Meet Kacie and Darren! They’ve been together for 12 years, engaged for 3.5 of them and recently tied the knot in a beautiful pale blue and peach Spring wedding. Their main focus was creating a day that was relaxed and fun, and they did just that! From the romantic song choices to Kacie’s chilled attitude towards which dresses the girls wore, and everything in between. Kacie even wanted Darren’s suit to be a surprise for her, and thankfully, she loved it!
Couple: Kacie Dillane-Clarke & Darren Clarke
Engagement length: 3.5 years (01/11/2018)
Wedding date: 2022-05-13
Wedding location: Heights Hotel Killarney
Photographer: Laura & Benny Photography
Kacie and Darren met when she was 15 and he was 16 and started officially dating three years later. During their 12 years of being together, they have done long distance twice but have been in the same country consistently since 2018 then they bought a house together.
They got engaged in November 2018, when Darren won tickets for them to fly out to London and watch Disney’s The Nutcracker. We love how he surprised Kacie, so take a look at her side of the story:
“When we got to reception Dar said he had left his phone upstairs and needed to go get it. I tried to get him to leave it because he didn’t need it and NEVER takes photos but he insisted he needed it if Keira Knightly was going to be there. So while I impatiently waited outside the hotel, he ran back to the room, set it up with petals on the floor and bed and told reception it was ok to drop up the champagne. I didn’t even notice at the premier that he didn’t take a single photo of Keira Knightly despite being 2 feet away from her. When the premier was over he asked if I wanted to freshen up at the hotel before going out so we headed back and he ran ahead of me from the lift saying he wasn’t feeling well. By the time I got to the room he had Rewrite the Stars playing and was down on one knee surrounded by petals. He had such a lovely speech prepared but I was honestly in so much shock I didn’t hear a word. I kept asking if he was joking and if he asked my dad, but my answer was always going to be “YES!”. We went out and celebrated that night and didn’t tell anyone until midday the next day. It was so nice to be in a little bubble for a few hours on our own, it’s the piece of advice I would give all couples.”
They really wanted to get married in the same month as their anniversary so they picked May!
“It was originally meant to be Friday the 14th May 2021 but we postponed by a year and still wanted to keep it to the Friday. We didn’t notice until everything had been rescheduled and confirmed that it was now going to be on Friday the 13th. To keep with the Spring colours we went for a pale blue and peach theme. The main thing we wanted for the wedding day was for it to be relaxed, fun and a reflection of the two of us.”
Kacie wore an Allure dress from Vows! She was just about to buy a big ballgown, but when she tried on this off-the-shoulder lace dress, there was no doubt in her mind that this was ‘the one’. She picked minimal accessories because her dress was the star of the show!
Darren wore a navy suit, navy tie and grey flecked waistcoat with dark tan shoes. Since Darren wasn’t allowed to see Kacie’s dress, she suggested that he kept his suit a surprise too! So it was a lovely surprise for Kacie to see Darren’s suit for the first time on the day!
The Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids wore light blue dresses in the Haven style from Wed2B. Kacie gave the girls the choice of any style they liked in either light blue or peach, and they all chose the same style and colour. They were each given a necklace with their birth flower and name on it, as well as earrings as a gift! It was very important to Kacie that the girls all felt comfortable and like themselves!
The groomsmen wore the same navy suit as Darren, with a navy waistcoat and light blue ties to match the girls. A friend made the button holes from silk flowers so they could keep them after.
Kacie and Darren had a civil wedding ceremony, officiated by Helen O’Sullivan.
“The atmosphere throughout the whole ceremony was relaxed, fun and personal. We got so many compliments about it after. We did the usual candle lighting ceremonies, we did a hand fastening ceremony where our wedding party wrapped ribbons around our hands and then myself and Darren pulled them to literally “tie the knot” and then we each read out our own vows. The ceremony took about 45 minutes but to us it absolutely flew.”
Their wedding venue was the beautiful Heights Hotel! Kacie says they both loved the look of the hotel from the outside, but as soon as they walked into the ballroom they knew it was the venue for them. They just loved how bright and full of natural light it was, with views of the mountains and garden to give it a whimsical feel. Since Kacie is a vegetarian, it was important to her that the usual risotto wasn’t the vegetarian option. So the chef made a Ratatouille filled Pithivier that was a hit with even the non-vegetarian guests!
They absolutely raved about their wedding photographers, Laura and Benny!
“Their work and presence on Instagram drew me to them and they did not disappoint. From day one they had us laughing with them, during lockdown their podcasts were brilliant for up-to-date information and then when we postponed they were a fantastic support to us. I can honestly say their professionalism, time keeping and eye for photography are like nobody I have seen before. Laura was on the ball with me and the girls all morning and kept the atmosphere completely relaxed and fun. Benny had the lads absolutely cracking up for the whole day, crouching tiger hidden Benny gets some of the best candid photos.”
They entertained their guests with fabulous music choices! During the ceremony, Kacie walked down the aisle to “You’re still the one” by Shania Twain and they walked out to “At last” by Etta James. The first dance song was “Neverland” by Zendaya. They didn’t want to stand and sway for the song, so they had their dance choreographed by Julie Murtagh O’Connell from Glitz! Despite their nerves, they pulled it off!
Their band was The Stars, who had the whole place rocking! Kacie says their intro is one of the best she has seen and the band absolutely nailed the performance on the night, keeping their dance floor full!
Kacie found it hard to pick just one memory from the day that stands out to her.
“Cliché as it sounds, Darren’s face as he turned and saw me is probably my favourite memory. All my nerves were gone and it was just us. I brought my brothers to the bridal suite with my dad for my first look and that moment means so much to me. There was also a moment where Darren got up and surprised us all with a song on the keyboard just after his speech. I won’t mention the name of the song but I’m pretty sure this Tenacious D song has never been sung in front of 159 wedding guests before. Him singing that with all our friends singing it back to him is top of the list.”
Darren says: “The moment I saw Kacie coming down the aisle. I knew she’d look beautiful but I was in awe. And the Best Man’s speech! Anthony delivered on his promise and had the whole room erupting in laughter throughout it. I also really enjoyed our time in Muckross Park getting the wedding party photographs – I’m not one for photos but that was great craic.”
Kacie has some brilliant advice for other couples getting married:
“Give your phone to your bridesmaids. I had given suppliers my bridesmaid’s number as point of contact but they still all called me. Claire took my phone and dealt with every query/issue like an absolute pro while the others filled my glass. Just enjoy your day, do not stress over the DIY because you are the only one who will notice it and likewise if anything goes wrong. You are the only one who will have known what was meant to go right so just take the day as it comes, soak it in together and don’t be afraid to get the dress dirty, it’s worth it for the photos.”
Ceremony and Reception venue: Heights Hotel Killarney | Photographer: Laura & Benny Photography | Videographer: Eoin Comisky & Lisa O’Donoghue | Planner/coordinator: Jason Doyle and Megan Daly-Tyrrell | Ceremony music: Here Comes the Trio | Band and DJ: The Stars | Hair: Audrey – Upstyle Junkie | Makeup: Christine O’Connor | Couple’s outfits: Vows (Bride) Simply Suits (Groom) | Wedding party outfits: Wed2b (Bridesmaids) Simply Suits (Groomsmen) Cake: Kat Altman | Celebrant/solemniser: Helen O’Sullivan (Spiritual Ceremonies) | Stationery: Printed on Zazzle | Jewellery/rings: Keanes (Wedding bands & Pocket watch) Rosie & Dott (Earrings) | Accessories: Rosie & Dott (bag) Message on a bottle (Glasses) Weddingrobes.ie (Hangers) Etsy (Jewellery box & flower charms with handwriting) New Look (Shoes) | Flowers: Floral Impressions