It’s been a week and the smile is still on my face. When I got the link to Kate and Jeremy’s gallery of images my eyes popped out — 755 individual photos to look through. Oye. I put a fresh pot of coffee on, settled into my chair and began to click away. By the 50th photo I was hooked. Every single thing about this wedding is perfection. Kate’s dress, hair, makeup, accessories — absolute perfection.Her bridesmaids — perfection. The flowers, hand-fasting chord, Jeremy’s suit….perfection. Killer venue with incredible sunny day — check. Estate grounds in full summer bloom for exquisite pictures — check. A traditional, fun, authentically Irish reception to follow? Yep. But the biggest box of all, the Holy Grail of wedding boxes to check…is a pure, lucid, effortless and genuine love. Love in the bride and her best friends. Love in the groom and his best mates. The family, friends….each and every picture shines through with pure and absolute love. By the 400th picture I was hooked; I’m fully invested in this wedding, I want to be there and I’m crying along with the bridesmaids. By 700 I’m sad it’s ended and I want more. AT 755, two cups of coffee later, I relax back into my chair fully satisfied and emotionally spent, like finishing a really fantastic book.
I want to be there. I want to toast them and see the dress sparkle in the sunlight of the Orangery. I can hear the pint glasses clink when they toast and I can hear the musicians playing and the hooting and hollering. This wedding is pure. This wedding is love. And sets the bar. High. And there to capture this day is Siobhan Byrne, the incredibly talented photographer who miraculously captured every moment with every small detail of the spectacular day to help tell this story. As a writer this kind of product is a gift really. My work is already done; I simply need to allow the narrative to flow and let the pictures tell the story.
Kate and Jeremy met when they were 18 and just started university. A mutual friend’s birthday party celebration turned into a chance encounter where Jeremy charmed Kate into giving him her number. A couple of months later and they were off on their first date. They got engaged last May while visiting the Canary Islands. While on a wine tour, Jeremy planned to pop the question. Trying to find the exact perfect moment between hopping on and off buses and tasting wines, and finally on the last vineyard on the list — a beautiful caldera where they grew everything in black ash! — they finished their tastings and were about to hop back on the tour bus when Jeremy asked Kate for one last picture. A little irritated, Kate agreed for just one more shot, and Jeremy asked the tour guide if he’d snap a picture of them. He dropped down to one knee, asked her to marry him, and she said yes! Soon a destination wedding was planned. A trip before to Ireland (in February no less!) left Kate with an impression and she knew it would be the perfect place for them. They agreed and contacted Waterlily Weddings to coordinate their dream Irish wedding day!
So without further adieu, Waterlily Weddings is so proud to present the charmingly vintage, insanely beautiful, quintessential Irish wedding of Kate and Jeremy at Kilruddery House and Gardens in Bray, Co. Wicklow. This, is their story…
“I just want to see you
When you’re all alone
I just want to catch you if I can
I just want to be there
When the morning light explodes
On your face, it radiates
I cant escape
I love you till the end”
The light broke early this May morning on the eastern side of the island. The “garden of Ireland,” as county Wicklow is known, was in full, spectacular bloom. The grass was varied, from the deep emerald as its known for, down to to the pistachio colored leaves of the silvery sage growing in the gardens. Wildflowers abounded throughout, deep shades of cornflower blue among bright and bold orange-reds, a carpet of yellow agrimony growing blanketing along the rolling hills of the eastern countryside. The week’s worth of rain helped matters to an end, as the glorious spring blooms were in full effect and displaying their rainbow of renewal and new year.
Kate and Jeremy woke early, the excitement of the day’s festivities swirling in their heads and mingling with the festive indulging in spirits of the night before. Kate rose and quickly dressed, meeting her friends at the hotel before making their way over to Kilruddery House. Jeremy content and calm, decided to go back to sleep for a bit longer for some added rest. Yes, the day was bright and the sun was shining now. Despite the week’s rain, their wedding day would be blessed with a perfect, sunny day.
After a good breakfast Kate and her bridesmaids made their way over to Kilruddery House and Gardens, a large mansion estate owned by the 15th Earl and Countess of Meath. The estate originally dates back to the 17th century, but was remodeled in 1820 to reflect the Elizabethan style for which it is known today. The estate sits on over 800 acres of pristine garden, some portion used for ornamental while others for sustainable farming. The estate is well known for its Orangery; a beautiful domed extension of the main house with beautiful hand-laid mosaic floors, a collection of statues, and an abundance of natural light streaming through the high arched Gothic panels. And it is under those arches that Kate and Jeremy will exchange their vows in front of their closets fiends and family, who’ve traversed from far and away to experience Ireland and this beautiful vintage style wedding.
Kate made her way up to the dressing room along with her army of maids and began the morning’s preparations. Her beautiful Mori Lee dress was hung with care, her earrings and accessories laid out and ready. They took a moment to peek outside, each one taking a turn, taking in the beauty of the grounds and excitement of the day. I can’t believe we’re here! Kate spent months planning and talking about the wedding, pouring over each detail and dreaming of what the day would actually be like. And now the day is here, big and bright and shining like the sun, warm and welcoming her dearest friends and family to this beautiful, special place in Bray. The feeling of gratitude and shear magnitude of her loved ones’ efforts began to overwhelm Kate, and as the tears hung precariously on her lashes, the door knocked just in time, with hair and makeup artists quickly floated in to refocus the morning’s preparations! A bottle of prosecco popped in the corner, and the festivities were now well underway.
Meanwhile, Jeremy enjoyed a luxurious nap well into late morning. By 11 he thought it best to roll out of bed, called up his best mates, and they met for some food and drinks. Up in the dressing room, Jeremy began getting ready in his charming three-piece Tom Murphy tweed suit and crisp Hugh & Crye club collard shirt, complete with popping champagne bottle themed dress socks. But he needed just one more thing to be ready: the antique pocket watch with chain and 1930s Irish silver shilling charm given to him by Kate as a wedding gift.
The men made their way about the grounds while the ladies peeked from their perch above, putting on their finishing touches. Kate had her fiery red hair curled and brushed, expertly pinned back in a vintage style. She relaxed and sipped champagne in her lush teal colored dressing gown while her mother beamed. Finishing touches included her crystal hair piece (by Elegance At Hand via Etsy), and it was time to slip into her gorgeous gown. She got ready with her bridesmaids in the other room, then one by one they were led into Kate’s dressing room with eyes closed for the big reveal. On three, they opened their eyes to see their best friend and were overcome with joy and emotion at the vision that was Kate.
Everyone arrived at the estate and it was time to make their way down to the Orangery for the ceremony. The guests took their seats to a special music selection hand picked by Kate and her mother, a mixture of love songs and traditional Irish music. As the guests all settled in it was time for the wedding to begin! The bridesmaids filed in one by one, taking their places. The Kate’s turn. Flanked by her mother and father, she made her way down the mosaic aisle to James Galway & The Chieftans’ rendition of “Give Me Your Hand.” Jeremy looked up, his eyes locking on his beautiful bride and he had to fight back the tears. Words could not describe how he felt. He knew he would be emotional, but no amount of imagining could have prepared him for how truly and fiercely beautiful Kate looked.
Kate made her way up the aisle, each step bringing her closer and closer to her handsome groom. She smiled while thinking to herself how lucky she was to be marrying her best friend.
Both beaming, they looked into each other’s eyes and took the moment in. For one second, that purity of love and humble gratitude, seemed to suspend in air and the rest of the world fell down around them. They were the only two people in the world. Together. Here. And ready now to solidify their bond by words and ancient Irish tradition.
Under Billy’s guidance, Kate and Jeremy crafted a beautiful and meaningful ceremony incorporating their favorite blessings and Irish traditions. While the ceremony began, their wedding rings, tied with ribbon, were passed among their guests. Known as the “ring warming ceremony,” each guest is asked to take the rings into their hands, then using the warmth of their body, intend onto the rings blessings for the bride and groom for a long and loving life together. As the ring began to be passed, “The Violet Hour” by The Civil Wars played. Kate and Jeremy grasped hands, then a chord (made by Kate) was wrapped around their interlocked arms by their parents, the ceremony of hand-fasting. They kept the chord on while they exchanged their vows, then pulled them together keeping the knot tied intact to mark their devotion to one-another.
“May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty fill your world with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons bring the best of yours!”
The signing of the registrar and a closing prayer ended the ceremony, and Kate and Jeremy were pronounced husband and wife! He kissed his new bride, and they were off to the garden to celebrate with champagne and pink lemonade with their guests!
Kate and Jeremy took some time to take pictures around the grounds while their guests enjoyed some refreshment. It was nice to take a moment away from the crowd to refocus on each other, explore the estate and gardens, walk together hand in hand now as husband and wife, and absorb the events of the day.
After taking some glorious pictures on the estate grounds, everyone made their way into town and enjoyed an authentic Irish dinner and night of music and dancing at Johnnie Fox’s Pub. Everyone enjoyed a meal of freshly made soup, cured Connemara mountain lamb and Cashel blue cheese salad with poached pear, pecan, and Highbank apple syrup, a main dish of either slow-cooked organic beef with rosemary and thyme roast vegetables, scallion mash potato and O’Hara stout gravy or a pan roasted organic salmon with sesame green beans and scallion mash. Then in lieu of cake, two desserts to end the meal including an indulgent whiskey pudding with toffee sauce and fresh cream and baked cocoa chocolate pot with freshly whipped cream, mint, and strawberry.
Toasts, speeches, dancing, and reveling of all kinds went well into the night. Kate and Jeremy opened the evening dancing to The Pogues’ “I Love You Til the End” and then Kate surprised her father with Bob Marley’s “One Love” for the daughter-daddy dance. Kate’s parents made a touching and funny speech including an expert reading from the book of Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. The enjoyable evening ended when the carriage arrived to take everyone back to the hotel, but not before an ipod was hooked up and a resounding rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” filled the night air.
The revelry. The love. The purity of enjoying everyone’s company and being in beautiful Ireland to celebrate, it is no wonder this day will be forever memorable. And the pictures, which truly convey how stunning the day was, are a testament to not just the styling talents, but also the character of Kate and Jeremy and their friends and family, who all together helped create a memorable and perfect wedding.
We congratulate you Kate and Jeremy, and in the immortal words of Bob Marley (also a huge fan here), we wish you “one love, one heart,” as you embark on your life together now.
“I just want to be there
When were caught in the rain
I just want to see you laugh not cry
I just want to feel you
When the night puts on its cloak
Im lost for words dont tell me
All I can say
I love you till the end”
Make sure to check out more incredible pictures from their perfect day in the slideshow below.
Venue: Kilruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co. Wicklow • Reception: Johnny Fox’s Pub • Photography: Siobhan Byrne Photography • Celebrant: Billy Hutchinson • Flowers: Fussy Peacock • Hair: Claire Barry • Makeup: Fiona Harrison, Lipstick & Blush • Dress: Mori Lee • Shoes: Pink London • Hair Accessory: Elegance At Hand (etsy) • Earrings & Bracelet: Lottie Da Designs (etsy) • Garter: Davie & Chiyo • Suit: Tom Murphy Formal & Menswear, Cork, Ireland • Shirt: Hugh & Crye • Bridesmaids: Adrianna Pappell & Aidan Mattox • Bridesmaids Clutch Purses: Davie & Chiyo • Special Details: Jeremy’s pocket watch, matching wedding bands made in Ireland with Warrior Shield design modeled after the Ardagh Chalice • DIY: handfasting chord
Something Old, Borrowed, & Blue: Kate’s mother’s antique porcelain necklace that was wrapped around her bridal bouquet • Something New: everything else!
Favorite Moments: Walking around the grounds at Kilruddery and the first dance, the look on bridesmaids’ faces when they saw her in her dress the first time, hugging everyone after the ceremony, the dinner and music, the spontaneous sing along on the ride home!
Bride’s Advice: “Take it all in. Create memories that will last a lifetime! Oh, and hire Michelle! DO IT!!”
In The End: “It meant so much to us to have our friends and family make the trip, even those who don’t like flying! Everything went so flawlessly that it’s hard to pick a favorite part of the day. Only thing we could change is to somehow make the day last longer!”