Top 10 Wedding Moments of 2014

2014 was a year full of stylish celebrity weddings, stunning engagement rings, breathtaking gowns and trend-tastic themes. As we say goodbye to another year, we’re counting down the top ten wedding moments of the past 12 months!

10. Scarlett Johansson got engaged, and married (in secret!) – and boy, what a ring!

Scarlett Johannson engagement ring

9. Lauren Conrad’s Bridesmaids Dresses

Lauren designed a gorgeous range of bridesmaids dresses to suit all shapes and sizes for Paper Crown, and kitted her own bridal party out in the gorgeous gowns for her marriage to William Tell – shop the range here!

Lauren Conrad wedding bridesmaids

8. George Clooney travels to his wedding by speedboat

Hearts broke all over the world as George let his bachelorhood disappear into the waves behind him, seen here speeding through the Venice canals to get to his wedding to Amal Alamuddin

George Clooney wedding Amal Alamuddin Venice

7. Outdoor weddings finally get the green light in Ireland

Outdoor humanist or secular weddings were finally made legal in Ireland in July of 2014, meaning that couples are now allowed to get married outside, a triumph for those wanting to eschew the tradition of churches and hotel meeting rooms.

Weddings by Kara outdoor wedding ceremony Ballinacurra House

6. Elie Saab for Pronovias

Need we say more?

5. Neil Patrick Harris marries long-time partner David Burtka

Our beloved Doogie Howser, M.D., wed his partner David in September, sharing the big day with their two gorgeous kids Harper and Gideon.

Neil Patrick Harris wedding to David Burtka

4. Maroon 5 crashed a couple of weddings

The gorgeous Adam Levine tied the knot himself this year, but also found time in his busy schedule to crash a couple of regular weddings and performed some of their greatest hits, the footage forming part of the video for new song ‘Sugar’. Luckily none of the brides ran away with cheeky Adam!

Maroon 5 crashes wedding

3. That Chanel Dress

My pick for best celebrity wedding dress of 2014, model Poppy Delevigne stunned in this incredible Chanel little white dress for her nuptials to James Cook in May.

Poppy Delevigne wedding dress Chanel

2. An entire wedding party falls into a lake

This Minnesota bride & groom got more than they bargained for when they posed with their large wedding party on a precarious pier

And the number one wedding moment of 2014 is….

1. True Romance Weddings opened for business, and won a national award!

Yes, my humble blog blossomed into a business in the first few weeks of 2014, providing bespoke handmade wedding stationery and an awesome planning service for couples who need help getting started and creating the best day of their lives. It was also the year that the blog was a finalist in the Online Marketing in Galway awards, and then took home trophy for ‘Best Lifestyle Blog’ at the Blog Awards Ireland in October! Just a quick, indulgent moment here to say thank you to my friends, my other half Sean, the fantastic local businesses who have supported me, Weddingdates.ie for giving me a great opportunity when I was starting out, and to all of the blog’s followers! Here’s to a bigger and better 2015!

XOXO

Last Minute Wedding Tips

You’ve spent months preparing for the big day – countless hours of trying on dresses, picking stationery, choosing your menu and keeping track of the guest list. Now that the day has finally arrived, there are a number of things that you should bear in mind to ensure everything runs smoothly, as well as avoiding unnecessary stress.

  1. Pack and drop off your luggage to your venue in advance

Think of everything you’ll need for the day after the wedding – clothing, make-up, toiletries, medication, shoes. Pack it all in advance and drop it off to the venue at least the evening before the wedding – this way you won’t have to worry about whether anyone remembered to pop it into the boot of the car before you left for the ceremony! This is really useful if you are having a party the day after the wedding, staying a second night in the venue or if you are leaving for your honeymoon straight away.

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  1. Re-confirm all of your suppliers

This is a great job to delegate to someone in your bridal party or family (if you trust them!) – otherwise, a ‘day-of’ wedding co-ordinator can take on this task as part of their remit in helping you out for the big day. Confirm the arrangements with all suppliers a couple of weeks before the wedding and again the day before – what time they need to be there by, directions to the venue and give them an alternative contact number should they have any questions on the morning of the wedding. You won’t have time to take calls! Prepare final payments owed to suppliers the day before too – have them allocated into sealed, marked envelopes to avoid confusion, and get a receipt for all payments.

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  1. Pack an emergency kit

This is an essential for any bride – hair clips, hairspray, face powder, lip gloss and lipstick, sewing kit, tights, gel pads for your shoes, tissues, an umbrella and something to keep you warm. Some white chalk is also a good idea as it can hide small stains on your dress.

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Christmas Competition Time – with Custom Cakes

If you pay a visit to our Facebook page this week you could be in with a chance to win a fabulous prize that will really help you with your wedding plans! Custom Cakes are giving away a 15% off voucher to be used towards one of their amazing wedding cakes!

Visit our Facebook page for information on how to enter, and stay tuned for 2 more fantastic competitions between now and Christmas!

5 stunning shoes for your winter wedding

Brides are definitely becoming more and more adventurous with the shoes that they wear on their wedding day. We are no longer restricted to ivory or white satin with a sensible heel. Bright colours, glitter, pearls, jewels, the higher the better! As we approach the Christmas wedding season, here’s my pick of 5 of the most gorgeous shoes available right now, perfect for flashing under your incredible wedding gown.

1. The Haute Couture Bridal Shoe

Nicholas Kirkwood White Leather Lace and Glitter Sandals bridal shoe couture designer

Nicholas Kirkwood, €650 at net-a-porter.com

2. Velvet Luxe

Berry velvet high heels ASOS bridal

Velvet look, €85.72 at asos.com

3. Whimsy & Sparkle

Miss KG Gabriella high heel shoes, pink bow and sparkle bridal shoes

Miss KG, €88.00 at Debenhams

4. Crystal Couture

Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Metallic Crystal Shoe bridal shoe

Manolo Blahnik, approx €790 at Bergdorf Goodman

Psssst! Want these, but can’t afford the high-heeled price tag? Check out this pair by New Look, over 95% cheaper!
New Look Scramble High Heel bridal look

5. Satin Dream

ASOS Picture Perfect High Heels bridal shoes wedding shoes

ASOS, €64.29 at asos.com

For more gorgeous wedding style inspiration, be sure to check out our Pinterest board!

Quirky and Different Hen Party Ideas

A hen party, or bachelorette party, is an event planned to celebrate a bride’s singlehood before she ties the knot. Typically, it involves the bride’s closest female friends and family getting dressed up and hitting the town – many hen parties will travel to another town or city for a full weekend of fun, including group activities, dinner, cocktails and then dancing the night away. The bride herself is usually adorned with a mini veil, garter and ‘L’ plates. In recent years, the themed hen party has become more and more popular, with gaggles of bunnies, devils and even nuns being spotted in various nighttime hot spots. An effort is really being made now, however, to steer away from the typical hen party activities, and create a more unusual and unique theme for the girls to enjoy.

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I spoke to Claire of thehenplanner.com about what she thinks are some of the best ideas for the modern hen. As not every hen can afford to fly off to a foreign country for a long weekend (some costing thousands of euros!), budget is very much a consideration that the bride and bridesmaids will want to take into account. “Just hang out! There is so much pressure on hen parties to do an “activity” and the reality of it is, a bunch of ladies together is usually an activity in itself. My recommendation if you want to keep a budget down, don’t feel pressure to do an organised activity and keep it simple. Depending on where you are, head out for a walk, have a nice meal, play some games, DIY cocktails, a good playlist, get dressed up and just have a laugh. Stick to one night. One night hen parties are definitely becoming more common. Brides are more mindful of the hen party budget which will go a lot further for a one day and night event.”

Claire also recommends DIY for the budget-conscious hen. “If the bridesmaids are into events, DIY activities are a great way to keep the budget down. From lovely girls competitions to flower crown workshops in the garden to manis and pedis… or just something totally random that plays on the bride to be.”

For something different, and especially for those who can’t stand the idea of a booze-fueled weekend, a healthy hen is a great idea. “In line with the latest healthy and celebrity advocated trend, healthy hens are in! From yoga, to ballet barre classes to stand up paddle boarding, a healthy activity is a great way to spend an afternoon and prepare for whatever the night entails. Healthy hens are great when teamed with glamping. There are some gorgeous sites around the country and they work really well on the hen party budget. They usually have special offers and will include a barbecue and breakfast. There will also be activity options to choose from, from foraging to crafts to bushcraft. Some ladies will love this for the fashion side of it – boho dresses, flowers and messy hair.”

Boho bachelorette party picnic

For those seeking something a little more luxurious, Claire recommends checking into a boutique hotel with spa facilities, or luxury self-catering. Murder mysteries and Gatsby parties are a great way to get the girls all glammed up, and luxury yacht cruises on the Shannon will make you and your hens feel like you’re sailing on the Riviera, if only for the weekend!

For the hens who love retro and rockabilly, look no further than Betty Bang in Leitrim! Angi Dixon has created the most fabulous 19050’s ‘frock shop and pin-up parlour’, hosting glamorous retro tea parties and styling pin-up and rockabilly photoshoots. Check out their ‘Nifty Fifties in a Jiffy’ package – “We roll up to your venue of choice in Betty our vintage caravan. We krank up the choons, you crack on with the cocktails and we commence our Rockabilly Riot! Expect Victory rolls. quiffs, bombshell lips & feline eyes and a Marilyn beauty spot!”. Not just for hen parties, this is ideal for birthdays and weddings too!

Regardless of what hen party style or theme you choose, some personalised goodies are a must-have. Check out The Hen Planner for great vintage style accesories and decor. Zazzle were also so kind to send me on some great personalised canvas tote bags, which are perfect for your hens to store their party swag, such as shot glasses, photos, hangover kits and, ahem, ‘phallic’ straws!

Thanks to The Hen Planner, Zazzle and Betty Bang!

Quirky Groom Looks – Little Monster Bow Ties

In my second post celebrating all things groom, I’m looking at a great new handmade product. Little Monster Bow Ties are a fantastic range hand created by Dublin-based Darragh Collopy. Darragh was kind enough to send me a custom-made red bow tie with navy detail, which arrived complete with hand drawn and painted monster and packaged in my favourite, brown parcel paper! Darragh then told me a little bit about how Little Monster Bow Ties came about.

Little Monster Bow Ties

How did you come up with the idea for Little Monster Bow Ties?

I wanted a bow tie that would match my brown shoes for my graduation, and the closest thing that I could think of was wood. After studying product design for 4 years this gave me the ability to look at things differently and I wanted something I had designed myself for my graduation ball.
The idea of the Little Monsters came from my initial packaging when I saw monstrous eyes from the shape of the bow ties. Each bowtie has a specific monster that wears the bow tie. I named them Jonc, Slyv and Ogle as I thought the names suited the characters I had created.

When did you first start selling the product?

I have only started selling the bowties since the end of September after my graduation. A lot of people told me that they loved my bow tie and I should start selling them. The wise words of my secondary school PE teacher came to mind ‘If not you, who? If not now, when?’ . So I went for it.

Little Monster Bow Ties quirky looks for grooms menswear accesories

How long does each one take to create?

From start to finish for the bowtie takes about 4 hours, which doesn’t include the coats drying in between. The packaging takes another hour as this is all hand drawn and cut out by hand.

Can people order custom made bow ties to suit their outfits?

The whole idea is that each bow tie is custom made to order, so they are as personal as possible, ensuring each Little Monster has its own personality, just like you.

How can people get in contact with you?
Facebook is the best way for communication or conversation about the product and what the costumer wants and how to customise it to their needs; it is easy to send me photos of their outfit and we can collaborate on colour schemes etc. From here I can accept paypal or else if they want to pay by card I direct them to my etsy store.

http://www.facebook.com/littlemonsterbowties

The etsy store also allows conversation and I really encourage customers to get involved and not be shy so that they can have as much say as possible.

http://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/LittleMonsterBowTies

Customer reviews:
“Stylish, handmade, personalised! Love my new bow tie from Little Monster Bow Ties! Delivered promptly! Get yourself one! It is awesome!”

“Thank you Little Monster Bow Ties. It is awesome, prompt delivery! Loved the box and simply adore the bow tie! Suits all occasions and it is a real game changer.”

Darragh, thanks so much for the fantastic bow tie, and I’d like to wish you and your new business venture all the very best for the future!

10 spooky yet stylish Halloween wedding ideas

Would you dare to choose a spooky Halloween theme for your wedding? It doesn’t have to be a mess of black and orange! If you’re brave enough, here are our top ten ideas for creating a Halloween wedding that is stylish, not scary.

1. Perfect Pumpkins
Pumpkins are a great way to decorate your Halloween wedding, and messy carving is not always required! This is ideal if you are looking for a more rustic and natural Halloween feel. Hollowed out pumpkins are perfect to use as lanterns to line the aisle for your ceremony and halls of your venue; while painted and lace embellished pumpkins are stylish and elegant way to bring in just a touch of Halloween goodness.

2. Little Black Dress
For the daring bride, a black dress on Halloween can look gorgeous and dramatic.

3. Trick or Treat
Treat your guests to Halloween inspired food and drink

4. Gothic jewels
Add a touch of gothic elegance to your outfit with a bejewelled choker

5. Dramatic venues
A Halloween theme wedding will work best in a dramatic setting. Think castles and manor houses with high ceilings, gothic vaulting and winding staircases.

6. Literary Greats
Take inspiration from classic horror books such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

7. Dark Details
A black palette for little details such as table numbers, favours and centrepieces will create a spooky atmosphere.

8. Movie Madness
Let scary movies serve as inspiration for your table names and cake

9. Fearsome favours
Treat your guests to spooky favours and escort cards

10. The devil’s in the details
Finally, a selection of some horrendously good Halloween wedding details

For the above images and more inspiration, check out our Halloween Wedding Pinterest board!