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.

Kalin & Matt: Lovely Intimate Wedding at Cahernane House

This week’s post highlights a really amazing couple with probably the best sense of humor I’ve ever seen. Kalin and Matt hosted their intimate destination wedding in one of my favorite parts of Ireland — Kerry — and I am loving the details of the day.  Love Kalin’s gorgeous dress — a perfect choice for the venue and occasion and I think she looked just beautiful! I love the garland crown — that deep emerald green was the perfect touch of color and complimented her flowers and color of her dress just beautifully — well done! And Matt was handsome in his Irish country inspired look, complete with cap (love!).  Their spiritual traditional ceremony was  held on the estate grounds overlooking the green countryside for which Ireland is well known, dotted with lots of bright flowers and moss and greenery that is a feast for the eyes and beautifully captured by Larry McMahon Photography. Make sure to check out the slideshow below as well for a surprise for their First Look…brilliant!

From mountain proposal to countryside vows, a little whiskey tasting and some pops of color in between, Waterlily Weddings is proud to present the intimate wedding of Kalin and Matt at Cahernane House. This, is their story….

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A Proposal with a View

This modern couple met online! Fast forward three years ago, Matt took Kalin to his family’s retreat in New Mexico. Among the picturesque mountains, they found seclusion and serenity and absolute peace.  On top of a mountain, Kalin was taking in the gorgeous views when she turned around to find Matt down on one knee. He asked if she’d spend the rest of her life with him and she of course said yes! “It was so great to just be together and live in that sweet happiness of knowing that we found our person,” remembers Kalin. “I loved every minute of it!” Despite spotty reception, they managed to get through to their closest family and friends to tell them the great news and soon a wedding was planned!

Why Ireland

Matt had been to Ireland before and absolutely fell in love with the Kerry area (as many do… it’s one of my faves as well!). He actually was planning to propose to Kalin in Ireland, but their friends convinced him to do it sooner! So when it came time to host a wedding, Ireland quickly rose to the top as a choice. Then it was just a matter of finding the right venue for them. Kalin and Matt wanted a space that merged a bit of gorgeous setting together with a comfortable, inviting space.  “We wanted someplace that we could have the wedding ceremony, reception, and have our guests stay all in one location,” Kalin says. “We are a group that likes to have a good time, and we didn’t want our guests to have to drive or get taxis to go back to the hotel.”  Waterlily Weddings recommended Cahernane House, and it was a perfect fit.  Picturesquely set in the heart of Kerry’s stunning Irish countryside, this manor house boasts gorgeous grounds and charming interior that’s cozy and elegant without feeling stuffy or overly done.  Kalin and Matt felt instantly at home here and their guests enjoyed a relaxing, authentic Irish countryside experience throughout the days of their stay.

The Details

Kalin and Matt actually hosted a small intimate legal ceremony first back home.  “Matt’s grandpa had a stroke and we knew he wouldn’t be able to make the flight to Ireland,” Kalin explains. Then they brought their closest family and friends to Ireland for an intimate wedding and celebration.  We absolutely love this solution, and it’s a great example of how you can work with the circumstances that may arise and feel like you’re not compromising your dream wedding day.

They chose to hold their ceremony outdoors on the estate overlooking the expansive grounds and included writing their own vows, unity candle, ring blessing, and hanfasting.  A really unique addition was they included a mini vow/promise renewal for their married guests as part of their ceremony! We absolutely LOVE this idea! “I have always thought that being a guest at a wedding makes one rethink the promises they made or want to make to their partner, Kalin says, “so I wanted to include our guests in the ceremony itself and give them that chance to express that.” And for the single guests? A prayer and blessing for their well being and any future weddings they may have! “It was a really special moment that made the ceremony more unique.” We agree!

The reception was a more casual vibe that contrasted well with the more elegant dining room setting.  Kalin and Matt wanted their guests to feel at ease and having a live Irish band helped create the mood and get everyone to relax and just have a bit of fun.  A fantastic meal expertly prepared by Cahernane’s chef rounded out the food for the evening and a whiskey tasting was treat for everyone.  “Both Matt and I really don’t like cake,” says Kalin, “so that wasn’t a big deal for us, but I knew many of the guests would love cake.” They ended up serving two bundt cakes (chocolate and lemon) and it was the perfect earthy, comfort-food style ending to the meal.

Above everything else, however, we have to say we love Kalin and Matt’s sense of humor.  They really broke the ice and wedding day jitters (if any!) with a really hysterical, bold First Look. Just take a look in the slideshow above… brilliant.

Looking Back

“We were both so happy the entire day,” says Kalin. “No stress, no nerves…just happiness and love for each other and for everyone who came to celebrate with us. We loved hearing each other’s vows…the band..the amazing venue… everything was SO perfect.”

A Piece of Advice

“Enjoy the moments — each and every part of the planning and of the day. Don’t stress! Have fun!”

“You can choose the way you react to things, and those choices will affect the way the rest of the day goes. The day is about promises made, love given and the happiness that is shared. And 100% if you are planning a destination wedding, hire Waterlily Weddings! They did an amazing job! They will make your life so easy, not only in the planning stages but on the day as well!”


Thank you so much Kalin and Matt for your sense of humor, your infectious smiles, your incredibly amazing attitude towards planning and wedding and hosting a destination wedding. It’s truly inspirational and I know many couples will head your advice! We wish you all a wonderful life together, full of more adventure and laughter and lots of singing and toasts! Slainte to you both and your loved ones as well!

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