An Intimate Country Wedding at Borris House in Borris, County Carlow, Ireland

Elizabeth Leese and Hunter Hendershot ditched their Texas digs in favor of the Emerald Isle for their intimate summer wedding. The pair had bonded over their love of travel and their own experiences in Ireland, and when it became clear that they’d each met their match, Elizabeth and Hunter began dreaming of a destination wedding in the Irish countryside. “Hunter and I felt it was very important to have our wedding somewhere meaningful and surrounded by the people we love,” Elizabeth says. The day unfolded at Borris House, the historic home of the Kavanaghs, High Kings of Leinster. “Hunter and I had a jolt of spontaneity when we arrived the day before the wedding and decided to move our ceremony outside, into the Lace Garden filled with varieties of white flowers,” Elizabeth says. The couple exchanged vows under an arch adorned with garlands of eucalyptus and white cosmos, and Elizabeth’s uncle officiated. As a nod to Irish tradition, the couple incorporated a handfasting ceremony into the proceedings. “We had prayed the Irish skies would hold off on the rain, and as my uncle was reading an Irish blessing at the end of the ceremony—‘may the rain fall softly upon your fields’—we felt a single drop of rain,” Elizabeth says. “At the time, I didn’t know why we both looked up and smiled at the same time, but the rain had waited for us.” Borris House’s ballroom welcomed them warmly for the reception, where the soft spatter of gentle rain mingled with sounds of joyful laughter and harp music. Family and friends gathered around a long reception table draped with greenery, fresh lavender and bouquets of cream and peach-colored blooms, with strands of brightly lit bistro lights and paper lanterns casting a warm, intimate glow over the room. Though Elizabeth and Hunter capped their guest list at 30, the dance floor was packed after dinner. “If you think 30 people isn’t enough to fill a dance floor, you haven’t met my family,” Elizabeth says. “We danced to every oldie and classic love song imaginable. And we didn’t leave our humor in the States, because as a long running joke, my mother wore an alien mask on the dance floor that she had scared Hunter with on the day he asked my parents’ permission to marry me.” A tip from Elizabeth and Hunter: “With the small number of guests, we were able to soak up every moment in the most beautiful location. Our advice is to enjoy your wedding—do whatever you can to make sure you can stop and take in the people around you.” —Libby MacCarthy