Lauren & James
Photographer: Blackbird Boulevard Photography (Janet Williams) with Ruby-Sky Photography
One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: A relaxed Dublin city wedding with a sweet, funny ceremony, delicious food, and a late night dance party with our favorite people (conga lines included).
Soundtrack for reading: “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About
Less than a month after moving to Dublin for grad school I met James on a night out with some friends, and lo and behold, a year and half later in our little city centre apartment he asked me to marry him. The week after we were engaged I had to move back to Maine for work and we faced a year and a half of long distance. When we started dating, James would take me out on touristy dates around the city and because the city was so central to the beginning of our relationship, there was no better way to celebrate the end of long distance and the beginning of our marriage than with a big Dublin party!
Having fun and looking after our guests were the most important to us, so we decided to focus on the reception venue and entertainment. Nearly all of our budget went to the reception at the Guinness Storehouse and it was the best decision we ever made (besides the whole marriage thing). The dinner was held in a suite with exposed steel beams and huge windows, and the party was held in the Gravity Bar, which is a gorgeous glass room with a 360 view of the city. ALL the twinkling city lights! It was the lazy crafter’s ultimate dream. We spent about $30 on decorations to make the seating chart and table numbers using free templates we found online and cheap IKEA frames. Our friends’ band RAID kicked off the party after dinner and inspired many air guitar duels. All inhibitions flew out the window by the time the DJ started and when he played “Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing around 2AM, some serious Swayze moves were being attempted.
“Personalizing” the wedding wasn’t our thing. We didn’t write our own vows or have music during the ceremony. Yet, it was perfect for us. Our celebrant Keith was so warm and funny that it felt as if we had known him for years, despite meeting for the first time four days prior. We had our friends Eric and Sorcha read lovely poems by Seamus Heaney and Robert Fulghum. Instead of worrying about centerpieces or nametags we got to spend the week hanging out with our friends. No one seemed to notice the lack of flowers or guest favors. That being said, it was still a Do It Together effort. James’ parents took the ferry to France to get wine for the dinner, the double decker bus that took everyone to the reception was a wedding gift from James’ sister and her boyfriend, and James’ uncle drove us from the church to the reception in his car. Our friend Greg also surprised us with a kick-ass wedding video!
Also, Irish weddings are marathons. Our ceremony started at 1:30 in the afternoon and the reception ended after 2AM. Despite reassurance from my Irish friends that our wedding was actually ending early, I was worried our guests would leave early. But the Americans pulled through in the end thanks to the late night wedding cake and sandwiches. If you ever find yourself at an Irish wedding, eat the sandwiches. They are your lifeline.
Favorite Thing About the Wedding
Lauren: The day was absolutely brilliant from beginning to end and our guests are the reason I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing all day. Having my friends and family travel to Dublin from the States meant the world to me, and seeing them have a blast made all the planning worth it. Oh, and meeting James and the groomsmen for a sneaky pint before the ceremony!
James: The photo shoots around town and the Guinness Storehouse were a good laugh. Janet is a wonderful artist so we knew the photos would be great. She even walked around the city in heels before the wedding to see how long it would take to get to each location and she timed it perfectly.