We are SO EXCITED to share with you Kimberly and Daniel’s incredible wedding at one of our all time favorite venues in Ireland — Kilruddery House & Gardens in the heart of Wicklow! Their wedding was full of amazing personal and DIY details, including chocolate dipped coconut macaroons Kim made herself! Waterlily Weddings helped Kimberly and Daniel design their day, our lead stylist & designer Mishy working closely with the handsome couple to curate the perfect theme, color palette, and details of the day that subtly nodded to their story and worked beautifully at Kilruddery. Gorgeous floral artistry by the incomparable talents of Sylvia and her team at Bella Botanica. Make sure to scroll down for the details and gallery at the end! Beautiful photos captured by Eric Savo Photography.
An American Girl & An Irish Lad
Daniel and Kimberly met online back in 2015. Kimberly recalls, “I had actually gotten online to delete my profile but before I could hit ‘delete’ I got a message [from Dan]. I nearly closed my computer but something told me to read it. I’m thankful every day that I did.” They made a stunning life together living in New York, throwing dinner parties on city roof tops and taking in everything the bustling city had to offer them. One Sunday morning, Kimberly had just awoken from sleep after arriving the night before from Michigan to visit her family. She saw Daniel rustling around in the closet and asked him what he was doing. He got up and returned to the bed with a ring and proposed. Of course Kimberly said yes! The rest of the day was spent hanging out with friends and calling loved ones, sipping champagne and celebrating the good news at the restaurant where they had their first date.
Going With the Goosebumps
Daniel is a native of Dublin and the couple had talked for a while about making a move back to Ireland from New York. In August they’d made the leap so having a destination wedding in Ireland made a lot of sense for them. After landing just a week in their new home, they rented a car and started touring the island to find the perfect location for their wedding day. “We looked at six or seven spots,” recalls Kimberly, “the country has no shortage of breathtaking venues — but once we walked up to Kilruddery and entered the orangery the decision was made: I had goosebumps and teared up and Dan’s jaw dropped.” Kilruddery recommended Waterlily Weddings to help plan the details! “The beginning was the most challenging part of the process,” Kim says. “I had no idea of vendors, bands, etc. so that alone was overwhelming. Once Waterlily Weddings was on board everything fell into place.”
Mishy, our head stylist and designer, jumped in to help conceptualize the day and details:
Kim and Dan are such a great couple with an amazing story, I really wanted their wedding day to reflect them as individuals and their journey together. Kim is American, and has such a cool backstory — being a creative herself, a dancer, and she really loves Old Hollywood style glamour of the 20’s and Downton Abbey vintage elegance. I wanted to honor that and sort of ‘marry’ that with Dan’s rich Irish heritage, sense of humor and classic style throughout the day. Kim’s of Lebanese ancestry and loves the Mediterranean style and aesthetic — Tuscany in particular — so I wanted to subtly bring that in as well. The challenge was merging these very specific, very elevated elegant styles in a more rustic setting of the grainery for the reception.
Our theme ended up being “Old Hollywood Vintage Glamour with a Tuscany Vibe.” The grainery was decorated with mixed white candles from table to ceiling — every ledge covered with candles and loose olive greenery to beautifully play against the rustic brick walls. For the rustic tables we brought in some luxe velvet runners — sapphire blue to touch on the Mediterranean vibe and one of their favorite colors (available exclusively through Waterlily Weddings) and mixed pattern vintage china with gold-rimmed glassware and vintage style silverware to hit the vintage note and more formal Downton Abbey feel. Bella Botanica ran with our color palette to perfection — drawing in lots of white, ivory, pops of yellow and pink with rich greenery mixed with antique gold candlesticks and amazing peacock detailed taper holders! Pops of black and gold throughout the decor gave a subtle nod to New York, and the cake beautifully crafted by Caroline Goulding really took inspiration from the Art Deco feel — the shape is made to mimic a skyline building in Manhattan. The gorgeous multi-tiered masterpiece included flavors: lime/passion fruit/coconut and carrot/spiced orange/walnut. But the star of the show were the kumquats!! Citrus was used physically and in color palette tones to represent Kim’s Lebanese ancestry as well as offering a very effective pop of color to brighten up the space. They also played the perfect textural foil to the cake’s blue and gold touches and an unexpected pop of texture throughout the ceremony and reception spaces.
We brought in lots of incredible personal details and DIY into the day as well. Kim made the chocolate dipped coconut macaroons herself for each place setting (incredible!) — they offered that pop of “black” to each setting again and was a lovely personal touch showcasing her many talents! Kim’s step-father graciously took care of all the calligraphy for the stationary and the beautiful vintage mirror Kim sourced herself that served as the seating chart (and now hangs in their home as a momento!). The marquis LOVE letters were all handmade and again, hitting that Art Deco NYC era vibe perfectly. A vintage hat box served as card box, furniture to create a lounge space, lots of framed photos of loved ones and vintage accents all from Kim’s personal collection dotted the reception space. For coffee and tea service we actually served using Kim’s own antique tea set! I am so in love with the cake’s presentation: the buffet is actually Kim’s grandmother’s and was a way for her to have her grandmother there on the day and playing an integral part. “She passed away years ago but her presence was very much felt on the day. She was grace and elegance personified. My uncle had no idea I had the table and was absolutely floored and moved to tears when he saw it.”
One of our goals was to create an intimate dinner party that was elegant and beautiful but also didn’t feel stuffy and was full of fun. We used the amazing space of the grainery to create an interactive experience for guests throughout the night. An Illustrator drew pictures of guests throughout the evening (their take-home gifts!). We also put together a food table for snacks we called “Irish v American: Who’s Got the Better Snacks?!” that everyone enjoyed. It was a great conversation starter and really bonded everyone together. To hit Dan’s side dessert also included his favorite — pavola with Wexford strawberries.
The ceremony took place in the orangery. “We wanted intimacy, romance and to included everyone but we also wanted it to be funny and light too,” recalls Kim, “which is why we had our friend Brandon Beilis to officiate.” Friends and family took part in blessings, readings, and the adorable flower girls and ring bearer to round out the details. Kimberly and Daniel focused the ceremony on the vows (love that!) — “Dan and I knew it would be the most precious part of the day for us … we worked together to write our vows, finding the right words and readings that would best represent us and our love and what we wanted to share with people on the day. It ended up being one of the best parts of our day.”
For us as designers and planners we loved everything about Kimberly and Dan’s unique day. They really interpreted the space in their own unique way and weren’t afraid to go after these themes and colors — it really came out quite extraordinary in the end and really worked. We are obsessed with how good this handsome couple looked on the day as well — Kim in her gorgeous Sareh Nouri gown accessorized with a pop of gold (Rbecca de Ravenel earrings) looked radiant and beautiful while Dan looked every part the handsome groom in his classic tux with a modern navy twist.
“Hands down our first look. Our photographer and videographer organized it in a way where it remained private for us even though our guests had already arrived at the venue. I was brought down through the orangery which was the first time I saw it all set up with flowers — I was crying before I even made it to Dan! I slowly made my way to him and he turned — I’ll never forget his reaction when he saw me. It’s such a heightened moment that words don’t truly do it justice. It was just love, love, love and gratitude. And walking down the aisle with my dad looking more proud than I’d ever seen him. And our first dance — it felt like we were floating!”
A Piece of Advice
“I had a Pinterest board full of images that inspired but overwhelmed me and I realized I had zero clue how to boil it down to a streamlined vision. Thankfully my planners did! Mishy managed to narrow down all my pictures and come up with a cohesive theme; it was perfection and perfectly represented who we are as a couple!
Trust your gut and focus on what matters most — that you get to marry your best friend in front of everyone you love who are all there to celebrate you. It doesn’t matter if it rains or a kid falls in the aisle or any other mishap — everyone is there for you, rooting for you. Everything else is just details.”
And what incredible details indeed! From start to finish, this wedding was a pure joy to help plan and coordinate. Kimberly and Daniel had the best attitude, really wanting to welcome their guests into their new life in Ireland and share with them everything they love. We are so honored to have been a part of this and wish you both more laughter, champagne toasts, and hand-held walks through the city. Congratulations Kim & Dan!