Real Wedding: Liam and Marisa’s Classic Wedding at Carton House


Liam and Marisa, both Virginia natives, grew up in Loudoun County and Fairfax County, respectively. Liam hails from a family of brothers, with whom he collaborates at their family company, while Marisa grew up amidst a close-knit clan of four sisters, all of whom continue to reside in the area. Fate, and an anonymous friend, played a part in their initial meeting post-college; Marisa kept Liam waiting for a full three hours, thanks to an overstretched hair appointment. And yet, Liam waited, marking the beginning of a heart-warming love story and subsequent Carton House wedding.

Fast forward a bit, and we’re in the COVID era. Between adjusting to home offices and training their new puppy, Liam saw a golden opportunity. He used the cover of a wine dinner, (supposedly a must-attend event thanks to his folks) to catch Marisa off-guard with a proposal. And surprise, surprise, all their family and friends were there to share the magic. Now, that’s what we call a celebration!

When the time came to pick a wedding venue, there was no contest. Liam’s childhood memories from Carton House in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland made it an easy choice. And Marisa, trusting Liam’s good taste, didn’t even visit the venue until October 2021!

As for the wedding theme, the couple opted for a classic ambiance, choosing to highlight the charm of their chosen destination. Their favourite details of the day included the stunning floral archway at the church and the breathtaking flower structure above the main table at the reception, illuminated by an ensemble of candles.

Marisa wore a dreamy Justin Alexander gown, discovered at Elegance by Roya in Tysons, Virginia, on her very first visit. The bridesmaids wore subtle Amsale gowns, and the men were suited in black tuxes from Indochino. Liam distinguished himself with custom tartan pants, adding a personal touch to his ensemble.

The couple’s favourite memory was the after-party, where the formalities melted away, and pure joy took over. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day, an occasion etched in the hearts of everyone present or this spectacular Carton House wedding.

To those planning a wedding amid COVID, Marisa and Liam advise a flexible approach. It’s important to remember that the day is yours, and while some changes may be inevitable, how you choose to handle them is entirely up to you. Their ultimate advice to all future couples is to plan the day that you want, without succumbing to the stresses of the process. And they were especially grateful for the seamless planning and execution by me and my team, who turned their vision into reality.

Looking back, they were delighted to have included entertainment at the welcome party and reception. The performances by drummers and a saxophonist turned out to be highlights of the celebration, amplifying the joy and excitement. Their favourite part of the day? The after-party, hands down! With the formal stuff out of the way, everyone let their hair down and just had a blast.

Liam and Marisa’s wedding was a beautiful blend of traditional elegance and personal touches, culminating in a celebration that perfectly encapsulated their love story. The execution was flawless, turning their dream into a reality at the breathtaking Carton House. Their day, filled with love, laughter, and a dash of classic charm, was indeed one for the books.

If you are interested in reading more about the best luxury venues near Dublin, check out my in-depth blog post.

Slán go Fóill,


Planner & Designer: Tara Fay Events | Church: St. Mary’s Cathedral | Venue: Carton House | Stationary: Aimee Willow Designs | Photography: Story of Eve | Hair: David Cashman | Makeup: Christine Lucigano | Florals: Mark Grehan | Music: Carly Coonagh | DJ: Gordon Johnson | Cake: Clare Anne Taylor, Couture Cakes | Shoes: Gucci | Dress: Justin Alexander