A Dublin City Wedding

With, you know, Guinness

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

A Dublin City Wedding | A Practical Wedding (34)

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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.


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  • This wedding is GORGEOUS! And the reception in the Guinness Storehouse?! Be still, my heart!

  • Lindsey d.

    Awesome! So glad our wedding is done, otherwise my husband would probably want to change venues… 10th anniversary vow renewal at the Guinness Brewery, maybe?

  • Kayjayoh

    I am seriously in love with the photo of the two of you each pulling a pint.

    • Lauren O.

      James has much better form than I do :) There were so many people watching us pour those pints! Serious props to their event coordinator for facilitating that for us. Our wedding was on a Saturday so it was packed and she had to get crowds of people to move quickly. The Gravity Bar was still open to visitors when we went up for some photos and a huge crowd formed around Janet to take photos. A lot of people asked if it was a real wedding because they host so few each year. It felt so bizarre! All the well wishes from strangers were so lovely though.

  • Anon


  • MC

    “If you ever find yourself at an Irish wedding, eat the sandwiches.” Great advice for many other situations, in my opinion :)
    Also holy cow this wedding looks amazing. The Guinness Brewery, THE DRESS, the joy!

    • Lauren O.

      I knew I wanted a short dress from the beginning, but started second guessing myself after I went to two bridal salons and was looked at like a crazy person for asking if they had any. Then I found Dolly Couture and fell in LOVE and said F*** it. When I tried a long, heavy dress on in January and was nearly sweating it off I knew I couldn’t handle it. Short dresses all the way!!

  • mimi

    This is amazing! We visited Dublin on our honeymoon last fall and of course spent an afternoon at the Guinness Storehouse. This makes me want to go back right now. What a cool idea!

  • lady brett

    lovely! and it looks like so much fun.

  • jashshea

    Ridiculous wedding! I wish I’d been there! Killer dress, too!

  • sara g

    I love this SO MUCH <3

  • EF

    yay for bi-national (plus new england, chyeah) couples!

    but seriously this was awesome. and guinness is always a good decision. everything about this is wicked amazing.

    • Lauren O.

      I don’t hear ‘wicked’ nearly enough these days :)

  • Kimbo

    Being one of the Americans that was in this wedding, I have never been given any better advise than “eat the sandwiches”. They pretty much saved my life.

    As beautiful as the photos are, the venue is unbelievably breathtaking and there is no better way to experience Dublin than on a week-long bridal party marathon. Beautiful wedding, beautiful couple and some pretty epic air guitar battles, indeed.

  • Gorgeous wedding!! I love your dress!!

  • Alex Smith

    This album brings a smile to my face! Great Photographer, these photos are amazing and really brings out how much fun Lauren and James had on their wedding day :) If you enjoyed this, I found this album of Cristina and Alex really stood out to me as fun and memorable too. http://blog.weddingwire.com/index.php/weddings/whimsical-pink-and-gold-winter-farm-wedding-in-florida/

  • Fiona

    I’ve been there! SO cool to see a wedding done in that space!

  • unforgettable wedding

    Honestly one of the best and most unique weddings. The ceremony and the celebrant were amazing. The food at the Guinness brewery was incredible…. yummy yummy food! And the venue itself was worth the majority of the budget. The band and dj were great and it really was so much fun. One of those times where you cant help but smile and be happy. Was an unforgettable incredible wedding that I was so so happy to go to! Couldn’t have fit James and Laurens personalites better.

  • Sarah

    Man, this wedding looks like FUN!! I particularly love all the photos of the men in their suits (and socks!). Also, Lauren has some serious style! Love :-)
    Congratulations to you both!

  • ML

    I love the second photo with the veil close-up. So beautiful!

  • Aj

    we got married and had our reception in a brewery (2 weeks ago!)…wishing we had taken a picture pouring (uncertain if that’s the right word, my wife says it is) a beer together! love.

  • Nora

    This looks like the most fun that could ever be had at a wedding. Seriously. You both look lovely and so incredibly happy. Congratulations!

  • Kirstin

    This looks like the most amazing day – I wanted to be there with you all! And I LOVE the red nails!

  • JDrives

    I love the Guinness brewery! What a rockin’ place for a wedding reception!