Californian Erica met Meath native Andrew in Dublin – she had a friend visiting from LA and Andy was out with his friends. “His friends started chatting up my friend… and the rest is history!” she recalls. “I will say that the night ended in Coppers.”

The couple got engaged in Cork, when Andy suggested a hike in Kinsale. “We pulled up at the Charles Fort and he told me to wait in the car for a minute,” says Erica. “Two minutes later, he told me to check under this big stone at the entrance.” Andy had set up a scavenger hunt for Erica, which didn’t exactly go to plan. “I got lost twice and had to call him for clues!” Erica laughs. “The last clue, a message in a bottle, led me to Andy, standing on the beach, ring in hand.”

Needless to say, Erica said yes, and they set about planning. Bellinter House wasn’t the first venue they saw, but it fit their vibe exactly. “We didn’t want to get married in a hotel ballroom and, ideally, wanted a location that would be exclusive to us for the entire weekend,” Erica explains. “It was the fourth venue we saw, and immediatley we knew it was the one for us.”

The couple did all of their planning remotely, from California, with the help of wedding planner and stylist Alisa Taggart. “We had one trip in October, to do the tastings and trials, and then three days before the wedding, to get the last-minute touches done,” says Erica. “We couldn’t have done it without Alise!”

The hardest part, says Erica, was the guest list – “keeping it within our numbers was hard, especially with Andy growing up just down the road” – but, overall, “there were no major hiccups.”

“I think the best mentality,” confides Erica, “is to expect the unexpected. There are a million little details that go into the day, and you can’t worry about everything going to plan.”

And… Did it? Erica says that the dance they had rehearsed didn’t quite go to plan. “All the nerves and jitters of the day finally caught up to me, plus, my dress wasn’t exactly ‘big dramatic dip’ friendly! It all worked out, even though we forgot the entire middle”. But, she wouldn’t change anything about the day, “except maybe the chance to do it over again.”

As for her advice to other couples: “Take time to stop and enjoy the day – it goes by so fast. Also, make sure to do what makes you happy. Don’t put pressure on yourselves to live up to others’ expectations; the day is about you as a couple.” There’s a wedding mantra we’d recommend getting on board with.

 

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