This really is the dream Irish castle wedding, and I was delighted for the dream couple! I had met Joe and Katerina a week earlier when they had their legal humanist wedding in County Clare. See it here.

This was a much bigger event, in an amazing private castle setting with lots of family and friends who came from all around the globe to celebrate.

Ireland has so many incredible wedding venues, and I guess if you are coming from the USA you are probably particularly interested in having a wedding in a castle. Katerina and Joe found Blackwater Castle in County Cork was the perfect fit for them. Unlike a lot of castles this one is not a hotel, you hire it and it is yours exclusively!

The guests had all arrived in the days leading up to the wedding, so when I arrived I found everyone already very much at home. There was a group sitting under the shelter of the huge trees of the walled garden sipping on drinks and someone was playing some tunes on a guitar. I knew I was going to like the vibe at this wedding! Other people were out walking around the grounds, others trying to track down the Sile na gig (stone carving celebrating female fertility). Inside the castle Joe and Katerina were getting ready in separate rooms. Joe and some of his friends got dressed and then toasted the groom with an Irish whisky, before taking their place by the Chuppah. An Irish audience will probably only be familiar with these from movies. A Chuppah features in Jewish weddings and symbolises the home that the couple will build together. The structure was made by the couple and their friends, while Joes mum wove the canopy.

Katerina had her hair and make up done on site, and once complete she slipped into that incredible vintage wedding gown. The dress was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel the designers who famously created Princess Dianas wedding dress. Doesn’t it really show how good design is timeless? And of course what a great low impact on the planet choice. This ethos was carried through to the flowers too which were by Giulia who grows her flowers in her own organic flower farm in Clare.

A good friend was the celebrant for the occasion, and she choreographed a beautiful ceremony, with music preformed by friends as well as beautiful poems and well wishes by the couples nearest and dearest. Katerina and Joe each wrote their own vows, which they made to each other. Yes! Joe produced the comedy red nose at some point and they both wore them with glee! These people really took the whole “make it your own” thing on board!

After the ceremony drinks were served on the lawn by the castle while music played. It was the hottest day of the summer, unusually hot for Ireland, so we were quite grateful for the shade from the huge trees. Some guests took the mic and sang a song for the newlyweds, and then Joe the groom preformed for everyone.

Their meal was held in the Coach House and after the dancing was outdoors on the terrace of the castle. Not often you would be able to do that in Ireland but what an amazing thing to be able to do.

A really memorable wedding day for everyone, I was so delighted to be there.