castle wedding

Whitby Castle wedding: Alyssa and Adam by Ryan Brenizer

The Whitby Castle is a beautiful stately venue with many gorgeous features, but Alyssa had her sights set on one in particular: a beautiful, gigantic tree in the middle of the property that can be integrated into the ceremony as the starting point of the procession. She loved that idea, and wanted to expand on it — also using the expansive interior of the tree (larger than most New York apartments) as a spot for the first look.

Only one problem: Alyssa was terribly allergic to the tree, and couldn’t be anywhere near it.

But where there is a will (and modern medicine) there is a way. We respect anyone willing to load themselves up on anti-histimines and anti-inflammatories to achieve their vision for the wedding day.

And what a vision: The day was not only beautiful but a relentlessly fun celebration of their connection to each other, friends and family. These were their favorite memories, particularly the apex of such celebrations: The horah.  "Being surrounded (literally) by all of our family and friends dancing was a great way to start off the amazing party,” said Alyssa, “I remember smiling all night."

Lyndhurst Castle wedding: Allie and Luke by Ryan Brenizer

One of the ways Allie and Luke express their love is through regular dance-offs in their home … and it showed. Their Lyndhurst Castle wedding was not only incredibly beautiful, but ridiculously, incredibly fun. You know you’re in for a good time when an extremely elegant long-sleeve wedding gown is traded in for a party outfit specifically designed for maximum get-downage.

This is one of those weddings where I feel like each word I say is just a road block between you and photos of a deeply emotional, completely gorgeous day. I could tell you about the importance they place on family, but it’s more important that you see that in their every action. I could tell you the weather was perfect, but … well in that case I’d be lying. It was raining hard in the morning and I had to pull my full-fledged weather geek card to provide some calm and promise that the 37 weather forecasts I read every morning all agreed that there was a zero percent chance of rain by ceremony time, so there was no need to cancel their dreams of an outdoor ceremony.

(Thank you, assorted weather forecasters, for getting that right. I had to stick my neck out a bit on that one.)

Ashford Castle, Ireland wedding: Casey and Ford by Ryan Brenizer

It's hard to overstate the beauty of Ashford Castle: It was something so profound that Casey knew she had to share it with her friends and family, even though absolutely none of them, Casey and Ford included, live in Ireland. But maybe, for a second, let's not put it center-stage. Let's focus on the bonds that made Casey and Ford plan a complicated multi-day celebration in an Irish castle just to show their friends and family a good time, and the bonds that made so many of these friends and family show up that they completely sold out the castle.

And it's not a small castle.

Ireland is an incredibly gorgeous country -- the cliches are true. There are colors of green that don't exist anywhere else, times when you have to turn down the saturation in your camera just so reality doesn't look fake. But, of course, it comes with a lot of what the Irish call "soft" weather: Rain, and a lot of it.

So yes, it rained on this wedding, but … well, all you need to know about the mood is that, after days of carousing together, there was enough joyful energy left that festivities were still going strong by sunrise.

Thank you to Olivia Buckley for her fantastic planning work, making a wet, complicated event come out perfectly, and to Casey and Ford for kindly planning their Ireland wedding just at the right time for our "working honeymoon" in the best place we could imagine.