“Our ceremony was held in the ceremony room of Ballymagarvey Village. We hired Frog Prince to decorate the room with eucalyptus, candles and a large floral circle to sit as the backdrop.”
Names: Brianna Zambito and Mark Noonan
Length of engagement: 2 years
Wedding Date: August 30, 2018
Wedding location: Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath
Photographer: Peter Rowen
We met… Mark and I met at a gym in New York City in 2012. We had both signed up for a small group training class that met once a week (on Tuesdays at 7 am). We both would arrive a few minutes early to stretch in the boxing ring. Mark would try to strike a conversation with Brianna, but Brianna would give one-worded answers because she was dreading the workout and wishing she had stayed in bed. For two years, they were acquaintances at the gym, saying hello and stopping to speak briefly when they would run into each other.
It wasn’t until 2014, after they hadn’t crossed paths for over 6 months, when Brianna saw Mark again and jumped up from the stretch mat for a hug. Mark saw the excitement in Brianna’s eyes and left the conversation thinking that he would like to get to know her better. A few days later, he asked her out to dinner. It was during that date that they figured out how the love of their life had been standing across from them at the gym for all those years!
Brianna is from New York and Mark is originally from Dublin, Ireland. He moved to New York City in 2003.
Our proposal… On the two year anniversary from their first date, Mark asked Brianna to meet him where they had their first kiss, in Washington Square Park. Mark was sitting on that same bench with a rose. He asked Brianna to take a walk, and stopped right in front of the arch. The band playing under the arch started playing “My Girl” as he got down on one knee.
Our wedding theme/colours… Pinks, golds, whites and lots of natural greens. We went for a simple, airy feel that tied in with the rustic vibe of Ballymagarvey village. With over half of our guests visiting from the US, we wanted to take advantage of the greenery and natural beauty of Ireland and our venue.
Things we DIY’d/made ourselves… Since we were traveling from the US, we were not able to bring a lot with us. We relied on Mark’s parents and sisters (who live in Kilkenny) to handle the DIY materials. Our favourite item was the handmade knitted throwing bouquet that was made by a Noonan relative.
My dress… After trying on over 70 dresses in NYC, I ended up finding my dream dress during a trip to Ireland. It is called Serena by Theia. It had the timeless, fitted theme that I loved!
My hair and make up… Hair by Denise Bray; Make up by Yvonne Sheridan
His suit… Mark and his groomsmen rented their suits from Aston Formal Wear in Dublin. Mark wore the Lincoln style.
What our bridal party wore… The bridal party (Amanda and Crista) wore blush pink dresses from Weddington Way, a bridal store in NYC.
Our ceremony… Our ceremony was held in the ceremony room of Ballymagarvey Village. We hired Frog Prince to decorate the room with eucalyptus, candles and a large floral circle to sit as the backdrop. Our good friend, Tommy Walker, married us in a symbolic ceremony. Tommy’s father was a minister alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and he was absolutely perfect in capturing our love and spirituality in the ceremony.
We chose our photographer because… After going through a long list of photographers, we felt confident that Pete Rowen demonstrated a skill above all others. Pete was able to capture all the love and joy among us and our guests. He was such a pleasure to work with leading up to, and on the day of, our wedding! His passion for photography and his ability to make the bride and groom feel comfortable really shows in his photos.
We chose our wedding coordinator because… We did not hire an outside wedding planner, but Ballymagarvey provided a dedicated coordinator for us. Her name was Lisa Egan and she did a fantastic job of working with us and answering our many questions, especially considering we were overseas and had tons of logistical questions from afar.
We chose our venue because… Brianna made a trip to Ireland to scope out venues with her mom and sister in early 2017. As soon as they saw Ballymagarvey, they were sold. It felt like walking into a fairy tale. All of the staff was so kind and professional, and made us feel right at home. The reception hall had the rustic feel that we were looking for, and the grounds were absolutely stunning.
Our menu… Ballymagarvey provided lots of options for us to choose from. We had a tasting a few months prior to our wedding where we got to try every single item (yes, we were stuffed!).
All the food was perfect and we couldn’t fault one thing. We absolutely LOVED the duck option, but felt that not everyone would be willing to order duck. So with our guests’ tastes in mind, we went with:
Starter – goat cheese tartlet (SO delicious)
Soup – butternut squash soup
Meat – Sirloin
Fish – Sea bass
Vegetarian – spinach and three cheese cannelloni
Dessert – pear and almond tart
And Ballymagarvey was so accommodating, they prepared the duck for just the bride and groom since they knew how much we loved it!
Our honeymoon… Two days after our wedding, we flew from Ireland to northern Spain. We spent a couple days relaxing in San Sebastian and then travelled down to La Rioja wine region, where we toured countless bodegas (vineyards), drank lots of wine and ate all the local foods.
My favourite part of the wedding day… Our favourite part was the ceremony, standing across from one another and stating our vows in front of all our closest family and friends. We were both so emotional!
My piece of advice for other couples… If you’re planning a wedding, don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure to relax on your wedding day. Your guests will have fun as long as the wedding couple is having fun!
We are based in New York City and decided to get married in Ireland. Planning a destination wedding without a wedding planner certainly wasn’t easy. There were lots of unknowns, including how to entertain our guests who were traveling from overseas, what the final floral arrangements would look like, how I’d be able to transport my dress, and how my hair and makeup would look (I wasn’t able to do my trials until 2 days before my wedding). Planning the wedding was a great learning experience as we had to let go of the minor things and let the events happen naturally. Putting our trust in the vendors, we ended up having the most perfect day and couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Wedding venue: Ballymagarvey Village | Photographer: Peter Rowen | Planner/coordinator: Lisa Egan (Ballymagarvey employee) | Videographer: Big Day Films | Musician: Pink Champagne | DJ: Kieth Wilhelmson | Hair: Denise Bray | Makeup: Yvonne Sheridan | Dress: Serena by Theia Bridal | Suit: Rented from Aston Formal in Dublin | Bridesmaids dresses: Weddington Way in NYC | Groomsmen outfits: Rented from Aston Formal in Dublin | Caterer: Ballymagarvey Village | Cake: Primrose Bakery | Celebrant: Tommy Walker
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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.