Love at Adare Manor: Chris and Lucy’s Real Irish Wedding

When Christopher Lawlor and Lucy Corrigan matched on Bumble in 2019, neither one of them had any idea of the epic love story they were beginning, nor the fact that it would end in a brilliant Irish wedding at Adare Manor. With incredibly busy professional lives in New York City (Lucy is a lawyer and Chris is an entrepreneur and co-founder of an AI infrastructure company), it took months before they were able to meet for their first date.

When it finally happened, the two met at a wine bar (Compagnie du Vins Surnaturels) and immediately lost track of time, talking about everything from food to music to family. Their relationship took off and the two began to enjoy dates all over the city (many to see the New York Philharmonic).

Suddenly, the new couple found themselves in a city completely halted by Covid. When remote work became mandatory, Chris and Lucy made the decision to travel to Philadelphia to visit Chris’s parents “for two weeks”, unaware that two weeks would turn into five months! As soon as the restrictions lifted, it was time for Chris to “meet the parents” in Lucy’s hometown of Dublin. When all family and friends were introduced and all approvals were met, Chris took Lucy to Park City, Utah where she was met with the ultimate relationship test: three months of ski season. Lucy passed with flying colors and Chris proposed a year later, on a beach, Lucy’s much preferred location.

When I met with Lucy and Chris, it became clear that it was Lucy’s desire to share the beauty and warmth of her home country with all of their combined loved ones. Lucy said this about choosing Adare Manor: “We chose Adare for two reasons. The first is we genuinely think that it’s one of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed at and the second is… we wanted an Irish village where people could show up and all be in one place, close together.” With guests coming from all over the world, Lucy and Chris said they loved nothing more than the idea of their friends and family bumping into each other on the streets of Adare Village.

In the same spirit, Lucy and Chris wanted to cultivate an environment of reunion and laughter, creating memories their guests would keep for a lifetime. With everyone coming together, friends and family from both sides and from different countries, the couple wanted the atmosphere to be a mix of both formal and casual, to go from black tie to full Philadelphia Eagles attire within 24-hours (a hilarious moment that actually happened). Lucy said: “We could have easily gotten married at City Hall, but the opportunity to have all of the people we love come together in one room was too good to pass up. The vibe across the three days was about providing the space, the time, and the drinks for people to see friends and family they don’t normally get to see.”

Though there were many fashionable moments throughout the three day wedding celebration, when the time came to walk down the aisle, the bride wore an Elie Saab gown (that she fell in love with during a serendipitous try-on at Elizabeth Taylor’s old townhouse off 5th avenue!) and Chris wore a Saman Amel tuxedo with a La Bowtique bowtie.

With the vows completed, the new husband and wife exited the ceremony, walking down the aisle to the iconic soundtrack of Star Wars. The reception was brilliant, with everyone out on the dancefloor, including Lucy’s 91-year-old grandfather! Beautiful speeches were given, wedding crashers were escorted from the party by loyal friends, and a wedding cake made out of wheels of cheese (created by Lucy’s favourite cheesemonger) was enjoyed by all.

As a wedding planner, it is a dream to work with such a fun-loving, adventurous and beautiful couple as Chris and Lucy. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time creating a space where Dublin and Philadelphia could come together in an iconic celebration of Chris, Lucy, friends, family, love and cheese.

 

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Event Planner: Tara Fay | Venue: Adare Manor|  Photography: Greg Finck | Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands: Zameer Kassam | Bride’s Rehearsal Dinner Dress: Zuhair Murad | Bride’s Rehearsal Dinner & Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom’s Rehearsal Dinner Jacket: J. Mueser | Groom’s Rehearsal Dinner Trousers: Ralph Lauren | Groom’s Rehearsal Dinner Shoes: Magnanni | Brides Wedding Dress: Elie Saab | Bride’s Second Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Groom’s Wedding Tuxedo: Saman Amel | Groom’s Wedding Shoes: To Boot New York | Groom’s Wedding Bowtie: La Bowtique |

Aimee & Adam’s Ashford Castle Wedding

Long before Aimee and Adam shared their first dance as husband and wife during their enchanting Ashford Castle wedding, they were teenagers meeting for the first time at Theatre Club in Dublin. The two playfully competed over who was more flexible (Aimee won) and an instant friendship blossomed, followed by romance, when the two began dating a couple years later. From there, Aimee and Adam navigated life: college, new jobs, new friends, their “dog child”, and travelling the world. They grew up together; it only made sense to grow old together, too.

So, at a view point between Adam’s family cabin and Ashford Castle in County Mayo, overlooking Lough Na Fooey, Adam caught Aimee off guard when he asked a very important question. After 11 years together, Adam and Aimee were finally engaged and they knew exactly where they wanted to host their big day.

In the 1960’s, Adam’s grandfather bought a cottage in Joyce Country for his family to spend some time away from the city. Adam’s fondest childhood memories centre around the cottage, and when Aimee was introduced to the area she fell in love with the beauty of County Mayo and was thrilled to learn she had family connections there, as well! “Ashford Castle represents the history and beauty of this area,” says Aimee. “It was an easy decision to get married in this stunning venue.” And just like that, the date was chosen, the invites were sent, and shortly after, the day arrived!

One of Aimee’s favourite memories of the day was eating breakfast, relaxing and getting ready with her girls before the ceremony. It was a special time of bonding and toasting the day to come. When it was time to get ready, each bridesmaid wore a dress from Covet.

Yet another easy decision was the time of year the couple wanted to say their vows. “Autumn is our favourite time of year,” says Aimee. Flowers in every autumnal colour adorned the wedding, bridesmaids wore gorgeous dresses to match their bouquets, and the entrance to the ceremony was even decorated with fall foliage and gourds.

 

As the ceremony grew closer, Aimee was ready. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew everything was being taken care of,” Aimee says. “Tara was able to get to know our personalities, our likes and dislikes, our values… and produce a wedding that was even better than our wildest dreams.” At St Mary’s Church, an historic church just off the castle grounds, guests were gathering and preparing for Adam and Aimee’s walks down the aisle.

One of Adam’s favourite memories from the day was watching Aimee walk down the aisle. His second favourite memory was their first dance.

The groom and groomsmen got their suits from Louis Copeland & Sons. Inside each suit, Adam and Aimee had created personalised designs to match each groomsmen. Inside Adam’s suit were bikes to represent his love of cycling.

With the ceremony complete, Aimee and Adam moved on to the reception where they were a special surprise was in store. “A friend of the family surprised us with waiters who transformed into opera singers midway through dinner,” says Aimee. “We were so shocked, but it was absolutely brilliant and amazing to be surprised at your own wedding!”

Boasting a surprise of their own, each guest found a personalised picture and note waiting for them at their seat in The George V Dining Room. “Watching them find and seeing their reactions was really special,” says Aimee.

 

With two full time jobs and the inability to spend every extra moment planning a wedding, Aimee and Adam say they knew from the start they wanted to hire a wedding planner. “Wedding planning is such a daunting task, without a planner we wouldn’t have known where to start,” says Aimee. “Our wedding day was one of the most important days in not only our lives, but the lives of our immediate families and we wanted it to be the best it could possibly be for everyone involved.”

Something that warms this planner’s heart? Aimee and Adam say there is nothing they would have done differently. “From going on a run to shake off the nerves first thing in the morning, to bringing our dog with us, to hiring the most incredible vendors,” says Aimee, “There is nothing we wouldn’t do exactly as we did it.”

From the incredibly grounds of Ashford Castle to the reception surprises to the very special love between Adam and Aimee, this won’t be a wedding I soon forget. I was honoured to plan such a special day and wish you two the very best of luck in life (and on your honeymoon in Kenya and the Seychelles)!

Enchanted as I am by this incredible event at Ashford Castle? Learn everything you need to know here: Ashford Castle Wedding Venue: A Complete Guide

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Event Planner: Tara Fay | Venue: Ashford Castle |  Photography: Peter Carvill Photography| Videography: Dream Catcher Productions| Invitations: Sarah O’Dea | Groomswear: Louis Copeland | Bridesmaid Dresses: Covet | Bridal Makeup: Ashley O’Rourke | Bridal Hair: David Cashman | Flowers: Shop the Garden | DJ: Tommy Elliott | Wedding String Ensemble: D-Strings |

The Warming of the Ring Ceremony

Often, I am asked by my lovely couples how they can incorporate Irish culture and tradition into their wedding day. One of my favourite answers is the Warming of the Ring Ceremony. Recently, I was honoured to be interviewed by The Knot in regards to this centuries-old Irish wedding tradition.

What is it?

The Warming of the Ring Ceremony is a strongly symbolic tradition that includes everyone in attendance. Each ring is held (whether in the box or out of the box) by every attending friend and family member. Guests are encouraged to speak well wishes, pray, or internally focus on some loving intentions for the couple. In this way, the rings are ‘warmed’ with love before they end up on the fingers of the newlyweds.

How does it work?

There are a couple different ways I’ve seen the Warming of the Ring Ceremony preformed.

Typically, there is an officiant with a script for each different version. In the first, the officiant meets the guests as they arrive and offers them the rings. Before they take their seats, the officiant asks each attendee to ‘warm the rings’ with their intentions for the couple.

In the second version, the tradition takes place during the wedding ceremony. In this case, the officiant asks that before exchanging, the rings are passed around to each guest. Personally, I like this version the best. The physical warming of the rings carries such a beautiful sentiment.

How can you make it yours?

For your loved ones who cannot be in attendance, I always suggest adding a personal item of theirs: like jewelry, a linen or lace hanky to pass around with the rings. Personally, I think it is more intimate to pass the rings around without a box to make the ‘warming ceremony’ even more literal. As each guest physically warms the ring with their hands, they infuse even more warmth by way of loving thoughts and wishes. In the past, we’ve read poetry or scripture as the rings are passed to each attending guest, making these moments even more sentimental and sweet.

Are you interested in incorporating the Warming of the Rings Ceremony into your wedding day? Read my interview on The Knot or get in touch!

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Image by Barry McCall

Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Your Wedding

Embracing the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day on your wedding day is a charming and unique way to infuse a touch of Irish magic into your celebration of love. Whether you have Irish roots or simply appreciate the festive atmosphere, here are some delightful ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on your wedding day.

Wear a Touch of Green

Start the celebration by incorporating green into your wedding attire. A subtle green sash, tie, or even emerald accessories for the bride and groom can add a touch of Irish charm without overpowering the overall aesthetic.

Lucky Charms for the Bouquet

Attach a small, meaningful Irish charm to your wedding bouquet for an extra dash of luck. Symbols like the shamrock, horseshoe, or Claddagh ring can serve as beautiful and sentimental accents. Click here for a little guide to lucky symbols at Irish weddings!

Irish Folk Music

Set the mood with a live band or playlist featuring traditional Irish folk music. The sounds of fiddles, tin whistles, and bodhráns will transport your guests to the Emerald Isle and create an upbeat atmosphere for dancing.

Traditional Irish Musicians
Engage Ireland at Adare Manor

 

Irish-Inspired Cuisine

Give a nod to Irish cuisine in your wedding menu. Consider including traditional dishes like Irish stew, soda bread, or even a playful twist with green-themed desserts. Your guests will appreciate the culinary journey and the festive flavours.

Irish Toasts

Incorporate Irish toasts into your wedding speeches. Raise a glass to love, luck, and laughter with a heartfelt Irish blessing. It’s a meaningful way to connect with the cultural richness of St. Patrick’s Day.

Whiskey Tasting Station

Create a whiskey tasting station for your guests to enjoy during the reception. Include a selection of Irish whiskeys and provide tasting notes. This interactive element adds a sophisticated touch and pays homage to Ireland’s rich whiskey heritage.

Celtic Knots

Symbolize the intertwining of your lives with Celtic knot decorations. Whether incorporated into the wedding invitations, cake design, or table settings, the intricate and timeless knots represent eternal love and unity.

Irish Dance Performance

Surprise and delight your guests with an Irish dance performance. Professional dancers or even a dance troupe can provide a lively and entertaining show, making your wedding celebration truly unforgettable.

Green Wedding Favours

Send your guests home with a little piece of Ireland by choosing green-themed wedding favours. Consider personalized shamrock keychains, Irish-themed candles, or even miniature bottles of Irish whiskey.

Gift bags for guests
Crisps and afters

Photo Booth Fun

Set up a St. Patrick’s Day-themed photo booth complete with props like shamrocks and and Irish flags. Encourage your guests to snap pictures to create lasting memories.

By infusing these St. Patrick’s Day elements into your wedding celebration, you’ll create a day filled with luck, love, and laughter. May your marriage be as joyful and enduring as the Irish spirit that inspires this delightful celebration! Sláinte to a lifetime of happiness!

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Images by Story of Eve , Arte de Vie, Carla Ten Eyck  Christina Brosnan and Eric Kelley

Destination Wedding Trends for 2024

One of the beautiful things about life is that it’s always changing. It makes sense that love and weddings are ever-evolving, too. Here are some 2024 destination wedding trends to consider as you begin your planning adventure:

Unplugged Weddings

While this isn’t a new idea, it’s gaining popularity year by year. Some guests might struggle with unplugging from their ever-present electronic devices, but if you make it a wedding rule, you’ll find that most will thank you for the break from reality by the end of the event. Without distractions, your guests can truly spend some intentional time with one another. When you ask guests to disconnect from their devices during the ceremony, it encourages a more present and intimate experience. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the incredibly awkward moment of a ringing phone in the middle of your vows!

Virtual Elements

It might sound like I’m contradicting myself with the last point, but with the rise of virtual weddings during the pandemic, lots of couples have continued to incorporate virtual elements into their destination weddings for guests who can’t attend in person. Being able to attend in real-time, even though they are miles (or countries) away, will mean so much to your loved ones. Plus, with the ability to record and live-stream each precious moment, this reduces your guests’ compulsion to grab their devices and record for you. It also reduces the amount of cell phones inelegantly held overhead during the ceremony.

Eco-Friendly Weddings & Cultural Experiences

Sustainability and eco-consciousness have been on the rise in the wedding industry. Couples are choosing eco-friendly destination wedding locations, minimizing waste, and opting for sustainable décor and practices. They have also become much more culturally aware. Couples have been going out of their way to incorporate the customs of local culture into their wedding, including cuisine, music, and traditions. Here are some unique ways to incorporate cultural aspects and Make Your Irish Destination Wedding Stand Out.

Unique Locations & Intimate Gatherings

Couples are looking beyond traditional wedding locations and seeking unique, off-the-beaten-path destinations for their weddings. This might include mountains, forests, historical landmarks, or (may I suggest) beautiful historic Irish castles? With locations becoming more remote, we’ve seen another trend sprout forth – smaller, more intimate gatherings. Couples are often opting for quality time with a select group of loved ones rather than hosting large affairs. Pared-down events might also allow couples to invite their guests to spend more days or attend more activities.

Multi-Day Celebrations

That being said, some couples are extending their destination wedding festivities over several days, allowing for more relaxed and meaningful interactions with their guests. Knowing there are extra days to spend celebrating means more time for conversation with family and friends. It also means more time for adventures – like hiking, hot air ballooning, boating or falconry! Yep. Falconry.

As trends vary from year to year, you can depend on your wedding planner to keep you in the loop on factors like culture, economy and current events (especially if you plan on having your destination wedding in Ireland or any other country). One thing that never changes, though, are that weddings will always be about celebrating love and bringing friends and family together for the most important moment of your lives. That’s something we can always rely on.

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Images collected from Story of Eve 

Real Wedding: Emma and Lane’s Wedding at Adare Manor

On April 15th, 2023, a fairytale came to life at Adare Manor Hotel in Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Emma and Lane tied the knot amidst the verdant Irish countryside, orchestrating a wedding that was both incredibly personal and uniquely beautiful. Learn more about the day’s charming details, and the heartfelt journey that led Emma and Lane to say, “I do.”

Emma and Lane’s Adare Manor Wedding

Emma and Lane’s story began in Houston, where they were introduced to each other through mutual friends. After a blind date, they quickly found themselves in a long-distance relationship when Emma relocated to Chicago for a fellowship. Their love only grew stronger, and a year and four months after a picturesque Central Park proposal, they celebrated their wedding.

Emma’s wedding ensemble took centre stage with a carefully crafted floral design that adorned her dress, veil, and topper. This recurring motif subtly permeated the entire event, tying everything together in an elegant way. It was imprinted on wedding stationery and even the cake, thereby being an integral part of every aspect of the wedding, from beginning to end.

The couple’s personal touch was particularly evident in the wedding logo, which Emma had designed, inspired by the Rosewood Miramar Hotel’s logo. With a twist of creativity, two intertwined W’s were crafted to look like an old-world regal emblem, sitting atop a Celtic Knot.

Their choice of Adare Manor as the wedding venue was a sentimental tribute to Emma’s Irish grandparents, who had vacationed there several times. As a young girl, Emily’s grandmother often sent her articles about the hotel’s renovation, expressing hope that her granddaughter might consider it for her wedding. And indeed, it came to pass.

Emma’s design flair manifested again in the place cards. Guests found their names written in calligraphy on colourful purple and green envelopes. Inside, a card held a handwritten note from Emily or Lane, expressing their gratitude for the guests’ friendship—a gesture that left many attendees emotional.

The couple, with their eyes on details, did not let any aspect of the wedding preparation go unattended. A humorous incident during the week leading up to the wedding saw Emma suffer from food poisoning. She attended her doctor’s appointment all dolled up, ready to proceed to the welcome party right after!

The couple’s creativity also shone through in their DIY projects. Emma’s mother crafted unique party favours and explained the cultural significance of Ireland’s 99 ice cream through creative notes. She even included euros for everyone to experience this treat, a nod to their Irish roots.

The couple’s outfits were a showcase of sophistication. Emma’s stunning dress, a Carolina Herrera piece, featured a high neck and long sleeves inspired by Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton, and Pippa Middleton. Lane complemented her in a suave groom’s outfit that perfectly matched the elegance of the occasion.

When it came to their theme, Emma wanted to highlight traditional Irish elements. The colours of the Irish countryside, green and purple, were given a modern twist in the wedding’s décor. As for their favourite detail from the day, the couple had a hard time picking just one. From the tactile invitations that replicated Adare Manor’s window patterns to the breathtaking reception design and well-curated music, every aspect was meticulously planned and executed.

Emma and Lane's Real Adare Manor Wedding

Emma and Lane's Real Adare Manor Wedding

Looking back, Emma and Lane cherish their first dance the most. The intimate dance to “Yellow” was a joyous realization of their dream becoming a reality. Emma’s mother’s reaction to the ballroom design was another touching moment, her eyes welling up with tears of joy.

Adare Manor Wedding Reception

While planning a destination wedding amid a pandemic was a challenging feat, the couple found over-communication was key. By keeping their guests updated with timely emails, travel recommendations, and reminders, Emma and Lane ensured everyone felt comfortable and excited about the celebration.

All in all, Emma and Lane’s wedding was a heartfelt celebration that honoured their Irish heritage and personal love story, made all the more memorable by the majestic backdrop for their wedding. It was a testament to the power of love and the magic that can be woven when personal stories meet exceptional creativity.

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Event Planner: Tara Fay | Venue: Adare Manor |  Photography: Story of Eve | Videography: Dream Catcher | Bridal dress: Carolina Herrera | Bridal shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Groomswear: Custom Mason & Sons | Stationary (Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations, Rehearsal Dinner, Invitations, Place Cards, Menus: Papellerie |  Welcome bags, Mass Books, Songbooks, & Itineraries: Judson Design | Linens Wedding Day: Total Event Rental | Band Wedding Day: Sway | Ceremony Music Singer: Carly Coonagh | Ceremony Music Instrumentals, Welcome Party Music: D Strings | DJ All Weekend: Gordon Johnson | Welcome Dinner Drummer: Hit Machine | Hair: David Cashman | Makeup: Michelle Kinsella| Cake: Clare Anne Taylor  | Staging and Lighting: Gorilla Design | Sound and AV production: KCLS | Rehearsal Dinner Dress: Custom David Peck | Rehearsal Dinner Suit: Custom Mason & Sons | Flowers: The Garden | Welcome Party Sweater: Lalo, Purchased/Styled at Katia | Welcome Party Skirt: Malene Birger, purchased/styled at Katia | Welcome Party Handbag: Gedebe, purchased/styled at Katia