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An Elegant Spring Wedding in a Castle

“It was like bringing the spirit of spring inside the castle. Our wedding was elegant but light hearted and with a touch of fun.”


Bride and Groom: Rocio and James

Venue: Waterford Castle

Videographer: Seed of Light



My wedding dress

  • My wedding dress was from Panambi Collection, a brand from Seville. The model is called Minerva. I really wanted my dress to be Spanish since the wedding was in Ireland. We were living in Singapore at the moment so this was not an easy task.
  • I found the dress online. I knew that cut would work on me. We checked the measurements and I decided to take the risk and buy it. I had a gut feeling about it and it turned out perfect.
  • A friend brought it to Singapore in her cabin luggage. We had to change the original draping of the back to fit my curves but keep it elegant and classy. Then I took it to Ireland. It’s definitely the most travelled dress ever.


Video still by Seed of Light

Bridesmaids dresses

  • One of my bridesmaids suggested we have a look at Asos. She’s a fashion designer but knows how practical I am. Asos have such variety of models and sizes that I knew it would be the smart thing to do. I could not do tailor made or any fittings, so this was one thing less I had to worry about.
  • We fell in love with the Maya dress. This is the one in blush pink with 3/4 sleeves. The top is sequin and stretchy, with a crew neck and looks good on everyone. The bottom is tulle but not too fluffy. They were dreamy! It worked well for all of them, not an easy task because they have VERY different tastes and bodies.


Video still by Seed of Light

My shoes

  • Shoes: My shoes were custom made in Salo Madrid. This is one of their most famous designs, Los Salo. You can customise the tip, the heel shape, the size, colour and fabric. They took a month to be finished by hand so I only saw them the week before the wedding. I’m in love with them…. How girly can I be?


Video still by Seed of Light

Our flowers

  • Flowers: It was Lamber de bie. They are simply the best in the region. This was an easy choice after knowing the work they do at the castle. I was actually very particular about the flowers. Mashy got a 23 page power point. But with them I knew that if for whatever reason it didn’t turn out as I expected, they will still be gorgeous.
  • I have to confess I sent all my suppliers power point briefings with information they would need. Not just to Lamber de Bie. That’s what happens when you plan your wedding from the other side of the world, meet people for 15 min and next time you see them is the day before the wedding. I had to make the most of those 15 min and my marketing background helped a lot.


Video still by Seed of Light

The suits

  • Groom(smen)’s suits: Fitzgerald’s Menswear, Waterford. Mark Kyle told me he does 450 weddings a year and he has never seen a couple bring a power point. He wanted a copy of it! It had all the answers to the questions before he even asked.


Video still by Seed of Light


  • I got my wax flowers crown tailor made by El Jardin de Valentyna. She’s a lovely Russian lady that happens to live near my home town in Madrid. We could meet for delivery although she usually posts, which was great. All the work was done remotely and really smoothly. I used a photo of her designs and photoshopped on the top the shapes and colours I wanted. She immediately understood and took just a week to finish it. I was able to leave this piece in Ireland last Christmas, 5 months before the wedding.
  • My veil was a last minute decision. I wanted to be very comfy and enjoy my party so I hesitated to add more, but at the end I gave in because I found a dusty pink veil that matched the bridesmaids dresses. I bought online in Lucia se casa, and it’s from Lamatte.
  • Actually I only saw the entire look together at that moment I put the veil on. All the planning time my bridal look was just a slide of power point or an image in my head.
  • Earrings. I wore a simple pair of diamond solitaires the groom gave me as a Christmas gift. Made by the same jewellers that made my engagement ring and our wedding bands.


Video still by Seed of Light

The cake

  • Cake: Jeni Pim made our cake. She’s a family friend. We sent her a briefing before we met over Christmas and when we arrived for trials she already had a mock ready for us. It was great. We could try the different flavours and see what it would look like. It blew me away. Our cake was not just pretty but it was also SO delicious my family took the leftovers wrapped in foil back to Spain. Jeni uses only the best ingredients. I wanted a really good cake not just something for the show. I have a sweet tooth! I had 3 servings on the day!


Video still by Seed of Light

Wedding favours

  • The favours were Chinese knots handmade in Singapore by the Zhou sisters. They have the best Chinese tassels in town. Their Stall is called Lucky Kiosk and it’s behind the Tooth Relic Buddhist temple in Chinatown. It’s actually a token of love, prosperity and good luck. They look fantastic as house decorations, and they matched the golden candles on the tables 😉


Video still by Seed of Light


  • Stationery: I designed all stationary myself and got it printed in Waterford. It was the branding of the wedding! The part I enjoyed the most. To match everything. From the website, to the save the date emails, invitations, the tags for the favours, the welcome sign, the sitting plan and the cultural tips cards on the tables etc.


Video still by Seed of Light

Makeup and hair

  • Make Up & Hair: Grainne Gault from Love Hair and Monica English, Perfection by Mon. Two really lovely women that are excellent at what they do. Overall I was really impressed with how super talented people are in Ireland.



  • Wedding Rings: More than diamonds, Singapore. They made all our jewelry custom made. We designed the pieces with them. Sarah and Chris are true lovers of their art.



  • Ceremony/Reception Music: We love music so this was an essential part of the ceremony. Irish musicians are very talented and it was an absolute pleasure to work with them. Instead of power points they got Spotify playlists as briefings. 🙂
  • I asked Linda Lanigan from Waterford Castle to help me find me a Spanish guitar player. She recommended John Walsh, he’s an absolute super star. We wanted a mix of pure flamenco and flamenco covers for the reception (Like Despacito!) and he was very very keen. It’s what he likes best! We wanted him to play at the ceremony as well and he recommended Lucy Stapleton to accompany him singing. We even facetimed to chose fragments of the songs together. Lucy was super sweet and did an amazing job. I loved having them behind me at the ceremony. It was very special and emotional!
  • For the party we hired Brand New Cadillac. It was my father in law’s choice and I trusted him. I have never seen them live but he has good taste and absolutely everyone raved about them. It was like having our own private concert. They are fabulous!


Video still by Seed of Light

Our ceremony

  • We had a humanist ceremony celebrated by Liam McCarthy that we designed with him around the songs. We wanted from bring Spain, Ireland and Asian traditions to the ceremony so I bet the guests have never seen anything like it. This was the toughest part to plan for me.


Video still by Seed of Light


  • Photographer: The one and only Katie Kav! I really did not consider anybody else for this job. Three reasons. I saw a lot of photographers retouch photos with HDR and high contrast so it looks like its sunny when it’s not. We wanted natural looking photos even if we had bad weather.
  • Also I wanted somebody that could be my partner in crime on the day. When I met her I knew we would have no problem working together. We speak the same language. She’s in charge but in the nicest possible way. Everybody told me she was hilarious and it was great to have her around.
  • Besides the compulsory formals I wanted the photos to be really fresh and spontaneous. I knew just by looking at her work that she would capture the moments I missed and that I will have fun and emotional photos. When I started looking for photographers I was thinking: I would be happy just to have 10 good photos of the wedding. After Katie’s doing, my own selection of favourites has 210!


Our video

  • Videographer: We hired Seed of Light. Jose is a family friend in Waterford. We initially did not think of a videographer but a relative send me his card and I really loved his work. It’s really professional but not overdone or pretentious. We were hesitant about having a videographer because I see the trend nowadays is to make it look like a super production and we are a bit more down to earth. Jose is like a ninja when he’s working, everything under control but you don’t feel he’s there, at all. It’s a good fit to work with bubbly Katie and their styles are similar when we saw the main video we were amazed and delighted with the results was greatly appreciate the skill and dedication to get this work of art. It was definitely well worth having a videographer



Anything else…

  • I think it’s important that your suppliers have chemistry. I made the effort to introduce them to each other and share information together online when relevant. Video and photo have to work together. Celebrant and musicians, cake and flowers and all need to follow the venue coordinator.
  • Linda Lanigan was stellar. Always calm, always a smile and with solutions and options for any hiccup. I don’t know how she does it but it was an absolute pleasure working with her.
  • To keep the cultural mix going. We brought our red win from Spain. Murillo Viteri cellars are own by my father’s friend and we got a shipment of Rioja Reserva straight to the Castle, where Antonio took great care of it. Not a drop as left!
  • Irish dancers. This was my mother’s request. We had a group of your girls from Mulahy Bible school perform different kinds of routines and we did a group dance. It was so much fun!



What’s your love story? How did you meet originally and get together?

We met in Singapore and immediately we felt like we had known each other for ages. We had both lived there for a number of years but never met, even if we eventually found out we have some friends in common, We have been together ever since pretty much. Our first dates together were like something out of a movie, very romantic and spectacular. We enjoyed each other company a lot and just wanted more and more.

We moved in together pretty fast and that was the best decision ever. It was very easy to adjust so it just was meant to be. We traveled together to Ireland every year, to Malaysia, to Thailand, Japan. Also to South Africa and then to Australia where he proposed. We have a lot of fun together.



How did the proposal go, if there was one?

James proposed in Western Australia, near the lighthouse in Cape Naturalist. It was a special place for him because because he had stayed there for a family holiday with his parents and his brother some years before. Rocio was suspicious James was up to no good. They were in the middle of nowhere and had not seen a soul for a good 30min, only wild kangaroos. Then as they sat down on a bench to take a break, he popped the ring and said the words. There was no knee bending and no asking. He just said: “My darling, I love you since the first day and I want to spend the rest of my life with you”


After a good deal of Rocio crying and calling our family and friends, we bought some cheese and crackers and had a bottle of bubbles by the fire in our lovely cabin style hotel in Yallingup. Listening to our favourite songs. Super romantic.



Could you sum up your wedding in a couple of sentences – how would you describe the look and feel of the day, the vibe?

It was like a big family Christmas party when people came from all over the world and many didn’t know each other. Everybody was having so much fun. It was like bringing the spirit of spring inside the castle. Our wedding was elegant but light hearted and with a touch of fun.


What was important to you about your wedding- what were your priorities from the very beginning?

As boring as it sounds, the most important thing was the scheduled and coordination with suppliers. A wedding is an event. If the guests and ourselves had an amazing time at our wedding is because we had planned for it. To have no awkward moments where people don’t know where to go or what to to. To have enough time for us to soak it in and spend time with them.

Planning the flow of events and coordinating with so many people takes effort. Linda Lanigan and Katie Kav helped me put the backbone together and they made it possible on the day. Without them the plan would have fallen through the cracks because the bride gets pulled in all different directions on the day. You need to have help from the professionals.

Also the theme of the wedding. I wanted to bring color inside the castle, but in a natural way so my inspiration was the flowers that grow outside the castle. Instead of being something out of place, it was like bringing the garden inside.


What made your venue “the one”?

Waterford castle is just incredibly beautiful. It’s warm, cozy and luxurious by itself so It doesn’t need much decoration. The food is out of this world and the service is absolutely excellent. When we thought it was just perfect we got to visit the rooms and we realised we will be staying in a palace! It’s the kind of place you only see in museums in Spain, when you visit the royal sites. It had to be in the castle.


How many guests attended your wedding?

130, we really maxed out capacity!


What made the day really special and personal to you?

I think the ceremony was really special. With our stories and our songs. Our relatives and friends doing the readings, the cultural mix, and that little ice breaker we did at the start asking the guests to introduce themselves to each other and make new friendships. The amount of people that came over during the day saying oh we met your cousin such and such our your friend form this or other place was a testimony of that. We did it playing the song You’ve got a friend, James Taylor version.

Also the cultural tip cards. We wanted to teach people coming from outside or Ireland how to say Slainte, and teach all the Irish the traditional cheering in Spanish weddings. They took it really seriously!


What advice would you give to brides and grooms planning their day?

Treat it like a project. Don’t get too emotionally attached when planning. Be practical, have plans A, B and C and work hard planning in advance, so you can really enjoy your day.


Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to Iceland! Living in a tropical mega city, we wanted a bit of cold, vast spaces and nature. It was gorgeous.




Venue: Waterford Castle | Photographer: Katie Kav | Bridesmaids dresses: Asos | Dress: Panambi Collection | Shoes: Salo Madrid | Flowers: Lamber De Bie | Suits: Fitzgeralds Menswear | Cake : Jeni Pim | Hair: Grainne Gault from Love Hair | Makeup: Perfection by Mon | Music: John Walsh, Lucie Stapleton, and Brand New Cadillac | Videographer: Seed of Light

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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