The Irish Homecoming: Irish brides and grooms are getting more creative when it comes to weddings


Photo kiosks (booths) are also another popular plant at weddings. The drunker the crowd becomes, the funnier the pictures are.

Each guest gets a copy of their own pictures, but best of all the bride and groom get a copy of all the snaps taken on the night. Props are also used for entertainment purposes.

In terms of wedding favors, people are opting for more functional items now.  In some summer weddings the bride places flip-flops in the ladies bathrooms to ease the pain of the high-heels later in the night.  Other practical favors I’ve seen are disposable cameras and socks.

People are even getting creative with wedding cakes. Another wedding I attended in Cork this year had a three layer cheesecake.

It was literally three blocks of cheese decorated very elegantly -- and may I add very delicious -- later in the night. They also supplied the guest with a personalized cupcake to take home.

Civil ceremonies are becoming a lot more popular now too here.  From my own experiences in speaking with couples for the magazine, I would say two out of 10 couples are now opting to get married in the reception venue or an alternative venue to the church. Also a lot of couples are having smaller weddings, and some people are still opting for having their intimate wedding abroad.

Weddings in Ireland still start pretty early, usually 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., but during the summer I attended a wedding at noon.

So has the recession affected people’s wedding budgets? Well, despite all the aforementioned additional elements to Irish weddings I do think people are scaling back on other stuff. People are getting better at bargaining, spending less on dresses and flowers and reducing the guest list somewhat.

But the main thing I’m seeing is the length of time people are now engaged for. It’s very standard now for people to have a two-three year engagement, mainly to give them enough time to save up for their big day.

People are also slimming back on the honeymoons. Before it was nearly a given couples would spend between €7,000 to €10,000 on a luxury honeymoon in some exotic sun-drenched country, but now people are skipping across to Europe for a week in Italy or a two week all inclusive holiday in Lanzarote (not more than €3,000).

So that’s how the wedding trends are going in Ireland – well, Limerick and Kerry anyway. I’ve been attending various wedding fairs in recent weeks making contacts for the magazine, and businesses are getting more and more creative all the time.
It will be interesting to see what weddings will be like when my two are ready to tie the knot (hopefully not for another 30-plus years)

If anyone in New York hails from Limerick and would like to appear in the magazine (Brides of Limerick- also on Facebook) or have any ideas for columns I would love to hear from you.