, choosing to go with a flowing gown with incredible bodice detail by Australian designer Anna Campbell. The “Sierra” is light and airy, but still retains an incredible level of detail, especially on the back and sleeve, which is consistent with a Bohemian feel but still presents extremely elegantly. We accessorized this quite simply, with earrings by Kendra Scott and a neutral makeup that echoed the wildflowers in the meadow, and perfect pink Valentino pumps. Big romantic curls were the perfect style for hair. The standout detail for this look, however, is the Juliet veil. It created an ethereal effect that nailed the “elegant Bohemian” look we were going for.
We dressed our “groom” in a classic charcoal grey suit with crisp white shirt, modern black tie, and simply accessorized. His boutonniere picks up the same color palette, but the structure and form of the dahlia gives a modern undertone to this classic look. We also added a bright scarlet rose for that pop of red for some shots. We used black and red very subtly here, mostly in her bouquet and on Geoff. We wanted to play with the more traditionally feminine color palette for this look in order to give a good contrast to our second.
Our second look for the shoot showcased a gorgeous Temperly London gown from her recently fall 2017 collection called “Saffron.” Here we went with a bolder red lip, softened that with hair expertly pulled back in chignon and adorned with an elegant flower crown for this modern upscale Bohemian bride. We envision this look for later afternoon wedding that goes into evening, the reception glowing in candle light. This look embraces confidence and showcases how romantic Mount Juliet can be.
The great thing about Mount Juliet is it has a lot of little details that as a stylist, you can riff off of to make a really unique and cohesive look. One of the incredible details of this venue is the moon window in the garden. It’s a popular place for wedding ceremonies in of itself, and a unique structure that always photographs well. I wanted to incorporate this detail into the rest of the styling by decorating the “bride and groom chairs” with olive leaf wreaths and ribbons instead of the signs “bride and groom” that many couples favor. The circular shape is a nod to the moon window, and it’s a more modern and elegant way to signal the bride and groom’s seating. I chose olive leaves to match the golden wax seal used in the invitation suite.
Karen’s gorgeous dress is accessorized this time by a perfect floral crown, befit any regal bohemian bride. We took the color scheme here and let the bold red lip be the touch of crimson to hit the color palette note. A simple red rose boutonniere also compliments for that pop of color.
We continued with scarlet red heavily into our table setting and decor, using pale pinks and creams, peaches, and softer greys and neutrals. Gold and black were used as accent colors to give an instant richness. For unexpected details we used black candles in brass tapers, and embellished the place setting very simply with hand-dipped place cards and oyster shells — a nod to Ireland being an island, adding texture, and also being a symbol of femininity. We wanted the flowers to have movement so the arrangement is a cascade-style that ran the length of the table for a romantic vibe.
Although Mount Juliet is fitted with incredible dining rooms, we wanted our table setting outdoors for this shoot. We loved the gnarled roots and vines growing on the sides of the estate walls and wanted to place our outdoor reception there. We used the scarlet red here in much larger quantities, playing off of the dark cherry wood table nicely and accenting with bright, polished gold that just shone. We wanted a moodier look here — one that feels lush and romantic, inviting and a little mysterious — and used black candles to accent the table as an unexpected detail. We accessorized a simple charcoal hand-dyed linen runner with lots of fresh flowers created expertly by Stephanie from The French Touch, and used dark ruby fruits of cherries and pomegranate to hit some of those seasonal notes we were going for.
We wanted to feature something new on the drinks side for this shoot. Signature cocktails are going away, the trend swinging back to classic cocktails presented simply. We embraced that trend and went for good ol’ Irish whiskey for this shoot. Not only does the golden color compliment the color palette, but it’s obviously authentically Irish. Lichen Ink custom designed these incredible bar signs for us, using hand calligraphy and hand drawing and watercolor. We did two designs for this shoot: a classic Irish whiskey and a refreshing whiskey lemonade, just perfect for the late summer/early fall season.
Our incredible cake and confections were designed by the uber-talented Jen from Cupcakes and Counting, a bespoke cake atelier in Dublin. The bottom layer was hand-painted, inspiration taken from French textile, representing the Bohemian aesthetic and in keeping with our color palette. The top layer was painted in edible gold to give a neutral base and draw on that elegant vibe, and the hand-forged edible flowers and gold leaves give a nod to the season while also elevating the cake befit a formal wedding. The flavor? Red velvet, of course! Not to be forgotten, the macaroons in red velvet and Guinness are perfectly Irish, opulent, and a delicious start to your confection table.
We wanted to incorporate the unexpected. We can’t thank the staff of Mount Juliet enough for letting us use one of their horses. Who was a consummate champ, by the way, letting us drape the garland over him (which he subsequently ate when we weren’t looking). The horse gives that nod to freedom that we love in the Bohemian style, and just feel straight out of a novel, just nailing our theme for this shoot.
Floral crowns to garlands, hand-painted cakes and cookies to hand-dipped linens and stationary, this shoot asked a lot from these very talented vendors and they beyond delivered. A huge thank you to everyone, and our extremely gorgeous and talented models Karen and Geoff for making everything look pretty.
For more pictures of our shoot, check out the slideshow below.
Photography: Shane O’Neill – Aspect Photography · Venue: Mount Juliet, Kilkenny · Design & Styling: Waterlily Wedding · Flowers: The French Touch · Cake: Cupcakes & Counting · Stationary & Vows: Lichen Ink · Hair: Leanne Nolan – Vow2Wow Bridal Hair · Makeup: Fiona Harrison – The Makeup Studio · Dress: Little White Dress, Dublin · Suit: Suits You, Dublin · Models: Assets Model Agency · Accent Pieces: Hedge & Vine, Seattle · Table Runners: Lino & Co — Etsy · Wax Seals & Ribbon detail: La Pomme et la Pipe – Etsy · Jewelry: Kendra Scott · Shoes: Valentino
The wedding world has been steadily changing. Long gone are the days of cookie-cutter weddings, indistinguishable from one couple to the next save their names on the invitations. Today, couples are embracing their diversity, realizing they are unique in this world and their wedding day should be a reflection of that. We’re seeing much more attention to detail, unique colors and decor, a surge in destination weddings, and an emphasis on quality and creativity.
And with the addition of Pinterest, wedding blogs, inspiration boards, and more, the modern day couple have an incredible amount of readily available information to guide and inspire that far exceed the bridal editions of the magazine section we were limited to ten years ago. But with that flood of information and images can also come panic, a feeling of being overwhelmed, and confusion. Your dream wedding day can become a cocktail of ideas, some complimenting one another but others dangerously close to ruining the balance and flavor. If you find yourself in this position now, or are keen on avoiding it to begin with, consider incorporating a wedding stylist into your wedding day planning.
What Is A Wedding Stylist?
A wedding stylist is a translator: we translate your vision of your wedding day — down to the smallest detail — into a reality.
We have an eye for balance, texture, color, and environment, and use those skills to create a beautiful ambience for your wedding day. Much as a stylist can help you pick out an outfit, match accessories, and make sure you’re appropriate dressed for your event, a wedding stylist will work with you on every element of your wedding day to make sure it all comes together in a way that makes sense aesthetically and that is also consistent with your vision.
We take careful inventory of your likes and dislikes, getting to know you personally as individuals and together as a couple, so we can accurately reflect your uniqueness on your wedding day. We listen to your vision, suggest details that will compliment your ideas, and work together with you to create a bespoke wedding ceremony and reception.
We help guide couples who feel lost in the planning process, who many need some help figuring out details like flower choices or reception decor for example. And we help fine-tune details for those couples that have a good grasp on their wedding aesthetic already.
Most importantly, we communicate your vision to your vendors, making sure everyone is on the same page aesthetically to create a cohesive look on your wedding day that will present and photography beautifully.
The Difference Between a Stylist and Wedding Planner/Coordinator
Many couples assume wedding planners and stylists are the same thing, but they are very different.
A stylist will focus on the aesthetics of your wedding day: conceptualize an overall theme, design a custom color palette, figure out elements to incorporate into your ceremony, design details for the reception, consult on stationary, etc.
Conversely, a wedding planner will focus primarily on sourcing the right vendors, secure your venue, help navigate you through the legal aspect of getting married abroad, create a timeline, managing your budget, and orchestrate everyone the day of your wedding.
There are certainly planners who are also stylists, and stylists who also plan and coordinate. At Waterlily Weddings we have a talented team who work within their sphere, then come together as a team with you from start to finish to ensure your dream destination wedding in Ireland is a reality.
What A Stylist Does
A stylist’s primary job is to extract the couple’s vision and then fill in any gaps if needed. We’ll start by encouraging you to brainstorm your dream destination wedding in Ireland, and sharing with us any inspirational images, items, or traditions you want to have present on your wedding day. As stylists, we may push you out to get inspiration from a variety of spheres — fashion, recreation, music — with the goal to get to know you both as individuals and as a couple so we can find those little details that will make your wedding day apart from all the rest.
Once we’ve gathered our information, we will start putting together details like color palettes and themes, and work with you every step of the way, refining and adjusting until we get the right combination and a vision you are excited and confident about.
In addition, we are here to consult on stationary, wedding dresses, veils, grooms suits, bridesmaids dresses, hair and makeup, accessories, guest favors, and more.
We will help you define the ambience you want for your wedding day, how to contrast or keep the same vibe for your ceremony and reception, and will design details to help support that ambience.
A stylist will tie everything together, down to the last detail, so everything from cufflinks to the cake makes sense and is uniquely you. And if need be, we will come to your wedding day and oversee the set up to make sure all is laid out and presented perfectly.
Having a stylist present on the day of your wedding can be an ace-in-the-pocket. Many times there needs to be last minute adjustments to wedding elements, from ceremony to flowers to placement of tables and decor. You can plan for everything, but inevitably something will have to be tweaked. Having a stylist’s eye there the day of your wedding will take the burden off of you and your vendors to make that call. A stylist knows how to work with lighting, and can help choose where to place the Plan B seating arrangement if needed for example to maximize photos that will now be taken indoors. This takes the burden off of you and you can continue to enjoy your morning getting ready. Photographers and stylists are perhaps the best teammates working together. Photographers like to concentrate on the couple, and capturing real-time moments on wedding days; taking time to set up stationary or accessories for shots is both time-consuming for them and frankly not their favorite thing. A stylist works in tandem with your photographer the morning of your wedding, setting up styled shots he or she can shoot quickly so they can go back to documenting your day.
What A Stylist Doesn’t Do
Stylists will help you find locations and venues, but will not book them for you. We are happy to consult on menus and food choices, but will not choose what is served or the cake flavors. We are happy to suggest attire and accessories, but will not order or purchase anything for you. We are happy to source items for you, provide suggestions, and even research for you.
Our very talented planners will help you book venues and vendors, acquire necessary permits, and help you with legal documents.
Stylists will focus on the design side of things to make sure everything looks gorgeous on your wedding day.
The Difference It Makes For Your Wedding Day
The devil’s in the details. Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience for many people. It’s easy to forget an element, or end up confused after looking at 300 images of cakes. It can be even more complicated when well-intended family and friends offer their suggestions to the mix.
A wedding stylist can serve as a buffer between all of these things: we can run interference between family to make sure you get the look and feel you want, help filter through the images, and make sure nothing is left out on your wedding day.
We’ve been through it and guaranteed will think of something you haven’t. We know the pitfalls, we know how to work with Ireland’s weather and terrain. We know what will work and what’s feasible, when to push the envelope, and when to scale it back. We think of the “what if’s” so you don’t have to.
Even more so, we take pride at Waterlily Weddings to not recreate the same wedding over and over again. Even though you may choose a popular venue, it will be styled and planned to suit your likes and personalities.
When To Bring In A Stylist
Theoretically a stylist can be brought on at any point in the planning process, but it really works best when it’s at the beginning. Ideally it’s before deposits are put down so that we could make changes if necessary.
Working As A Team
Weddings, like the marriage, is a team effort. Everyone has their part to play, and when working in unison can create a spectacular event. Stylists will work with your wedding planner and coordinator to make sure all of the elements are perfectly executed: for example, the stylist will conceptualize the flowers, the planner will match them with the right vendor for the job, they will work together with you to fine tune the exact look, and make sure they are presented beautifully on the day of your wedding.
This repeats with all of your vendors. Your stylist is in constant communication with you and your vendors, especially as we get closer to your wedding day, making adjustments if needed and making sure everything is staying on track from a design perspective.
The day of your wedding your stylist will be on hand to consult for hair and make-up, helping your bridal party, making sure your ceremony and reception spaces are perfectly set up, and making any adjustments so you can enjoy your wedding day. We work closely with your photographer to make sure all of the moments and elements you want documented are done so.
Our only objective is to create a beautiful end result.
CONTACT US today to discuss how Waterlily Weddings can help you plan and conceptualize your dream destination wedding in Ireland!
Photos by Shane O’Neill
We strongly believe here at Waterlily Weddings, that an important part of your wedding day is to express yourselves. Every element, every detail should be a reflection of you both — as individuals and as a couple — and tell the story of where you’ve come from and the direction you are setting to go in. We love when a couple comes to us really embracing that idea and runs with it. And such is the case with Kelly & Jeff. They met in the States, chose to have their dream destination wedding in Ireland with their closest family and friends, and ended up having the perfect Dublin-inspired wedding day we’re so excited to showcase in this week’s blog! From the sea to the bustling streets of the heart of Dublin, Jeff and Kelly took their very classic aesthetic and merged it with details that the couple are known for: love of history, food, and a fantastic sense of adventure and humor. We love their wedding day and their story, and are excited to share both with you today!
In many ways, Kelly and Jeff are the quintessential modern American couple. Kelly’s sister suggested Kelly try the dating scene online, and one day found herself on match.com. She quickly connect with Jeff online, and they began emailing each other back and forth. Soon a date was in the works, then another, and another, and a budding romance began. Fast forward, Kelly and Jeff were living in Washington D.C., settling into life together nicely. Jeff wanted to propose to Kelly at the US Capital Building in the National Mall, the epicenter of our nation’s government and historic landmarks of Washington. His plans were all ready when weather decided to intervene: a torrential downpour completely doused the city and Jeff’s plans of proposing to Kelly at the Capital Building. Plan B went immediately into effect, as Jeff ran to every market, grocery, and florist in the city in a mad dash to collect as many flowers as a man could possibly handle to create an incredible space at home to pop the question.
Meanwhile, the weather seemed to have rained on Kelly’s parade as well. She was having an awful day at work, so much so that the entire ride home in the car the rain outside was matched only by the tears running down her cheek. She just wanted to get home, relax, and let today end.
While she drove home, Jeff was at home, busy about the apartment, frantically cleaning up and decorating every square inch of the place with the flowers he collected about the city. With a handful of flowers in his hand, he heard Kelly making her way into the apartment. He threw the last few blooms into place and ran around the corner to meet her at the entrance, preserving the surprise.
Kelly turned the key into the door, work bag in one hand and dirty tupperware from lunch in the other, exhausted and ready to collapse. She opened the door and was greeted by….piles of dirty laundry in the foyer. She let out a sigh and out of the corner of her eye, Jeff burst around the corner and into the foyer to meet her. “What are you doing?” she asked, skeptical. “Why are you acting so weird?” Ever so smoothly, Jeff asked her to drop the work bag and the tupperware and took her hand into his. He led her around the corner, out of foyer, and into the living room where she was greet by…the most spectacular scene of flowers and candles she’d ever seen.
It took a few minutes for the image to sink in, as she transitioned from stressful day mode to this beautiful scene set so lovingly by Jeff. Then her heart stopped, as Jeff dropped slowly to one knee. With sweet words and eyes full of love, he asked Kelly to marry him. She yelled back “YES!” and threw herself into his arms. Some moments later he asked if she’d like to see the ring — she’d totally forgotten about it in the moment and never opened it! He put the box in her hand, the initial “B” engraved on the box, and she opened to a stunning ring she instantly fell in love with. Kelly looked at the “B” and became perplexed; her named started with a “K” after all. Jeff kindly reminded her her new last name — Barger — would start with a “B.”
Talks of a wedding took place long before this epic proposal. Kelly and Jeff are avid travelers, and they knew they wanted a wedding somewhere special, an international wedding to reflect their love for travel. After getting engaged, they actively sought destinations and and trying to figure out logistics on how this would work, and pieces didn’t seem to fall into place; there was always something off or not working out. At her wits end and ready to throw in the towel for a traditional wedding in the states, Kelly stumbled upon Waterlily Weddings. A look through the website, the BLOG, pictures and details of dream destination weddings in Ireland made them fall in love with the idea of hosting their own dream destination wedding, and they contact Michelle Johnstone Clark right away. The first conversation was a hit: an instant match again but this time with our lead planner, who instantly understood Kelly and Jeff’s vision for their day. An added bonus: Jeff’s heritage hails out of Wicklow, as does Michelle’s. The match seemed serendipitous, the last piece now falling firmly into place. They’d never been to Ireland before, and this was the perfect opportunity to create an incredibly memorable experience together.
Ultimately Kelly and Jeff decided to host their dream destination wedding ceremony at the Martello Tower Sutton, followed by a champagne reception at Smock Alley Theater in Dublin, dinner at famed Dublin restaurant Restaurant Patrick Gilbaud, and finally after hour shenanigans at Irish pub Doheny & Nesbitt. It would be a tour of the best of Dublin’s Ireland: sea, country, urban, history, food, tradition, and fun. It hit all the notes Kelly and Jeff wanted for their dream Irish wedding, reflecting perfectly their loves and tastes as a unique couple. With plan firmly into place, adventurous hearts beating, and details squared away, spring arrived for the soon-to-be Bargers and their dream wedding day had arrived.
This, is their story….
“May you never take each other for granted, but always experience the wonders of your union.
May your love consist of not only in gazing into each other’s eyes, but also in looking outward in the same direction…”
It was the heart of spring when Kelly and Jeff landed in Ireland. The weather was unusually fair, and as the wedding day neared, Kelly and Jeff together with their closest family and friends, remained optimistic. They made their way over to the Martello Tower — Sutton, just a few minutes east of Dublin located on the Howth Head peninsula. The tower was built in 1804, the first of many such round towers built in Ireland and England in the early 1800s in response to the rising success of the Napoleon invasions in Europe. The towers were constructed in a way to contain and be able to fire onto naval ships attempting to invade the harbor, and were strategically placed throughout Ireland’s and England’s coastlines. Martello Tower in Sutton — also known colloquially as “#1” — was constructed with a perfect position on one of Ireland’s main peninsulas. Today it has been renovated into a 5-star self-catering accommodation with commanding views of Dublin Bay and proximity to downtown Dublin, making it a really unique choice for a destination wedding in Ireland.
The morning of the wedding broke with grey skies and dark waters in the Bay. The sunshine had gone and rain had been heavily forecast for the day. Plan B was discussed as Kelly began the morning’s preparations, but Michelle encouraged the couple to keep faith and try for their dream location anyway; worst case scenario: they move the ceremony indoors into the tower.
Kelly arrived at the tower first, and excitedly texted Jeff. The months of preparation, imagining, pouring over pictures online all came to a head as she laid her eyes on the tower for the first time. It was perfect, even more commanding in person, and she could not wait until Jeff saw it with his own eyes. The scenery was absolutely spectacular: gentle cliffs carpeted in soft green grass and wild yellow flowers characteristic of Howth Head this time of year flowed effortlessly into the sea below, while the tower itself stood strong and noble on the water’s edge, embraced by the soft waves and breeze off the coast.
She made her way into the tower with her best friends and family, and readily began preparations for the day. Hair and make-up were expertly applied by Martina King and Fiona Harrison. Kelly’s blond hair was pulled back in gentle curls, then fixed with a soft cluster of flowers and greenery to offset her long veil. Sipping on champagne and thoroughly enjoying the moment with her loved ones, they laughed and hugged, and she slipped into her Hayley Paige wedding gown. A pair of crystal embellished Bagdley Mischka sandals added the perfect touch of elegance to the Kelly’s classic look. Fiona fixed the veil onto Kelly’s head, and with a final look and breath, she was ready to meet…
….Jeff. Who this morning woke comfortable and excited, and ready to meet his bride. Jeff got ready separately, then met his friends at the Palace Hotel in Temple Bar for quick toast. Nerves were missing, as Kelly and Jeff were actually married in the states six months before coming to Ireland. They were both relaxed on their wedding day, and were so excited to explore a country they’d never been to. And to share that with their closest family and friends was just icing on the cake.
Since they were already married legally, Kelly & Jeff chose to have a spiritual symbolic ceremony for their wedding day. They focused the ceremony around the Celtic marriage tradition of the hand-fast: where both couples’ hands are joined together by a chord, then tied into a knot to symbolize their coming together as one (or, “tying the knot”). Kelly and Jeff wanted to include their guests as much as possible in the ceremony, so they gave out a ribbon to each of their guests in the colors of green, blue, gold, and white. Each guest was then invited to stand up and approach the couple, and after a promise was read, the person added the ribbon to the couple’s clasped hands. One by one each guest bestowed upon the couple their well wishes, good intentions, and blessings, each personified with the ribbon as a stunning visual representation. Then the celebrant gathered all of the ribbons together and tied the Celtic knot of marriage. The Bargers also had their guests recite readings the couple specially picked out for their ceremony. Traditional Celtic music permeated through the meaningful ceremony, and tears began to flow as the couple joined hands and exchanged rings together.
Everything was going rather perfectly. About halfway through the ceremony, Jeff remarked “Babe! I think we beat the rain!” Then as if on cue, the skies opened up and it began to rain. Drop by drop the Irish heavens felt compelled to also bless the couple on their special day, to the point where guests opened umbrellas and waited the rain out best they could. Drops turned into a steadier rain, so everyone decided to take shelter into the tower and finish the ceremony there. Some couples may have balked or been irritated at this turn of events, but for Kelly and Jeff it was most appropriate. Just as the day they got engaged, the rain seems to be a lucky omen for these two kindred spirits, and a sign of love and spiritual blessing.
As they were pronounced “husband and wife,” the rain ceased and the sun made its long-awaited appearance. With a quick warm up of coffee, everyone left the tower and enjoyed the fresh air a douse of rain gifts, explored the surroundings and took pictures. Then everyone made their way back into Dublin and to Smock Alley Theater for a light after-ceremony reception. The oldest running theater in Ireland (dating back to 1662) sits in the heart of Dublin. The building is one of rich history, at one point serving as a church before being converted back into a performance theater. The years have stamped their unique details on the place, from exposed brick walls to gothic stained-glass windows, and an irresistible ethereal light streaming through even on the darkest days. The space was decorated beautiful and simply with fresh garland and warm, white candles. Everyone was invited to drink and nibble on light bites that included beetroot tarts with goat cheese and orange, vegetable tartar cone with root vegetable crisps, potted dingle crab with yellow tomatoes on sable biscuit, prawn salad, and a smoked chicken with curry mayo washed down with wine, Irish beer, and prosecco. Everyone was invited to sit and honor the couple with their own special toast. This intimate space and time together ended up being one of the most memorable moments of the day, as each guest took their turn talking about what Kelly and Jeff meant to them.
Next, everyone made their way to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud for an epic dinner. Kelly is a huge foodie and having the right balance of elegant and tasty food was a premium requirement for her dream wedding day in Ireland. Guests filed in and took their seats at the table. Everyone toasted with more good drink, indulged on a multi-course meal including pan-roasted duck foie gras, castletownbere king scallops, red king crab and cucumber maki, lamb fillet, black sole, pototo gnocchi, and finished with a dessert course of dark chocolate tart, guanaja chocolate and peanut parfait, and green apple parfait in leiu of a traditional wedding cake. They even got to meet the chef himself!
To end the evening on a fun note, no dream wedding day in Dublin is complete without a walk through the streets of Temple Bar and a kiss at the River Liffey. And of course, a stop in a pub. Doheny & Nesbitt would be the place, that welcomed the couple with the warm hospitality the Irish are well known for. The couple were invited back behind the bar to pour their own proper pints, and even got to keep the glasses!
Kelly and Jeff wanted a modern, relaxed wedding with classical notes that really embrace Ireland and what it stood for. They wanted to experience the natural beauty, history, and Irish hospitality that consistently creates a relaxed and fun environment where couples can really focus on themselves and enjoy their day with their loved ones. Kelly and Jeff’s day was a tour of the Best of Dublin: from spectacular views of the Bay to the colorful bustling streets of Temple Bar and downtown Dublin, from Irish ales to contemporary composed plates, Celtic harps to pints of Guinness, they really embraced this part of Ireland and made it their own.
“May your love be as beautiful each day you share as it is on this day of your wedding.
And, may all your dreams come true.
May green be the grass you walk on, may blue be the skies above you.
May pure be the joys that surround you, may true be the hearts that love you.”
Kelly and Jeff — we love how you were fearless and classic, embracing everything about Ireland (including the rain!) and did it all with a smiles, laughter, and tears. It was an honor to plan and coordinate your day, seeing the love between you both but also the love between you and your loved ones and a shared love for life.
Ceremony: Martello Sutton Tower · Venue: Smock Alley · Dinner: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud · After Party: Doheny & Nesbitt · Celebrant: A Beautiful Ceremony · Photographer: The Lous · Flowers: The Garden · Hair: Martina King · Make-Up: Fiona Harrison, Lipstick and Blush · Dress: “Blush” by Hayley Paige · Shoes: Badgley Mischka · Bracelet: Giani Bernini · Earrings: Helzberg Diamonds · Groom’s Suit: Magee 1866 · Bridesmaids: “Fleur Dress,” BHLDN · Groomsmen: Magee 1866 · Music: Dearbhail Finnegan · Event Rentals: Caterhire · Transportation: Lawler Chauffeur Service · DIY: welcome bags from Wedding Chicks Shop stuffed with “his and hers” scarves, Irish folk & fairy tales book, Butlers chocolates, Cadbury chocolates, mini Jameson bottles, Ballygowan water, soap from Avoca, smaller versions of the ribbons the Bargers used to tie the knot!
Something Old, Borrowed, & Blue: broche attached to bridal bouquet
Something New: bride’s bracelet
Favorite Moments: “The toasts at Smock Alley, the food at Patrick’s, and pouring our own beers at the pub after dinner — the owner even let us keep the pints!”
Bride’s Piece of Advice: “Enjoy every aspect of this, even the hard parts. In the end it will be an amazing day! And invest in a wedding planner! Having Michelle to help us along the way was critical; we couldn’t have done it without her!”