True love comes in many forms and are are destined to be. Fate brought Amy and Daniel together, and they chose to celebrate the start of their life together in a magical place, full of natural beauty and spiritual significance. We love the sweetness between Amy and Dan; the love they have for each other and the thankfulness and joy in finding one another clear with how they look at one another. Amy’s classic and elegant vintage style shown through perfectly, her lace dress echoing the lovely detail of using a piece of handmade Kenmare lace as their handfasting chord. The ceremony was simple but spoke volumes: the love between these two people have for one another runs as deep as the lake by which they exchanged their vows.
Amy and Daniel met back in 2013, introduced by a mutual friend, Suan, who dabbles in matchmaking. A lunch date was set up in early December, and Amy and Daniel instantly hit it off. More and more dates followed, eventually resulting in a sunset boat cruise proposal two years later in October around the Minnesota lake where Amy and her family summered when she was a child. The wedding planning conversations began, and Amy and Daniel quickly determined they wanted to elope somewhere that would be epic and romantic.
Ireland came into play, and became a natural fit since they are both of Irish heritage and Amy had very special memories of two previous trips there with her parents (who are now deceased) back in 1998 and again for her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in 2000. Dan had never been to Ireland before, but was very open to the idea.hey began researching Ireland, looking for the perfect place and area to host their romantic elopement when Amy recalled her trips to Kenmare. Located in picturesque County Kerry in the southwestern corner of the island, Kerry is home to some of the most incredible scenery throughout Ireland and in the world. Known for it’s famous Ring of Kerry, it boasts incredible views of the Atlantic, gorgeous lakes and expansive countryside beauty that has inspired writers, poets, and musicians for millennia. Kenmare is a charming village town outside of Killarney, surrounded by lakes and ruins of the ancient Celts and medieval Ireland that seem straight out of a book. It’s the perfect combination of natural beauty with comfortable, five-star accommodations in quintessential Ireland.
Recalling her trips, Amy remembered a particular pub in the Kenmare area that was her and her Dad’s favorite. She forgot the name but remembered she had a photograph of it, and dug it up to show Daniel. Turns out the pub was called Brennan’s — Dan’s (and Amy’s to-be) surname — and that sealed the deal. Amy believes it was her father inspiring her and guiding her toward Kenmare, and the coincidences a sign of his blessing for their marriage.
Soon thereafter the couple got into contact with Waterlily Weddings to plan the event! Avid lovers of the outdoors, Amy and Daniel spend most of their weekend at their Minnesota lake cottage, swimming, kayaking, boating and exploring nature. They wanted something beautiful in Ireland to host their ceremony that reminded them of that — something outdoors, ideally located near water, that had a bit of Irish history to it as well. Michelle suggested the Uragh Stone Circle in Gleninchaquin Park. The 3500 BC monolithic stone circle dates back to the ancient Celtic people of Ireland and is a place of deep spiritual energy, surrounded by mountains, lakes, and waterfall. Amy and Daniel felt it was the perfect location!
Daniel and Amy landed in Ireland eight days before their wedding day to tidy up legal requirements in Dublin and acclimate to the time zone. After eight straight days of rain, they woke on the morning of their wedding day with some promise in the air. While exploring Ireland they learned of the tradition of burying a Child of Prague statue at your wedding ceremony site; as the story goes, burying it there a day or two before your wedding day will help bring good luck and good weather for your big day. Dan and Amy visited Uraugh the day before their wedding day with a small statue in hand and buried it at the entrance to the stone circle’s path. Low and behold, their wedding day morning at Sheen Falls Lodge began with rain and the skies parted just in time for their ceremony!
Amy and Dan stayed at the Marianne Cottage on the expansive grounds of Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, overlooking picturesque Kenmare Bay. The beautifully appointed country cottage has views of the gorgeous Irish countryside with a charming, cozy feel. Amy and Dan greeted each other and enjoyed their wedding morning, leisurely taking in the sounds and tranquility of the Irish countryside and getting ready for their day. As he took some time on the patio, Dan reflected on the joy and companionship Amy brought to his life. Amy was upstairs in the cottage getting ready, thinking about how lucky she was to find the love of her life and how thrilled her parents would have been that she found such a kind and good man. Her father even more so, for the fact Amy was to marry a Brennan, and in Kenmare!
They enjoyed a good breakfast and put on the finishing touches for the day. Melissa, their photographer, arrived to document the tranquil morning’s activities and soon Dara, the celebrant arrived together the vintage car to pick everyone up. Dan’s heart skipped a beat when he glimpsed his soon-to-be-bride make her way down the staircase in the cottage.
After a quick review of the ceremony’s details, everyone made their way to the stone circle for the wedding!
Amy and Dan opted for a traditional Irish Celtic-inspired ceremony for their wedding day. They wanted to incorporate Irish traditions and honor their love for the outdoors. The stone circle is a supremely spiritual place: quiet and surrounded by a panoramic view of exquisite natural beauty, the mountains encircle almost entirely the valley where the stone circle sits to create a protected, sacred space that clearly was an excellent choice for the ancient Celts to place a monument of spiritual importance. Dara, the celebrant, performed a traditional spiritual Celtic ceremony honoring the four elements of nature, and Kevin and John Byrne of Arundo played traditional Irish music to accompany. They performed the traditional handfast ceremony, using a piece of handmade lace made right in Kenmare, for which Kenmare is famous.
After the ceremony Amy and Dan returned to Sheen Falls Lodge and enjoyed an excellent multi-course meal prepared by private chef in the library of the main lodge. They relaxed in front of the warm peat fire, dined and drank wine, and enjoyed their first meal as husband and wife together in romantic candle light. They would return to Minneapolis and host a large celebratory reception with their family and friends, bringing back a bit of Ireland with them in their theme later on in October including Irish music and details!
Amy and Daniel, we wish you a lifetime of happiness, tranquility, and more adventures outdoors. Love, life, and happiness; may your troubles be few and your blessings plenty!
Ceremony: Uragh Stone Circle, Kenmare, Co. Kerry · Private Celebration Dinner: Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare, Co. Kerry · Celebrant: Dara Molloy · Photographer: Melissa Mannion Photography · Flowers: Kenmare Flower Shop · Music: Arundo · Transportation: Wedding Vintage Car Hire · Dress: Amy Kuschel · Veil: Miss Allaneous · Shoes: Bella Belle (“Layla II”) · Jewelry: DJ Bitzan’s Jewelrs, St. Cloud, MN, USA (wedding rings and pearl and diamond drop necklace); Haute Bride (earrings) · Groom: Heimie’s, Haberdashery, St. Paul, MN, USA · Groom Accessories: Allen Edmonds · Special Details: handmade Kenmare lace for the handfasting chord
Something Old: mother’s jade and pearl ring
Favorite Moments: “The whole day was perfect!”
Bride’s Piece of Advice: “The prospect of finding the perfect venue and vendors on another continent and navigating the Irish legal system to ensure the marriage would be recognized in the US was daunting. That’s where Michelle and Waterlily Weddings were such a godsend. We started planning a year in advance, and with that lead time coupled with Michelle’s expertise of matching the perfect vendors to our vision made for a low stress planning experience. We wouldn’t have been able to plan our truly perfect wedding without her help!”