Ireland is spoiled for gorgeous landscapes and backdrops for weddings. One of the most breathtaking parts of the island is off the western coast. The Aran Islands are a truly unique piece of Ireland, combining a rich Celtic history with Irish culture that manages to somehow transport you back in time. Kieran and Aaron’s gorgeous intimate wedding took full embrace of what Ireland has to offer. From historic Irish ruins serving as ceremony space to fun pub reception, every detail was selected to honor their Irish roots. The gorgeous ruby and garnet inspired color palette was a perfect choice against the Irish landscape. Flowers expertly crafted by the uber-talented Athesis Floral included some of the most gorgeous bouquets we’ve seen and flower crowns. Beautiful photos by the supremely talented Paula O’Hara Photography. This, is their story…..
It Started with Mint Chip & Biochem
Aaron and Kieran met through a mutual friend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They had the same biochemistry class together where Kieran caught Aaron’s eye. He arranged a study group for the class with the help of their friends, and conveniently Kieran ended up being the only one to show up (wink). Some mint chip ice cream sealed the deal and they’ve been together ever since. Some years later, on lucky Friday the 13th, Aaron whipped up an incredible breakfast and told Kieran she needed to take a mandatory break from her board studies. He planned a surprise road trip back to the university where they first met. They started at the pier where they shared their first kiss, then made their way to the parks where they’d frequent as undergrads… all the while Aaron’s plans to propose being foiled by noisy patrons and overly boisterous persons dampening the romantic moment he was hoping for. Instead of looking to the past, Aaron looked to the future and took Kieran to Lake Monona where he finally popped the question, creating a new Madison memory they could cherish along with the others. Of course Kieran said yes and a wedding was soon in the works!
Back to Their Roots
Both Kieran and Aaron have Irish ancestry so they wanted to take their love of adventures on a destination wedding in Ireland. “We knew that marriage would be the start of a lifelong adventure together,” recalls Kieran, “so we figured what better way to begin our marriage than to go on a literal adventure of our own!” They were researching through the many locations available in Ireland for their dream day and found themselves drawn to the western side of the island. “We really wanted cliffside photos that captured the raw, natural beauty of the Irish landscape,” they said. They excitedly chose Aran Islands for their destination as it had everything they wanted: gorgeous landscape, cliffs, history, Iris culture, and a an intimate spot to share this experience with their family and friends.
As you know, the weather can be a bit of an unwanted guest for your wedding. That said, it can also help to create a really gorgeous natural filter for your photos and add to the ambiance and overall look of your day to be truly authentically Irish! Aaron and Kieran together with their guests embraced the natural elements and had a great time exploring the gorgeous part of the country and the incredible historic and spiritual spaces on the Aran Islands. Their spiritual ceremony was heavily influenced by the Celtic tradition and included lots of great Irish elements like an Irish wedding bell (made by Galway Crystal that they purchased when in Galway), the handfasting ceremony, and sipping champagne from Waterford Crystal champagne flutes they purchased in Waterford. We’re so in love with Kieran’s look: her gorgeous Emmy Mae Sage dress was a perfect choice to accentuate her figure and look stunningly romantic against the Irish coastline; we love how she accessorized with a raw emerald bracelet, silver vine earrings, and a moonstone drop necklace. But our favorite accessory has to be the gorgeous floral crown she wore — the perfect feminine touch to bring out her eyes and complete her Celtic boho-inspired look flawlessly! We also love the Aran style sweater shawl — perfect touch for the location and style!
The vibe for the day was “relaxed classically Irish” — every detail from the ceremony to the look to the reception was chosen as a way to connect with their Irish heritage and the location. The theme was boho inspired and the color palette took a moody version of summer tones using gorgeous rich garnet red shades, pomegranate, soft pinks and dreamy cream tones together with rich greenery — absolutely stunning. Absolutely loved how the bridesmaids took the color palette to full expression in their look and the matching floral crowns rounded out the theme perfectly and elegantly.
Irish accents continued into the reception with a coursed meal featuring local fish, traditional Irish stew, and monkfish curry. For dessert, a gorgeous mocha cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream cake and vanilla frosting in color palette and theme rounded out to end on a perfect note. The Irish harp serenaded throughout the day while good ol’ fashioned Irish music brought the group to their feet after dinner.
Kieran and Aaron’s day is a great example of focusing on the in-moments and what really matters, as a couple and for us as planners frankly. Kieran’s mom has severe younger-onset Alzheimer’s and they weren’t sure if she’d be able to make the trip to Ireland. “We were beyond thankful that not only did she make the journey, but that she was truly present for our day,” recalls Kieran. Another fond memory for the couple will be the time they got to spend together during their portrait session on the cliffs.
A Piece of Advice
“GET A WEDDING PLANNER! Irregardless of whether it’s a destination wedding or not — there is no way this wedding would have been possible without Stephanie and Michelle ensuring that everything was done in a timely fashion.”
Congratulations Kieran and Aaron! CONTACT US today for more details on this incredible wedding in the Aran Islands!