wedding day

Midsummer Nights Dream Wedding

Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Nights Dream exclaims ‘love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.’

A beautiful sentiment from one of the all-time great stage plays, but it turns out that’s it’s not just full of wonderful quotes. In fact, the play is an ideal inspiration for a summer wedding theme.

Think woodland, moss, ferns, fairies, magic and moonlight in this dreamy, sumptuous wedding theme that’s all about laid back indulgence and bringing the outdoors in.

Here’s some visual inspiration for you, to get the ideas flowing. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

Lighting

Lighting is key to any wedding them, but is especially vital to pull off a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Think lots of fairly lights, moon and star lights, hanging tea lights, dreamy lanterns to really hammer home the magical atmosphere once the sun goes down. You want to feel as though you’re walking through an enchanted forest, so don’t be afraid to skim on the candles and fairylights.

 

On the table

Have lots of fun with your table décor and centrepieces, think drama, because it is a play after all! Go for lots of green trees and foliage. Think ferns, grapes and greenery. Use Shakespeare quotes as table names. Place piles of old books in the centre covered in moss. Use wooden accents, lanterns and lots of pretty tea lights.

 

Around the room

If you’ve got access to an outdoor area for your wedding reception then make the most of it by lighting up with mason jars and hanging tea lights. Leave blankets outside for when the sun goes down. But don’t forget to bring a sense of the outdoors in with blossom trees, fairly lights, draping, ferns and capture that enchanted magical woodland feeling.

 

Food

When it comes to food, it’s got to be naked cakes or wood effect cakes embellished with moss, greenery and grapes to match the theme to a tee. Have fun serving drinks from goblets and play on the idea of magic potions which both kids and adults would enjoy!

 

Images via Pinterest 

Revamp The Bridal Party

Today, gender roles in weddings have become much more relaxed. Gone are the days of having to have either gender in any specific roles.

If you want a woman as your ‘best man,’ then there’s no rule to say you cannot go for it. Similarly when it comes to the bridesmaids there’s been a move toward including grandmothers in the bridal party too. Or if the couple getting married has children, why not ask them to step in to some of the key roles, such as the ‘best man?’

This goes for the walk up the aisle too. While it’s traditional to have the father walk the bride up the aisle, this might not be something that is right for every family for a number of reasons, so don’t be afraid to change it up.

The main thing to keep in mind is that, you need to do what suits your family best and with same sex marriage now finally legalised in Ireland for the last couple of years, there’s a very real sense that now more than ever that traditional roles no longer apply.

So remember, there’s no need to stick to any set or traditional lines of convention and while in the past that might have been harder to pull off, thankfully today there is more openness and inclusivity than ever before.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

The Best Person

Some grooms may have a close friend who is female, or an aunt or a sister who they’d be more comfortable with filling the role of the ‘best man.’  And there’s no reason why that cannot be the case. Just be sure that your partner-to-be is also happy with the choice.

 

Kids Filling Roles

These days many couples already have children before they decide to tie the knot. So why not have them get involved in the key roles of the day. It will make them feel included and special and it’s something they will always remember too.  From the best man to a maid of honour or even escorting mum down the aisle, there’s lots of ways to get your children involved.

 

Get Grandparents Involved

Not all couples are lucky enough to have their grandparents around when they get married. So many of those how do, can often be very close to them and realise how special it is to have them be a part of their wedding day. So why not get them involved in the bridal party? Be it your granny as a bridesmaid or your granddad as your best man, it’s a lovely tribute and something you will both always remember.

 

The Walk Up the Aisle

Recently the world watched as Meghan Markle tied the knot with Britain’s Prince Harry. She walked up the first half of the aisle by herself and was then joined by her husband-to-be’s father Prince Charles who escorted her up the second half of the walk. Gone are the days when the father has to do the walk up the aisle. These days it’s all about what suits the couple and the family best. Sometimes a father and step father might share the role, sometimes a mother will do the walk, sometimes both parents will walk on either side, or sometimes a bride will want to walk alone. Chose what is right for you and your family situation.

 

Images via Pinterest 

Wedding Save the Date Cards

You could be forgiven for thinking that save the date cards are just another headache to add to your growing wedding list, but on the contrary, they are a very handy tool in your planning.

While they may be a relatively new concept on this side of the pond, a save the date card has now become commonplace for most couples in Ireland.

But just what is the difference between a save the date and an invitation?

Simply put, a save the date is something you send much more in advance of your invitation and gives guests curial information they need to know, such as the date and location, especially if it is a destination wedding. Guest typically do not need to RSVP at this point.

A wedding invitation however, is sent closer to the day and has all the final information and it is expected that guests will RSVP

Here’s some more information. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

Give People Time

These days weddings can just as often be on a weekday as a weekend and they can also be places in which guests will need to travel to, so with all of that in mind, it’s good manners to send your guests as much information in advance as possible. That’s where a save the date comes in. It allows your guests to get time off work if needed and /or organise childcare.

 

When Do I Send Them?

It really depends on the type of wedding you are having. If it is to a destination aboard then give as much notice as you can, even nine months. If it’s not so far afield then around six months is perfectly fine. Try to resist to send them out more than a year in advance as people can forget about it.

 

 

Who Should Get One?

Everyone and anyone who you’d ideally love to have at your wedding should get one. By the same token, once you end them a save the date, then you cannot decide to not send them an invitation later.

 

But I don’t Have All the Information Yet

Don’t panic, a save the date typically won’t have all the wedding information enclosed, as you won’t have it finalised yet. What it will typically have is the date of the wedding and possibly the location. You should also make it personal and clear as to who is invited so plans can be made. You should then say more details to follow.

 

 

Get Communication Going

Another pro of a save the date is that you can direct your guests to a website or app, which you can then fill up with important information the closer you get to the big day. This is particularly helpful if you’re having a destination wedding where guests need to book travel.

 

I Haven’t Decided on My Theme Yet!

That’s okay, while you can of course introduce your theme to your guests with the save the dates, there is no reason why they have to fit in with your eventual theme down the line. In fact, it’s a nice way to experiment with what you think you might like to use.

 

Do I Still Need to Send an Invite?

The short answer is yes! You need to send a formal invite to confirm all the details of the day and to finalise your guest list.

 

 

Images via Pinterest 

 

Tips to Keep the Morning of the Wedding Calm

The morning of your wedding day is a special time, as it’s the last few hours you’ll spend as an unmarried person. That said, it can also be a chaotic and nervy time, leaving the bride-to-be stressed and overwhelmed. 

Between makeup and hair people coming and going, getting your finished look the way you want it, flowers being dropped off, not to mention anxieties about the dress fitting properly, not spilling anything on it, ensuring the bridesmaids/flower girls have all their accessories, making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, walking down the aisle and a million and one other possible problems and issues, it’s easy to see how brides can get flustered.

And that is not what you want on the morning of the wedding. It should ideally be a calm and enjoyable few hours spent with your close family and bridesmaids.

Thankfully, over my years of putting weddings together, I know how to ensure the bride stays stress free. Here are my top tips on how to keep things relaxed and ordered.  

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Get to Bed Early

This is easier said than done, because you’ll most likely be too excited to sleep! That said, do try and get a good night’s sleep and avoid drinking too much as you’ll want to feel rested and fresh the next day.

                                                       

Lay Out Accessories the Night Before

Before you get your head down take some time to lay everything out in terms of your dress, the accessories, shoes and anything else you’ll need for the morning. You don’t want to be panicking looking for something in the morning as this can make you stressed. And don’t forget to do the same with any bridesmaids/flower girl’s attire too.

 

 

 

Have a Timeline

It’s a good idea to have a timeline for the morning, in terms of hair and makeup people coming and the order in which the bridal party will be getting ready. Start at the end with a time you would ideally like to be ready to go and work backwards from that. Factor in extra or contingency time in case there are delays, which can happen for any number of reasons. You’re always best off having time in hand to play with, rather than be dashing and arriving at the church flustered.

 

Eat Something

Nerves can put you off your food, but weddings are a marathon not a sprint, so be sure to have a little something in your tummy to sustain you. Even if it’s just a croissant try and eat something small it will make all the difference.

 

 

Make the Room an Oasis of Calm

Whether it be some relaxing music, or lighting candles, or spraying some aromatherapy scents, keep the room where you’re getting ready a calm place. Also take a few moments for yourself to take everything in, as it’s probably the only time you’ll have all day with just you.

 

Finally, Have Fun!

Don’t forget to enjoy the morning, as it really is a special time. Smile, laugh, enjoy being pampered, have a few moments with your parents, pop open the bubbly and have a glass to steady the nerves, but just be sure not to over indulge as you don’t want it going to your head.

 

 

 

Wedding Food Trucks Ireland

Food culture has come a long way in Ireland over the last number of years. Farmers markets, artisan producers and a real hunger (pardon the pun!) from the public for fresher, tastier and more creative food choices has raised the bar all around.
And this is very evident when it comes to weddings. More and more, it’s the food that’s one of the key driving elements when picking a venue for the big day. People want more than just ‘beef or salmon.’ They want something modern, fun creative and tasty. There’s also an appetite (sorry, not sorry!) for organic food with an eye on sustainability as well as food that can cater for different diets.

What’s great about the food trucks is that they can be a real surprise for your guests. You can have them as the main meal provider, or to cater for the drinks reception, the late night snack or the day after celebrations.

Here’s some visual inspiration for you. In the meantime don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Any drawbacks?
As far as cons go, the only drawbacks to consider for food trucks really are the cost. Make sure it fits with your budget and find out what your venues policy is on having these vans on their premises. Also while it might be tempting to get a hog roast van in for your main meal, bear in mind it might not suit all styles of weddings.

 

Main Meals
If you’re having a festival or glamping style wedding, or a more relaxed atmosphere, then a food truck catering for the main meal is perfect. And there are so many cuisines to choose from! Literally there are options from all over the world to consider.

K Chido Mexico 

Late Night Snacks
Having a food truck for your late night snack will be a real treat and surprise for your guests. In this case, look for vans that serve snack style foods, such as fries, poutine, bagels, pizza, fish n chips or even sliders. These would also be ideal for your day after get together.

Home Fries 

Drinks
From prosecco trucks, to gin caravans and even mobile traditional Irish pubs, there is a huge move toward these snazzy drinks vans in recent years. Ideal for your drinks reception or again for your day after get together if you’re having one.

The Shebeen 

Sweet Treats
Again, sweet treats are going to be super addition to your wedding day festivities and you could have these at the drinks reception or in the evening time. Think Ice cream vans, doughnuts, cotton candy, cakes, coffee, teas, cakepops and crepes.

Rockfield Ice Cream 

Morning of The Wedding Surprises

The morning of your wedding day is really special. In many ways it’s the calm before the very exciting storm that is to come. It’s one of the only times on the day when you’ll have a moment to yourself. You’ll likely spend the rest of the morning with your close family and friends as you all prepare for the ceremony.

It’s also the last time you’ll be away from your partner as a ‘single’ person.

Those few hours are generally spent full of emotion, from laughs to tears to excitement and a little nerves. So it’s nice to surprise your other half with a little heartfelt gift or message to put a smile on their face.

There’s so many ways to do this and the only limit is your imagination. And don’t forget to enlist the help of the bridesmaids or best man too if needs be.

Here’s some visual inspiration for you. In the meantime don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Letter

There’s nothing wrong with a classic and these days how many of us have actually sat down and written our other half a love letter? Your wedding is the perfect time to do it and why not have a member of the bridal party deliver it, or hide in his or her luggage.

 

Send a Sneak Peek Text

Most couples don’t see each other for most of the day and night before the wedding and while some swap the odd text, you still won’t be seeing each other for a full 24 hours. So why not send a sneak peek text? Get your bridesmaids together with signs saying something like ‘Wait until you see her’, or get the groomsmen together with signs saying ‘He can’t wait to see you.’ So  while you’re not really giving anything away as such, it’s still guaranteed to bring a smile to their face

 

 

Boudoir Shoot

For something a little more unusual, why not arrange for a boudoir style photoshoot before the wedding and surprise your other half with a picture on the morning of the wedding. And this goes for the guys too not just the women!

 

Jewellery

Another classic, the presentation of a small piece of engraved or personalised jewellery like cufflinks or a necklace, is a very thoughtful surprise for the morning of the wedding.

 

Embroidered Hankie

This is a very sweet idea and you can go for a few lines that mean something very personal and special to your not as a coupe. If you’re stuck for words then a lot of craft website like Etsy or Notonthehighstreet will give you plenty of beautiful inspiration.

 

Customise Their Clothes

This is a great surprise if you can pull it off, but you’ll need someone on the inside to help! AKA a bridesmaid or groomsman. A secret note sewed into the grooms tie, or into the underside of the brides dress or something on the sole of a shoe will definitely elicit a smile.

 

Images via pinterest 

Alternatives to the Bridal Bouquet

A bride’s bouquet is something very special. It’s as individual as she is and reflects her personal style and tastes. It’s also an integral part of the wedding day. Like the dress, the ceremony and the meal, the bouquet is a crucial part of the entire process.

That said, there’s no reason why you have to stick with convention and go with traditional flowers. Indeed, today brides are choosing some stunning, fun and creative alternatives for their bouquets. Bear in mind that many elements of these alternatives can also be fused with real florals for a truly unique look.

Apart from allowing you to show off your personality a little more, alternative bouquets, tend to make fantastic keepsakes that you might even pass on to the next generation one day.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day plans, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Brooches and Buttons

One of the biggest trends in recent times is for brooch bouquets. These are bouquets made entirely of stunning brooches and jewels all cobbled together into the shape of a bouquet. You can make this a personal as you wish by incorporating keepsakes from your loved one. Buttons are another beautiful idea and can work well alongside the brooches. Either way, they make for a stunning keepsake after the wedding day.

 

Paper

Be it sheet music from your favourite song as a couple, passages of books, pom poms made out of vibrant crepe, origami or a paper map of the world. Paper bouquets give you huge scope to be creative. Plus they are very economical compared to fresh flowers and again will last as a keepsake after the day.

 

 

Burlap and Lace

Burlap and lace are a match made in heaven and if you’re going for a vintage chic sort of look, then this really is a wonderful alternative to fresh flowers. Especially if you’re got a crafty streak or indeed a relative is a dab hand with a sewing machine. It will make the bouquets even more special.

 

Feathers and Shells

Make a total style statement with some flashy feathers and stunning shells for your bouquet. These two can go together, but often look best as either one or the other. If you’re having a bit of a marine theme or are a total water goddess, then shells will look truly fantastic for your bouquet. Feathers can also be a great addition to a floral bouquet or go all out with an entire bouquet made of feathers too.

 

Succulents

If you’re a bit of a botanic aficionado, then why not go for a bouquet of succulents? Try some exotic cacti with unusual colours and shapes and intersperse with regular blooms and green leaves.

 

Images via Pinterest

Get Granny in the Bridal Party

When it comes to weddings these days, the idea of keeping to tradition or in with convention is thankfully on the wane. Today couples are going for weddings that reflect them as individuals and their families. They are no longer bound by having to get married in churches, or even indoors!

Different venues, faiths and arrangements are opening up whole new worlds for weddings and truly nothing is out of reach when it comes to your wedding dreams.

And one trend that’s really caught my eye in recent years is to have you grandmother serve as your bridesmaid or flower girl! It’s a truly heart-warming move that’s becoming more and more popular.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day plans, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Bridesmaid

The online world went into a frenzy recently when stories surfaced of brides asking their grandmothers who were in their 80s or even 90s to be their grandmothers. It’s not only captured people’s imagination, but it also was as if a lightbulb collectively went off in many a brides head! Often we are very close to our grandmothers and if we’re lucky enough to have them around when we do walk down the aisle, then it makes perfect sense to get them involved. Before you go off gung-ho to ask though, do make sure it’s something your grandmother would be comfortable with. Otherwise think about creating a special role for her (see below)

 

 

Flower Girl

The role of bridesmaid can be a little full-on for some grandmothers, so if she is not keen to be a bona-fide bridesmaid or you already have a full complement of bridesmaids but still want your granny to be in the mix, then why not ask her to be a flower girl? If you’re lucky enough to have two grandmothers who are willing, then they not have them both walk down the aisle with some bespoke baskets and petals.

 

Create a Role

Weddings can sometimes involve politics especially when it comes to choosing bridesmaids, groomsmen, and flowers girls. So if you’ve already got these positions filled, but you still want to have your grandmother involved, then why not create a special role just for her? Why not have her lead the procession down the aisle? She would walk first, then the flower girls, then the bridesmaids, followed by the bride! In fact, it would be a wonderful way to have the matriarch of the family kick things off.

 

Why Not Get Grandad Involved?

There’s no rule that says getting involved in the bridal party is just for the grannies! Why not have grandad serve as an usher or groomsman on the big day. Or why not have him and granny serve as de-facto flower girls either?

 

Image via Pinterest

Creative Wedding Reception Drinks Ideas

There’s plenty about weddings that are steeped in tradition and the idea of the champagne drinks reception on arrival is certainly one of them. But there’s no reason why you have to stick with the rulebook here. While it’s lovely to have drinks to welcome your guests, you don’t have to serve bubbles. Instead think of this as the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your wedding day to come, so why not have some fun and serve something more unique.

Think about having bespoke cocktails, retro lemonade stations, ice cold beer served in old fashioned tins and troughs or for the younger guest’s milk and cookies? The only limit is you imagination.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor or planning, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Colourful cocktails

Be it a cotton candy champagne cocktail, to the classic cosmo, or something bespoke served in mason style jars, think colour and fun when it comes to these drinks.  Use different glasses, glitter and colour to make things really stand out. And why not offer a special his and hers option with a bespoke cocktail from the bride and a special creation from the groom too!

 

Retro Lemonade

A great idea for summer weddings, why not offer your guests some refreshing lemonade flavours served from large, retro Kilner style containers? Think about traditional lemonade flavours, but also consider different options in keeping with the season, such as fresh berries, elderflower or even fresh cucumber? Offer boozy and non-boozy varieties to keep everyone happy.

 

 

Old Fashioned Refreshments Troughs

From troughs, to canoes, to wheelbarrows, to old tins and even baths, ice cold beers displayed in any of these retro inspired ways is a fantastically fun take on your drinks reception.  Of course you don’t have to just serve beer this way, you can offer a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike.

 

Hot Drinks

If you’re tying the knot in the winter months then think about something warming and welcoming like hot chocolate laced with bourbon. What about hot apple cider or fruit punch? Think about Irish coffees, lattes and lots of luscious toppings too and let guests help themselves.

 

For the kids

If you’ve got younger guests at your wedding reception, then don’t leave them out. Having something special just for them will really make them feel part of the day. Milk and cookie style drinks and canapes are ideal for children and they’ll just love the idea that they have special drinks just for them. Why not consider flavoured milks too and all sorts of different cookies.

 

Images via Pinterest 

 

The First Look Pros and Cons

Last week we chatted about the rise of the Escort Card and this week we’re looking at another wedding trend that’s come from the other side of the pond, namely the ‘First Look.’ For any bride or groom who are active on social media, and sites such as Pinterest, they’ll no doubt have seen lots of talk of this new phenomenon. But what is a ‘first look? Simply put, it involves the bride and groom sharing a quiet moment and seeing each other before the ceremony with a ‘reveal’ set up which is generally caught on camera.

It can be a lovely idea to consider and has plenty of positives, but of course, there are many reasons why couples would prefer to stick to the traditional route of seeing each other for the first time at the top of the aisle. Whichever you choose to do, it will be a special moment, but make sure you decide on an option for the right reasons and what you both want, rather than just following a trend.

If you’d like to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning, then please get in touch.

 

The Pros of the ‘First Look.’

There’s plenty of reasons why the ‘first look’ has become a super popular phenomenon in the United States and has spread to this side of the Atlantic. Here’s just a few to consider.

Break The Mould – The ‘first look’ gives you an opportunity to break with convention, which for many brides and grooms is exactly what they are looking for and if following the same old traditional route is not your thing, then a ‘first look’ is perfect. It can really help to give your day an extra special and unique dimension to it.
Photos – One major plus is the photos. You will have a huge amount of control as to how you want to set up the reveal. Just Google a ‘first look’ and you’ll be bombarded with a horde of creative ways to do your ‘first look,’ everything from standing on different sides of a door, to a tree, to blindfolds to even using a bunch of balloons! The sky is the limit on it and it’s perfect for those who love to be super creative. It may also free up some time post-ceremony as you’ll already have lots of photos in the can
Nerves – Finally nerves can play a huge part in your wedding day and walking down the aisle can be one of the scariest parts. So if you don’t want your nerves to overcome you, opting for a ‘first look’ is one definite way to ensure you’ll be calm and relaxed for the aisle. Also you’ll have the private moment between both you as a couple, minus the guests.
first look

 

The Cons of the ‘First Look.’
The ‘first look’ may have its pluses, but for many couples, the traditional route is still the more preferred option. Here’s some of the reasons why a ‘first look’ may not be for you.

Anti-climax – Going for the ‘first look’ can mean you end up losing the magic of waking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time. The whole aisle part can just end up being a bit of an anti-climax, when really it’s something you’ve been both looking forward to as a couple for many months and sometimes even years.
Staged – While the ‘first look’ is supposed to capture the reactions of both parties when they see each other for the first time, it can sometimes feel a bit staged, with the photographers and possibly videographers lenses on you as you wait to capture this ‘private moment.’ Of course they will also have their lenses ready if you decide to wait until you walk down the aisle, but in truth with the gaze of the guests and everything else going on, a good photographer wont even catch your eye as he or she quietly takes position and captures the natural reactions of you, your husband or wife to be and the guests.
Tradition – Finally, there is the old notion of tradition. Tradition is not necessarily a bad thing and there’s no sense in breaking with it just to follow a trend if you’re not 100% happy. If you’ve dreamt of walking down the aisle and seeing your partner for the first time, then why not just stick with it and enjoy the special moment.
aisle