At Waterlily Weddings, we usually feature real weddings to share with you our work and vendors’ talents, so it can help you in your planning process and inspiration. But occasionally we get a rehearsal event that stands out in excellence so much, that we have to share it with you all as well!
We absolutely loved the wedding weekend Caitlin and Raul hosted for their family and friends at the incomparable Luttrellstown Castle this past June. Elegant, timeless, classic, but still a sense of quiet relaxation was the overarching theme of this weekend. Hosting 120 people from 8 different countries was no small feat, and Caitlin and Raul managed to do so with style just outside of Dublin.
For more on their wedding day, see our post here.
Why Luttrellstown Caitlin and Raul had a variety of people coming to their destination wedding in Ireland. Raul’s side is Colombian, Caitlin’s is American with Irish ancestry, so they had a variety of people coming in from all over the world for this event. It was imperative to have a central location where everyone could stay comfortably, be easily accessible, and still be special enough for a destination wedding. With its close proximity to Dublin and the airport in quiet but posh Castleknock, Luttrellstown Castle became the early favorite for Caitin, her mother, and mother-in-law when the first came to tour venues months before the wedding. It had just the right mix of Irish castle and fairy tale romance with comfort, amenities, and options to host both the wedding itself and the rehearsal. The castle itself was large enough to house everyone indoors in case of inclement weather, but still feel expansive and not crowded. Conversely, the expanse of the 10 acre grounds gave them flexibility to host a variety of activities, parties, and events outdoors, not to mention taking fantastic pictures on their wedding day.
What They Did The wedding day was designed to be classic and romantic, inspired heavily with traditions, Colombian cultural elements, and classic elegance. The rehearsal was to reflect the same, on a smaller scale. Everyone dressed smartly in posh BBQ attire, and the castle’s grounds were transformed to a southern style BBQ complete with lawn games. A tent was placed outdoors to cover the tables in case of rain. A variety of traditional lawn games and some Irish traditional ones were set up including: archery, clay pigeon shooting, giant chess, connect 4, croquet, and more. We organized the games about the lawn so people could move around in different sections, not overcrowding one area at once. Professional archers and clay pigeon shooters were brought in to set up with proper equipment and oversee that the guests participated safely. There were kid-friendly games for all ages, and it was delightful to see everyone from the youngest to oldest getting a bit of fun in.
The food was BBQ style with an upscale twist. Chicken and salmon, huge baked potatoes with good Irish butter, noodle and pasta salads, roasted vegetables, freshly baked bread, and more were served buffet-style by the hotel stall for guests. But the clear piece-de-resistance was the roasting pork on the spit. A professional competition roaster came and traditionally roasted a whole pig for the guests. It was fresh, it was tasty, and was a huge hit with the crowd.
By the end Raul and his family took to the grill themselves. Thriving in the restaurant business themselves, they knew their way around the grill and it created a nice, relaxing “backyard bbq” casualness that helped everyone relax even further. It was perfect.
Craft cocktails, wine, beer, and more were served as beverages throughout the afternoon and evening. Everyone relaxed and got to know each other, excitedly exchanging stories and sight-seeing plans for the rest of the trip with each other. By the end of the evening everyone had known each other, laughed, bonded over a spirited game or archery competition, and were excited for the wedding next day.
Why We Love It The rehearsal traditionally serves a variety of purposes, chiefly among them going over the wedding ceremony to take place the next day. But as Caitlin and Raul anticipated so well, especially for a destination wedding, it serves as an initial bonding opportunity for the majority of your guests. It’s important to create a space that is casual, inviting, fun, and comfortable so everyone can begin getting to know each other.
We love how the rehearsal was a reflection of the overall wedding tone over the entire weekend. Constantly merging family traditions, Colombian details, traditions from Caitlin’s side of the family, all into an elegant but still welcoming environment that really made everyone very comfortable. It worked perfectly in Ireland which naturally does the same thing: that mixture of elegant and refinement with cozy countryside.
We think this rehearsal serves as great inspiration for you to start conceptualizing a rehearsal event. And as always, Waterlily Weddings is here to help you design and execute not only your dream destination wedding in Ireland, but your dream rehearsal day as well!
Congratulations again Caitlin and Raul! May you have a long, happy life together!
A special thanks to David Murphy for the spectacular pictures.
Venue: Luttrellstown Castle, Castleknock, Dublin • Lawn Games, Archery, Clay Pigeon Coordinator: Dynamic Events • Table Linens: Gotcha Covered • Photographer: David Murphy, Waterford • Planning & On-Day Coordination: Waterlily Weddings