A Glamorous and Elegant Black Tie Wedding at Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin, Ireland

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Breada and Christian tied the knot on 2nd September at Luttrellstown Castle in Castleknock, Dublin.

The couple wanted to bring their families together for an international celebration and fell in love with this magnificent location. The bride wore a simply strapless gown with elbow length gloves and the groom and his groomsmen donned black tie.

This utterly charming wedding was photographed by the very lovely and talented Phil and Michelle of Kernwell Photography, who we’re delighted to recommend to you as wedding photographer. Enjoy!

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The Location & Inspiration

I have five siblings and we all have our Irish Citizenship through my grandpa, the second oldest of eight children, who moved to The States from Cork, Ireland after serving in the US Army as a paratrooper.  My mom was the first-born American citizen and has always kept our family’s Irish roots very strong.

Christian was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts in the USA, and I am from Northern North Jersey, USA. Our parents and siblings are dispersed throughout the country from NYC Boston, Charleston, Colorado, and San Diego.  Being that we were recent NYC transplants with family all over, Christian had proposed hosting an international wedding in Ireland, which would make our celebration super memorable.

In terms of attire, Christian’s earliest memories was being a page boy at his aunt and uncles black tie wedding and that made a lasting impact on him.

When considering the style of our wedding – we recognised that many guests would be traveling far who had never been to Ireland, so we we wanted to have an epic, 5-star celebration for our guests.

We also wanted a venue close to Dublin, so it would be accessible for our guests who were traveling/flying.  After touring a few beautiful options in and outside Dublin city centre, we decided on The Luttrellstown Castle, particularly after a conversation with our aunt who mentioned how special it would be to have our wedding at an Irish castle. 

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The Dress & Accessories

On the day itself, I wore a dress from Magnolia Bride in Charleston, South Carolina with Manolo Blahnik, vintage ivory fabric heels. In my hair, I wore simple Baby’s Breath.

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I borrowed my mom’s emerald with diamond earrings and necklace set, with a bracelet that she purchased from Dublin over twenty years prior.

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I wanted a classic Cathedral veil.  My sister had shared her veil with a few friends so it wasn’t in great shape to wear but I found a perfect, classic, vintage cathedral veil.

I actually purchased a backup option the month before because I was afraid it wasn’t the right colour, but I wound up sticking with my option and it looked great. 

Vintage Manolo Blahnik shoes.
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The Before & After Outfits

Oh man, I had FUN shopping! There are so many fun options for brides these days and the styles keep changing.  My general theme was classic, bold, whites/dark greens/gold.

In addition to my main look, I had a few other options too, since we had a few celebrations before and after our wedding; I wore my mom’s vintage wedding dress (long sleeve linen and lace) for our civil nuptials we had in Los Angeles, the week before our wedding.  I also found a lovely Self-Portrait white lace tea-length dress for the day before the action started.  

I also loved the idea of a simple, elegant silk gown.  I found a beautiful gown from Reformation that I wore for the rehearsal dinner and traveling from The Shelbourne to The Luttrellstown Castle with my dad since it was drizzling that morning. I changed into a sharp white suite from Favorite Daughter for the welcome party at O’Donoghues with a fun pearl top I found at Shop Bop. I wore a green silk jumpsuit with a custom Kemo Sabe from my bachelorette trip for the after party.

I purchased a few Oscar de la Renta statement earrings as accents with my outfits – one green option and one white option. My shoes, I kept very comfortable and practical from Stuart Weitzman, Loeffler Randall, and Dolce Vida.

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My bridesmaids dresses were from Birdy Grey. I just asked my sisters & sister-in-laws to be my bridesmaids in an effort to keep things simple.

Knowing that my sisters have babies and busy lives, my motto was just to keep things as clean, classic, and simple as possible.  I told them that any floor-length black dress in their budgets would work. One of my siter-in-laws found a dress from Birdy Grey and had worn the brand before and she really loved the fabric and options.  Then, my sister wanted to try the dress on too and she loved it. 

So then all of my sisters wound up deciding to wear the same dress, which was not originally the idea but it worked and looked great. I would highly recommend Birdy Grey for any brides looking to give their bridesmaids easy, versatile, affordable options.

My flowergirl outfits were from Etsy and my page boy wore a vintage custom plaid suit my brother Liam wore 30-years ago.

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It wasn’t necessary to hire an outside event planner or stylist since the Luttrellstown Wedding & Events team handled almost all the planning and coordinating logistics.  We worked with the lovely Paulina, Senior Wedding & Events Executive. 

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The Ceremony

My father walked me down the isle – it was such a special moment with him. He kept reminding me to walk slow, take deep breaths, and to take it all in.

He knows how to calm me down when I’m nervous. We opted for the classic tune, Pachabel cannon in D.

Christian’s Uncle, Professor Richard Fentiman, lead our ceremony.

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Christian and I wrote our own vows, which became a VERY funny story during our ceremony.

Originally, I had planned to say my vows first.  However, my oldest sister left my vows in her purse, which she left behind.  She wound up running through the castle searching for her purse, which she finally realized that her friend grabber it for her.  So Christian went first and did a great job. 

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After all of that, my sister returned with the vows and I realised as I was finishing my vows, that the ending was not there… so I had to wing it.

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It made for a very funny scene of events, which gave our guests a laugh and was a light-hearted way to break up all of the emotions of the day.

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Our ceremony readings included ‘Union’, by Robert Fulghum.

We both got custom rings from a supplier in New York.

Explore our wedding readings
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Photography & Videography

We really didn’t know much about photography going into our wedding, outside of a few Instagram posts here and there. We started some research and with a list of recommendations, but I felt a little lost with the number of options, styling, location, price ranges, etc. I asked a few friends who were more familiar with photography or who had recently gotten married, which was immensely helpful. They helped me learn things about lighting, brightness, colours, style of photography, and everything in-between.

My sister-in-law’s best friend happened to be a photographer and she was so helpful. She wound up sharing our wedding details on a Facebook group, where we had several professionals express interest in capturing our day.  This ended up being one of the best things we could have done.

After consulting with my photographer friends, they helped me understand that Kernwell Photography were highly professional.  After having a conversation with Phil and Michelle Kern, we felt a great connection and understanding of how we envisioned our wedding photos – natural, classic, bright, and in-the-moments, with a few family portraits of course.

Similarly, to our photographers, we found our videographers through the help of our friends and the same Facebook Page. Brady Huf and his partner captured the most incredible content we could ever have imagined. We feel so blessed with our vendor team – everyone was truly a dream to work with and did such an incredible job.

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How They Met

Christian and I played sports for the same club in New York City, the New York Athletic Club (the NYAC).  Christian was on the Rugby team and I played on the Lacrosse team. In the summer of 2016, the NYAC hosted an athlete’s only pool and barbeque party, where various teams mingled and enjoyed midsummer fun.

I met Christian and many of his teammates from Australia Ireland, and the UK  and Christian was the one American, who I thought was very cute but also very quiet and mysterious.  He bought my friends and I all piña coladas but didn’t really say a word.  Regardless, he caught my attention.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2020, Christian and I had moved across the country from our 300-square foot apartment in the West Village, NYC to the beaches in sunny Los Angeles, CA.  Christian proposed a year later at the beach where the celebrations and planning began. And fourteen months later, we were married.

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The Reception

We purchased black cardigans from Etsy since we knew it would be a little chilly for our reception.  

We created custom matchbooks for our guests, however, we realised that we could not fly with them due to airline regulations.  So we mailed them out with our Thank You letters after our wedding.

Our florist was Stephanie Doussal of The French Touch, who came highly recommended via Luttrellstown Castle, so we were lucky Stephanie was available. The castle is gorgeous as it is so I wanted to add simple, elegant greens with white accents surrounding our venue.

I mainly wanted a white, simple bouquet and decided on beautiful Orchid bouquet that Stephanie created.  It was absolutely stunning and I still love looking at it.  

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My mom always brought home Flake bars from her trips to Ireland, so these have been a nostalgic treat for me.  So I purchased a bunch of these for our guests to leave out with our late night snacks.

They were a hit. We purchased baskets for our favours and trinkets to stock our bathrooms with items for our guests.

We contemplated having a cake but we opted to not include one, since our venue came with a selection of desserts and didn’t feel the “cutting ceremony” was necessary.

My brother, Jack, plays the bagpipes semi-professionally and has done many weddings, parties, and events before.

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We didn’t want to announce our bridal party, which is very common in The States, so instead, Jack walked into our dinner reception while the crowd was at their seats and it was so incredible.  He played a fun Irish tune that got everyone clapping in unison.

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Then, Christian and I entered while Jack was finishing playing the bagpipes and it truly felt so magical and felt like a movie moment – like that scene from The Titanic where Jack and Rose are walking through greeting their guests at the end.

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Evening & Dancing

We got dance lessons before to ensure we got the steps down right. My family has always loved The Gypsy Kings, where we wind up dancing around our kitchen during many holidays.  We danced to Bamboleo and it was the perfect way to break out on the dancefloor.

The Irish Dancers were absolutely fantastic – my sisters and I all Irish danced competitively growing up and they surprised our guests before the fireworks. My sister and moms were behind this event. After the dancers wowed our guests, my sisters and mom joined them and it was so fun. 

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

Leading up to your big day, there are so many details that go into planning a wedding.  So it’s okay to ask for help, if and when you are ready. Outsource as many details that you can handle within your budget.

And lastly, go into your day knowing that some things just will not go to plan – as much as you may have thought through every single detail. It is just bound to happen with the amount of people and vendors involved – and remember that is okay.

The wedding day ‘hiccups’ make up the best stories of the day and do not let those moments bring down the joy, magic, love, and celebrations that this day are all about.

Your wedding day consists of getting ready with your loved ones and a few hours of celebrating with all of the most special people in your life – your closest friends and family – all together at once to celebrate one of the biggest days of your life. Cherish every moment because there is truly nothing like it or as special as this day.

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There are minor, insignificant things that only I would notice in hindsight but all of those details make the day more eventful and fun to discuss. I got a late start on my hair/makeup, my brothers were jetlagged and late for their groomsmen pictures, I got caught in traffic with my dad, I forgot the flower girl crowns, my sister forgot to carry my vows, my hair was falling out by the end of the night. But truly, the day was perfect with all of the craziness and wonderful emotions of a wedding day.

Wedding budgets are funny, because they are totally insane in the big picture – but worth every single penny. Originally, I thought I could get creative on having a wedding for ~$50K USD but boy was I wrong once I started understanding all of the separate costs that go into the day.  Providing food and beverages for ~50-300+ people is costly, no matter what type of wedding a couple is considering.

Needless to say, we did exceed my original concept of a budget.  However, after learning of various ranges for venues, vendors, etc., I do think we were able to have a very high-quality wedding without going overboard on every single detail and getting creative in some areas.

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Additional Credits

The below suppliers and venues are featured in this article, but are not part of the Love My Dress Wedding Directory.

Bridal Shoes
Rehearsal Dinner Gown
Floral Designer
Groom's Suit

Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.