As stylists and wedding planners we see trends come and go on the wedding scene. Some we fall completely in love with and never ever want to see go away (hello marsala and botanical!), while others we’re more than happy to say adieu to (ahem….burlap). Geode is one of those trends that blew in out of nowhere like a tropical hurricane — completely changing the landscape of how one can set the scene for an event. We were so excited when Liz and Ben decided to incorporate some geode details into their fall wedding day at Waterford Castle! The cake — expertly created by Cupcakes and Counting brought in the emerald green theme just beautifully. It was accented by a laser cut monogram in gold for the perfect modern topper that didn’t compete with the beauty of the geode detail. We are obsessed with Ben’s geode cuff links, and love the now-classic personalized geode slab place card at each table setting in a dark, moody emerald green. And there to capture the day, the amazing Christina Brosnan Photographic.
Liz and Ben wanted to bring their closest family and friends back to Ireland for their dream destination wedding. The three day celebration included golfing, relaxation, and exploration helped get everyone accustomed to the new country as well as build up anticipation and excitement for the big day. We love that they embraced something DIY and personalized a major part of their ceremony — the handfasting chord. Liz looked beautiful in her gown (Wtoo by Watters Della), accented beautifully with a pop of green via shoes and jewelry. Ben was smashing in a Ted Baker London suit. A shout out as well to the lovely stationary suite, created by Liz’s friend Kristie with Zoet Design, bringing that emerald green detail again into the overall look that complimented the season and venue perfectly.
In The Beginning
Ben and Lis met on a summer day back in 2013. They were working at the same company at the time, when a fire alarm sounded off and everyone evacuated the building. During the drill, Ben’s mentor introduced the couple to each other and sparks immediately flew! Liz invited Ben to a coworker happy hour the following week, and a budding romance began shortly thereafter. Fast forward three years later to find Ben and Liz moving into their new home together. The movers just left, and in the middle piled boxes, Liz makes her way upstairs to the bathroom to begin stocking up the necessities. Suddenly, Maggie (the couple’s adorable 5-year-old cattle dog/heeler mix) comes running up the stairs straight to Liz for some much needed TLC. Liz notices a red ribbon around Maggie’s neck, but thinks nothing of it at the time. Ben comes up and they chat away about the day when Ben interjects if Liz had noticed the peculiar red ribbon around Maggie’s neck. Upon closer inspection, Liz finds her dream engagement ring tied to the ribbon and looks up toward Ben. He kneels down beside her on the stairs and asks her to marry him, to which she responds a resounding yes!
Returning to Ireland
Their wedding would be a return to the Emerald Isle for Ben and Liz, as they originally visited together in 2014. They fell in love with the country, the history, the food, the natural beauty, the people who were so warm and friendly, so they vowed to come back to get married with their closest family and friends one day. The original plan was the marry at Adare Manor, but unfortunately the estate was undergoing major renovations at the time of their wedding so the couple needed to look elsewhere. They got in contact with Waterlily Weddings who recommend Waterford Castle. It ended up being the perfect choice for their intimate wedding. Ben and Liz ended up hiring the castle for exclusive use for the day, enabling a truly intimate experience that they together with their guests made the most of. The fact it even had its own golf course was a huge plus for Ben, an avid golfer! Plus the chance to get married in a real Irish castle that sits on its own island?? This was dream come true!
A Cozy Start To The Day
The day started off beautiful and bright. A rare brilliant sunny day embraced the island, bathing the early fall splendor in a gorgeous soft light. Liz began the day with a run before returning to the suite to get ready. The castle brought up a good breakfast for her to enjoy and she spent the morning catching up on thank you notes and relishing what was ahead. Slowly her family and friends began to make their way in for the hair and makeup preparations. Overall it was a lovely, cozy way to spend the morning. Ben, meanwhile, enjoyed a hearty breakfast then went for a walk about the castle with his brothers before returning to put some finishing touches on the ceremony with the officiant. A beer may have been consumed as well with dad. They all got ready together and Ben made some updates and practiced the vows a bit [don’t worry — he nails it during the ceremony!]. A little bit nervous but very much excited, the couple made their separate ways down the long staircase, ready to meet and get married!
The traditional, spiritual ceremony used the castle’s interior as backdrop with elegant floral arrangements serving as focal point. The ceremony was customized directly around Ben and Liz and their story, and they chose to feature a unity candle custom-crafted for the couple right in Ireland! They wanted to incorporate some Irish traditions into the wedding as well, and chose to include the traditional handfasting ceremony. Liz with Ben’s help created their own gorgeous emerald green-champagne-white chord. “I was determined to make a traditional 4-way braid!” says Liz. The first attempt unfortunately looked gorgeous but ended up way too long, so she went back and this time with Ben’s help. Being the only item that was crafted for the wedding, “I was thrilled with how it turned out and was so happy to have Ben’s help!” she says.
The reception was held in the castle’s dining room. The Irish harp serenaded the guests while the couple with to take pictures. They wanted to incorporate the geode them so they had thinly sliced geode written with their guests’ names in gold calligraphy set out. Each guest was invited to find their name then choose their own seat for this cozy intimate wedding dinner. A five-course dinner including aranchini, leek & potato soup, strawberry balsamic or mojito sorbet palate cleanser, a main course of grilled fillet aged beef or roast fillet of salmon, and a dessert course of dark chocolate torte to finish was served. But the crowning glory was the glorious emerald and gold geode cake of lemon and salted caramel. A DJ spun tunes throughout the reception, 80s music keeping everyone dancing and reveling until the wee morning hours!
The Best Parts
“Getting ready in the morning with my mother and sister, being pampered in a gorgeous castle while sipping champagne and relaxing was just the perfect lead up to the wedding,” says Liz. “The ceremony was also so wonderful…the dinner was so great with everyone sitting wherever they liked and chatting comfortably…there was always someone laughing!”
“Having a castle to ourselves with friends and family all around, partying through the night, and dancing like no one was watching were the best,” says Ben.
A Piece of Advice
“Don’t let the checklists/countdowns stress you out!” says Liz. “Set aside a couple of hours a weekend and both of you work to tackle it together — not only will it bond you together but will ensure you both get what you want!” Ben concurs, and offers his own piece of sage advice: “Make your decisions and don’t let anyone change your mind — you want a DJ instead of a band? Do it! Also — don’t worry about a budget on the bar tab….future groom can pay it off.”
Congratulations Liz and Ben! Wishes for a lifetime of happiness and more geode cakes!!! For vendor information, contact us today! And please enjoy the slideshow below: