THE WATERLILY WEDDINGS JOURNAL

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.

Lauren & Ken: Whimsical Garden Style at Castle Durrow

Ireland without question is the most breathtaking place to host your dream destination wedding. The expansive natural beauty throughout the island is so romantic and gives a sense of adventure and grandeur that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. That said, another huge advantage of hosting your dream destination wedding in Ireland is the choice of venues. Sprinkled with grand castles out of a fairy tale, charming estate homes out of a novel, romantic ruins out of myths and much more, Ireland truly has anything to suit any taste. So even if it ends up raining on your wedding day, you’re sure to get a spectacular event regardless. The particular gems are the ones that find a way to merge Ireland’s rich history with modern amenities. One of our favorite such venues is Castle Durrow.

  

    

    

This 18th century Palladian style estate was the perfect mixture of vintage and romantic for Lauren and Ken’s wedding.  The entire estate is charming with its manicured gardens and rich interior that despite being a castle, is still inviting and not intimidating. Playing off the natural beauty and lush gardens in the countryside of the estate makes for a perfect presentation indoors, as you can see from the photos captured by Awake & Dreaming Photography.

                  

Just like the castle itself, Lauren and Ken’s wedding day was a mixture of traditional and modern. The green and blue tones played off perfectly with the rich jewel tones of the estate.  Lauren worked with Lamber to conceptualize a soft color palette to compliment the rich jewel tones throughout the estate.  Using dusty rose, soft pinks, peaches, and creams together with rich greenery in a variety of tones and texture and mixing that with succulents into the moss and greenery added a modern detail that still kept within the color palette. The simplicity of the place settings together with the textured floral arrangements including potted plants, ferns, trees, and soft moss worked with the softer green tones in the room. And everything was glowing from the gorgeous candle light.

                

            

Lauren and Ken’s little boy stole the show during the ceremony, even getting involved with the blessings! They had a traditional ceremony with some Irish traditions including the handfasting and blessing of the elements. The room was cozy and alive with good energy flowing toward the couple.

After the ceremony guests were escorted outside for cocktails and canapes while the couple mingled with their guests. The break in the weather made for some serious green outside. Lauren and Ken stole away for some pictures in the garden while the team transformed the room into the reception space. Keeping with the “whimsical garden indoors” theme, lanterns and romantic pillar candles were clustered about the space accented with moss balls, foliage and blooms while plants and flowers and gorgeous romantic greenery flowed around the tables and room.

    

                   

Guests enjoyed a delicious meal and evening singing and dancing to Irish live music. A beautiful tree was placed in the room and guests were asked to fill out well-wishes for the couple and place the tags on the tree. Everyone enjoyed exploring the beautiful Irish countryside as they sipped their way through the evening.

Lauren and Ken’s wedding was simple and beautiful. We love how they respected the historical and vintage details of Castle Durrow, but added a modern twist to their wedding decor at the same time. The use of candle light really made an impact in setting the mood for both ceremony and reception.

The History

This 18th century country estate was designed the Palladian style together with formal gardens,  popular for the time period. The property was built sometime around 1712 by the Flower family and served as the family estate until 1922.  The Flower family were considered benevolent and responsible landowners, often helping the local villagers in Durrow and employing many of them in and on the castle grounds.  As moneys began to fail, the Flower family were forced to sell the castle, exchanging the property into the hands of one Mr. Maher of Freshord (Co. Kilkenny), who saw the potential in the property’s rich woodland reserves. In fact, just a mere six years later the property’s once lush acres of woodland were reduced to almost complete scarcity. The castle ended up falling into neglect during this time, the focus being on selling the timber on the property.  After exhausting the timber resources the castle was of no further use to Mr. Maher. At the time there was a push throughout Ireland and Britain to “re-purpose” historical homes, bringing them into modern times and finding new uses. So in 1929 the castle was turned into a school and convent. It served as such until 1987. In the 90’s Peter and Shelly Stokes purchased the property and began painstakingly renovating the castle:  the roof needed to be completely replaced, new wiring and plumbing was added throughout the property, Irish oak floors were restored throughout the castle, new wooden sash windows were custom made for the caste to replace the old, rotting ones, the original stained glass windows were painstakingly restored, and the fire places and original crown molding ceilings were all restored to their original 18th century glory. Respecting the integrity of the house, the Stokes handpicked the current furniture from Irish and European auction houses and today the castle holds many family heirlooms and antiques. Their hard work and labor of love is evident in Castle Durrow today, which sits as a crown glory in Laois and was truly the perfect stunning setting for Lauren and Ken’s beautiful, traditional dream destination wedding in Ireland.

 

For more details on Lauren and Ken’s wedding including vendors, style & planning advice on how to create YOUR dream destination wedding and more, CONTACT US today!

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