Good morning, I hope you’re approaching hump day with a smile, I know I am! After the technical nightmare I can finally share Rachel and Jesses’ super inspiring destination wedding today. It was such a gorgeous and meaningful event, and Rachel has been kind enough to include lots of her destination planning tips. Thanks as ever to Lou and Louie from The Lous for the delightful images.
Couple: Rachel + Jesse Benshosan
American couple, Rachel and Jesse originally met online and after talking for many weeks decided to meet. Their first official date was at an Irish pub called Sláinte, which is pretty ironic given the headed to the emerald isle to say I do!
Proposal: The proposal happened on July 16, 2015; the day before Jesse’s 30th birthday. We were about to embark on a Cruise out of Miami and we decided to stay the night before we left at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne. It’s one of our favourite resorts and I wanted to do something special for his big day! Well, little did I know he had a plan of his own! Jesse and I decided to go for a nice walk along the beach, and funny enough as we were walking we both blurted out loud how ugly the beach was! Secretly, Jesse had planned to propose on the beach. We immediately decided to turn around to head back to the resort. As we were walking towards to grounds of the resort, Jesse stopped on this beautiful, open spaced lawn area in the center of the resort. Before I knew it, Jesse blurted out “Well Rachel…” and that’s when I knew. He was on one knew holding a beautiful red box with the most delicate pear shaped diamond I had ever seen.
Wedding date: Wednesday 15th June 2016
Ceremony: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Dingle
Reception: Ballintaggart House, Dingle
Our Planning & Wedding Style: I knew from the moment Jesse proposed that I was having an Ireland wedding. During my time in college, I was given the opportunity to study in Dublin for a semester and I completely fell in love with the country, I knew one day I would be back. From the day Jesse proposed I started researching Irish Weddings, and did the typical bride “Pinterest-ing” and came across a photographer who shot a lot of Ireland weddings, within my findings I came across Aislinn Events. I immediately sent Annie Burne an email and from that moment on, the Irish Wedding magic began! Annie helped me the entire step of the way. In Florida I am a wedding planner myself, however planning something from another country away, was a little more difficult. Annie set me up with all the vendors and locations I needed. She helped me every step of the way and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing team of vendors on our special day.
We didn’t necessarily have a theme to our wedding. However, I did really love the rustic, romantic look. I mixed our main colour, hunter green with soft pinks and ivory tones. Jesse is a huge New York Jets (NFL) fan, and I really wanted him to have an input on the wedding details. When we first started planning, I said to him “Do you have any colours you’d like to see in the wedding” and of course he said “Jets Green”. So there you have it that was our colour!
Our Budget: I set my budget at $25,000 for the wedding day alone. That did not include travel or my dress.
My sister had her wedding in Italy, and the best advice she gave me was to invest my money in my photographer. I took her advice and began my search. It was the best decision I made, to hire The Lous!
Secondly, I spent a lot of money on my dress. I had a vision of what I wanted, and I refused to have the typical sleeveless, plain gown that most brides have. I wanted something unique and something that reflected me as an individual.
Thirdly, I wanted my flowers to be absolutely beautiful. Yes, I agree, it’s a waste of money because they just throw them out the next day…but seriously? Flowers can take a wedding to a next level!
I really tried to stay within budget. I would say having a destination wedding you are living without the idea of having a huge wedding. I had to give up on the idea of having all my family there, and to me that was a very difficult decision to make. In the end, I didn’t have my three brothers there, their wives, or eight of the nieces and nephews. Those are choices I made, but at the end of the day I am very thankful I had the family I did there to celebrate with us.
Our Style: Being a wedding planner here in the states, I kept seeing the same exact dress at every wedding. The basic sleeveless, puffy, and sometimes rather plain white dress, and while all of my brides looked beautiful in their own way, I knew that for my special day I was going to have something unique. I initially decided I was going to wear my mom’s wedding gown. She too had the beautiful, fully laced, long sleeve elegant classic look that I really wanted from back in the 1970’s era. We decided to go into our favourite boutique CC’s Bridal in St. Petersburg, Florida just to get a few ideas for ways we could change it up. Well, little did we know, the first dress I tried on was out of this world beautiful. My sister, my mom and I all looked at each other and knew it was the one.
My sister, Marie truly looks beautiful in greens, she has stunning green eyes, fair skin, and dark burgundy red hair so I knew our choice of hunter green would work great on her! We went with a long, flowy dress and I’m so thankful we did because in the next couple months she found out she was expecting her third baby!
The flower girl dress I found at Nordstroms, here in the States. It was very simple and elegant for my niece, Siena. I decided to add a diamond rhinestone silk belt to give it a little pop. I knew she was going to have a floral crown, so I wanted to keep her dress as simple, but still princess-like as I could. She loved it!
Rachel: The highlight of that day for me was putting my dress on. Seeing it all come together as I imagined was just the moment I realised that this was all really happening. From that moment on, I just couldn’t wait to see Jesse!
Jesse: Seeing Rachel walk down the aisle.
Our Advice: Some advice I give my current brides is to make sure you let everything happen organically. A wedding day will never go exactly how you imagine it, or plan it. The moments that take you by surprise, good or bad are what make your day so special. Take it all in and just enjoy the moment. They say it goes by fast…and it does!
Wedding & Bridesmaids dresses: CC’s Bridal Boutique, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Wedding Planning: Aislinn Events, Annascaul.
Cake: Cloudberry Bakery, Dingle.
Flowers: Ann Marie O’Leary.
Entertainment: In Crowd Wedding Music.
Hair: Bridal Hair by Marie.
MUA: C/O Ballintaggart House.
Photographers: The Lous, Co Fermanagh.