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.

Brett & Ray: #In Love at Virginia Park Lodge


One of our favorite weddings from 2016 was Brett and Ray’s July wedding at Virgina Park Lodge. We always tell our clients to make sure you incorporate yourselves into your special day. It’s hard, we know, to mitigate traditional elements with advice from family members, balance that against thousands of images on Pinterest and magazines that inspire you, an in the fray the couple can lose themselves, lose their identity. But we remind them, it’s not those details people we recognize from Instagram or Pinterest that you and your guests will remember; it’s you.

Brett and Ray really nailed this concept. They carefully planned their wedding celebration weekend in every way to reflect elements about themselves and their relationship: their cultures, their beliefs, their loves, their laughter, their sense of humor, their tenderness, their sense of community and inclusion, and their loves. We saw first hand how these elements all came together with help from our vendors, our own, and their family and friends, to create a truly memorable wedding and celebration.

Virginia Park Lodge is an amazing venue that we absolutely adore and hope more clients will consider for their weddings in 2017. Run by famed Chef Richard Corrigan, it is a 10 acre property of woodland and garden, comfortable and impeccably decorated former hunger lodge turned 5 star hotel, with some of the best scenery, hospitality, and food Ireland has to offer.

The weekend began with a rehearsal and unique wedding  morning set of activities (more on that later this week!) with grey skies and a good douse of Irish rain. As the clouds gave way to a spectacular sunny afternoon just in the nick of time for their ceremony in the beautiful and fragrant lavender garden, Brett and Ray exchanged vows together in front of their closest family and friends under the wrought iron arbor handmade by Ray’s own father just for the wedding, and with the supreme talents of their friend who served as celebrant, Vincent Murphy. The ceremony even included a real-time selfie posting on social media! Heart-felt speeches, a fully choreographed dance sequence by the couple, traditional Irish music and dancing, and plenty of Guinness and wine flowed throughout the afternoon and evening for a truly spectacular and perfect celebration. It was traditional Irish and modern and fun and colorful and just perfect.

Please enjoy some of the highlights from the wedding captured by super talented Belfast based photographer Tim Tooth of This Modern Love Photography.

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We loved how rustic and simply elegant the wedding ceremony and reception were. Tones of purple abounded throughout the ceremony, echoing the lavender garden ceremony site. The groomsmen wore different suits of tweed, adding an air of country sophistication just perfect for the venue’s vibe, while the ladies wore elegant flowy gowns in paler greys, creams, and blues to compliment the navy tones in the grooms’ suits. We love the posy bouquets they held of simple lavender and baby’s breath.

The reception was decorated simply by Hillary, head florist at Virginia Park Lodge, using florals and details directly from Virginia Park Lodge’s many gardens. Crisp white linens and soft candle light simply and classically framed the vibrant food prepared by Chef Corrigan. Guests feasted on canapes of Courtyard Smoked Salmon & Ravigote Cream, Spiced Chicken Samosas With Yoghurt & Coriander,  Spanish Style Chorizo, and Cornish Crab Salad With Spiced Avocado all beautifully presented and hand-passed by staff as guests sipped cocktails, local crafted beers, and wines. The Dinner consisted of a multiple courses of beginning with a starter of Pressed Terrine of Sweet Roasted Peppers, followed by a Consommé of Tomato, Basil & Goat’s Cheese Tortellini. The main course included a Roast Sirloin of Hereford Beef, Chargrilled Onions, Cep, Béarnaise with Mashed Potato With Scallions, Seasonal Greens from the Garden, and ending with Meyer Lemon, Sicilian Orange Sorbet that was absolutely to die for. A vegetarian Option included Garden Vegetable Gnocchi or Lasagne, and for the kids, a Roast Chicken and Mashed Potatoes. The food was absolutely exquisite. The mashed potatoes — the best on the planet. Hands down.

Everyone rejoiced and laughed and cried throughout the speeches, toasting at first with a Guinness shot to the couple. As the rain began to again gently fall outside, the guests made their way to the main room of the lodge once again for more festivities. Some simply relaxed by the fire while others danced the night away to traditional Irish music and a DJ.

Congratulations Brett and Ray! We wish you a long, happy life full of the joy and laughter you both bring to your loved ones. Thank you for letting Waterlily Weddings be a part of your beautiful day.


Venue: Virginia Park Lodge  ·  Flowers: Virginia Park Lodge ·  Photographer: This Modern Love  ·  Videographer: Big Day Films  Cake: Orchard Cakes  ·  Music (ceremony): Meghan Tonjes   ·  Music (reception): Craddog   ·  Hair: Trudy Hayes  ·  Lighting: Gorilla Design  ·  Transportation: John Evans’ Coaches  ·  Special Details: handmade iron arbor for ceremony



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