Rachel and Sean reached out to me from the US with the dream of having an Irish Castle Wedding. They had already found their venue and wanted assistance with the rest of the Wedding Planning. Covid-19 had other plans for us and the original Wedding date of April 2020 was not to be. During Covid-19, their wedding venue closed down, and so I went on the search to find them a new venue.
Irish Castle Wedding Venue
Ballyseede Castle in Tralee was the perfect Irish castle to host their destination wedding. All of their family and friends were coming from the US to celebrate their wedding date with them. I knew Ballyseede ticked all the boxes.
Rachel and Sean wanted an outdoor ceremony in the gardens. They wanted an authentic Irish castle feel, with great service and food. Additionally, they wanted their guests to experience some of Ireland’s fantastic landscape. This Irish Wedding Venue was the perfect location for guests to explore some of Kerry’s stunning scenery.
The team at Ballyseede Castle were fantastic to deal with and really could not do any more for Rachel and Sean. The Orangery was the perfect setting for the welcome drinks as guests arrived the night before the wedding. Earlier that day, immediate family were invited to a seafood restaurant on the water – The Oyster Tavern outside Tralee. This was a great opportunity for the two families to connect before the wider group got together.
The Wedding Morning at Ballyseede Castle
On a sunny June morning, guests were strolling around the castle when I arrived onsite. They were visiting the animals and taking in the stunning garden features. Upstairs in the vast bridal suite, Karolina and Dominika of Hair Passion Art Salon had started styling the bridal party. There was lots of energy and chatter about and Photographer, Annie Kheffache and Videographer Fionn of Grá Wedding Films had commenced. A standout memory for me was when they face-timed Rachel’s dad before she left for the ceremony. Unfortunately, he had been unable to travel.
Wedding Styling and Design
Rachel and Sean were getting their dream garden ceremony, and the weather was looking good for this outdoor wedding at Ballyseede Castle! Our talented florist was Maura of Maura’s Cottage Flowers. Maura is a regular to Ballyseede Castle, and wonderful to work with. Flowers were very important to Rachel and her mom Mary. I really loved working on the styling for this wedding. The colours were pastels and coral – the goal was a summer garden romance wedding. Hence why Maura was so perfect with her fabulous home-grown blooms.
I designed the wedding stationery to complement the colour scheme and kept the table styling simple. Lots of candles, elegant gold candle holders and Maura’s floral centerpieces. To add variety to the tables, we mixed it up to with bud vases on some tables and low urn arrangements on the others.
The First Look
Firstly, prior to the Ceremony, Rachel and Sean opted for a first look. They were joined midway by their son Charlie, and the bridal party. I believe that this is a fantastic way to take some relaxed stunning photos prior to the ceremony commencing.
The ceremony was officiated by their friend Vera. Vera is Jewish, and thus the ‘Yichud’ was added to the end of the ceremony. This is some quiet time alone for the bride and groom immediately after their ceremony. Elaine Hogan Harpist played throughout the ceremony and the cocktail hour. As Rachel’s dad couldn’t make the trip, Mother of the Bride, Mary was escorted down the aisle by Rachel’s brother John. Rachel and Sean walked down the aisle together. Another standout memory was seeing baby Charlie come down the aisle in a red wagon decorated with flowers. I was also able to find a matching one for the page boy to take the rings in. He was so excited when he saw it!
The Orangery at Ballyseede Castle is a lovely open and bright space for guests to gather after the ceremony. The cake was displayed and cut at the beginning of cocktail hour and was served straight away. This is a great way to make the cake a feature on the day and to ensure none goes to waste.
Dinner and Dancing
Everyone was seated for the meal by 6.00PM. As guests arrived into the room, they really appreciated the table settings and gifts at each setting. All the children received a fluffy sheep, and the adults had a Guinness shot glass keepsake. Napkins were wrapped in blush ribbon with a gold star trinket which was an important symbol for Rachel and Sean.
The food at Ballyseede is superb, and guests enjoyed a Trio of Ballyseede Fish for starter, Pan Roasted Fillet of Prime Celtic Steak for Main and to finish a Ballyseede Castle Summer Dessert Trio.
The band set up before the meal was finished and once the speeches were complete, Arundo, a Traditional Irish Music Band, kicked off with the first dances… followed by a Céilí! If you want to kick start the night in a fun way – this is the way to do it!! The caller guided guests through the dances. It was amazing to watch everyone participate in the dancing and pick the steps up so quickly.
Golden Hour was important to Rachel and Sean. Annie and Fionn nabbed them from the dancefloor for a few minutes before the sun went down. You can very clearly see why they were important, these are my favourite photos from the day.
After the Céilí and some traditional Irish music, DJ Keith hit the dancefloor and guests danced the night away.
A fantastic day, a great couple to work with over the 4 year Wedding Planning period(!).
Photos below by Annie Kheffache, and the video from Fionna at Grá Wedding Films.