Waterlily Weddings is very excited to share with you our latest style shoot. We collaborated with some of Ireland’s most talented vendors to create a jaw-dropping, gorgeous shoot at the incomparable Mount Juliet Estate, a five-star luxury resort hotel in Kilkenny, Ireland. Shane O’Neill of Aspect Photography was on hand to take the gorgeous pictures. Together with the floral talents of Stephanie from The French Touch, the incredible cake and macaroons by Cupcakes and Counting, perfect hair and makeup from Leanne Nolan and Fiona Harrison, and gorgeous gowns from Little White Dress in Dublin, we completed two fabulous looks for the day, and created a spectacular setting that will leave you longing for the romantic Irish countryside.
Theme: Elegant Bohemian Feminine Power / Influence: French / Target Season: late summer/early fall / Color Palette: scarlet red, bright turquoise, softer blue, golden peach, soft pinks, soft greenery, dark grey/charcoal, pearl white / Accent Colors: black and gold / Texture: moonstone, opalite, rose quartz / Vibe: upscale bohemian / Venue: Mount Juliet
This shoot got its inspiration from a couple of sources. First, french textiles. A big trend for 2018 that some couples may find confounding, I wanted to take a textile pattern, deconstruct it, then redefine it throughout wedding elements for our shoot to show how textiles can be very inspiring for a wedding palette. I found a pattern with bright scarlet red and turquoise, painted with gorgeous flowers and pops of color that I just kept going back to. This exact pattern is the base for the second layer of our cake for this shoot, completely replicated and hand-painted to perfection by the very talented Jen. I was inspired in particular by that scarlet red, and tried using that throughout the shoot as base color and as accent to really draw the eye in quickly and invoke strong emotion. I feel like two styles that work best in Ireland are bohemian and classic, so for this shoot I was intrigued by the idea of merging the two, setting the example for what I call “elegant Bohemian” style: there is still a sense of freedom and earthiness about this shoot but it’s defined an elegant way. Third, of course I wanted to incorporate elements from Ireland. In keeping with the theme, I wanted this time to focus on the not-so-obvious Irish details couples can incorporate on their wedding day: we defined a bar menu showcasing Irish whiskey, we played off of Ireland’s green in the estate’s pastures and meadows that set the scene for our shoot, and we used a crystal-adorned chord for the hand-fasting chord which also hit the Bohemian vibe.
We wanted to create a shoot that was at once romantic and alluring, a sense of freedom and romantic adventure straight out of a novel, but that still had a modern undertone and solid sense of feminine confidence throughout. We envisioned a secret ceremony, the bride and groom saying their vows to one another under a beautiful tree, surrounded by wildflowers and tall soft grass.
When conceptualizing this shoot, Mount Juliet became the fast, easy first choice for venue. The estate is beautifully adorned inside, but for this shoot we really wanted to showcase the incredible scenery outside. Romantic climbing ivy is found in abundance throughout the estate and grounds, wildflowers in bloom and soft heavenly Irish heather is irresistibly romantic that subtly add that “something Irish” to the day, creating the perfect setting for our shoot.
The stationary was custom-created for our shoot by Brianna of Lichen Ink, hand-painted and drawn taking in Mount Juliet and nearby Jerpoint Abbey. We wanted to add that pop of scarlet red again to the stationary which complimented perfectly the creamy white heavy stock paper. It’s the perfect balance of timeless and elegant but with a pop of something unexpected and bold with that hand-died scarlet. Make sure to scroll down to see a close up of the vows: we love the idea of a couple writing their own vows on keepsake paper that matches their stationary suite!
We chose to do two looks for this shoot. For our first look, we envisioned a late morning / early afternoon wedding outdoors behind the estate. The meadow is full of wild flowers in bloom, gentle pale pinks and purples of wild Irish heather and delicate white flowers. It’s very romantic and has an exquisite softness about it. We wanted to echo that in her look, choosing to go with a flowing gown with incredible bodice detail by Australian designer Anna Campbell. The “Sierra” is light and airy, but still retains an incredible level of detail, especially on the back and sleeve, which is consistent with a Bohemian feel but still presents extremely elegantly. We accessorized this quite simply, with earrings by Kendra Scott and a neutral makeup that echoed the wildflowers in the meadow, and perfect pink Valentino pumps. Big romantic curls were the perfect style for hair. The standout detail for this look, however, is the Juliet veil. It created an ethereal effect that nailed the “elegant Bohemian” look we were going for.
We dressed our “groom” in a classic charcoal grey suit with crisp white shirt, modern black tie, and simply accessorized. His boutonniere picks up the same color palette, but the structure and form of the dahlia gives a modern undertone to this classic look. We also added a bright scarlet rose for that pop of red for some shots. We used black and red very subtly here, mostly in her bouquet and on Geoff. We wanted to play with the more traditionally feminine color palette for this look in order to give a good contrast to our second.
Our second look for the shoot showcased a gorgeous Temperly London gown from her recently fall 2017 collection called “Saffron.” Here we went with a bolder red lip, softened that with hair expertly pulled back in chignon and adorned with an elegant flower crown for this modern upscale Bohemian bride. We envision this look for later afternoon wedding that goes into evening, the reception glowing in candle light. This look embraces confidence and showcases how romantic Mount Juliet can be.
The great thing about Mount Juliet is it has a lot of little details that as a stylist, you can riff off of to make a really unique and cohesive look. One of the incredible details of this venue is the moon window in the garden. It’s a popular place for wedding ceremonies in of itself, and a unique structure that always photographs well. I wanted to incorporate this detail into the rest of the styling by decorating the “bride and groom chairs” with olive leaf wreaths and ribbons instead of the signs “bride and groom” that many couples favor. The circular shape is a nod to the moon window, and it’s a more modern and elegant way to signal the bride and groom’s seating. I chose olive leaves to match the golden wax seal used in the invitation suite.
Karen’s gorgeous dress is accessorized this time by a perfect floral crown, befit any regal bohemian bride. We took the color scheme here and let the bold red lip be the touch of crimson to hit the color palette note. A simple red rose boutonniere also compliments for that pop of color.
We continued with scarlet red heavily into our table setting and decor, using pale pinks and creams, peaches, and softer greys and neutrals. Gold and black were used as accent colors to give an instant richness. For unexpected details we used black candles in brass tapers, and embellished the place setting very simply with hand-dipped place cards and oyster shells — a nod to Ireland being an island, adding texture, and also being a symbol of femininity. We wanted the flowers to have movement so the arrangement is a cascade-style that ran the length of the table for a romantic vibe.
Although Mount Juliet is fitted with incredible dining rooms, we wanted our table setting outdoors for this shoot. We loved the gnarled roots and vines growing on the sides of the estate walls and wanted to place our outdoor reception there. We used the scarlet red here in much larger quantities, playing off of the dark cherry wood table nicely and accenting with bright, polished gold that just shone. We wanted a moodier look here — one that feels lush and romantic, inviting and a little mysterious — and used black candles to accent the table as an unexpected detail. We accessorized a simple charcoal hand-dyed linen runner with lots of fresh flowers created expertly by Stephanie from The French Touch, and used dark ruby fruits of cherries and pomegranate to hit some of those seasonal notes we were going for.
We wanted to feature something new on the drinks side for this shoot. Signature cocktails are going away, the trend swinging back to classic cocktails presented simply. We embraced that trend and went for good ol’ Irish whiskey for this shoot. Not only does the golden color compliment the color palette, but it’s obviously authentically Irish. Lichen Ink custom designed these incredible bar signs for us, using hand calligraphy and hand drawing and watercolor. We did two designs for this shoot: a classic Irish whiskey and a refreshing whiskey lemonade, just perfect for the late summer/early fall season.
Our incredible cake and confections were designed by the uber-talented Jen from Cupcakes and Counting, a bespoke cake atelier in Dublin. The bottom layer was hand-painted, inspiration taken from French textile, representing the Bohemian aesthetic and in keeping with our color palette. The top layer was painted in edible gold to give a neutral base and draw on that elegant vibe, and the hand-forged edible flowers and gold leaves give a nod to the season while also elevating the cake befit a formal wedding. The flavor? Red velvet, of course! Not to be forgotten, the macaroons in red velvet and Guinness are perfectly Irish, opulent, and a delicious start to your confection table.
We wanted to incorporate the unexpected. We can’t thank the staff of Mount Juliet enough for letting us use one of their horses. Who was a consummate champ, by the way, letting us drape the garland over him (which he subsequently ate when we weren’t looking). The horse gives that nod to freedom that we love in the Bohemian style, and just feel straight out of a novel, just nailing our theme for this shoot.
Floral crowns to garlands, hand-painted cakes and cookies to hand-dipped linens and stationary, this shoot asked a lot from these very talented vendors and they beyond delivered. A huge thank you to everyone, and our extremely gorgeous and talented models Karen and Geoff for making everything look pretty.
For more pictures of our shoot, check out the slideshow below.
Photography: Shane O’Neill – Aspect Photography · Venue: Mount Juliet, Kilkenny · Design & Styling: Waterlily Wedding · Flowers: The French Touch · Cake: Cupcakes & Counting · Stationary & Vows: Lichen Ink · Hair: Leanne Nolan – Vow2Wow Bridal Hair · Makeup: Fiona Harrison – The Makeup Studio · Dress: Little White Dress, Dublin · Suit: Suits You, Dublin · Models: Assets Model Agency · Accent Pieces: Hedge & Vine, Seattle · Table Runners: Lino & Co — Etsy · Wax Seals & Ribbon detail: La Pomme et la Pipe – Etsy · Jewelry: Kendra Scott · Shoes: Valentino