Last Minute Changes

We had planned an outdoor ceremony overlooking the sea but crazy strong winds made our couple from Boston rethink that plan. To keep guests comfortable, we made a last minute change from outside to the still impressive interior of Newton Castle in Ballyvaughan, the Burren.

With wedding planning, there is always a ‘Plan B’ so I hopped on the phone and secured the new location to be sure that Lauren and Bobby had their small but loving and beautiful destination wedding to Ireland.

Well, they sure did have a great day with out a blip! Have a lookie below at how it went as photographed by Daniel at DK Photo.  And they still got out to the seaside for the stunning photos!

Everyone stay at Aran View Guesthouse in Doolin and got ready there.

A friend of Lauren’s did her makeup and we had Miriam from Mimi’s hair salon come in and to hair.

The simple but elegant flowers were from Mulqueen’s florist  and I had picked them up on the way to meet our bride.

The guests waited patiently in front of the massive Inglenook fireplace adorned with flowers as our bride climbed the spiral staircase of the castle tower.

Keeping things natural and organic, guests tossed olive leaves over the couple as confetti!

Off then for dinner, drinks and specifically, pints of Guinness, and merriment at Vaughan’s Pub

Lauren emailed me and said the day was perfect. That she should have planned it around a castle ceremony in the first place!

So the moral of the story is, if you have to change things up a little on your wedding day or even before, don’t worry! It will work out! If you are happy, joyous and relaxed on the day, that is all you need.

All About Family – A Castle Destination Wedding

Ashley and Jamie knew what was important to them. Their castle destination wedding was all about family. They all travelled together to get to Ireland, stayed in the castle together and Ashley’s mother, a minster, preformed their ceremony for them. In fact, the whole family, all 18 people were part of the wedding and processional. Everyone played a part!

A sweet southern girl, she planned her Irish castle wedding at Waterford Castle carefully and elegantly to be sure the day reflected their style, beliefs and family values. Personally I really enjoyed her gentle kind thoughtful manner and planning the day with her.

As you will see, it turned out beautifully with photos by Martina California

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Ashley’s dress was a stunning, lace ballgown reminiscent of Kate Middleton. When she sent me a photo of her dress, I actually teared up. It was so perfect for her and her castle destination wedding. Not to mention her Ruby Slippers which were worn under the dress. Gorgeous and meaningful! LOVE!

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The couple got ready in advance of their families so they could have a first look and some photos together. It gave them the private sentimental calm time just to be together and relax in the grounds of the island.

The wedding colours were generally a soft dusty blue. Very fresh feeling. Natural and organic. Instead of an arch style backdrop, we wanted to keep things subtle in the ceremony room so did a floor meadow style garland on the ground to bring the outside in. All of the flowers were beautifully presented and arranged by Tina at The Wild Bunch

 elegant castle conservatory a small cake for a small wedding

a small wedding tables all set up for dinner  elegant castle conservatory  elegant castle conservatory

After the ceremony, the group had a few drinks, followed by dinner and wedding cake in the elegant castle conservatory {I love this room for a small wedding!} they were off to a local pub to relax with some music, pints of Guinness and mingling with the locals.

Castle Destination Wedding the couple enjoying a pint with friends Castle Destination Wedding . the couple dancing together Castle Destination Wedding the couple enjoying a pint of guinness

Thanks to the rest of the team, Hair and Makeup Loving Weddings, the sweet cake was by Jen’s Cake Boutique. Music during the ceremony was also one of my faves, Arundo and of course thanks again, as usual, go to Waterford Castle. One of my fave venues.


Tears of Joy

This was an emotional beautiful wedding day for Anna and Cathal. Tears of joy were shed, laughs were had, hugs were shared. It was the kind of wedding many couples dream of.

We started working with the couple about 18 months before their wedding date. Cathal is Irish and living with Anna in Brooklyn so choosing Ireland was an easy decision.

I pegged Parknasilla Hotel in Co Kerry for them right away. It’s elegant {just like them}, seaside and doesn’t’ feel like a standard hotel. There is no ‘ballroom’ and dinner would be had in the light and bright restaurant.

We booked them in for an April date right away.  Awake and Dreaming were there to document the emotional, amazing day.

The boy’s day started out with a swim in the ocean. It’s kind of an Irish thing. I know I wouldn’t do it! But imagine it really gets the day off to a fresh start.

The ladies went right in to hair and makeup. With 9 ladies needing to be done it was a beauty factory in the Bridal suite. No pressure though! We had my best team on it!

Hair was Tricia o’Sullivan and makeup, Annette O’Brien

Anna and Cathal chose to do first look photos and spend a little quality time together before the festivities kicked off. It was well needed too because of the emotion that went with the moment of seeing each other for the first time.

To the main event at Sneem Church. A beautiful small town church all dressed up elegantly in flowers by Jill Wild, Flowersmith .  All of the flowers and styling was gorgeous.

The fabulous classic white wedding cake covered with fresh flowers was by O’Carroll’s Cakes

After the delicious dinner, it was back into the lounge for dancing and merriment with the piece de la resistance {did I spell that right??}, fireworks!! just to finish the night perfectly.

What a beautiful, elegant couple, fab families and gorgeous location!

Thanks again to Dave and Laurie at Awake and Dreaming Photography for perfectly capturing the day.

Ceremony with a View

Top priority for Alyssa and Aaron when we were planning their destination wedding to Ireland was to have a scenic location. A ceremony with a view.
We looked at a lot of manor houses, big and small in locations around the country. Our happy couple settled on Ballintaggart House, a 300 year old Manor house on the way in to Dingle. It worked for them on many levels. The intimate size for their wedding party of 50, the views are fabulous looking out over the bay, and how close it is to Dingle town.  Dingle is a super lively fishing town with more pubs then you could possible get to on a short visit so the group stayed in the area for four days and just relaxed and settled in to getting to know the locals.

This is what the wedding day looked like by super talented Hannah and Jaron Ball Photo .

While the girls were doing some relaxing Yoga in the house, the guys went for a traditional groom’s swim at the beach nearby.

After a relaxing morning the getting ready started with hair by Tricia O’Sullivan and makeup by Annette O’Brien. Two of my fave suppliers to work with!

Once ready, Alyssa and Aaron met for a few moments together before the ceremony. The first look is just time to themselves before the wedding day madness starts.

All of the flowers were fabulous from Leona at Every Occasion who I love to work with and always gets it beautifully right.

There  were  some lovely nontraditional  bridal party members too like the  Flower boys who did a great job and each got a lollipop after the ceremony.   

The dinner, reception and after party was lively, full of fun and pints of Guinness!

Again thanks to Hannah and Jaron, Tricia, Annette. John, Clodagh and all of the staff at Ballintaggart. Other credit for the day goes to ceremony musician, Aoife Granville and the David Dillon, the band.

What a great day was had by all!!

Benefits of an Intimate wedding and micro wedding

We do a lot of intimate weddings. I think that is generally because of the nature of a destination wedding. Not everyone will make the effort to travel so it’s already a way to keep it small but there are a lot of benefits to having an intimate or micro wedding.

Moving forward, however, it’s likely that in this new normal of social distancing, with restrictions on larger gatherings, some family unable to travel to your destination wedding for preventative health reasons and even, equally financial constraints, intimate weddings may become the norm

But you know what?? They don’t have to be a compromise. In fact, just the opposite! There are plenty of perks and benefits of an intimate destination wedding. Like this one, we did at Ashford Castle for Amanda and Sean. It was fabulous!

Have a lookie below to hear why it’s a great idea no matter what your situation is!

Why you should have an intimate or micro wedding

I always ask our couples ‘Why Ireland’ or ‘Why have a destination wedding’ and often the answer is that they simply don’t like being the centre of attention. Not every couple wants the hype and attention that a larger wedding brings. Micro and intimate weddings allow them to be a part of the group as opposed to on the outskirts.

You will likely spend less. Without that big guest list you likely won’t spend as much on food, drinks, favours and potentially on the location!

On the other side of that, you can spend more! But spend it on what you really want. Maybe you prefer to spend the same money on 25 people as you would for 100? Have a 5 course Michelin Star dinner and drink champagne all night. You can now afford to do that!

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Have an adventure together. Because you really do like your guests! They are your fave peeps! You can spend more quality time with them

Not be rushed. Smaller weddings are easier to move and more time flexible. I’ve had weddings where it’s raining at the time we are supposed to have our ceremony. We can tell everyone to have another drink at the bar and in 20 minutes until the sun comes out again. Easy peasy.

You don’t have to follow tradition. Your BFFs won’t judge you. Do what you like and not what you don’t. No cake? They won’t miss it! No first dance? Let everyone jump on the dance floor together.

Less stress. Many of my couples tell me after their wedding that the number of guests really added to their stress levels. Always asking that they should do, where they should go, how to get from here to there. Generally, it’s easier to manage people’s expectations and convey messages.

You are surrounded by friends and family that you can engage with. They aren’t just looking at you from afar.

More personal touches. You can super customize or DIY more – hand write place cards or notes to each guest by way of a ‘Thank you for coming’

No hard feelings. Putting a guest list together can be stressful too! With an intimate destination wedding you can say, ‘Sorry, it’s only close friends and family’ and actually mean it!

You don’t actually like being the centre of attention. Many couples don’t. It’s ok. With an intimate wedding, you are approachable and in the middle of the action.

More time with your photographer. Isn’t that what everyone wants in their destination wedding? Time to capture yourselves amid the epic scenery.

The people who matter most will be there. They will make an effort because they love you.

Photo by Mrs Red Head Photography

More range of interesting venues. Breakaway from the standard hotels. You can’t get 100 people to hope a fence to get to gorgeous castle ruins but your 25 friends and family will be happy to do that for you!

Have a more authentic destination experience. Fewer guests offer you all the opportunity to get into the real nooks and crannies of a location. You can’t just drop into a pub with 120 people for a drink. You can with 20.

All in all, it’s a more relaxed day, less stressful planning process and so much more fun!

Who wouldn’t want that!!??!!