This is one of those weddings that particularly makes my heart sing to be sharing with you today. As an adventure wedding blog, we tend to feature a lot of what I call ‘ high activity’ weddings with couples trekking up mountains and through canyons to get to their ceremony location. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those weddings, but I also adore low key, mellow events with a lot of thought. Hannah & Sam’s destination wedding in Ireland was exactly such.
A clan wedding at Newtown Castle
How did you meet?
We met online! Our first date was over ciders and that was pretty much it for us. We were bonded and together from that first night. We got engaged two and a half years later.
How long was your engagement?
A little over a year. We had been talking about our dream wedding in Ireland for a few years and so we knew exactly how we wanted to do our special day!
Tell us about the proposal?
Sam proposed in 2018 while on a trip to the Big Island in Hawaii. It was his birthday and we took a star gazing tour on top of the oldest volcano, Mauna Kea. He popped the question while I was taking time lapse photos of the nights sky.
Why did you choose your wedding destination?
We love to travel, but our families don’t travel much at all. So for years when we had talked about our wedding we knew we wanted that to be a main component. We chose Ireland because Sam’s family has the last name of Murphy and they are Irish Canadians. My family also has Irish decent and they had always wanted to go there. We thought it would be a nice way to get our immediate family members on an adventure.
What was the best part of the day?
The day felt so personal and intimate. Down to every detail the day was well planned and easy going. We loved that there was no stress and it was a beautiful day with our family members. Both of our parents loved Dara and the ceremony the most, they said he did a truly lovely job at bringing history and our story together.
How did you pick your aisle, recessional and first dance songs?
We went through the song list and found some that we really liked played on the violin. The best part was Sam’s father ended up knowing the violin player at our ceremony. She used to live in Newfoundland and she and her sister were in a tourism commercial he produced.
Were any DIY elements present in your wedding?
We wanted to represent family and all the details that were special to us for the day. The men on my side of the family (father, brother, and nephews) all wore ties made from the McMullen tartan. Sams family all had pocket squares of the Murphy tartan on them. As my dad walked me down the aisle, I wore a McMullen tartan cap over my dress, after Sam and I said I do, he placed a sash of the Murphy tartan (made by Sam’s mother) over me to signify the changing and blending of clans. We also had my nephew carry a book with our wedding bands in it. The book was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and was carved into to hold the rings at the chapter of “The Unbreakable Vow” signifying our marriage promise to one another.
Any family or religious traditions incorporated into your day?
Our families are somewhat split on religion, however we wanted my father to pray over the entire family at the start of the service.
Any funny stories from the lead up to the wedding, or on the day itself?
Dara’s speech during our ceremony was about how some days, like today just feel so meant to be. That day for us both felt just so, not just because we were getting married but in every detail of that day. From every song that played on the radio, or mural next to the castle, or cats and bees visiting me while I put on my wedding dress, and a puppy visiting Sam. Even the weather that day was perfect (it had rained days before and after), and the sunset at the Cliffs without any fog made us feel so lucky. Each moment was strangely is incredible ever way possible, it felt like this day from head to toe was created just for us.
Anything you are really glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?
Our wedding day was so special and we often talk about how we could relive it again. Taking that trip with our family members leaves us with memories we can cherish for the rest of our lives. We had family come from Toronto, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Oregon, and Colorado.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage to us is a celebration and a gift of being able to spend our lives with each other. When I was little I never dreamed about my wedding day or the dress I’d wear, I just prayed about finding my best friend and getting to spend my life with them. We both wanted that more and anything, and we feel so lucky to have each other. We’ve been together for almost a total of 5 years now and have traveled to 7 counties together, battled countless health issues, job changes, and recently moved to Texas. Being married is our promise to one another to continue to support, care for, encourage, laugh with, cry with, and continue to travel and adventure through this big wide world together for the rest of our lives.
Any words of wisdom for other couples planning a destination wedding?
Do it! I photograph weddings for a living and being able to plan your day, stress free, in the way you’ve dreamed it is the way your wedding day should be. I meet more couples that often wish they had had an elopement/destination wedding instead of a big formal event. It’s a chance to take a trip, and create new memories without any of the stress or fuss.
Photographer – Sean & Kate
Planner – Peach Perfect Weddings
Officiant – Dara Molloy
Music – Danette Eddy
Flowers – West Clare Flowers
Hair – Katrina Cullen
Makeup – Yvonne Casey
Ceremony venue – Newtown Castle