Jessica & Jacob: GORGEOUS floral moongate + emerald velvet details!

We are so in love with the details from Jessica and Jacob’s June wedding at Waterford Castle, beautifully captured as always by Awake and Dreaming Photography! The garden setting helped set the stage for their sweet intimate wedding ceremony. A gorgeous greenery focal point “moongate” helped anchor the setting.  We are so in love with the green velvet details! The bridesmaids looked absolutely stunning in their emerald green dresses while Jacob dazzled in an emerald green blazer tuxedo!!! Jessica made a stunning bride in her form-fitting Pronovias gown accessorized with family heirlooms like her great-grandma’s ear crawler style earrings. The overall vibe was moody and romantic, classic and elegant but still relaxed enough to let everyone enjoy the day. Enjoy and we hope we see even more velvet details in 2019!!!


An Irish Proposal and Wedding

Jessica and Jacob met seven years ago through friends at the local bar and an evening of dancing.  They took a trip together to Ireland and while visiting Blarney Castle, Jacob found a quiet spot outside the gardens and proposed. They always knew an intimate destination wedding was the right fit for them. “We fell in love with Ireland when we got engaged there,” recalls Jessica, “and wanted to share that with our family and friends.” Add to that castles and beautiful and romantic scenery throughout the island to choose from, and it was an easy choice to come back to the Emerald Isle. “Michelle helped us narrow down our options since we knew we wanted a castle where everyone could stay with us,” says Jessica. Waterford Castle fit the bill perfectly: a ferry ride to this castle sitting on its own island made for the perfect setting for the wedding day and celebrations before and after. “We couldn’t be happier with our choice!”

The Details

The wedding day began with the gents bonding over some Guinness and trap shooting while the ladies relaxed in the presidential suite, getting hair and makeup done. An extra bit of celebrating came courtesy of a birthday cake and candles to celebrate Jessica’s little sister — Jenna — who was also a fabulous bridesmaid! Their ceremony took place in one of the castle’s gardens with glorious floral hoop arch serving as focal point. The traditional spiritual ceremony included lots of Irish details, including Irish music, blessings, and of course — the handfasting! A fun and relaxed reception followed in the castle for dinner. “Even though it was a formal setting, we kept everything casual and just encouraged our guests to have fun!” Their delicious cake included two tiers, Jess and Jacob each picking one:  chocolate biscuit and raspberry decorated with fresh flowers.

The Favorites

“Everything was incredible,” recall Jessica and Jacob. “The first look was so romantic — felt nervous and excited and one of the only times it was just the two of us.  Also the ceremony was so special — there wasn’t a dry eye for anyone and our favorite part of the day.”

A Piece of Advice:

“Focus on a few big things that are most important to you and try not to worry too much about the little things. You and your guests will remember how the day felt and how fun it was!”

Congratulations Jessica and Jacob!! We wish you a life full of love and happiness and more trips to Ireland!

For more information on the talented vendors who brought this gorgeous wedding to life, CONTACT US today!

Getting Organized! 5 Quick Tips on how a wedding planner can help make the difference

Planning a wedding — big or small — can become a daunting, stressful task. What’s supposed to be one of the most exciting and memorable days of your life turns into a collection of open tabs on your desktop, 300+ inspo images on Pinterest, and everyone from well-meaning loved ones to complete strangers offering their “crucial piece of advice.” Add in the additional nuances of hosting a destination wedding and you can get easily overwhelmed on your own.  Although there is ton of good articles, advice, and ideas out there, as planners with over 15 years experience in the industry, we’re here to help you make sense of it all!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

The ol’ adage strikes again, but rings true. A recent study by Wedding Wire found that “On average, couples spend nearly 2 hours a week planning their wedding and spend 80% of their time planning online. When looking at online planning behaviors based on time of day, mobile usage peaks from 9 PM – midnight after couples are home from work and often multi-tasking, though Sunday is also a popular planning day on mobile.”  That’s a lot of personal time spent on wedding planning — the time you need to relax, enjoy each other, and decompress from the work week, and doing those chores! Hiring a seasoned professional wedding planner really will cut down all of that time.  We’ve developed close relationships with the best in the business. We know the logistics [distance from venues to airports, transportation options for guests, legalities, and much much more] to get you the answers you need fast and in a reliable fashion.

Our Business is Organization

The most commonly searched terms online for newly engaged couples include “wedding checklist,” “how to plan a wedding,” “venues,” and “wedding planning / timeline.”  After you’re done sifting through every website, magazine, and blog’s piece of advice on how to get organized, you’re still a bit overwhelmed with which way to go. Spreadsheets or google? Hourly timeline or by the minute? Which vendors need a timeline? These check-lists all have different things they say you need! As seasoned planners, Waterlily Weddings has developed a successful method of organization to support you from the planning phase through every minute on the day of your wedding to keep everything organized and on track: contracts, deposits, who to hire, what payment is due next, who gets paid in cash versus overseas bank transfer, etc.  We also walk you through ever element of the day, from flowers to cake to making sure you have all of your accessories! Our Design and Style Brief is a comprehensive go-to document that breaks down your wedding day to the finest detail, giving you a cohesive glance into how your day will look and making sure all of your vendors are working in unison and that nothing gets forgotten on the day!

Venues:  don’t fall into the venue coordinator trap!!!

Some couples think they are saving a lot of money forgoing a wedding planner and working exclusively with the venue coordinator. Sometimes the venue will be cheeky and even call themselves “planner,” further muddying the waters on the huge difference between the two. Simply put:  a venue coordinator will only manage things having to do with your venue (food, chairs, etc.) whereas a wedding planner will manage everything having to do with your entire wedding (venue, photographer, flowers, making sure everyone arrives on time, contracts, and much more). As the date gets closer your vendors will all begin asking you questions on arrival time, where they can park, an restrictions they should be aware of, will they get fed — it can get overwhelming quickly and we have many clients who come to us desperate for someone to take it all over and make sense of it all.  A wedding planner will work together with your venue coordinator and the rest of your vendors as a team to make sure everything is taken care of, including those smaller details you didn’t even think of!

Apps & Websites: close but not quite

“10 Great Wedding Apps to help you plan your day!”  “The 25 best wedding websites and apps!”  Yes, 25 websites and apps to pour through and get even more suggestions and ideas to further drag you into the planning quagmire. At the end of the day, are they helpful? For some. Will they translate to a destination wedding? Maybe. Organizing and wedding planning apps are great to get the initial conversation between you both started but they won’t get you through the whole process painlessly.  They give you a glimpse into the territory, but many time end up confusing couples more than helping. Think of them like a syllabus for a class: a great outline, good information, some ideas and a good view of the trajectory your’e going in, but not a substitution for actually studying and getting to know the material.  At the end of the day, it’s worth it to reach out to the professionals to get the right information that’s most pertinent to your vision and tailored exactly to what your unique needs are.

Working together on an accurate budget

The same study on Wedding Wire found that “On average, couples underestimate their wedding ceremony and reception budget by nearly 45%.  Nearly 80% of couples set a rough budget prior to researching any vendors – often times under-estimating the cost of products and services.”  This is true for domestic and destination weddings alike.  A less stressful wedding begins with an accurate, realistic budget at the start of the planning process.  Once we have a good idea for the vision of your day, we can give you recommendations on vendors who can execute those details and give you a ballpark on how much they cost.  Maybe you love a particular florist but their travel fee is blowing your budget — we can recommend others who are equally talented and versed in your design who are closer or have a lower travel fee, for example. It’s those kind of nuances that only a seasoned planner will know that will help merge your vision for the day with a realistic budget that won’t stress you out! 


Want to know more on how we can help? Contact us today to get more details on our custom service packages, support, and sharing your vision for your dream destination wedding in Ireland! We can’t wait to help!

Hanna & Patrick: Elegant Emerald and White Garden Wedding with Gorgeous Details!

Not even the Irish mist could put a damper on Hanna and Patrick’s wedding at Virginia Park Lodge this past August. A gorgeous floral arch served as focal point for the completely bespoke ceremony, wildflowers in bright white and ivory tones mixed with gorgeous emerald greenery lined the aisles and danced under the fairy lights in the tent during the reception. The day was relaxed, full of fun and incredible food (seriously — Virginia Park Lodge has a legendary breakfast and quite literally life-changing mashed potatoes), lots of laughs and everything you want out of a good wedding! And there to capture the day were some of our faves — The Lous!

A Family Tradition At the Lodge

Hanna and Patrick met in school, both studying neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. They dated about 8 years before getting engaged on a beach in the Bahamas. When it came time to plan for a wedding, they knew off the bat they would have a destination wedding in Ireland. “Patrick’s grandmother and great aunt got married at Virginia Park Lodge and Patrick’s mom is from Cavan,” explains Hanna. “We also loved the idea of taking over a property for the whole weekend and we knew Richard wouldn’t let us down with the food (we’re big foodies!).”  We couldn’t agree more!

The Details

Irish mist decided to bless their wedding day, so their ceremony took place under a tent on the expansive grounds of the estate.  A gorgeous circular floral arch served as focal point throughout the ceremony that included the music of Gordan Lightfoot, a reading reflecting their love of food written by Hanna’s brother, and an Irish toast delivered by Patrick’s sister.  “We wanted love and emotion and for everyone to really connect with us as a couple. The ceremony was focused and meaningful for us!” We love a lot of the personal details incorporated into the day including brain-shaped programs for the ceremony (!), the table numbers were all named after streets in Edinburgh where they met, a photo collage of Patrick and Hanna from childhood to now (love this!), and to top it all off — a super flash mob performed by their friends singing Proud Mary.  Hanna’s look was amazing in a custom Hayley Paige dress and custom designed earrings (designed by her mom!), but our favorite detail is the lace inside her dress was from her grandmother. Canada made an appearance throughout the day as well, in the form of socks for Patrick and the groomsmen and the seriously adorable buffalo plaid ensembles in the morning!  The ceremony space and reception riffed on the garden theme in glorious detail — emerald green tones and bright, soft white and ivory notes are a classic combination that worked just so beautifully and added a really elegant undertone to both spaces.

Looking Back

It’s the little moments that often end up being the most memorable of the day. “Getting a pint of Guinness in the main house together when no one else was around” recalls Hanna as a favorite moment of the day. The music, the surprise flash mob, the FOOD, and just looking out on all their friends and family in the tent enjoying themselves and there to support them and celebrate together in such an incredible setting is what makes the best part of the day. “The only thing we’d change is make the party a week long!” gushes Hanna.

A Piece of Advice

“A wedding is one day, a marriage is a lifetime. Remember the important things!”  Simple. True. And a good piece of advice.

Hanna and Patrick — we wish you a wonderful life together filled with laughter, great food and drink, and more trips to the Emerald Isle! Congratulations!