Today, we’re off to beautiful Ireland for a Transatlantic wedding in more ways than one.
Kelli and Stephen are a couple from the US and Ireland, respectively, who got married in County Cork’s atmospheric Ballynatray Estate. With a vintage 1920s feel, their day was a mix of roaring and refined, celebrating the era both Stateside and in Europe.
In keeping with the romance of their day, they chose Ivana Patarcic Photography to capture it in her signature candid Style.
Setting the vibe of the day with their unique Wedding, Kelli walked down the aisle in a stunning sequin wedding dress by Jenny Packham, while Stephen was a cool groom in his bespoke burgundy suit.
The floral-laced decor was opulent and elegant, with vintage-inspired paper goods, fresh flower chandeliers, and sequin table runners.
If you love the idea of a fun, relaxed Wedding with a hint of glamour, a touch of sparkle, and a side of serious romance, Kelli & Stephen’s twenties bash might be right up your street.
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
I (Kelli) am from California originally; I moved to Ireland in 2008 for an internship & never left!
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, we both volunteered with a charity called Haven and went to Haiti to build houses for a week – Stephen says he heard me before he saw me, so I guess it was love at the sound of my voice for him!
Stephen proposed five years later when we were on holiday with my whole family in Carmel-by-the-Sea in Northern California; it was a complete surprise to me – I couldn’t stop crying for weeks.
It was so special to have my whole family around to share the news with straight away.
My wedding planner was Amy Cahill O’Brien. She works for the Estate, and we would never have made it through all the planning without her coordination skills, not to mention she has the best event contacts and had answers to any question we asked!
I would have to say that my bridesmaid Louise was the main stylist – but so many people helped me make my vision become actuality!
Something really important to us was exclusivity. We wanted to be able to have all our friends and family take over a venue for a few days and party!
Ballynatray Estate was perfect for that. We really felt at home, and we took over every inch of the Estate for the four days! We had plenty of space for people to stay both in the main mansion and the cottages on the Estate.
It was right on the river Blackwater, so the day after the Wedding, we had a boat dock up and take people on sightseeing tours throughout the day.
It also happens to be the most beautiful place I have ever been in Ireland.
I hate the word “Theme,” but I would describe the “Direction” for our Wedding as a nod to the 1920s.
But a total mix of the Parisian/American 1920s that was totally Gatsby and debauchery and wild and the more civilized Irish/English 1920s that was full of elegant garden parties and beautiful muted florals.
It’s funny how one era can be portrayed so differently by different cultures, and I loved mixing the different vibes of each.
Our Wedding in three words? I only need two! Elegant and unique.
We had a humanist ceremony that was very special to us as we pretty much put it together ourselves – we chose every reading, piece of music, and our vows.
It was very emotional and testing to get through the ceremony, as with each reading, I was trying not to cry!
It is very moving to have the people you love more than anything in the world help you celebrate and express the love you have for your partner.
We also did a traditional Celtic Handfasting as part of our ceremony that involved both our mums, so that was also very meaningful to us.
Our band is something else that took a lot of time searching for as we wanted someone who could play our first dance song, Led Zeppelin – Thank You. We found Renovators, who are rockers from Kerry and were brilliant!
Two of them came early to play the acoustic guitar at our ceremony.
The flowers girls and bridesmaids walked down the aisle to ‘Dream a Little Dream’ by the Mamas & Papas, I walked down the hall to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by the Beatles, we had ‘I Will’ by the Beatles playing while we signed our registry.
When the ceremony was finished, Stephen & I walked back down the aisle to ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ by Queen, then they played ‘First Day of my Life’ by Bight Eyes and ‘All You Need is Love’ by the Beatles while we were greeting people at the end of the aisle.
The rest of the band came for the dancing and played until the early hours!
Our first dance was to ‘Thank You’ by Led Zeppelin, and then they played ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,’ the Andy Williams version, when I danced with my Papa for the second dance.
We did not go for a videographer, and with Ivana, we didn’t need one – she was amazing and captured every moment!
I knew I wanted Ivana when I saw her at a hotel and fell in love with her business cards; they were just photos she had taken, very simple but very effective!
That was our mantra for the photography: simple and no posing!
The color palette started with my dress, which was antique ivories and golds, and the bridesmaid dresses were a stunning dusty mauve color; the flower girls wore gorgeous little ivory sequin dresses.
My dress was the Joy Dress by Jenny Packham, and it was the very first dress I ever put on… I still tried on many, many dresses after, but ended up buying that very first one when I tried it on again in Chicago on a weekend away with my best friends at Ultimate Bride – it was magical, and they all cried when I came out it in, except for Molly!
Both my engagement ring and wedding ring are from Delphi Antiques in Dublin, and the lovely owner, Declan, lent me the beautiful earrings I wore on the day.
I wore two very special bracelets on the day, and I still wear them every day! On one arm was a diamond bracelet from Tiffany’s from my mum and grandma, and on the other was a gold bracelet by Irish designer Tory Long that I gifted to my best friends the morning of the Wedding.