love shoot #31: rustic chic {carrie & damien}

Morning ladies! Well, the day of the Love My Dress Summer Soiree is here, I’m so excited to meet up with my fellow wedding industry peeps this evening! Just a few last minute tweeks to my outfit, and a minor panic about what to do with my hair (I had a run in with an evil hairdresser who cut too much off, eeek!), I think I’m going to have to battle it out with the rollers!

Anyway, onto today’s wedding… and it’s GORGEOUS!  Rustic and elegant with warm gold tones, pops of the most gorgeous pinks and purples and lots of lovely little details you are going to LOVE this one!

Carrie is a bride with the best of both worlds, originally from the US she was able to pick the best US bridal fashions and combine them with a rustic country Irish wedding.

I am actually in love with Carrie’s J Crew wedding dress, it has pockets!! Actual pockets, how cool & laid back is that?!  The bride completed her outfit with the palest gold sash and the cutest gold bumblebee shoes, perfect for the golden light of a rustic summer wedding!  The bridesmaids also  looked stunning in their mis-matched amethyst J Crew dresses and jewel-coloured bouquets.  The groom & groomsmen weren’t left out either, sporting stunning thistle boutonnieres, and the cutest button versions for the younger ring bearers!

With half their guests travelling from the US, they chose a venue that reflected their home in Ireland and became a home for their overseas guests too.

The beautiful photography is thanks to the lovely Christina at Brosnan Photographic.

That’s enough from me, here’s the bride,   Carrie with all the details ~

Damien is originally from a small village called Moylough in Galway, and I am originally from White Plains, NY.  We met while I was studying abroad for a semester at the University of Limerick, which was almost 10 years ago!  Our first official date was not long after I arrived on campus – he took me to the Teachers Ball, because he was in his final year studying to be a teacher.  I knew that night that he was the one for me!  I even texted my friend from the bathroom that I was going to marry him!  Nine years later, we got engaged in NYC.  We were living in Dublin together and were home for a wedding and to visit my family.  He had pre-arranged the whole engagement situation with my mom and brothers, and I had no clue!  He popped the question in a small Italian restaurant in the West Village and had set it up so that I could design my own ring with a jeweler.  He said that it was nerve-wracking because I wouldn’t stop talking so he was finding it difficult to get a word in to actually propose!  But he says that when he finally did – I was speechless for like a half an hour!  I was in shock and so happy!   

Since we were living in Dublin, we knew we couldn’t plan a wedding across the Atlantic!  And Ireland was our home, so we wanted to get married there.  Neither one of us wanted a big castle or hotel wedding – we just wanted somewhere that was beautiful and charming and that would let us have complete control over our choices for our day.  We found  Clonabreany House, in Crossakiel, County Meath.  We only had to see it one time for us to know this was the place for us!  It is an old Georgian manor country house with stables and housing across the road that the owners completely renovated and made into this perfect place for a wedding!  The reception was in the house and a lot of our guests were able to stay in the cottages across the road.  Plus, during the renovation, they turned some of what had been the old servant’s quarters into a little private pub – which we really loved!  We were able to have a little pre-wedding party the night before the wedding, where we had a band playing traditional Irish music and everyone was able to mingle and have some fun with each other before the big day.  And then, as usually happens at Irish weddings, everyone was able to head over to the pub after hours when the wedding reception was over and hang out and sing Irish songs, as well as some really cheesy American ones, until the wee hours of the morn!  Damien and I didn’t go to sleep until 5 am!  We were having so much fun hanging out with all of our close friends and relatives!  I think what made it so special for us is that because Damien is Irish and I am American, we are always without one 1/2 of our family and friends – when we are in Ireland, I am always missing my family and friends, and the same is true for Damien when we are in NY.  So to have such an amazing few days in Ireland, where everyone we loved and care about was together for a precious few days, was really more special to us than words can describe.  We were both on cloud 9!

Our number one goal was for everyone to feel comfortable, mingle with each other and to have a great party. The music was really important to us- because we wanted  everyone to dance! And since my family and friends were coming from America and damien’s were in Ireland, a lot of them had never met before- so we put a lot of thought into the seating chart. We tried to be mindful of who would hit it off and mixed the tables half and half so that everyone would have to mingle and meet new people. The party we had the night before the wedding really helped to get people comfortable with each other too, because by the time the wedding came around- most people had had a chance to talk a bit and meet.


 At the beginning, we didn’t really have a set out “theme” or concept.  But as the wedding plans evolved, and it started to take shape, we saw a very definite theme emerging – which I think really was just our natural style as a couple shining through.  We kept saying we just wanted to have a really big party that was classic and elegant, but simple and laid back at the same time.  And I think we achieved that in the end – or at least I hope we did!  A lot of my inspiration came from my wedding dress, which I picked out one week after we got engaged! ha!  It was the 5th or 6th dress I tried on and I knew it was for me!  It had pockets and I loved that because it kind of defined me and my style – it was simple and elegant, but the pockets really gave it the laid back touch that we wanted for our wedding.  Other inspiration definitely came from the venue – it was in the middle of these beautiful rolling green hills with cows and sheep and trees all around it – you can’t see anything else on all sides, so you really feel as though you’ve been transported back in time.  We had to stay in keeping with the natural beauty of the area and also, of course, with the retro and classic feel to the house.  So for example, we had the escort cards placed in big, old wine boxes filled with moss to kind of bring the outside in, and our center pieces were made to look more like wildflowers or a garden of flowers, rather than an arrangement.  Some of our centerpieces consisted partly of candles that looked like they were encased in bark – to try and be reminiscent of the trees and woods around.  The boutonnieres were made up of wildflowers, like blue thistle, which I loved!

We really wanted to give our guests a favor that said thanks and also had some meaning behind it – something that they could really have for a long time and that would remind them of our wedding.  So we arranged for all of our guests to take home little packets of Irish wildflower seeds – with the hopes that they would plant them, no matter where they lived in the States or in Ireland, and there would always be a little reminder of me and Damien and our love wherever they may be.  So we had little notes attached to the seed packets saying as much – along with a thank you, because we were just so overjoyed and touched that so many of our friends and family had gone out of there way to be there!  

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

 Our first dance was to “Handle with Care” by the Traveling Wilburys.  The song choice for our first dance was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make for our wedding because when you have been together for the better part of 9 years, you end up with A LOT of songs that defined different periods of your relationship.  And also, I really love music, so does Damien – we just found it hard to narrow it down!  But then one day we were listening to “Handle with Care” in the car and we just kind of knew it was the right choice. We wanted our first dance to be upbeat and lively so that people would get on the dance floor and get into the music early on in the evening.  

Any advice for future brides & grooms?

I would say not to stress too much about all of the planning and preparations- of course you want your big day to go well and to be fantastic, but sometimes I think the planning part of it can take over and then it’s easy to lose the focus of what it’s really about- which is love and joy and celebration- and in the end that matters way more than what your choice of entree is! 

What a gorgeous day!  Carrie & Damien I wish you a very happy marriage, and thank you for sharing your wedding with us!


Dress. JCrew Bridal   

Shoes: Kurt Geiger

Brides Accessories: Swarovski

Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas

Venue: Clonabreany House

Coordinator: Katie Kent at Clonabreany House

Flowers/Decor: Ruby & Bloom 

Groom’s Suit: Astor Formal

Catering: Clonabreany House

Music: The Usual Suspects

Bridesmaids dresses: JCrew Bridal


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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