Planning your destination wedding in Ireland (part one the wedding)
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding in Ireland! Planning a destination wedding can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it can also be stressful if you don’t know where to start. I have worked with several clients from overseas, from New York to Los Angeles as well as far away as Australia. Ireland has magical weddings that entice couples from all over the world. So I am here to provide you with some advice from my years of experience working for couples like yourselves, to help make your planning process as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Here are my top tips, hopefully you have most of these covered, but you may find one or two new ones to help with your dream destination Irish wedding.
Hire a wedding planner
Planning a wedding in a foreign country will be challenging. It will be harder than a wedding at home, but it is also so much more rewarding. To help with the challenges, I highly recommended hiring a wedding planner who has experience in planning weddings in Ireland. A professional planner will be able to guide you through the planning process, recommend vendors, and ensure that your wedding runs smoothly.
Consider the weather
Ireland is known for its rainy weather, here in Kerry we have more rain annually than you get in Seattle! So it’s essential to plan for all possibilities. Make sure you have a backup plan in case of rain, and consider providing umbrellas for your guests. It’s also essential to consider the temperature, especially if you’re planning an outdoor wedding. Ireland can be quite chilly, even in the summer, so make sure you have blankets and heaters available if needed. I would also recommend having some slip on boots to walk between the church car and venue to keep your feet and beautiful shoes dry, and of course remember to change back into them, the first dance wouldn’t be right in a pair of rubber boots!
Prepare your documents
If you’re not a resident of Ireland, you will need to obtain the necessary documents to get legally married in the country. This can include a marriage licence, birth certificates, and passports. Make sure you allow enough time to obtain these documents before your wedding day. Your wedding planner should be able to give you all of the information you need to get this done as early as possible.
Choose the perfect location
Here in Ireland we have some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, from rolling hills and lush green fields to rugged coastlines and majestic castles. When choosing your wedding location, consider the scenery that you want as a backdrop for your special day. Ireland also has many historic churches and chapels that are perfect for a traditional wedding ceremony. Here in Kerry we have all of the above locations, so I might be a bit biassed, but in a day you can get from the highest mountains to the sandiest beaches with all of the historic castles in-between. Locations I would recommend viewing, some would be ideal for photos or just to visit with your guests before the big day would be; Killarney lakes; Ladies View; Muckross Abbey; Muckross House; The Gap of Dunloe; Inch Beach; Torc Waterfall; Skellig Islands; Innisfallen Island;
Research Irish wedding traditions
When you start planning your wedding in Ireland, it’s worth understanding the culture and traditions of the country. Ireland is rich in customs that date back centuries, and incorporating some of these traditions into your ceremony can make your wedding unique and memorable. Some popular Irish wedding traditions include handfasting, the Irish wedding bell, and the Claddagh ring. You can also bring some traditions to your wedding reception after the ceremony. Such as Irish dancing and traditional Irish music with a live Irish band.
Time your wedding well
One part of having the best destination wedding in Ireland is getting here at the right time. In Ireland we have so many festivals and events going on from county to county. So research your chosen area to see what is going on that you don’t (and sometimes do) want to miss.
St Patricks Day is always a big draw to Ireland. If you wanted the big celebration then the big cities like Dublin and Cork are the places to go, where the smaller towns are a bit more laid back. Maybe bookend your wedding with St Patricks Day, so you can have the wedding and the celebrations seperate.
Lots of events are seasonal, and remember to time your wedding with the seasons. Summer can be a good time, but autumn also has bright days and reasons to keep warm by the fire.
Communicate with your guests
When planning a destination wedding, it’s crucial to communicate with your guests about the details of your wedding. This includes the location, accommodations, and transportation. Providing your guests with a detailed itinerary can help them plan their trip and ensure that they don’t miss any important events.
Planning a wedding in Ireland can be an exciting and memorable experience. By hiring a wedding planner, understanding Irish culture, choosing the perfect location for both your ceremony and photos. Remember the weather can change your plans and keep your guests up to date with everything, you can ensure that your dream Irish wedding can come true. Best of luck to you and your partner on your special day!
For more tips and wedding cake planning please read part two of this post where I give details on how to plan your destination wedding cake for your Irish wedding.