When an esteemed fashion designer reached out to us to capture her fairytale wedding weekend in Ireland, we said yes without hesitation. Kate, the radiant bride and mastermind behind Abel Honor New York, envisioned an authentic celebration infused with “quiet luxury.” Trusting our distinct artistic styles, Kate led us on a collaborative journey with Semina Bildik (us on digital and Semina on 35mm film). Together, we preserved the emotions and candid connections that made this regal wedding weekend at Ballyfin Demesne truly unforgettable. From traditional Irish activities to a tasteful goodbye brunch, every moment will leave you spellbound.
The Venue: Ballyfin Demesne– a Private Estate in the Scenic Irish Countryside
Ballyfin Demesne, steeped in history and exuding neoclassical elegance, is a stunning choice for a destination wedding. The estate’s rich heritage, adorned with fine artwork and French-inspired decor, creates an effortlessly romantic atmosphere. Kate was captivated by Ballyfin’s grandeur and historical charm, making it the perfect foundation for their lavish wedding. Falling in love with the venue, the couple couldn’t envision a more idyllic setting to share with their loved ones. With a stroke of Irish luck, they secured this dream venue with just eight months to plan.
The Couple’s Vision: Quiet Luxury and Authenticity
Kate and Travis dreamed of a wedding weekend, enveloped in “quiet luxury” with an emphasis on authenticity. Embracing Irish traditions, they crafted a celebration that harmonized with the opulence of their venue, honoring its grandeur without overshadowing it. Kate’s refined taste envisioned decor that seamlessly weaved with the estate’s exquisiteness. However, what truly made their celebration exceptional was the couple’s unique perspective – “Our main decor is our guests, they are SO fun so we want all of their personalities captured.” Moved by the bond shared by this group, we documented the authentic connections and candid moments of their four-day journey.
Day 1: Welcome Pub Night in Dublin
On the first night of their enchanting four-day wedding celebration, Kate and Travis welcomed their closest family and friends with a lively Welcome Pub Night in the heart of Dublin. There was live music, mingling, speeches, and of course a variety of Irish beer including the famous Guinness on tap. We snuck away after sunset to capture Kate and Travis around the city and under the neon glow of The Old Storehouse.
Day 2: Traditional Irish Activities
On day two, guests embraced authentic Irish experiences at Ballyfin, from horseback riding and skeet shooting to archery, horse and buggy rides, falconry, fishing, and more. The charm of the Irish countryside immersed everyone in a day of adventurous memories. Incorporating such activities into your wedding weekend fosters a strong bond and quality time with loved ones before the main event!
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Day 3: The Wedding Day at Ballyfin Demesne
Getting Ready Moments
On the much-awaited wedding day, Kate and her girls prepared in room within the grand hotel, embracing the moment with excitement. As a true visionary in the world of fashion, Kate poured her heart and soul into meticulously crafting each extravagant ensemble. Her gown, with its fitted bodice, cascaded into a stunning long train, exuding timeless elegance fit for a duchess. She completed her look with custom jewelry, delicate lace gloves, and iconic Manolo Blahnik’s.
Meanwhile, Travis readied himself in a cozy cottage, just a stone’s throw away from the venue. Kate’s attention to detail extended to the custom-designed jackets she created for the men, adding a touch of personalized elegance to their classic attire.
Irish-Inspired Ceremony with Runway Style Seating
The ceremony was a beautiful blend of Irish customs and heartfelt moments. Officiated by a Gaelic monk, the couple embraced time-honored traditions, symbolically tying the knot and cherishing tributes from friends introducing each other’s families. Set in a covered tent, the ceremony had a modern, sophisticated vibe with a contemporary runway-style aisle. White rose and peony arrangements led the way to a stunning floral arch creating the perfect frame to say “I do”. Love truly knows no bounds, as even Kate’s grandma from Upstate New York joined in via Zoom!
Kate and Travis’s Journey from High School to The Big “I Do”
Kate and Travis’s love story began in high school, thanks to a longtime mutual friend. Kept apart by fate until their senior year, their first introduction sparked a connection that would last a lifetime. Despite living in different rival towns, Kate mustered the courage to reach out to Travis on Facebook. Their casual texting gradually evolved, but their first in-person meeting took two months to arrange. When they finally met, Kate was captivated by his smile, sweet personality, and overwhelming charm. Their love has endured for over a decade, with both residing in Manhattan before buying their dream home in upstate New York, where Travis eventually proposed.
Kind words from the couple
“We are in absolute tears with these pictures… you two truly captured all the love, beauty, friendship, family, and VIBE! We are so blessed to have you two a part of our special day, and our family and friends continue to bring up how amazingly talented, friendly, and overall inviting you were. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Couldn’t have asked for a better team behind the scenes of our most special day.”
Cocktail Hour with an American Twist
For cocktail hour, guests wandered through the various rooms of the estate, each feeling like their own private mansion. Passed appetizers and expertly crafted cocktails circulated, while everyone cozied up by the crackling fireplaces. They engrossed themselves in the history of the estate, flipping through albums while mingling. In the glass conservatory, the couple added an American twist to the Irish celebration by filling a bathtub with their favorite beer, Bud Light! The ambiance was a seamless blend of elegance and warmth, offering a sophisticated start to the evening’s festivities.
An Irish-Style Dinner in the Ballroom
The reception at Ballyfin Demesne was a night to remember, filled with surprises and executed to perfection. The Irish-style dinner in the ballroom featured white flowers, candles, and a standout entrance with a traditional Irish bagpiper. Among the heartwarming speeches, Kate’s best friend’s hilarious moment stole the show. Opening her speech, she playfully blew dust out of the paper, teasing the couple’s longtime relationship and their lack of a hurry to say “I do!”.
Parisian Bistro-Inspired Dance Party & Surprise Elvis Tribute
After dinner, guests transitioned to the transformed tent which exuded an intimate bistro vibe inspired by their favorite spot in Paris, Hotel Costes. Moody lighting, leather couches, and a checkered dance floor turned the evening into a lively party, where conversations flowed, and memories were made. As big Elvis fans, the couple surprised all their guests with an Elvis impersonator for their first dance. Kate’s uncle is a registered Elvis collector, and he could hardly contain his excitement during the 5-song set. After the performance, the couple and their guests danced the night away.
Day 4: Goodbye Brunch at Ballyfin Demesne
On the fourth and final day, the wedding weekend ended with a delightful goodbye brunch at the estate. The couple treated guests to an Irish-American BBQ with live music, bloody Marys, and Irish coffees. The World Cup played in the background, making it a sweet farewell to an unforgettable destination celebration.
Kate and Travis have an unforgettable presence, leaving a lasting impression on all they encounter. Their wedding at Ballyfin Demesne showcased their exceptional vision, where guests were the heart and soul of the four-day celebration. Being a part of this stunning destination affair was an absolute honor, and it will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Relive more of this Kate and Travis’s wedding featured in Wedding Chicks and Grace Ormonde Wedding Style.
Photography: Katherine Marchand (digital) Semina Bildik (film) || Designers (Decor/Tent): Frog Prince Weddings Wedding Planner: Waterlily Weddings || Venue & Catering: Ballyfin Demesne ||Gowns & Tuxes: Abel Honor New York || Videography: Odicci Film || Hair: Niamh O Connor || Makeup: Paula Callan