So in love with the gorgeous soft peach, pink, white and emerald tones in Bridgett and Chad’s incredible castle wedding! The theme was based on fun and vibrancy, echoed throughout the color palette and all of the great details of the day including custom Jenga games, cocktails, and some fabulous DIY stationary details! This 3 day celebration was built around really immersing into the Irish culture on every level, from food to drinks to dancing and more. We’re looking forward to sharing more of their celebrations in our blog, but today we begin with their beautiful wedding day. Gorgeous florals by Fleur Weddings and photography by Darek Novak Photography.
Top of the List
Bridgett and Chad met through a mutual friend on a blind dinner date (that lasted over 7 hours!). Fast forward seven years later in Italy where Bridgett and Chad were vacationing with friends, when one day the couple ventured out on their own to Cinque Terra. There along the colorful coastline while enjoying a beautiful sunset cruise off of the town of Vernazza, Chad proposed. “After getting engaged, we were not sure where and even what type of wedding we wanted,” recalls Bridgett. “We considered eloping. But then decided to make a vacation of our wedding and find a location that could accommodate all our guests in one place where we could throw a multi-day party!” They sat down and wrote down all the places they’d traveled to together as a starting point for choosing a destination wedding. Ireland landed in the top 3 and after some initial research, quickly rose to the top of the list. “Working closely with Michelle and Stephanie at Waterlily Weddings, we narrowed the venue list from something teenish to 7 and planned a 5-day trip to visit all of them,” says Bridgett. “Some of our must-haves included: festive, warm, welcoming vibe, updated amenities and décor, delicious food & drink handled onsite, onsite accommodations ideally for all guests…and the ability to host multiple ‘parties’ onsite (pre-wedding dinner, post wedding BBQ, etc…).” Markree Castle checked all the boxes. “At the time, it seemed too far and potentially not worth the drive. Thankfully, we agreed to go. As we were pulling up the drive, I immediately was smitten. After touring the property and castle, I knew it was our venue,” says Bridgett. “The castle was much larger and grander than some of the others we visited. We loved the fact that the castle was exclusive use for our entire 3 days. The common spaces were very large as well allowing our group to move around freely and not feel cramped – whether it was the parlor or pub room. The chapel onsite was something else — being attached to the castle made logistics easy and the size was just right allowing everyone to feel close to the alter. It really was so special. We could just imagine everyone enjoying a Guinness in the resident’s pub or cup of tea in the parlor enjoying themselves. And to have that as our home for 3 days was amazing.”
The ceremony was held in the castle’s very own gorgeous chapel — an extremely unique detail to Markree Castle (and actually venues throughout the world). Bridgett and Chad’s close friend officiated the ceremony, focusing the them on friendship and love. “Together with Patrick, we customized and wrote our own ceremony including vows taking bits and pieces from sources we found that focused on the value of friendship, mutual love, respect and support of each other and Chad’s son Mitchell. We, also, added some silly vows that were personal to us.” They made sure to include some Irish elements as well, like the handfasting and traditional Irish music to help set the stage, but we love the Irish detail they added to their wedding rings — “we had the inside of our rings engraved with the Gaelic phrase Gra Dilseacht Cairdeas – Love, Loyalty, Friendship.”
“Festive and fun” was the overall theme for the day. Guests were encouraged to wear colorful and whimsical fascinators. And the color palette featuring green, gold, soft pinks and peach tones echoed the bright and fun energy of the day while still maintaining a level of sophistication befitting the castle’s setting.
A feast featuring Irish lamb was served, as well as chicken and fish options. “Markree exceeded our expectations on the food including the portions which were very generous. Everyone complimented on the food and that’s saying something given we are Americans and find fault with everything food related.” Chad took the lead on customizing the drinks for the day. A whiskey enthusiast, Redbreast 12 served neat was the highlight while Bridgett’s choice — a southside fizz served with Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish gin and fresh lime kept the bright and fun theme going.
We love how Bridgett and Chad really paid attention to every detail. Custom welcome baskets were in every room complete with Yeats quote (Yeats is from Sligo, near Markree). Lots of fun games indoors (like personalized Jenga) and out (lawn games), music to keep the vibe going, and just placing an emphasis on how their guests are feeling to engage on all levels with the castle and surroundings throughout the three days — starting with a pub meet-up and acoustic guitar player in Dublin, dinner in Sligo on Sunday night, welcome dinner complete with local step dancers and 3 person band from Dublin, and a send-off BBQ with archery and lawn games really made the whole experience and celebration come together. It’s a wonderful example of really engrossing yourselves and your guests into the whole experience Ireland has to offer!
Wedding Dress Designer: Catherine Deane · Bride’s Veil/Accessories: emerald & crystal hair pins · Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka · Bride’s Jewelry: emerald chandelier earrings by Reba Jewelry and mom’s green sapphire and gold ring · Engagement Ring: Ken and Dana Design Angeline ring with a round gray diamond · Groom’s Suit: blue suit (off the rack) · Groomsmen Attire: groom’s 14 yr. old son wore a 3-piece suit with a bow tie accented with shamrocks · Stationary: DIY template, by Marry Me Paper Boutique (Etsty) · Special Details: mom’s emerald sapphire ring, carried an emerald green clutch purse
A Piece of Advice
“Strong communication (in writing!) and advance planning with planners and venue managers helps to ensure everyone is on the same page so you can relax and enjoy your day or days in our case. In addition, sharing all the details with your guests in advance. We had a website and Facebook event page filled with information and details to help our guests plan their travels which was helpful and took the pressure off us to answer everyone’s questions.”