Weekend Wedding Planning: The Ceremony

Although Thomas and I are both regular church-goers neither of us wants a church wedding. I always envisioned myself getting married in the woods at night with twinkle lights and lanterns hanging from the tree branches above. However, the more venues we visit in Northern Ireland the less this seems like a possibility. While we've found a lot of beautiful grounds for a wedding ceremony and reception only certain areas are licensed for ceremonies. So at this point we're compromising and looking more at castle grounds and gardens for the ceremony location. The biggest concern in Ireland of course is: will it rain? Hopefully it won't!
Even while we're being flexibility with exactly where outside we want it the main points remain the same: romantic and rustic. I don't want to be in an overly manicured garden or stand with a pristine castle behind me. I love the look of natural arches made from rough-cut branches and a mix of neutral greenery. It would be nice to lead our guests to the ceremony location with a line of paper lanterns or even simple candles in a mason jar. Of course since the sun doesn't set in Northern Ireland until around 9PM in the summer, ambient light might be lost in the general brightness of the evening. Right now it's a mix of figuring out exactly what I want and what will work with my chosen destination.

*you can find sources & more inspiration on my Pinterest



  1. Wow, I really love your inspiration photos! I've always imagined having a wedding similar, but the weather would always be a problem. We have had friends and family who have to tried to plan an outdoor wedding but the rain forced the ceremony to be held inside. I am afraid of the possibility that the weather won't be right, so I will have to plan a lovely woodland/garden themed wedding inside. I hope the weather holds up for your wedding!!!

  2. I love your inspiration photos! Reminds me of my brother's wedding - all the bridesmaids and the bride walked through the forest to the alter. It made for some amazing photos!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous! I have always thought my wedding would be similar to the pictures you are posting and am interested I having a night wedding so the use of sparklers instead of rice would fit nicely.
    Hope all the details work out seemlessly for you.
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and the best of wishes!

  4. Such beautiful photos! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I got married 5 years ago and it is still the best day of my life so far. Like everyone says, it goes by so fast and I wish I could re-live that day all over again. Enjoy the process :).



  5. I hear you on the overly-manicured gardens! And the pristine castles. Rustic and romantic sounds really, really lovely!

    Good luck!

  6. A friend of mine got married outside in Ireland a few years ago. They had a back up venue indoors for if it rained but they got lucky & it was a lovely day. If you are using the gardens of a house or castle there will probably be somewhere you can use as a Plan B in case it lashes rain! But please God that won't happen and you'll get the rustic outdoor wedding that you've dreamed of. Your inspiration photos are beautiful!

  7. I wanted an outdoor wedding, too, but since we were getting married in central Florida in July, avoiding heat stroke became the priority and we ultimately had it indoors. I told the caterer I wanted an "unkempt garden" theme. He didn't like that idea much, but he still did an ok job. Getting married in Ireland sounds so lush and lovely. - Leah, http://stylewiseguide.com

  8. i love these photos!



  9. My step-father is from Belfast and my mom is American. They got married in Belfast Castle and though it was't as beautiful as getting married in the woods it was extremely beautiful and there were cat sculptures everywhere, which was definitely an added bonus. I'm glad to see you love Northern Ireland, it is magical there.


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