LOVE CONQUERS ALL....
LOVE CONQUERS ALL....
Home to beautiful countryside, with rolling hills and a rugged, romantic wilderness found nowhere else on earth, it is easy to see why Ireland is one of the most sought after wedding destinations in the world.
With over 900 miles of coastline around our island, breath-taking scenery, an abundance of historical locations and a nation known for our hospitality, there is something about our mystical landscape and traditions that lends seamlessly to romantic and magical weddings. With churches dating back to the 12th century, iconic historical buildings, fairytale castles, country manors and five star resorts, Ireland is steeped in history and tradition.
Weddings are so emotional and reflective, and returning to meaningful traditions is often of great importance for our couples. Embracing symbolic rituals, mystical landscapes, emotional connections, mythical fables and legends, we look back on one of our most memorable and unique intimate celebrations.
AND SO THE ADVENTURE BEGINS…
While some couples dream of big weddings with hundreds of guests in attendance, others dream of something much more intimate. Just because a wedding has a small number of guests, does not mean it will be any less luxurious or glamorous. In fact, it can be just the opposite!
Intimate ceremonies are especially appealing at the moment because they can be adapted to whatever restrictions might be in place in the coming weeks and months. Wedding styles are constantly evolving, and couples are becoming more involved and intent on personalising their special day.
Planning an Intimate Celebration
You can also be extremely creative with your wedding ceremony options. The mix of ancient and modern is an attractive draw, and we love designing events that incorporate cutting edge ideas with heartfelt traditional elements. The ancient tradition of handfasting, where the bride and groom’s hands are entwined with ribbons or cords, is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity and is a Celtic ritual dating back to 7000 BC. It is also where the popular saying ‘tying the knot’ originates and was even part of the British royal wedding in 2011.
Planning a more intimate celebration also opens up a whole host of new venues to you. Consider your favourite restaurants, hotels, country houses, local attractions, museums and galleries. With a smaller guest list, you can really focus on creating a personal and unforgettable experience for you and your guests.
For many couples, the idea behind having a smaller wedding is that they want their closest family and friends around them on their big day. It can make for a much more relaxed atmosphere, similar to a family dinner or special occasion, rather than something that can feel too big and overwhelming. A long reception table can be such a clever way to ensure everyone feels included if you have a smaller group. Making a large space feel intimate will be a welcome challenge, as you have the opportunity to get really inventive with seating and table layouts, as well as adding things like a relaxing lounge area and delicious food stations. From feasting on Michelin starred food, to family style platters or nibbles, the sky is the limit. Whether you are planning for a seven-course meal with expert wine pairings or an elaborate buffet, the catering options are infinite with a smaller wedding.
An intimate wedding opens up a world of unique possibilities. A smaller number of guests means that you can really go all-in on the details. If you have decided to host an event for just those closest to you, you will be able to maximise your wedding budget and get creative by incorporating unique and personal elements that may not be possible with a large number of guests. You can go all out with an exceptional bespoke wedding menu, plan creative photoshoots with your wedding photographer, arrange customised gifts for your guests, or perhaps you envision a more intimate first dance setting with live musicians in an enchanting setting.
The options are endless when you use your imagination!
A SWEET ENDING TO A NEW BEGINNING…
As a result of the current restrictions, we are seeing so many couples who are unable to reschedule or simply to do not want to postpone their wedding. Changing your original plans does not mean that you can’t still have an incredible wedding day, complete with vows, photographs, speeches and celebrations with your nearest and dearest.
Whether you are having an intimate gathering, a virtual wedding, or a hybrid celebration, you want to set the tone for your event early and give your guests an idea of what the day will be like. A great way to do that is to send a really unique invitation to let them know how you will be celebrating.
Offering couples the opportunity to utilise their venue and keep their plans for the big day, hybrid weddings are a combination of in-person and virtual elements. With a select number of guests attending the wedding in person, the remaining guests can join via a livestream broadcast through a virtual experience. As long as all health and safety guidelines are met, the couple, the celebrant, the photographer, the videographer, and a small number of guests can attend in person, while the rest of the guests can view the ceremony virtually via a live stream. There is also the option of an online wedding viewing party which is a fantastic way to relive the celebration with your family and friends!
Technology is going to be your best friend during these days of social distancing, especially when it comes to planning a virtual wedding. Enlisting the help of a wedding planner to co-ordinate the various elements of your celebration will make things much easier and more manageable for you.
There are also so many creative ways of interacting with your guests if you choose a virtual or hybrid wedding. You could designate a family member to take screenshots of your guests’ reactions throughout the ceremony to include in your wedding album. Your chosen readings could be read by one of your virtual guests, or your celebrant could even be virtual. You could send your guests a bespoke cocktail recipe and some sweet treats to enjoy while they tune in! Your bridal party can give speeches, and you can share your first dance and even the cake cutting. Raise a glass with your guests from all around the world and continue the party into the early hours!
Wedding Ceremony of DREAMs…
Always thinking outside the box, our creative team thrive on breaking boundaries and curating new and exciting wedding concepts. Emma and Bart’s stunning destination wedding was a pursuit of perfection and really showcased their love for each other in the spectacular surroundings of Ashford Castle in Ireland.
We were so honoured to bring their vision to life in true fairytale style. With a small number of guests joining them from the US for their special day, their intimate ceremony took place in a private hideaway on the castle grounds overlooking Lough Corrib. An incredible installation of white roses, the bride’s favourite, provided a magnificent backdrop for the ceremony by framing the beautiful islands behind. The stunning floral aisle pathway, which brought the couple together to begin their new life, was perfectly complemented by the picturesque lakeside and serene surroundings of the authentic Irish castle setting.
Words took on a whole new meaning throughout the ceremony as Emma and Bart’s celebrant magically captured their love story and their passage in life that brought them together to celebrate such a joyous occasion.
A Dinner Reception enriched with Elegance…
The epitome of elegance, the lough-facing Connaught Room provided the perfect space for the grand celebration. Flanked with floor to ceiling windows commanding spectacular views of the castle’s manicured gardens and the magnificent Lough Corrib, The Connaught Room captivated Emma and Bart’s guests with its spectacular Donegal Crystal chandelier and panelled oak walls. Bathed in glistening candlelight, the room sparkled as guests were treated to a six-course feast, created especially by Executive Chef Philippe Farineau.
As guests watched sunset on the horizon to the sweet sound of a string quartet, Emma and Bart’s photographer captured majestic photographs with the castle serving as the perfect backdrop for their fairytale portrait. Their wedding weekend was a wonderful mix of relaxation and celebrations as guests enjoyed an intimate boat cruise, private movie screening, estate walks, archery and clay shooting, as well as delicious cuisine in Cullen’s at the Cottage – a traditional thatched cottage in the grounds of the Ashford Estate.
LOVE DOESN’T NEED TO BE PERFECT, IT JUST NEEDS TO BE TRUE…
The most important thing to remember when planning your wedding is remembering WHY you are having a wedding. It is ultimately about the two of you, and your journey together as a couple. Small can be so beautiful, and the intimacy offered by a low-key wedding with just your closest friends and family can provide you with a truly magical day you will remember forever. Emma and Bart’s ceremony really reflected the true meaning of marriage, capturing their special bond and spiritual essence which was a wonderful sight to behold.
An intimate wedding experience may be different, but you will be so thankful for a meaningful day celebrating exactly what matters: making a commitment with your partner, surrounded by those you love. And, while the guest list may be smaller, you will share this intimate experience with those closest to you—and that’s something that your guests will look back fondly on having been a part of for years to come.