This intimate summer wedding took place in the orangery and gardens of Killruddery House, Ireland. The couple said “I do” surrounded by only their nearest and dearest and had the most relaxed day full of laughter, dancing and scrumptious food.
When Bennie first introduced herself to us, we immediately got along; she shared our love of light and natural imagery, and was able to clearly envision her day through our work.
It was touch-and-go for a while about how many guests would be allowed – or if the wedding could even take place – due to the pandemic. However many could come, Bennie and Josh were determined to have their special day. They wisely chose the gorgeous Kilruddery House and Gardens in Wicklow for their wedding.
We first visited Killruddery years ago, on one of Ivana’s first trips to Ireland. Needless to say, we fell in love with this corner of Wicklow. We had intended to tour around the rest of Bray, but ended up happily spending the entire day in Kilruddery (and getting a little sunburned)!
Fortunately, on a bright July morning, we found ourselves delightedly heading off to Killruddery House for Bennie and Josh’s long-awaited special day.
Sam and Darragh, their videographer from Forever Endeavour Films, met Josh at the nearby Wilton Hotel in Bray; there, they documented Josh and his groomsmen, getting into their suits and toasting to the special day.
With nerves eased and suits on, Josh and his groomsmen were ready for a few fun portraits before the ceremony. Meanwhile, Ivana met with Bennie and her mother, sister, and bridesmaid as they prepared upstairs in Killruddery House.
The upper rooms of Killruddery House are certainly luxurious, but also cosy and inviting. The master bedroom in particular has great views of Killruddery’s demesne.
Killruddery House and Gardens’ scenery and amenities are varied and easily accessible; they can accommodate days out as a tourist as well as beautiful wedding events, without interfering with one another. Killruddery has ample parking, even on busy June and July days; so the House and Gardens are well worth taking the time to stroll through, particularly the wooded trails.
The gardeners and groundskeepers at Killruddery keep the beautiful lands well-tended. You can wander at your leisure through their 17th Century gardens; enjoy their twin long ponds, walled-garden and woodland trails, and even climb to the top of The Rock. From up there, you get spectacular views of Killruddery House and Wicklow’s rolling hillscape.
The farmer’s garden is bio-diverse and bursting with seasonal flora and delicious vegetables; which are then sent to Killruddery’s great Grain Store restaurant – but more on that later! Their Farm Market even allows visitors to take some of their rich produce home. Watching the carefree animals and the gardeners tending to the ripening veggies makes for a very pleasant summer afternoon.
It was a calm and quiet day at Kilruddery as Bennie stood by the window in her gorgeous gown. She and Josh have a dear Alsatian, Chester, who has the boundless spirit of a big kid. So beloved is he, that Bennie had him embroidered into the tail of her wedding dress! Can you spot Chester in the image below?
Bennie and Josh both prepared in ease, leaving plenty of time before their ceremony, as they had planned for a very relaxed day. Having fewer guests and a simpler timeline allowed them to spend more time with their guests and the whole event felt close-knit and familial!
The Orangery at Killruddery House
This space is absolutely breathtaking. While the House itself is classy and filled with historical furnishings, the Orangery stands out as an almost separate entity; the cream walls, grand statues, and the tropical potted trees, shrubbery and ivy gently coiling and climbing around the beams add freshness to the still room. However, the beautiful glow is the most noticeable splendour: the Orangery’s glazed roof allow for light to gently fill the entire room, even on a cloudy day like today! The white statues come to life in the rooms ambient gleam and give an almost mythological feel to the ceremony.
The florists from Vintage Violet tastefully arranged the Orangery to complement the existing decor while also taking into account the couple’s colour scheme for the day – green, white, and gold.
With the couple and guests travelling from Northern Ireland, as well as some extended family from London, this ceremony was a long-awaited family reunion after a long year and a half during the pandemic.
Bennie and her father exchanged a wordless, excited, tearful moment before walking up the aisle together. There was not a dry eye in sight! The gentle harp music of Rachel at Soprano Sounds set a serene mood and dearly welcomed this long-awaited moment.
There was thunderous applause once Bennie and Josh were wed, and everyone rushed to greet them. The doors opened and the newlyweds were showered in confetti. They received a jumpy greeting from their dear dog Chester too!
After saying our goodbyes to jumpy Chester, we took Bennie and Josh on a fun walk around Killruddery’s gardens. It was nice to take a breather from the excitement and capture some sweet, natural portraits together.
As we circled around the Sunken Garden, visitors in the Tea Rooms cheered on the newlyweds!
With portraits done, and Bennie and Josh now revitalised and eager to get back to the excitement, we headed back to the Orangery. Upon their return, the party erupted in toasts and dancing, spurred on by the jigs of the 3-piece band! The Orangery was lively with music and great craic, everyone had springs in their heels and smiled from ear to ear.
As evening arrived, we all moved over to the Grain Store, Killruddery’s rustic indoor restaurant. Set in an old barn, the space was perfectly suited for this wedding’s smaller party. Everyone sat in eager anticipation!
Bennie and Josh finally made their triumphant entrance; after everyone settled, best man Cal shared a touching and witty speech before everyone tucked into a hearty dinner. But nobody could stay settled for long and, with the cake cut, dancing soon broke out again!
The rest of the evening flew by and we enjoyed the last of the summer light in the Courtyard. The burning braziers and twinkling lights strung overhead set a calm and dreamy atmosphere.
Thank you so much to Bennie and Josh, and to their warm and welcoming families, for making us part of their big day. It was a pleasure to photograph these happy families and celebrate a marriage again!
Killruddery House Wedding Vendors:
Photography: Ivana & Sam
Florals: Vintage Violet Florist
Venue: Killruddery House
Gown: Elody Bride
Video: Forever Endeavour Films
Makeup: Tippy Makeup
Singer & Harpist: Rachel Reid
Band: Parcel of Rogues