Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

This wasn’t a big budget wedding. This wedding was about family and friends and getting married in Ireland. Christi and Alan were realistic about their tight budget and smart about their spending, they discussed everything which makes me certain that their future together is based on a good solid relationship.

As smart and practical as a couple can be while wedding planning {and life planning!}, sometimes things pop up that are beyond your control so having a good relationship and level heads is crucial to get through it. I’ll let you hear their story in Christi’s own words.

“Our wedding planning process was nothing short of tumultuous. The early stages of wedding planning consisted of a huge debate: would we wed in Boston, where we lived together, NY where I grew up, or in Ireland, with castles and culture aplenty? Believe it or not, Alan pushed for a stateside wedding, but having been to Ireland twice already, I was captivated by the magic of it all and lucky for me, my fiancé acquiesced. ”

Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

“We enlisted the help of an incredible wedding planner, Annie Byrne of Aislinn Events {aghem}, and set to work planning our destination wedding in a magnificent castle for August 14, 2014. Then, in the middle of it all, we got news that stopped us in our tracks and changed our lives completely. I had a brain aneurysm and needed emergency brain surgery. We thought we were busy before, but suddenly everything had to be pushed aside as we met with surgeons and decided the best course of action to ensure that we could in fact share a long, happy, and healthy life together. Eventually, a craniotomy was scheduled for June 14, 2013, exactly 14 months before our wedding. We rushed to take engagement photos because I was told that they’d be shaving about a 1/4 of my head and that I might have some skull disfigurement after. I wanted pictures before everything changed. I also insisted that we put a deposit down on our venue so that I knew no matter what happened, 14 months later I’d marry the man of my dreams in the perfect castle in Ireland. ”

doily wedding invitation Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

The surgery went very well and I was delighted that the surgeon was able to preserve much of my hair. Unfortunately, the recovery was much more involved than we’d been warned about and things got even harder when we learned that our perfect wedding venue was in liquidation. We went back to the drawing board and found a new place that was seemingly perfect. Luckily, they had our wedding date, which I felt was a sign after all the lucky “14”s. However, while on the phone with the coordinator, another couple had booked our date! Once again, we were devastated. Then exactly a year before our wedding was to take place, we got an email saying the couple had changed their minds and the date was ours!”

That venue was Ballymagarvey Village.

Ballymagarvey Destination Wedding

flower girl tutu




Wedding planning across 5 time zones wasn’t exactly easy, particularly when I was suffering from the very prominent effects of a brain injury. Luckily for us, we had an amazing wedding planner, a team of flexible and understanding vendors and a family/ wedding party that was as devoted and helpful as they come. Even luckier, I had the most committed, nurturing and supportive fiancé by my side through it all.






On the wedding day, we included several old Celtic traditions such as a hand fasting ceremony, where our parents helped to “bind” our hands together with blessings of a strong marriage, and a ring warming ceremony, in which we passed around our wedding bands to each guest in order for them to instill their prayers and good wishes for us before we exchanged them with one another. Between these customs, heartfelt renditions of Christina Perry’s “A Thousand Years” and Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” by our band, and the reading of our own personally written vows, it’s safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. It sounds crazy to say this, but this actually pleased us! I think so often in wedding planning people get caught up in the food, or the music, or the clothing and lose sight of what it’s all about. We really wanted to give the ceremony the attention and personal touches it deserved. We wanted all of our guests to feel included in the ceremony not only because they had went to such great lengths to be present for it, but also because of what integral parts they had been in our lives and our relationship.

Ballymagarvey wedding
wedding ceremony aisle decor


doilies banner

chalkboard style wedding program



“Throughout the wedding we embedded a variety of diy and personal touches/traditions as well. I wrapped my bouquet with my late grandmother’s pearls and wore my one of my best friend’s veils.”

loose natural bride's bouquet



purple bridesmaids dresses







wedding ring warming ceremony










fairy light wedding venue

dressed candelabra peach candles

wedding sweetheart table





buttercream soft frosted wedding cake


“In the reception room, we used small Kraft paper  notebooks as our table numbers and asked guests to write a message for us to read on the corresponding year’s wedding anniversary. Everyone seemed to love this as we watched them seek out different year’s books to add messages. ”

notebook table numbers






“Wedding planning can be crazy and external stressors don’t make it any easier. However we certainly learned that the toughest of times only makes the strongest of relationships stronger and with the love and support of family and friends, anything is possible. ”
Special thanks have to go to Katie Farrell Photography for capturing the day, Emma Farrell Makeup for making Christi even more beautiful, Theresa from Petite Fleurs for the flowers, Cake was by Creative Cakes   and other great suppliers:

Videographer: Diga Video Production, Band: The Black Knights, Solemniser: Spiritual Ceremonies, Paper Goods: Lane Love Design (Etsy retailer), Doily Banner: The Path Less Traveled (Etsy retailer), Bride’s gown: Maggie Sottero, Bridesmaids dresses: Xscape, Bride’s shoes: Beholden Bridal (Etsy Retailer)

DIY is beautiful!

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