An Intimate Wedding in the Aran Islands

Katherine & Dan swapped the coastline of Northern California for the wild and remote Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland for their intimate destination wedding.

Intimate Wedding in the Aran Islands


Inishmore -Aran Islands – Elopement Teaser from Amare Stories on Vimeo.

We met on Katherine had all but given up on online dating after several years of disastrous dates. A last attempt in her search allowed her to find Dan on January 4th, 2014. Six days later they had their first date, and the rest is history!

Groom getting ready in the Aran Islands by Sean & Kate

Tell Us About The Proposal

We both love the coast, and are fortunate that we are a mere 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean in beautiful Northern California. We decided to take a drive out to Dillon Beach on Christmas Day for a long walk along the shoreline. We talked about how fortunate we were to be spending Christmas together, and he asked me if I had gotten everything I wanted for Christmas. When I answered yes, he then pulled out a little black box and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I was not expecting it, and of course, started crying tears of joy. It was the best Christmas present I could ever ask for!

First look in the Aran Islands before their wedding. Photos by Sean & Kate

How Did You Choose Your Wedding Location?

We had travelled to Ireland in 2016 to visit Dan’s sister in Galway, and we decided to take a few days to explore Inis Mor. We stayed at a charming B&B, which happened to be next to the Dun Aonghasa prehistoric fort. We explored the fort, marvelling at the beauty of the cliffs. It was magical and so spiritual for both of us. When we discussed where to get married, Dan suggested Ireland, and then we thought Dun Aonghasa would be the perfect venue for us. However, they did not allow weddings at the site, but thankfully our celebrant suggested the Black Fort, also on Inis Mor, and equally as breathtaking. It was an amazing location, with views of the ocean, and peaceful surroundings.

An intimate wedding in the Aran Islands. Photos by Sean & Kate

How Did You Find Your Main Vendors?

Not knowing of any vendors in Ireland, I felt it was important to hire a wedding planner. I discovered Waterlily Weddings (their specialty is planning weddings in Ireland), and they provided all the recommendations for the vendors we hired. They were absolutely priceless and covered every possible detail. It made the wedding day so effortless. I loved working with each and every vendor!

A wedding ceremony in the Aran Islands. Photos by Sean & Kate

What Was The Inspiration Behind Your Wedding Day?

To honor Dan’s Irish heritage, as he is 100% Irish. We wanted it as authentic as possible. We invited the male guests to wear kilts, and most obliged!

Cliff ceremony in the Aran Islands. Photos by Sean & Kate

What Was Your Favourite Moment From The Day?

We had not ever been to the Black Fort before our wedding day. Walking up to the Black Fort, and hearing the bagpiper playing in the distance was magical. It was if we were in a movie scene. Ahead of us was the fort, the cliffs, the ocean. It took our breath away. We also had a butterfly appear out of nowhere during the ceremony, and it hovered around my bouquet. I felt that was a sign that our loved ones who had departed this earth were there in spirit, in the form of this butterfly.

Aran Islands wedding transport by horse & carriage. Photos by Sean & Kate

If You Could Do It All Again, Would You Do Anything Differently?

No! This was a dream come true wedding for both of us.

Any Advice For Other Couples?

Hire a wedding planner. They made wedding planning an ease. Follow your heart, dreams and don’t let others dictate your special day. This is your special moment to preserve and you deserve to have everything done as you imagine it.Aran Islands wedding reception. Photos by Sean & Kate


Photographer: Sean + Kate
Videographer: Amare Stories РRonan Quinn  
Planner: Waterlily Weddings
Ceremony venue: The cliffs at The Black Fort, Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Ireland
Reception venue: Joe Watty’s pub
Dress designer: BHLDN
Florist: Sarah Wall – The Burren Flower Farm
Music: Bagpiper – Sean Kelly
Celebrant: Dara Molloy
Hair: Evelyn Joyce
Makeup: Ann-Marie Fahy
Stationary: Basic Invite
Transport: Thomas Faherty Tours

Editor of We Are The Wanderers Cat Ekkelboom-White at Lake Prags in the Dolomites in Winter

Author: Cat Ekkelboom-White

Cat is the founder of We Are The Wanderers as well as a photographer for Wild Connections Photography and mentor at the Adventure Wedding Academy.