Did  you notice that shamrocks appear in both of this week’s real weddings? On Kelly and Martin’s invitations, and the cufflinks Amy gave to Naveen. A happy accident since I wasn’t clever enough to have planned it that way. Well, today’s post brings us even more shamrocks, with a faux wedding just for St. Patrick’s Day, as imagined by wedding planner and designer, Shannon Leahy. Says Shannon: “I have always loved my Irish heritage and wanted to celebrate the upcoming holiday with a wedding fit for St. Patrick’s Day!  When I started doing research on the internet, I couldn’t find much inspiration for a sophisticated, elegant Irish wedding and I knew I had to create one.”

On with the inspiration! Fabulous photos at Manka’s taken by Larissa Cleveland

Says Shannon, “We wanted the shoot to feel like early Spring, just coming out of Winter, and the moody location at Manka’s (complete with the Spring showers) was the perfect backdrop.”

I’ll confess something: I don’t usually like boutonnieres. I find that they’re often too big, and end up looking more like a corsage than a boutonniere (my mother may have had something to do with my feelings on this subject…). But this boutonniere? This is just right! Totally understated, and very sweet. It pairs perfectly with the simple bridal bouquet of parrot tulips and white bell flowers.

Shannon was inspired by a variety of fabrics she had collected at the San Francisco Design Center and vintage lace, embroidered ribbons and twine found at The Ribbonerie. For the imagined bride and groom, these bits of ribbon are used in a traditional Celtic hand fasting ceremony, and then again throughout the tablescape. Spring branches create a lovely, seasonal backdrop for the ceremony.

I love this idea of a miniature accordion guest book – it would be such an easy and fun thing for the bride and groom to take with them after the wedding, to read all of their guests’ well wishes. Stitching in neutral thread ties all of the stationery items together. And, in true Manka’s fashion, the dinner menu is wonderfully whimsical, with items like “Halibut Plucked from the Surrounding Seas, Dappled with Coastal Clams and Housemade Bacon, Thanks to Mr. Pasternak’s Pig” and “Local Goat’s Milk Cheese Wrapped in Walnut Alongside Buttons of Quince and Syrup of the Same.”

Slàinte is like “Cheers!” and literally means “health.” A perfect little touch to any toasts at this Irish-inspired faux wedding. Especially when toasting with pints of Guinness topped off with shamrocks!

The cake incorporates fun textures, and the flowers and ruffles are finished off with edible gold dust.

Inspired by a Louis XVI-style chair reupholstered in burlap, Shannon found something similar for the “bride” and “groom” from Blueprint Studios and had them monogrammed with their respective initials. Shannon also wrapped the vases in various fabrics, bringing interesting texture to the table. Flowers include parrot tulips, ranunculus, bells of Ireland, and geranium leaves (in mercury glass vases). More blooming branches adorn the fireplace mantle.

Concept, design and flowers: Shannon Leahy Events

Photography: Larissa Cleveland

Venue: Manka’s in Inverness, California

Dress: BCBG

Stationery and flowers: Anna Millett of Mira Aster

Cake: Flours

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / La Tavola Linens / Blueprint Studios

Don’t you love all these fun ideas? I think the best part of this faux wedding is that it has a clear theme, without being kitschy – it’s totally sophisticated from start to finish. Thanks so much to Shannon Leahy, Larissa Cleveland, and all the other vendors involved in this wonderful photo shoot. I can just imagine what a fun wedding this would be.

23 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings, Inspired Ideas
  1. Nikki {Perpetually Engaged}

    So many things to love. The simplicity, the clean color palette. The alter is genius (two adirondack chairs and urns?). Not to mention serving Guinness to save money, since it is basically a meal in itself ;)

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  2. kae

    Oh this is seriously lovely. The cleanliness is perfect.

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  3. the Perfect Palette

    such fun ideas! Darling! Elegant too!

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  4. Shal

    What are the white flowers in the white vases at the ceremony site… they are sooo dreamy! Love it!

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  5. Kathleen at Twig and Thistle

    Oh my, what a lovely inspired event. I adore the intricate details and crisp colors. Amazing!

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  6. Lissa (The Wedding Bistro at Bellenza)

    If Shannon was looking for an elegant, stylish Irish-inspired wedding, then she has certainly created it! Perfect blend of woodsiness and whimsy, with a clean, crisp palette and delicate details. So lovely!

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  7. Lace.and.Likes

    love how understated the st. patty’s day details are.
    so so lovely

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  8. Vancouver wedding photographer

    Absolutely wonderful details. Simple, warm and elegant.

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  9. Linda V.

    If the excitement gets too much, the serenity in all the details will calm it down again. Beautifully balanced!

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  10. ArticulateArt

    This is marvelous!!! Everything looks perfect!

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  11. Plum Pretty Sugar Loungerie

    Adore the green drinks!



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  12. Jessica

    oh my lord… this is amazing. one of the most inspired shoots/events i have EVER seen

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  13. Anne

    Incredible. Truly outdone yourself.

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  14. Rose

    Those pictures are stunning and what a great idea for a wedding theme. Thanks for sharing

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  15. Miss French Navy

    So chic and elegant – yet so personal at the same time.

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  16. Sarah (A Paper Proposal)

    So lovely! Themed, but not cheesy. I love the clovers subtly sprinkled throughout the event. So cute.

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  17. DierdreT

    No Claddagh rings??? No eternity-woven Celtic knots???

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  18. kristina (Disc Jockeys Massachusetts)

    The shots with umbrella is great. Very Luxe.

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  19. jaclyn @ thelateafternoon

    what a gorgeous backdrop! i love how beachy and muted everything looks!

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  20. Kandis

    I love this wedding! We are having our wedding next St. Patrick’s Day 3/17/12. I was wondering if you knew where she got the shamrocks from??

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  21. Jamie

    Does anyone know where she got the shamrocks? I am looking for the same kind and size! Thanks!! :)

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  22. Shannon Leahy

    Hi Jamie! We picked the Shamrocks from the side of the road! They don’t hold up for long unfortunately :(

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  23. Laine

    I love those bent wood chairs! Do they have a name?

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