Coming to you today is a simply gorgeous country house wedding that is overflowing with love and blossoming blooms. James and Claire's sunshiny wedding is rich with warmth, style, and of course everlasting love. Set in a beautiful Cork venue boasting an outdoor swimming pool in the idyllic countryside, we witness a breathtaking wedding dress, extraordinary terracotta wildflowers, and much more. SOSAC photography was on hand to capture the beautiful day last August in Ballymaloe House, so without further a do, let's relish the moment!
Last August, the sun beamed down on James and his groomsman who began the special day in the most relaxing way possible. A refreshing dip in the pool, followed by a few lawn games on the beautiful grounds of Ballymaloe House in the coastal town of Shanagarry, East Cork. That was certainly one way to settle the nerves before making his way to The Honan Chapel in UCC to wed his sweetheart and Kerry girl - Claire.
Before we go any further, we must find out how the lovely couple crossed paths. Claire had recently moved back from Singapore and James had moved back from Manchester so the timing was perfect when a mutual friend introduced them in 2016 on a night out in Kilkenny. "James was living in Galway and I was living in Dublin, so it wasn’t until another
a few months later at a Tag Rugby Festival on Banna Beach in Kerry, our romance blossomed!" said Claire.
James opted for a lavish black tuxedo, paired with a single autumnal peach rose buttonhole. The sublime florals have already begun to steal the show, and with only a single glance we can tell they have the talented and no other Jill Wild Flowersmith signature touch! Bursting with peach and neutral hues and a mixture of wild and fresh flowers, the bouquets and arrangements are perfectly imperfectly put together throughout the country house.
Radiating with love and happiness! Claire's wedding dress is subtle yet flawlessly detailed. The elegant number from Alice May Bridal displays long lace sleeves with a high neck applique and a fitted mermaid train. Claire stylishly completes her modern vintage look with pearl drop earrings and a beautiful statement headband. Her make-up is effortlessly glowing and so is she!
The mother of the bride is elegantly pretty in pink. The beautiful wrap dress with balloon sleeves adds to the vibrant colour palette of the country house wedding.
The proposal took place in Northern Italy for James' 30th birthday back in 2019. Claire explains the magical moment: "James was very protective over his bum bag and backpack and wouldn't accept my help to carry something. Halfway through the hike James got down on bended knee, fumbled to pull a ring from the bumbag, and proposed. We were so excited and giddy afterward that we took a wrong turn and ended up adding two hours onto the hike with very limited food and water! Worth it though!"
The third time is a charm! After postponing two dates - over the pesky disease we refuse to name - Claire and James' day finally arrived and was everything and more. "From the beginning of the day until the end, it was very relaxed and fun. Claire was so relaxed she arrived at the church fifteen minutes early even though the priest was still to arrive," laughs James. "Unfortunately as there were still restrictions at the time we wanted to make the most of the reception before the dinner. Hiring Sax Appeal was the best decision, he was so so good! The sun was shining, the drinks were flowing and the music had everyone buzzing."
The beautiful bridal party stand along side the newlyweds.
After tying the knot, the newlyweds and their guests made their way back to the reception venue to continue to make more memories. The couple chose the East Cork country house wedding venue for the food, the beautiful house, and idyllic settings. "We wanted the food to be a focal point and what better place than Ballymaloe for food! The drinks reception on the balcony with the cocktails and the live sax was the highlight of the day for us. Everyone commented that it felt like we were at a pool party. The speeches were also really special as we both spoke. We may be biased but all the speeches were unreal," they said.
The round banquet tables were kissed with peach perfection! The seasonal-toned florals and foliage sparked love and vibrancy throughout the room and were complemented with terracotta candles in antique gold holders. Jill Wild Flowers, one of our favorite florists, ensured the theme was seen throughout from UCC to the coastal seaside of Shanagarry.
Claire and James reminisce on what made their day so important: "Apart from the obvious, we just really wanted a day that we could enjoy and remember. Because we hadn’t seen our friends in so long due to Covid, we wanted it to be a big party and thankfully that's exactly how it turned out."
When it comes to offering advice to those in the planning process, they focus on what is important: "Just do what's right for the both of you. It's a cliché but it's true, the day goes so quickly, make sure to take a moment to soak it up and enjoy. It is the most amazing day so make the most of all the planning and the run-up to it. Spend money on what’s important to you and don’t feel pressure to 'follow the crowd'," they say.
Unfortunately, the couple's original honeymoon plans could not go ahead, but that did not stop them from celebrating their new chapter in the beautiful surroundings of Ireland. "After the wedding, we went to CABU in Cavan for a few nights followed by a stay in Ashford Castle. We got the best of both worlds, peace, and quiet in the woods in Cavan followed by luxury in Ashford Castle," they said.
A very special thank you to Claire and James for sharing their wedding with us today. An extended thank you to SOSAC photography for capturing these beautiful images.
If you enjoyed this charming country house wedding, why not take a wander and visit some more of Irelands wedding house venues right here!