Hawaii vs Ireland – A Hawaiian themed wedding in an Irish Castle

I got a fairly desperate phone call one evening from Mariah and her mother a few years ago. The planning for her destination Irish castle wedding from Hawaii just wasn’t going well. Time differences, cultural differences and simply not being sure what they wanted or could have was starting to stress this normally very relaxed laid back mother and daughter.
Mariah was marrying Mike whom she met while in college at Trinity Dublin. Mike is Irish but had been living in America for years. Both sporty people, they played water polo at Trinity College and are probably one of the most fun loving, smiley couple I’ve ever had {as you will see!}.
After countless emails, a few phone calls and a productive meeting in Dublin, we quickly nailed down the location. They chose Durhamstown Castle, the style would be Hawaiian meets Irish barn wedding at a castle. Yup -it can be done!

We needed a creative florist to pull this off so enlisted the help of Mark from The Garden.  Mark created the Hawiian Lei’s, Haku for the women and Maile Lei’s for the guys and flowers for the tables which included gold pineapples. {Those were my idea. I thought it was hilarious!}

Stunning photography by Katie Farrell is below so you can see for yourself!

Mariah’s dress was made from a traditional Hawaiian pattern and the shell necklace she wore was her mother’s.

For the early October ceremony, they were in a stretch tent on the castle lawn. Mariah’s brother played the Ukulele as the bride walked in with her father. To add some Irishness, the couple had an Irish handfasting as part of their ceremony.

Mariah wrote and performed the most beautiful Hula for her new husband. Honestly it had me in tears and was so expressive and heartfelt that I felt like I was intruding in a very intimate exchange between the two of them. It was stunning.

What an amazing, unique day they had. Full of love, fun, laughter, great food and festive drink. This is how every modern wedding should be!

Huge thanks again to Katie for the photos and Congratulations {and a happy anniversary!} to Mariah and Mike. Your day was simply unforgettable!

Intimate Destination Wedding – Elegance in an Abbey Ruins

Brittany and David wanted their intimate destination wedding to be in an Abbey ruins but also really private. That can be a difficult thing to come by but I had a few ideas and came up with an option that they loved with the only audience being their closest friends and family, a few {adorable} sheep and cows.

Brittany was a stunning bride. Elegant and poised even when it got a little chilly but they were determined to brave the Irish spring and have the ceremony in the Abbey as scheduled. It was well worth it as you will see in the stunning photos below by Taylor & Porter who came from the UK to photograph the day!

After their traditional Celtic ceremony along with a few very sentimental words from the David’s brother {who was a very attentive Best Man. Carrying the bouquet and dress when needed!}, it was a few splits of bubbles for everyone and off around the countryside for their bridal portrait photos in more lush Irish locations.

The meeting place after photos had to be an Irish Pub. There were a few more drinks {just a few!} some dinner, dancing, love and laughter.

Irish style.

Congratulations again to our beautiful couple, thanks to Taylor and Porter for letting us share the photos and to everyone who attended this special day with them.


Destination Wedding to a Dublin Pub

It had to be a destination wedding in Dublin and the Abbey Tavern Pub in Howth was at the top of the list of venues.
Kate’s parents had been on a tour of Ireland a few years back and the location and venue had left such an impression on them that although we looked at other places as potential venues, the couple kept going back to the Abbey Tavern as the reception venue for them, their families and 50 some guests.

Once that we decided, we went about planning their outdoor ceremony at Martello Tower. Outdoor ceremonies are always tricky in Ireland but we did have a backup plan that luckily wasn’t needed.

After getting ready in the city centre, Katie and Andy met for first look photos at Iveagh Gardens for some time alone before it all hit them.

Katie was easy to work with and not choosy. She just wanted a botanical feel to the florals with no really big blossoms and loved the idea of Bells of Ireland for the girls to carry. Which they did!

We created a real garden green house feel in the Taven with thanks to Green Door Florist and Katie and her guests were enchanted!

The cakes were amazing looking and delicious too by Cupcakes and Counting

With some great food, plenty of drinks and Irish dancing it was a true celebration where not only the couple were happy but parents so proud of their daughter and perfect day.

Hindu wedding in Ireland

Pretti first contacted me at the beginning of her wedding planning journey. She was marrying the love of her life, her Irish man Barry in his home country. As anyone would be, she was daunted by the prospect of planning a destination Hindu wedding in Ireland from America.

We talked a lot of things out, Her vision, style, fusion of cultures, logistics and about all we could talk through at that point. In the end she opted to go tackle the wedding planning alone.

About four months before her wedding I got an email to take over all that she had planned. Credit where credit is due, she has spreadsheets for the spreadsheets. Organizing all of the incoming flights and accommodation for her guests from India and the style, timings, and suppliers. She was amazingly organized and smart. So smart that she realized that with all of the moving pieces she needed someone to manage it all on the day.

She chose amazing suppliers from around the island of Ireland for her wedding at Dromoland Castle. Stunning flowers by Sylvia of Bella Botanica and just look at the photos by Awake and Dreaming! There were so many amazing things to look at, more than a hundred smiling faces, vibrant color and fabulous detail in a dreamy location David and Laurie captured them all. Sadly I just don’t have enough space to show you all of them! Here is a selection.

A Hindu ceremony is very details and all about family and joining the couple together. The parents have big roles and sit under the mandap with the couple and priest.

The outfits and saris by the bride, bridesmaids and guests were just stunning.

And after the formal portraits, Pretti did a quick dress change into another stunner in red with jewels.

Working on Preeti and Barry’s Hindu Irish wedding was such a great experience in diversity, style and family. Quite simply it was a privilege.

Intimate Family Destination Wedding – So Happy Together

Ok, I love this venue. I loved it so much for this particular couple and their family to have an intimate destination wedding that they trusted me and stretched the budget to get it. It’s not only beautiful but also was the perfect size just for them to fill and be able to hang out there exclusively. It is in a stunning location and they could have the waterside wedding that the couple wanted.

This is a close knit group and to be somewhat isolated was fine as long as they were together. In fact, where they had planned to go to the local pub after their delicious dinner at Screebe House, they opted to just stay in and chat taking advantage of the honesty bar. They were so happy together.

Have a look and the day and stunning scenery around Connemara, Ireland through the lens of Darek Novak Photography.


So happy for them! And thanks Darek for the beautiful photos!!