“The people, the culture are like nowhere else on this earth — genuinely kind to their core and willing to go the extra mile for a stranger or just because.”
We are so excited to share with you one of our favorite weddings of 2018 from this past spring Waterlily Weddings had the absolute pleasure to help plan, design and produce. Laney and David combined the best of both worlds, hosting a gorgeous ceremony in the breathtaking gardens of Bantry House followed by a botanical themed, intimate sunset reception Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff. Their wedding day was filled with amazing details including a gorgeous vintage Victorian era ring, a dress with a cape (which we love!), gorgeous vintage botanical floral designs and pops of blue to match the water guests overlooked throughout dinner as the sun was setting. Lots of personal touches include a nod to their love of animals: custom hand-painted signs designated the tables — all named after a favorite pet, paw print custom hand-painted French macarons, and custom cocktails Tomcat Collins and Whiskers Manhattan delighted guests. Mishy — our lead designer and stylist — worked closely with Laney and her lovely mum to solidify a color palette inspired by the coastal location and spring including dusty blue, soft pink and peach tones, greenery, and antique gold to add that vintage touch. There to perfectly and eloquently capture every beautiful detail was Siobhan Byrne Photography. From custom DIY wedding bells ringing in the garden to sipping champagne as the sun sets on the Atlantic Ocean, Waterlily Weddings is so happy to share with you today one of our Featured Weddings of 2018.
It Started With An IKEA Dresser…
David and Laney — literally, two of the kindest, most incredible souls we’ve ever met — worked as organ and tissue transplant coordinators in Philadelphia. David was busy working with his colleagues one day when in walks the new trainee — a shy blonde with sparkling eyes and a bright smile that could melt a glacier. David immediately smiled and said hello, welcoming in the “newbie” into the fold with his trademark handsome and gentle grin. “Thankfully I was training with someone else who was more outgoing than I was,” recalls Laney, “and so I asked my training partner who ‘that guy Dave’ was and if he was available.” Turned out the timing wasn’t right and circumstances pulled them apart for a while. But one fateful day, Laney got moved to David’s team and they instantly became great friends. Everyone around them noticed the chemistry, including a friend who knew they’d end up together, but still wasn’t quite the right time. Then one day, an IKEA dresser needed to be put together and David happily offered his help. They finally confessed their feelings to one another and the rest is history.
Finding That A-HA Moment
“I always knew I wanted to have a small, intimate destination wedding,” says Laney. Although Ireland wasn’t actually initially at the top of the list, the usual suspects (white sandy beaches and tropical locales) didn’t quite seem to fit what Laney felt was “the one” place. “I couldn’t find anywhere that really stood out….I was waiting for that A-HA moment where I was blown away. On a whim I looked up weddings in Ireland and found Waterlily Weddings and was hooked!”
Laney wanted to take advantage of the breathtaking scenery in Ireland and really wanted to incorporate some of her favorite things: the water, coast, gardens, flowers, and give her guests an unforgettable experience. She wanted the opposite of a cookie-cutter wedding — boring reception, generic menu, stale decor — and honestly wanted to make the trip worthwhile for her guests. Enter Bantry House, one of top favorite venues. “When I first looked at ceremony locations I saw Bantry House and finally felt it — I had that A-HA moment I was waiting for.” It had everything she was looking for: gorgeous period estate, incredible gardens, and sitting right on the water. The only downside — a bit out of the way. After some reassurance from her best friend / Maid of Honor, Laney trusted her closest family and friends would make the trip and travel to this incredible part of Ireland.
Everyone was greeted with an incredible day: warm sun, temperatures in the 70s, high clouds giving way to a lovely cornflower blue sky. The garden was in full regalia — late spring and early summer blooms and greenery glowed in the golden sunlight — and the water sparkled off the coast with a silvery sheen. The girls and Laney enjoyed a lovely breakfast and got ready at a leisurely pace, while David spent some time with his groomsmen.
Waterlily Weddings helped Laney and David plan and design their perfect day. We wanted to bring in a lot of seasonality throughout the decor, focusing a color palette on soothing and serene dusty blue and elegant ivory and greenery notes. To accent the color palette, we brought in some soft pink and peach tones into the reception flowers. Luxe navy gave an elegant undertone without feeling heavy or ostentatious, and again drew heavily on the water theme we wanted to represent throughout the day. The cake was designed with a marble effect finish, edible gold leaf detail, and the custom cake topper and L&D decor was brought over by the bride to perfectly accentuate. The space felt so warm and romantic — antique brass candle sticks with navy taper candles and votives in a mix of mercury votives and antique blue glass holders added the perfect accent of texture and color to the tables. A star feature has to be the custom stationary — Laney’s friend Shanae hand painted the table numbers — all based on beloved family pets to add a nod to Laney and Dave’s love for animals. We continued the little pop of personalization with the macaroons — vanilla macaroons were brushed with gold and a paw print sketch design. Finally, we also helped Laney and Dave conceptualize their featured cocktails — Tomcat Collins and Whisker’s Manhattan — that delighted guests throughout the evening.
The traditional humanist ceremony was held outdoors in the incomparable garden at Bantry House. An absolutely breathtakingly stunning place, very little decor was needed with this incredible natural backdrop. The ceremony included many Irish traditions including the handfast and ring warming, personal readings and a whole lot of love as you can clearly see.
The couple were sent off with wedding bell wands, another fabulous DIY detail made by Dave’s mother we loved about this wedding! The vintage car eventually brought the couple back to Eccles Hotel in Glengariff for their reception, while their guests had been enjoying some cocktails and canapes on the terrace while the sun began its decent into the horizon. A formal 3-course meal was served in a fun, semi-formal setting beautifully appointed with colors and textures of the season. The group “collectively laughed and cried as loved ones spoke words of love, happiness, and the bright future ahead.” After dinner the party started — the group partied to a DJ until the wee hours and glow wands and sticks — finishing with a surprise FIREWORKS show!
We are completely in love with the thoughtful, unique personalized pieces throughout the day. The table numbers was a brilliant addition to the table setting. The guest book was a fabulous hand painted portrait of Bantry House that now hangs in Laney and David’s house. Their favorite drink is gin, so we made sure a fabulous local Irish gin was a feature for the drinks throughout the evening, and Irish harp and violin helped set the right mood before the DJ took over for the fun. We are blown away with the thoughtful heirlooms Laney incorporated into her look as well: she wore the same headpiece her mother wore to marry her father, her bracelet and ring belonged to her grandmother and great-grandmother respectively, and the bag containing the bands was her grandmother’s. “We used a handmade sash for the handfasting using traditional Irish colors green and gold…we’ll pass down and my headpiece to our children one day.” The macarons, the cake topper, fairy light garland… every small detail came together to create the mood and punctuate it with just the right amount of uniqueness. Just wonderful.
“Reading the notes we wrote to each other before the wedding, our first look, the entire ceremony, hugging and thanking everyone for coming, the speeches and toasts, the fireworks…and how kind everyone was. The signing of the certificate — which seems like it would be silly — was truly amazing. I saw like a queen at this gorgeous Victorian table while our parents signed our certificated. It’s a moment I won’t forget for the rest of my life. It felt like our families were truly uniting as one for the first time. And… our vintage car driver. He was the absolute BEST. He was there for whatever we needed — he got out and carried my cape around Bantry house even!”
A Piece of Advice
“Allow some things to fall into place naturally, be flexible, it’s just as important to know what you don’t want as what you do, and hire good planners. After you do that, trust them and don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the rest of the trip as well. We planned lots of dinners to get a feel for the local places and a golf tournament! We got to spend multiple days with our guests, giving us the time to talk to them individually and thank them personally for coming to celebrate with us. That meant that the day of the wedding we could focus on getting married to the love of our life, not entertaining and thanking a bunch of people.”
Laney and David — to say it was an absolute pleasure to work with you for your dream day does not say enough. Thank you for your trust in us — we know it can be a bit nerve-wracking to plan from afar, to have the faith in going to farther locations where the backdrop payoffs exceed the nerves hoping it’ll be worth it. It was. Thank you for your bright smiles and kind hearts. Thank you for your passion and love.
May the sun continue to warm your hearts and shine bright for your future together as it did on your wedding day. May your blessings be as full and and bloom as those in the gardens where you said your vows. And may your happiness light the night sky as the fireworks did. Congratulations, and may God continue to bless you both.
Stationary: Minted · Dress: Allure · Cape: Allure · Headpiece: from mum’s veil · Shoes: Badgley Mischka · Jewelry: DSW earrings, vintage bracelet (grandmother’s), vintage ring (great-grandmother’s), engagement ring from Bell & Bird (Austin, TX) · Suit: Suit Supply · Special Details: reception stationary custom created by friend Shanae McDevitt; ties as gifts via Tie Bar
For more information and a list of the incredibly talented vendors involved in this wedding, CONTACT US today!