This Couple's Ireland Wedding Featured the Dreamiest Pastel Color Palette
Zahra and Mark bumped into each other—literally—at a Dublin bar the night they met. Despite the fact that the bar was about to close, they decided to order another drink and exchange numbers—a decision that led to their first official date. "We haven't looked back since," says Zahra of their 2014 chance meeting.
Fast-forward about two years. Mark flying home to the United States from a business trip in Dublin and decided that he would propose as soon as he landed. So, Mark deplaned and scrambled to the nearest shopping mall, where he quickly bought a ring. He returned home, where Zahra—and her parents, who were visiting from abroad—was waiting. He popped the question right there. "Family is very important to us," Zahra says, "so he knows how special it is to involve family."
For their August 4, 2018, wedding in Wicklow, Ireland, the couple was once again surrounded by family and friends—this time, 160 of them (their loved ones traveled from all over Ireland as well as the United States, United Kingdom, Pakistan, China, Singapore, the Caribbean, Australia, and Canada). Zahra says welcoming guests from around the world is one thing that made their big day extra special. She loved seeing "different cultures and backgrounds coming together." The ceremony was held just outside of Dublin, at the Powerscourt Estate & Gardens, which overlooks a golf course where Zahra and Mark once enjoyed a golf date. "Mark won that day," Zahra shares, "but usually I give him a run for his money."
With the help of House of Hannah Events, the couple created a theme that would enhance their garden ceremony setting and celebrate the estate's stately interiors. And with a pastel palette of blush and cream, the wedding was classic and timeless.
Despite a slow start to her wedding dress search, Zahra eventually found the perfect Lihi Hod gown at a bridal store in London. "I felt perfect in it," Zahra says of the dress, which featured a low back and tulle bow. "It captured me as a person. It was long and fitted perfectly to my shape. I'm sure every bride says this, but the dress felt timeless—a dress that will bring a smile to my face even 50 years from now."
Zahra's unstructured bouquet was made with the couple's color palette in mind—a mix of white, cream, and very pale blush blooms with dark and light greenery—and tied with silk.
Bridesmaids wore champagne-colored Jenny Yoo dresses in a variety of necklines. They carried smaller versions of the bride's white-and-blush bouquet.
Mark donned a handmade dark navy tuxedo with a gray checkered vest. The day he and the groomsmen—with Zahra in tow—found their attire was a fun shopping outing, the couple recalls. It was followed by "a few drinks at the pub," Zahra says.
Mark's boutonnière featured a white bloom, berries, and green foliage.
The couple's two flower girls wore white dresses and flower crowns made from wax flower.
Flower arrangements at the base of the last row of ceremony chairs were created to look as if they had been planted in the ground, playing up the natural garden setting.
Down the Aisle
When the bride and her father saw one another on the wedding day, Zahra said she saw tears in his eyes. "I have never seen him cry," she says. "No one in the room could hold back the tears and we all had to redo our makeup!"Zahra's dad later walked her down the aisle to "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard.
At the ceremony, selections from "Touched By an Angel" by Maya Angelou and "Friendship" by Judy Bielicki were read. The couple also lit a unity candle.
As Zahra and Mark recessed down the aisle—and as guests began to leave the ceremony—several songs played, including "Let It Be" by The Beatles, "With or Without You" by U2, "Linger" by the Cranberries, and "Raglan Road" by Luke Kelly.
During cocktail hour, held outside on the grounds of the estate, guests were treated to a performance by The Strikes, a four-piece band.
A Gorgeous View
The patio of Powerscourt Estate & Gardens offered views of surrounding gardens, the golf courses, and Wicklow Mountains—a stunning setting for cocktail hour.Before the festivities began, the couple hugged their loved ones as they exited the ceremony site.
Guests found their escort cards pinned to boards decorated with climbing rose and greenery arrangements.
Inside, the venue's soaring ceilings meant that tall centerpieces were a must to fill the space. Half of the reception tables featured tree-like arrangements.
Short, lush centerpieces—made from the same flowers as the bride's bouquet—topped the other half of the tables. (Fresh berries also added a natural element to the tablescapes.)
Black menus contrasted beautifully with the tables' otherwise-pastel details.
Throughout the evening, guests were encouraged to enjoy drinks outside; the couple provided blankets to those who got cold.
"An impromptu dance" outside was one of Mark's favorite wedding memories, he says. For their first dance, the couple took a twirl to "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers.
Photography, Laura Gordon
Location, Powerscourt Estate & Gardens
Event planning, Stationery, and Calligraphy, House of Hannah Events
Catering, Feast Catering
Flowers, Informal Florist
Videography, Cinematic Tide
Cake, Creative Cakes
Bride's gown, Lihi Hod
Bride's shoes, Vera Wang
Hair, Michelle O'Halloran
Makeup, Derek Carberry
Bridesmaids' and flower girl dresses, Jenny Yoo