Brigid & Karl: Sweet Intimate Irish Wedding at the Cliffs

It’s a real breath of fresh air when a couple comes around that is laser focused on the truly important part of getting married.  Brigid and Karl came to us to plan their dream destination wedding in Ireland.  They envisioned an intimate ceremony at their favorite location —  the breathtakingly beautiful Cliffs of Moher — with a relaxed, casual authentically Irish party to follow.  They fell in love with Ireland a year before their wedding, and brought their closest family and and friends to witness their union and fall in love with the Emerald Isle as well.  “The most challenging part of the planning process was envisioning everything coming together via emails and across an ocean,” recalls Brigid. Our team worked closely with Brigid and Karl, receiving their ideas and appreciating the elements they wanted to highlight on their day. “Our trust in Orla and Stephanie was paid off 100 times over – they really did an awesome job sending photos, videos, and staying in constant contact knowing that every decision and dollar spent would be done so essentially blind. We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. From exploring the Doolin area with family and friends, drinking all the Guinness, to sharing that ultimate
moment on the Cliffs it really was more than we could have hoped for.”  And there to capture the day — including an insanely epic ceremony shot that literally is the best I’ve ever seen at the cliffs — the super talented Jam Shoots Photography

From Irish ruins to soaring cliffs, pints toasting to toes tapping, Brigid and Karl’s intimate wedding day was everything that’s the best part of this part of Ireland.  This, is their story….

How It All Started

Brigid and Karl met while both serving in the US Army, attending a school preparing them for their next assignments.  Brigid was stationed in Italy when Karl came for a visit during Christmas break.  They were about to embark on a vacation through Europe, but Karl had a secret, special plan he needed to execute first. “He had put together a cartoon book listing all the reasons why we were perfect for each other,” recalls Brigid. “It was a silly and cute little comic book, but then on the last page — one stick figure asked the other one ‘will you marry me?'”  And of course, she said yes!

“Coming Home” To Get Married

Karl and Brigid had vacationed in Ireland before and absolutely fell in love with western Ireland and Doolin in particular. “We had vacationed in Doolin almost exactly a year prior to our wedding date,” says Brigid. “We both agreed that we had never felt more at home while traveling abroad like we did here.”  They started talking different locations and options, but none of them seemed to fit right.  Half-joking, they wondered about doing a destination wedding in Ireland! “Not only was it the perfect place for us, it represented us as a couple perfectly – traveling, great beer, and doing new things. As a bonus it gave a great excuse for use to share this awesome place with family and friends who had never been to Ireland before!”

The Details

The Cliffs of Moher was an immediate choice for the couple: “Not only would the photos be epic, but that location is just so surreal, raw, and perfectly captured the essence of what west Ireland is to us.”  Their traditional humanist ceremony was simple but poignant, touching on the important elements for them both like spending quality time with their loved ones, sharing their love of travel and natural beauty, and honoring their shared Irish heritage. We love how they really focused their ceremony on what’s really the important part of a wedding: not only two people coming together, but also their families and friends. A nod to Irish traditions included a bagpipe escort and the handfast, and a sense of humor interjected with a “unity beer” ceremony.  The Cliffs, of course, did not disappoint in providing the ultimate backdrop.  And they lucked out with a warm, rainless day!

The reception continued the theme of relaxed, traditional Irish experience.  Hosted at a local pub secured for private hire, the space was whimsically decorated with lighting and light floral decor.  The emphasis was on the experience:  traditional Irish fare including Irish Beef Stew and fresh, local Atlantic Salmon filled bellies while pint after pint of “the black stuff” washed it down. A traditional Irish whiskey fruit cake was served for dessert (love this!) and everyone just relaxed, toasted, drank, ate, and danced into the night.  A traditional Irish band kept the momentum going well into the early morning hours.

We Love…

…Karl and Brigid’s first look.  As planners, we really cannot recommend this enough to our clients.  It may seem silly or like a waist of time or like it will mess up the schedule of the day, but it really doesn’t and it really provides you both with that time together to really take it all in without the pressure everyone else around you.  And like Brigid and Karl, it ends up being one of your top memories of your wedding day.

Also love Brigid’s gorgeous Maggie Sottero dress and Rachel Simpson pumps! Karl looked every part the handsome groom in his suit and pocket square detail as well.  We are obsessed with the bridesmaids’ shawls — from Blarney Woolen Mills — another fantastic incorporation of that “something Irish” that is a functional keepsake your friends will remember (and use!) forever.  We also love when a couple take the opportunity to make their wedding day their own: their “half and half” beer ceremony included a Guinness (to honor Brigid’s ancestry” and a German lager (to honor Karl’s), poured into a glass and then drunk together to symbolize the coming together of both families, honor their history and heritages, and represent their union. So thoughtful and fun!

A Piece of Advice

“Start early, we did everything within about 6 months and things were flying by the closer we got to leaving.  Trust in the wedding planners – they really know what they’re doing and their ability to take our jumbled ideas and pair that with awesome vendors was incredible.  Take into account planning the traveling portion of your trip as well — including the costs — to stay on track!  Don’t be afraid to go for the items that are important for you on your wedding day:  we wanted to make sure the entertainment was a priority so we balanced costs by scaling down flowers (which weren’t as important for us). And above all else, don’t sweat family or close friends not being able to make the trip for a destination wedding; guarantee you’ll have a blast no matter who is there or not!”

The Shorthand

Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero  ·  Bride’s Veil/Accessories: Maggie Sottero  ·  Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson  ·  Bride’s Jewelry: BHDLN  ·  Weddings Rings: Handmade rosewood from Stout Woodworks (bentwoodrings.com)  ·  Groom’s Suit: Indochino  ·  Groom’s Accessories: tie (tiebar.com), pocket square (tiebar.com), cufflinks (nflshop.com)  ·  Bridesmaids Dresses: The bridesmaids wore whatever blue dress they had but they all wore scarves from Blarney Woolen Mills  ·  Special Details: Philadelphia Eagles surprise and best man cuff links, bride and grooms’ tattoos,  bride’s silver six pence

Brigid and Karl — it was an absolute pleasure working with you both. Your down-to-earth personalities and love for enjoying life is a refreshing lesson I know will help guide and inspire other couples when planning their own dream destination weddings.  We wish you both a beautiful life together, as bright as your smiles and know we’ll see you in Ireland again soon.  Thank you both for your service, and may God continue to bless you both.

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