Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Gesa & Lars: Modern Traditional in Bray


Waterlily Weddings is proud to present the wedding of Gesa and Lars. Traditional and modern at once, their love and the love of their family and friends shone through clearly like the sunlight upon them when they exchanged vows among the statues and gardens of the gorgeous conservatory of Killruddery House in Bray, County Wicklow.  After spending many hours chatting over the internet, Gesa and Lars first met in December of 2005 when Gesa came to visit Lars in Dublin. Nine years later in September, they traveled back to Dublin and visited Bewley’s café, where they had their first date many years ago. After some refreshment of wine, Lars handed Gesa a present. It was a picture from their first date at the same café back in 2005. Behind the frame was an engagement ring. She laid her eyes on the ring, then raised them to meet Lars proposed to her, going down on one knee.

Gesa and Lars wanted to share their love of Ireland, incorporating shamrock details and shades of deep green throughout their wedding day. We loved how their guests embraced the theme, showing up in colorful dress from forest green sequin dresses to bright moss green striped ties. This was truly a family affair, from sweet little babies to sage experience; it was wonderful to see generations of loved ones traversing to the Emerald Isle to celebrate this sweet couple on this sunny August day.

Fate brought them together. There was no other consideration to host their dream wedding anywhere else; Ireland saw their first kiss and would see them married in the eyes of their loved ones as well.

This is their story…

Give your all to me, I’ll give my all to you…


Despite it being earlier August, the summer in Ireland this year was proving to be a bit of a disappointment, with below-average temperatures and the more-than-occasional rainfall. Lovely for the gardens, less than ideal for a wedding today.

Gesa woke in her hotel room at the Martello and took a peek outside. The sky was steadily improving, the blanket of high clouds giving way to a lovely shade of pale blue reminiscent of a sparrow’s egg. Yes, looks like it will turn into a lovely day after all. Fortune would be smiling on them once again.

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Fortune brought the lovely Gesa and her handsome fiancé together twelve years ago. To amuse herself one day, Gesa (screen name “Serendipity”) logged onto an instant messaging program on her computer. None of her friends were available to chat, however. Fate clearly had something else in mind. She decided to chat with someone for fun, to see what interesting people she could meet perhaps. The search began.

The criteria boxes laid empty, staring back at her. Name. Easy enough. She typed in “Lars,” a name she was always fond of. City was next. “Hamburg,” her favorite German city.  As the computer made its calculations Lars appeared on the screen, and they began to chat.

Chats turned into longer conversations as the days drew on. Some months later Gesa sent Lars a postcard from her summer holiday in Ireland. Their friendship blossomed then waxed with time, and the conversations grew further apart. In 2005 they reconnected and a flight was soon booked to Dublin where Lars had begun a semester practical. By 2014 on a return visit to Dublin Lars proposed to “Serendipity” and a wedding was soon planned.

Friends and family gathered this day in August to celebrate Gesa and Lars, a couple brought together by Fate. They gathered at Kilruddery House in Bray, County Wicklow. The current Elizabethan-style estate house, sits on over 800 acres owned by the 15th Earn and Countess of Meath, sprawling acres of manicured gardens against the whitewashed stone of the estate the picturesque stage for this effortlessly charming celebration.

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Lars, dressed in a sharp navy suit and crisp white shirt, took his place at the great estate’s entrance, ready to welcome the many guests who came from far and near to celebrate the joining of the young couple. Brightly colored in summer shades, the guests excitedly walked up the graveled path to the estate, the sun now set firmly in the pale blue sky, warming and bright and inviting. Shades of deep purples, blues, pinks of the guests echoed the garden’s summer richness, punctuated by the bright Kelly green of bridal party and family members who took to the couple’s love of Ireland with much enthusiasm.

Meanwhile in the main house, Gesa was relaxed, the finishing touches placed on her porcelain frame, eyes bright with excitement and her infectious smile illuminating the darkly hued, richly decorated room. Michelle, the wedding planner, expertly fixed the white veil on to Gesa’s golden hair, which pulled back in elegant chignon, and adorned with a charming beaded band. With some help she slid into her dress, a full tulle skirt with strapless bodice, and slipped on her satin white shoes and invisible bridal accoutrements. She was ready.

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Over at the conservatory, the guests began to take their seats. White chairs charmingly decorated with sprigs of eucalyptus and delicate but strong cala lily laid in perfectly straight rows. The soothing taupe-colored brick walls were dotted with plant stands displaying a colorful collection of growing flowers, punctuated by stark white figures etched in stone, each frozen in time depicting one of the various emotions and stages of Life. Under the canopy of glass and the gothic arched rotunda, from the cream-tiled floor sprouted a glorious green ivy. Climbing ever so highly, around and around the conservatory’s legs it created a natural focal point for the ceremony to take place. Under the high glass ceiling, a small table with crisp white linen stood center. On top, three white pillar candles each adorned with bright green shamrock and etched with family name, a chord braided of bright green and white, and simple arrangements of white flowers and green wisps awaited to bless and anoint the young couple.


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Lars and his best man made their way to the front to join the celebrant.

Gesa, accompanied by her father, had made her way down from the house to the conservatory, carefully hidden in the confines around the corner as the rest of the party made their official entrance. Mother of the bride, clad in a glorious Kelly green dress proudly made her way down the aisle and took her seat, the rest of the party following. Two delicious flower girls dressed in fluffy white gowns held hands and cautiously made their way down the aisle, delicate wisps of fine blonde hair dancing as they carefully took to their very important task. One sweet darling, holding a blackboard with “Uncle Lars, here comes your bride” written in chalk cleverly announced the beautiful bride’s grand entrance.

The string quartet began to play “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson, and Gesa stepped surely onto the tile floor. Like an angel, she glided down the cobalt-lined mosaic aisle to the sweet sounds of the strings and broad, congratulatory smiles of the friends and family who traversed all the way from Germany. Taking her place next to her Lars, the sun shone through the highly arched glass ceiling of the conservatory in a delicate light, illuminating the couple as their eyes met once more.

In the gorgeous sun-filled room of the conservatory, among the statues and gardens, Gesa and Lars exchanged vows in a traditional ceremony. Mothers of the bride and groom each  rose and together lit one candle respectively, representing their family and the joining and blessing of their families together as Gesa and Lars lit their own together. Rings were warmed, blessed, and exchanged, vows taken, and hands clasped together, tied in a chord of white and green symbolizing their union.

Husband and wife! Lars and Gesa made their triumphant exit to the adulation and a shower of bubbles blown with gusto by their loved ones. They gathered outside and their guests streamed out of the conservatory to congratulate the couple. Two family members brought out a large bed sheet with green heart drawn in. Gesa and Lars cut around the hearts outline, creating a large hole.  A German tradition, the sheet is held in front of the couple and they must cut the heart out in order to pass. In order to enhance the challenge, they are typically given the smallest pair of scissors such as nail scissors in order to symbolize overcoming the first challenge in their new union. Typically, the husband then carries his new wife through the heart.


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They all gathered and refreshed with elderflower fizz and fruit punch, toasting the newlyweds, then cut the beautiful chocolate fudge and strawberry madeira white cake adorned with a cascade of hand-forged fondant shamrocks. In German tradition, whoever places his/her hand on top of the knife when cutting the wedding cake is said to dominate the relationship. Gesa and Lars, ever so modern, cleverly declared their equality by cutting the cake with a personalized two-handled knife.

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217As the guests continued to enjoy the refreshments in the warm sunlit afternoon, Gesa and Lars retreated to the garden for some pictures.

Everyone walked across the way to enjoy dinner at the Barracuda. Orange juice and coffee were served along with a variety of appetizers including chowder and pate with fig chutney, a varied main course of chicken supreme, traditional fish n chips, filet of salmon, and lamb stew, along with beer and wine and light desserts. Gesa and Lars enjoyed their guests, eating and toasting in the sun-filled dining room, and German traditions and toasts abounded.


The wedding party continued on again to the Martello Hotel where Gesa and Lars danced the night away with their guests to the sounds of the Surefire Trio. A mixture of classic rock and traditional Irish songs kept the party going.

A fabulous evening of modern and traditional, German and Irish, and with loved ones of all ages coming together to celebrate two lovely people, Gesa and Lars.

For more pictures and details of Gesa and Lars charming Kilruddery wedding, check out the slide show below.

The Shorthand

Ceremony: Killruddery House, Bray, Co. Wicklow  ·  Reception: Barracuda Steak and Seafood Restaurant, Bray, Co. Wicklow  ·  After Party: The Martello Hotel, Bray, Co. Wicklow  ·  Dress: Très Chic”; Schwarz in Braunschweig, Germany  ·  Shoes: “Danique” by Rainbow Club   ·  Veil:  “Nelly” by Joyce Jackson ·   Headpiece:  “Vigo” by Rainbow Club  ·  Groom: “Roy Robson” suit  ·  Best Man: Hugo Boss suit  ·  Music: Appassionata String Quartet (ceremony);  Surefire Trio (reception/after party)  ·  Photographer: Christina Bronsnan  ·  Flowers: Fuzzy Peacock  ·  Cake: Amazing Cakes, Bray  ·  Hair: Sinead Gaffney  ·  Makeup: Sinead O’Connor, The Beauty Studio  ·  Details of Note: custom double-handle personalized wedding cake knife;  the silhouette motif used in the invitations, cake, and stationary was taken from a picture taken of the couple in Ireland

DIY: guestbook, guests wrote on the little shamrocks; menu cards

Something New: Gesa enjoyed the planning process so much that everything was new!  Something old: Gesa wore her grandmother’s pearl necklace

Favorite Moments: “The whole day was just perfect, but we especially enjoyed the evening. It was great to see everyone having a great time, dancing to the music and telling us how wonderful the day was.”

A Bride’s Piece of Advice: “Try to enjoy your wedding day — it will just fly by. Choose a good band for your wedding party or good  music in general; our guests are still telling us how great our band was. Finally, of course it’s the couple’s big day, but if you try to make everything as easy and comfortable as possible also for the guests they will thank you for it.”

In The End: “If you are still thinking about getting married in Ireland, go for it! Ireland has so many beautiful houses, castles, and stunning landscapes and the people are so friendly and helpful. If you already made the choice to get married in Ireland you made the right one!”

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