Let’s share a little Irish love today with Sarah and Ryan’s destination wedding in Ireland. The couple planned their wedding here from California and say their best decision was picking Ireland to marry in. “The people there are the most friendly and helpful in the world and every single person we worked with did everything that they could to help make our day special.” Amazing! Along with their families and close friends the couple exchanged vows in Fanningstown Castle in Limerick. Sarah and Ryan planned the wedding themselves and incorporated lots of little personal touches, like exchanging notes before the ceremony and having a friend bind them in the traditional hand fasting ceremony. Lots more from Sarah below on the day’s details, but first these lovely images from Kevin Murphy Photography.

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HOW THEY MET

“We first met in grade school and were friends until we began dating when we were 16. Since then, we went off to college, traveled around the world, and had a long distance relationship until we both attended the same university for the last two years. Ryan didn’t propose, but rather we decided to get married following graduation before starting our lives together!

DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

We always wanted a small wedding and both love to travel so once we decided to tie the knot we knew going abroad would be perfect for us! Europe was the easiest destination for our families so we began searching for a location. We chose Ireland because getting married in a castle sounded amazing and having a legal civil wedding there is very doable. Our venue, Fanningstown Castle in Adare, was an absolutely perfect venue. It is incredibly beautiful, a great size, and the owner Mary is the sole reason our wedding went so smoothly. She gave us great recommendations for a caterer as well as for Kevin Murphy, our amazing photographer. The castle was a convenient place for us to be able to travel Ireland and it was so fun to be able to spend a whole week celebrating with our families. Our reception was held at Pat Collins Bar in Adare. We wanted to have dinner at a pub and chose Pat Collins because it had live music on our wedding day. It ended up being perfect! They were incredibly friendly to us, the music was great and we even got best wishes from a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary that same night.

CHALLENGES

Planning a wedding from abroad was actually much easier than I expected. We were forced to make vendor decisions without visiting, which was probably the most difficult aspect. On the other hand, the limited choices also allowed for easier decision making. Mary, the castle owner, gave us great recommendations and in the end it all went perfectly. The registrar’s office was very easy to work with and we had that squared away with plenty of time. Ryan and I chose to not use a planner since our wedding was so small and we had plenty of time to get everything in place.

BEST DECISIONS

I would say one of our most memorable moments was having our first dance in a pub in Ireland with a live band and loved ones surrounding us. I think our best decision was picking Ireland for our wedding. The people there are the most friendly and helpful in the world and every single person we worked with did everything that they could to help make our day special. They made it so easy to plan an Irish wedding all the way from California. We also used the caterer for the rehearsal dinner, cocktail reception and breakfast the day after the wedding. Everything that Anne made was so delicious and she was amazing to work with. Our florist also was so great to work with and let me do a custom order that was perfect for us.

ADVICE

We have no regrets! It really was a perfect day and everyone had a great vacation on top of it. Our advice would be to not have a specific vision and be easygoing because it is difficult planning an event so far away and not being there in person. If at the end of the day you marry your best friend, then that is all that matters! And bring an umbrella, because it is Ireland!”

Photography: Kevin Murphy Photography | Ceremony Venue: Fanningstown Castle | Reception: Pat Collins Bar | Florist: Tie the Knot Weddings |  Catering & Cake: Anne Lloyd Catering | Wedding Celebrant: Mary O’Connell (HSE Ireland Registrar) | Hair & Makeup: Revas Spa at Woodlands Hotel

 

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