How did you meet?
I had been working at Molly Brooke’s Irish Bar for quite a few years. I had seen Irish men come and go and was never impressed (no offense, boys). Then, a new arrival from the Emerald Isle showed up – Barry. Barry made a lame excuse to talk to me and I was instantly interested. The next night, I bought HIM a drink, we talked for hours (he was amazed I could understand him through his thick Irish accent) and one month later I was booking my ticket to Ireland to see him again. A few months later, he was permanently back in Kentucky as a farrier, and the rest is history. We’ve been together since the night we met, which was in November of 2012.

How did he propose?
This is great, he DIDN’T! I proposed to him! To rewind a bit: I was down for the count with strep throat. Barry was kind enough to bring me soup and stay with me the entire weekend. With nothing to do, but be sick, we decided we should binge watch the entire “Rocky” collection. If you haven’t seen “Rocky 2”, Rocky proposes to Adrian in the most adorable way. I blame it on the sickness, but I started crying like a girl and made Barry rewind and watch the scene three more times. The next day, still high from the warm fuzzies from the Rocky proposal, I thought to myself: “I really want to marry, Barry.”

I had previously been very stubborn and told Barry I never wanted to get married, citing that I was a “strong, independent, woman,” so I knew Barry wasn’t going to ask anytime soon. So, I took matters into my own hands. An Irish patron at the bar had recently described the significance of a leap year to me. On a leap day, in a leap year, the woman can propose to the man. It’s an old Irish tradition, fitting for my Irish beau. With only a couple of weeks to plan, I asked all of our friends to be at Molly Brookes (the place we met), I got down on one knee, and proposed just as Rocky proposed to Adrian “What are you planning on doing the next 50 or 60 years of your life? Because I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind marrying me very much?”

How did you choose your venue?
Barry’s sister, who still lives in Ireland, was kind enough to go to every venue we could find and send me pictures and a detailed report. She actually suggested Ballyseede Castle and went to investigate. I was blown away. I didn’t get to see the venue until a week before the wedding!

What elements were most important for your wedding day to you?
I wanted the wedding to be elegant, but also reflect us. Since we started dating, I’ve called Barry, “Bear” and because of this, family and friends have always gifted us with bear themed things, call him bear, or call US “THE bears”. Now it’s just our tradition. For Barry’s wedding gift, I gave him bear cufflinks to wear during the ceremony. He coincidentally, gave me a Pandora charm bracelet with a bear charm, and we even had bear cake toppers.

What advice would you give other brides?
People tell you the day goes by fast, but it goes by faster than you could ever imagine. In Ireland, weddings last from 3PM till 4AM!!! It still went by too fast. I didn’t think I would want a videographer, but in retrospect, I wish we had one, so we could reflect on the day. Our photos are out of this world and are so nice to revisit. I was so nervous during the ceremony, I hardly even remember it! It would have been nice to have a video of the day.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Kate McStay Photography
CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE: Ballyseede Castle, Ireland
FLORALS: PaperHeartBlooms
HAIR & MAKEUP: Cortnie Hatchett
EYELASHES: Jessica Klemmer, Fleet Street Hair Shoppe
PROGRAMS: Kate McStay Photography and Beau Graphics
HONEYMOON: Trips to Cherish
BRIDAL SHOWER LOCATION: Molly Brooke’s Irish Bar
RINGS: Helzberg Diamonds and Zales
DANCE LESSONS: Arthur Murray Dance Studio
ALTERATIONS: The Needle’s Eye Alterations