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Real Weddings: Nicole and Aidan’s fairytale wedding in Co Wicklow
Image / Style / Weddings

Studio Brown

Real Weddings: Nicole and Aidan’s fairytale wedding in Co Wicklow


by Shayna Sappington
17th May 2024

From Philly to Wicklow, ex-pat Aidan recently returned home to tie the knot in the timeless Killruddery House and Gardens. From the gorgeous florals to the elevated tablescapes, it's no surprise his bride Nicole is an event florist – their wedding decor is a dream!

THE COUPLE
Nicole, event florist and owner of SimplyCole, and Aidan, accountant.

THEY LIVE
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

THE VENUE
Killruddery House and Gardens.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Studio Brown.

THEY MET
Aidan is from Malahide in Dublin but moved to Philly in November 2018 for a two-year secondment in work. We met in April 2019 at a bar called Martha almost five years ago in the Fishtown neighbourhood of Philly and the rest was history!

THE PROPOSAL
We love New York City and decided to do one of our weekend getaways taking the Amtrak an hour north from Philadelphia to Manhattan. We started the day with a beautiful walk around Central Park – in all our times going up to NY, I had never actually walked through it before. After lots of people watching and taking in the million and one things happening around the park, we finally made our way to one of the very few quiet secluded areas where Aidan got down on one knee and popped the question! An immediate ‘YES’ was said, followed by calls to our families. Somehow, I didn’t realise it was coming despite how nervous Aidan was acting the closer we got to the spot.

He had the whole rest of the day planned with the top of the Rockefeller Center for a beautiful view and some pictures (once I got my nails done), followed by an amazing dinner in our favourite restaurant in NY to end the evening, where we were treated like royalty and even had an after-hours lock-in party with the team working there to celebrate. It was truly the most perfect day!

THE DRESS AND THE SUIT
I went to a local boutique, Lovely Bride in Olde City which is a neighbourhood in Philly. I wore a dress called, Sandra by the designer Sarah Seven. A sentimental thing to me is pearls… the dress had pearls sewn into it. The guys all wore either pearl cuff links or a pearl pin on their lapels while the girls had pearls in their hair with the mothers wearing pearl bracelets.

The bridesmaids wore the colour sage but each girl wore a different style ranging from Anthropologie to V. Chapman dresses. Aidan and the men wore tuxes from Protocol in Dublin.

THE CEREMONY 
The girls and I got ready in our suite at Powerscourt Hotel where we were able to enjoy the morning alongside hair stylist Shauna Lawlor and make-up artist Ailbhe Lynch. Aidan started the morning with a very early run to burn some nervous energy. He then met his groomsmen in Malahide village for a good breakfast, and from there they all made their way to the venue. They got dressed at the house and enjoyed a quick celebratory pint of Guinness.

The Orangerie at Killruddery House and Gardens is such an incredible place, very unique to Ireland, which was important to me as I work in the wedding industry in the US and I wanted somewhere completely different to the venues I have typically worked over there. As soon as we saw it via an online Facetime (still during Covid and we couldn’t leave the US) we knew it had to be there. We didn’t actually get to see the venue in person until six months later, but it was all worth it for its beauty. Our friend, Yuri officiated our wedding with a hand fasting tradition which was very special to us.

THE RECEPTION
We opted for long tables with flowing flowers and candles through the centre of the tables where I created and produced the menus and table numbers. The flowers were produced by the lovely Tina of The Wild Bunch. Killruddery specializes in farm-to-table and their chef was just remarkable. Everything they created beat our wildest expectations.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
Our main request was a female AND male vocalist so when we found Off The Wall, we knew it was meant to be! We had a pianist during the ceremony which was so elegant. Following the ceremony, we had them sing during the drinks reception as well as the dancing portion afterwards.

They sang our first dance song and the father-daughter dance song which was just exquisite. We also requested as much ABBA as they would sing, which was a great hit amongst our split guest list of Irish and Americans.

THEIR TOP TIPS

  • Enjoy all these moments with your person when you can, everything goes by so fast. So taking a little moment here and there to be alone together on the day is such a great feeling.
  • Hire a planner or coordinator, they really are so helpful on the day with the vendors, venue and overall timeline of the day. Shout out to Orla from Waterlily Weddings!
  • Have fun with your photos being taken, we know they can feel awkward sometimes, but be yourself. Our photographer, Claire was a dream to work with and we felt so comfortable with her. When the guys were playing with the umbrellas during our wedding party photos, just being themselves… they actually became our favourite photos.

THEY WISH THEY HAD
The only way the day could’ve been more perfect was if my grandparents could’ve made it over, but we knew the flight would have been a lot for them. Instead of this, we had a much smaller private ceremony back in Philly with only immediate family, which was another amazing experience and I was so grateful we could share that moment with them.

THEIR BEST MOMENTS
We legally married a year before our wedding, so we chose a first look before our ceremony. I think this was our favourite moment where we were able to be together before seeing everyone and walking down the aisle.

We also love music, so when the band started… having everyone on the dance floor having the best time was such a highlight for us! We couldn’t have been more grateful for our family and friends who celebrated with us.

THE FIRST DANCE SONG
Real Love Baby by Father John Misty. (Fun fact: I had “Real Love Baby” engraved on the inside of Aidan’s wedding band for when we eloped in Philly on October 9, 2022.)

THE CREW
Event Coordinator: Waterlily Weddings. Design Stylist and Signage: SimplyCole. Florists: The Wild Bunch. Hair Stylist: Shauna Lawlor. Make-up Artist: Ailbhe Lynch. Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven. Groom’s Suit: Protocol Menswear. Seating Chart and Bar Sign: marykatemoonCar: Courtyard Classic Cars. Band: Off the Wall. Vow Booklets: Olive Paperie Co. Rings: Marrow Fine. Ribbons on Bridal Bouquet: Native Ribbon Co.

See more photographs from Nicole & Aidan’s wedding in the gallery below.

Photography by Studio Brown.

Want to see your Real Wedding on IMAGE.ie? Email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Real Wedding’.

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