Only a short distance from the centre of one of the most popular and vibrant cities in the world lies an estate that’s worlds away from any hustle and bustle. Situated on 567 acres of lush private parkland, you'll find Luttrellstown Castle. The breathtaking stunning venue for Kendra Wilkins and Sam Torney's lavish early Autumn wedding on the 6th of October 2023. Captured by Wonder & Magic, you will be obsessed with this beautiful day!

Kendra & Sam have a long history! Both growing up in Vermont, the pair knew each other when they just were 12 years old. "We didn’t spend much time together or go to the same schools but we would see each other in the summers and I always had a crush on him." Both moved away after university, he moved to Boston and Kendra to New York City, and the couple didn’t meet again until 2020. COVID brought them both back to Vermont and in the summer of 2020, the two ran into each other on a little beach on Lake Champlain.  "Sam was just as handsome as I remembered and we had a rekindled spark that day on the beach. But… as with a lot of things: our timing wasn’t exactly right. Sam was about to go back to Boston for a stem cell transplant that required months of isolation and a hard road ahead with a brand new immune system amid a pandemic." So he went off to Boston, powered through his transplant, and then as soon as he came back to Vermont in October, the two went on a walk up Mt. Philo with Kendra's puppy Moony. And that was it.

It was a beautiful, sunny fall day in Vermont. Kendra had one of her close friends in town visiting from New York but Sam figured out a way to have just the two of them take Moony on a hike up Mt. Philo. As they walked up, he asked if she was happy. "I answered honestly with a resounding ‘Yes! Of course. How could I not be?” I didn’t realize at that moment that he was preparing to ask another question that I would say ‘yes’ to."  As they got to the top of the mountain, they had a beautiful view of the lake. Kendra was admiring the view before turning back to Sam and saw him down on one knee. He pulled out a ring box and asked her to marry him, and she again, responded with a resounding ‘Yes!’ "My close friends and my sister and brother ran out from behind the trees with bottles of champagne and solo cups so that we could celebrate our engagement on top of the mountain before heading off to the other surprise party Sam planned for us at his family home. It was the perfect day, truly." 

Planning a wedding from a different country is a little challenging when it comes to hair, makeup and styling. Kendra wasn’t able to do trials before the wedding so had to do a decent amount of at-home experimentation to decide on the overall style and vibe she wanted for the wedding. "In general, I wanted to look like myself: not too much makeup.  I wanted to be able to dance, run around, hug everyone, etc without worrying about my hair or makeup getting ruined." She drew a lot of inspiration from other weddings and brides and had a lot of examples to share with the artists. Overall her aesthetic was: warm, natural, and glowing. "We had to cut the front pieces of my hair the day of the wedding so that I could get the overall style I wanted, looking back that was probably a risky move but it worked out well. My hair stylist, Danielle, was great." For her signature scent, Kendra wore Diptyque Eau Rose, a go-to for special occasions, it smells like a romantic garden.   

Kendra approached finding a wedding dress with an open mind. She visited a great shop in Burlington, Vermont called Hinterland that has so many styles and brands of dresses that she loves. For an entourage, Kendra had her mum, one of her sisters, her future mother-in-law and sister-in-law and a few close friends. "I kept an open mind and tried on as many styles as possible but I always knew that I wanted something simple, feminine, and elegant. I started to narrow down the style that made me feel the most beautiful and like myself. I thought I had found the one but decided to leave to take some time to think it over. I ended up going back to the shop, the stars aligned and this designer that I loved, KYHA, had just sent in three dresses from their new collection. I tried on one of them and it was just perfect. I felt beautiful in it and knew it was what I wanted to wear when I walked down the aisle."

Sam ordered a customer tuxedo from Indochino. He spent a lot of time picking some really thoughtful details that made the tuxedo unique and special for the occasion. He found a beautiful green fabric for the lining of the jacket to incorporate the Irish surroundings and he had a special label inside of the jacket embroidered with Luttrellstown Castle and the date of the wedding! He wanted to have a modern fit but also be able to dance and move. With the custom sizing, he was able to get the perfect fit and he had the right amount of stretch to jump around on the dance floor. 

Kendra's bridal party included her dearest friends Katie, Angie, Amanda, Kristen, Laura, Gussie, Gabby, and her two sisters, Dana and Devan. For their dresses, she was looking for dresses that she thought would complement the venue but also make everyone feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible. She looked at a LOT of options and went back and forth between black, navy, and green. They ended up finding BHLDN dresses in a dark green satin with four style options. Everyone could choose the style that they wanted and the color was stunning. "I thought everyone looked incredible but they are all so beautiful that they could wear anything and look amazing. But I loved their dresses (not surprising since I got to pick them). Dark green is just a vibe, especially in Ireland." 

The ceremony was better than the couple could have ever imagined. They chose to do the ceremony inside because they didn’t want to be overly worried about the weather. It was in the entrance hall of the venue with this beautiful high ceiling and enough room for the guests to sit comfortably. One of the couple's most cherished friends officiated and he made the entire ceremony so special. He wove in the Celtic tradition and the origin of the phrase “tying the knot.” He also very thoughtfully incorporated Kendra's dad, who died a few years ago and brought in the memory of him in a way that felt very authentic, sweet, and funny. He had everybody laughing, crying, laughing again. "My favourite part was exchanging our vows. It felt perfect and so representative of our relationship and life that we’ve built together. We were all smiling and crying. It was a moment where we both got a chance to reflect on just how much we’d been through, especially Sam, to get to that moment. As a two-time cancer survivor, Sam knows what it means to feel gratitude for both the small and big things in life. And we got to celebrate both in that moment. I genuinely felt like the luckiest girl in the world that I was marrying Sam. Who would have thought that we’d find love during a pandemic and a cancer treatment?"

The pair were looking for a venue that could serve as both a space for the wedding ceremony but also a place that they could make their own for a couple of days. They wanted to be able to stay on-site with family and friends so that they could maximize the amount of time everybody could spend together. They also wanted to feel connected to nature and the history of Ireland, plus Sam is an avid golfer so he loved that there was a golf course! "Luttrellstown had everything we were looking for: it was close to Dublin, we were able to book the venue exclusively for two days, it had enough rooms for our large families and wedding party and the venue was stunning. We also loved the entire Luttrellstown team, they were all so lovely and made sure we had everything we needed the entire time."  

Kendra & Sam had two bands for the wedding, one for the ceremony and cocktail hour and another for the reception. "The Glas Quartet is a beautiful string quartet that plays a wide spectrum of songs. We were able to handpick the songs for welcoming our guests, processing down the aisle, and the first hour of cocktails (a lot of espresso martinis, whiskey, and Guinness). We loved the string quartet but wanted more upbeat/fun music so we selected a mix of Frank Ocean, AC/DC, Alicia Keys, and more." For the reception, they booked The Event Band. They had such a fun party vibe and the singers were amazing. The couple picked them because they loved the female vocalists and were able to add in a saxophone player. They played a great mix of songs and had everyone on the dance floor as soon as the first note rang out!

About the best decision, Kendra had to say, "The venue! Literally loved everything about the venue. We felt very lucky to have found Luttrellstown."

About the worst decision, Kendra had to say, "Not having a photographer for our rehearsal dinner. We have 0 pictures (we were apparently having too much fun to even think to take a single photo!)"

- Gráinne