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.

Mackenzie & Ryan: GORGEOUS Relaxed-Elegant “Something Blue” Summer Wedding

It’s been a dreary week here with rain and wind where not even cup after cup of hot coffee can warm your bones.  Finally, as I sat to write up this week’s post, did my fingers warm as I ran through Mackenzie and Ryan’s incredible, bright, sunny, warm, gorgeous wedding day this past summer!  The summer color palette of blues, ivory, and greenery perfectly offset the natural backdrop of a Irish countryside manor in full summer bloom.

We are so in love with all of the details:  effortlessly gorgeous garden setting, a simple and meaningful ceremony, and easy reception with lots of perfectly executed details, the cakes and macarons are hand-painted to match the gorgeous invitation suite by Lilly Cinnamon.  Mackenzie and Ryan were perfect and model-ready in their looks, and we are obsessed with Mackenzie’s shoes that included the “something borrowed” wedding quote. Thoughtful, perfectly executed details beautifully captured by the uber-talented Cait of Cait Bourgault Photography shine through in this wedding, and we are so excited to share it with you today.

From flowers to fireworks, Mackenzie and Ryan’s effortlessly elegant intimate wedding day in the Dublin countryside is everything you want for an Irish summer wedding. This, is their story….

Popping The Cork….and the question…

Ryan and Mackenzie met back in college through a mutual friend.  They were out for St. Patrick’s Day, enjoying the festivities with their friends when Mackenzie fatefully accidentally spilled her drink on a Ryan. She bought him a drink and they continued the celebrations.  The began crossing paths in following weeks, Fate bringing them closer still until one day Mackenzie asked for his number and the rest is history! Fast forward to Mackenzie having just flown back home from a trip visiting family in Maine where Ryan was waiting with a surprise. “He had me close my eyes and walked me to our dining room. When I opened my eyes he had built our bar cart — which made me happy in itself! He told me the surprise was in the bar cart, so I opened it up and found a bottle of champagne with a note that said ‘open me but first turn around.'” She did, and found Ryan down on one knee.  They popped the cork after he popped the question, and soon wedding plans were in the works!

Elegant Garden Wedding with a Laid-back Vibe

Like many couples, Mackenzie and Ryan began their destination wedding journey with planning a wedding at home first. “The first month of planning was overwhelming,” recalls Mackenzie. “Everything felt stressful and it was making us question why we even wanted a wedding to begin with!” Not good. So they took a step back to regroup, talked about what they both wanted for their wedding day and (smartly) came to the conclusion they wanted it to be solely about celebrating their commitment to one another and to have the day focused on the vows there were making to each other. Th idea of an intimate destination wedding in Ireland sounded like the perfect fit: “We could have a smaller wedding but still include our closest family and friends to celebrate with us!”  Mackenzie and Ryan eventually decided on a Dublin-based wedding in order to incorporate sight-seeing and exploring the island easily with their guests. A charming country manor house just outside of the bustling city was the perfect choice for their summer wedding, providing an elegant but laid back vibe they were going for.

The Details

Ryan and Mackenzie were truly blessed their wedding day. A bright, warm sun rose into clear blue skies in eastern Ireland. Ryan spent the morning with this friends eating a hearty breakfast and treated themselves to a mens shave and fresh trims. The ladies joined Mackenzie in her dressing suite sipping on champagne and getting pampered with hair and makeup. We love that Mackenie and Ryan chose to do a First Look — the setting with the wildflowers and garden in full glorious summer bloom served as picture perfect backdrop to show off Ryan’s handsome, modern navy tux and Mackenzie’s gorgeous BHLDN gown. The ceremony was the highlight of the day, so every detail was taken.  They envisioned an outdoor ceremony and the weather couldn’t help itself to contribute a brilliant day to accommodate that. The spiritual ceremony with Irish traditions took place in the manor house’s garden, a mixture of soft grass and wildflowers among manicured roses and trees lightly rustling in the breeze adding the perfect natural decor while a string quartet helped set the mood. The reception took place in the house.  We brought the greenery and sense of summer into the space, taking again the blue/ivory/greenery color palette into the space with summer hydrangea, lots of Irish greenery, and warm candlelight. A five course meal including tapas, butternut squash and lemongrass soup, lime and rhubarb sorbet, sirloin and seabass was served and a traditional Irish band sang tunes into the night. The stunning cakes and macarons included a decadent chocolate Guinness cake with Baley’s buttercream and a classic, elegant Victoria sponge cake with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. Vanilla and lemon macarons with hand-painted details matching the custom invitations served as favors. And fireworks surprised the guests to top off the celebrations. It was the perfect balance of the formality of a wedding with a relaxed feeling of a family gathering that Mackenzie and Ryan wanted to create for their day.

We Love

So many details we love about this wedding. First, that Mackenzie and Ryan were thoughtful about where and how to host for their wedding day — taking into consideration the area and days leading up to/after help to organize an event that will have momentum for the entire experience, not just the day itself, and that’s the key when doing a destination wedding.  The color palette was simply gorgeous:  blues, ivory, greenery was a modern, elegant touch that worked really well in the space and throughout the day. We love the expression in the bridesmaids dresses — having different shades really helped draw the eye against the green background and let each individual’s personalities shine without taking away from the bride. Groomsmen were sharp and we love the socks! Mackenzie stunned in her gown — the floral detail on the bodice was perfectly in keeping with the garden and summer theme and the skirt was free and had movement for those incredible dance moves! Ryan was smashing in his navy tux — modern, sleek, handsome — and he wore it very well. Standout details for us include the stationary — this wedding is a textbook example of how you can use your stationary to help anchor your wedding day’s theme and color palette easily, the cakes were just stunning and perfect expressed the day’s theme and vibe, the place setting and atmosphere nailed the elegant yet relaxed vibe they were going for.  The shoes, sentimental details like the locket Mackenzie had with a pic of her grandmother and Ryan’s grandfather for her “something old,” the blue handkerchief and mostly the clear love and excitement enjoying each other and their wedding day stood out for us and we can’t stop smiling!

Looking Back

“I wasn’t nervous, but just excited and ready to  marry my best friend!” recalls Mackenzie. “I remember the First Look: it was when I realized ‘this is real’ and then Ryan instantly calmed my nerves.”  For Ryan, “The hand-fasting and having Dara [their celebrant] recite our vows… that really set in exactly the commitment we were happily making.” We love that they carved out some time to be together just the two of them. “It was rare, but the times we had to just sit and be with each other were perfect.”

A Piece of Advice

“Do what you want! It is going to be a day that you will cherish forever and you should have nothing but happy memories! Get a planner who can keep your organized and help find the perfect vendors so you have nothing to stress about! Once I found Waterlily Weddings, I was nothing but happy throughout the whole wedding planning process!”


Mackenzie and Ryan — your wedding day is an exercise of everything a couple should do for their own day.  Taking a step back to reevaluate what you both really want, focusing the day on the right things important to you, poignant and perfect details sprinkled throughout to really shine, and a zest for life and love and fun that you both clearly share.  You are infectious with your smiles and positive energy and I know your wedding day will inspire others for their own.  May the rest of your lives be as bright as the sun on your wedding day, a lifetime of happiness and love and more adventures together.

Contact us today for more information on the talented team of vendors that helped bring Mackenzie and Ryan’s gorgeous wedding day to life, and to get started on planning your dream destination wedding in Ireland!

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