Always dreamed of that perfect Irish wedding but your wallet has a few qualms about it? No worries, here are some tips to help keep you and your wallet happy.
Traditionally, Irish brides would wear a blue dress on their wedding day. Incorporate this tradition by adding a blue ribbon or wearing blue shoes.
Irish Bridal Boutique offers an array of stunning dresses at reasonable prices, particularly the sample sale dresses. The store also has dresses to outfit your bridesmaids and flower girl.
The Irish are known for their lovely lace and a lace wedding dress will have that Irish vibe. If you want to get a really authentic Irish look, sew Carrickmacross or Kenmore lace to your dress.
Irish brides would carry bouquets with the flower Bells of Ireland. The plant itself is inexpensive and if you’re feeling crafty there are online guides on how to make your own bouquet. You can also purchase artificial pre made bouquets online so you know they’ll survive the international flight. Additionally, Bells of Ireland make lovely centerpieces.
Use claddagh rings for your wedding rings. The hands holding the crowned heart symbolize love, loyalty, and friendship. Claddagh rings are immensely popular and are available in many jewelry stores in a wide range of styles and prices. Remember to place the heart pointing towards you to show that your heart is taken! You can also incorporate the claddagh as a cake topper.
December, especially New Year’s Eve, is a lucky time to get married and the perfect time to take advantage of the following package. Lough Eske Castle offers a generous Winter Wedding Package just under €10,000 for you and 120 of your closest friends. Voted the top wedding venue by Ireland’s most popular wedding website, weddingsonline.ie, Lough Eske Castle’s package offers a hot mulled wine reception, four course dinner, and the castle’s signature fish n’ chips for an evening buffet.
Don’t want a winter wedding? Consider celebrating your big day at Knappogue Castle in Co. Clare, only 30 miles from Shannon Airport. Exchange vows in St. Mark’s chapel before taking photographs in the 19th century walled garden. Harp and violin musicians and Irish dancers will entertain you and your guests during the reception in the Banqueting Hall.
For a more modern wedding, look no further than The Westgrove Hotel and Conference Center. Situated in Co. Kildare, this beautiful luxury hotel is an intimate and romantic place to host both your ceremony and reception. The hotel offers wedding packages from €45 to €65 per guest. No matter what your style, all packages include a 5 course meal, chair covers and floral centerpieces, pianist entertainment for two hours during the drinks reception, and the bridal suite.
For centerpieces, use makeup bells. The bells themselves are inexpensive and bring in an old Irish tradition. The sound of the bell is thought to keep evil spirits away and remind couples of their wedding vows down the road. You could also use horseshoes as centerpieces, but make sure to keep the open end up so your luck doesn’t spill out!
The Carouse and A Few Good Men, offer a set list of both American and Irish songs, and are both excellent bands with much experience playing at weddings. Ask the musicians to play “The Irish Wedding Song,” a traditional wedding song.
Traditionally, Irish wedding cakes are fruit cakes, but if you want some chocolate for dessert, just make the top tier a fruit cake. Top Tier, winner of Ireland’s Wedding Cake Designer 2012, offers a special deal on their cake of the month, which can be made in any of their seven flavors. Top Tier provides free delivery up to 30 miles and charge a small fee for venues beyond 30 miles.
You can make your own harvest knots to give to your guests as party favors. Young people would give harvest knots to their love interest to signify their devotion. Here’s a step by step link on how to make them.
Whichever dress, cake, or band you chose, your destination wedding is sure to be one that you and your guests will never forget. Best of luck and happy planning!
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned