Three Little Words, So Many Quotes

With the emerging popularity of wedding signs, props and decor items featuring cute sayings and quotes about love, I’ve researched a few that could help you stand out from the crowd! These are lovely to feature on stationery, ceremony booklets, table decor and general signage throughout your wedding.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it” – Nicholas Sparks

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever” - Alfred Tennyson

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once” – The Fault in our Stars

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” – Jess C. Scott

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” – Pablo Neruda (in fact, just look up Pablo Neruda in general, his poetry is incredible!)

“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi (True Romance Wedding’s tagline!)

“I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.” – E.E. Cummings

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Bronte

Whatever our souls are made of

 

Wedding Foodie Heaven

Food is of utmost importance for your wedding day. Almost every couple I have met down through the years has had the same two objectives for their big day – great food and fantastic entertainment. The Irish wedding differs from a lot of other cultures in the span of the day – with most beginning with a church ceremony that can last upwards of 2 hours by the time the registry has been signed, hands shaken and cheeks kissed, and a myriad of photographs captured. From there, taking travel time to the venue into consideration could add another hour. Guests could be met at the venue with anything from a simple glass of bubbly to a spread of canapés and sweet treats, depending on the bridal couple’s budget. Give or take another two hours before guests are called for dinner, this is where the trouble often begins. Speeches before? You could be waiting another hour from the time you sit down to be fed. Speeches in between courses? Main course could be ruined. Speeches after the meal? You’re absolutely stuffed and can’t fathom the thought of getting out on the dance floor. Another couple of hours go by and you’re nibbling on cocktail sausages and chocolate biscuit cake.

If you’re looking to escape from this typical Irish wedding routine, here are a few alternative options you might want to consider:

Brunch & Lunch Wedding
Go for an earlier ceremony, followed by some delicious breakfast and lunch inspired dishes. Keep the tone light with French toast, eggs Benedict, crisp salads, omelets, a continental selection of cooked meats and cheeses, fresh breads and pastries, accompanied by light and refreshing champagne cocktails, juices and smoothies.

Brunch wedding food ideas

BBQ Wedding
Perfect for a summer evening wedding, a BBQ is a great way to keep your wedding fresh and fun. Steer away from the typical burgers and steak and go for more unusual options like pulled pork, chargrilled lemon and herb chicken, marinated sausages, baby back ribs, lamb cutlets and a build-your-own-burger bar, with an array of salads, cheese, breads and toppings. Don’t forget about your vegetarian guests with delicious Mediterranean vegetable skewers, falafel burgers and corn on the cob. Follow this up with a great dessert buffet or ice cream sundae bar, a selection of craft beers and pitchers of cocktails.

wedding bbq food ideas

Afternoon Tea Party
Tiered stands of finger sandwiches, gourmet tartlets, quiches, scones, cakes and sweets accompanied by fresh prosecco and a selection of freshly brewed teas and coffees is a lovely alternative to the wedding dinner for a smaller or more casual wedding reception. This is something that could also be followed later by a BBQ or buffet of hot food if you want to keep the momentum going.

afternoon tea wedding food

Themes, Dreams and Colour Schemes

This past weekend I spoke at the Wedding Masterclass at Loughrea Hotel & Spa about choosing a wedding theme and colour scheme so I thought I’d share some advice with you all!

A wedding theme creates a unique style for your wedding. Many couples want their wedding to be ‘different’ – you may be at a stage where many of your friends and family are getting married around the same time as you, and you might even choose a venue that you have been to often – so you want your wedding to stand out and be memorable.

A theme should reflect your personal interests both individually and as a couple. A couple who love old music and vintage clothes could choose a vintage or 1950’s theme with rockabilly music, tea dresses and gramophones to decorate; fans of music could have a festival themed wedding in a marquee with festival style food and several bands; a couple who love to sail and go surfing could have a beach or marine themed wedding featuring sand, seashells, anchors and seafood.
In order for a theme to be successful, it needs to tie all the elements of the wedding together. It can begin with your stationery – the wedding invitation will set the tone for the big day. The style of dresses and formalwear can also reflect the style of the wedding, for example if you have a vintage theme you might choose a lace dress, for a Great Gatsby theme a beaded, dropped waist dress may suit. Decor is important – you centrepieces are a great way to bring this in. Birdcages, lanterns, books and jars look great for a vintage theme. For a nautical theme, anchors, little boats and navy and white striped ribbons will be perfect.

Here is where your stationery continues – your table plan, menus and place cards will all continue the theme. Food and drink is a new and fun way to bring in your theme – for a great Gatsby wedding, champagne is essential! Festival style weddings could feature mini burgers, hot dogs, popcorn and candy floss. Finally, your music is not to be forgotten! A jazz trio or trad band can set the tone for the evening; a swing band is great for a 1950’s theme or a great 80s band for the retro aficionados!

Whether you choose to have a theme or not, you will inevitably be choosing a wedding colour – this usually is carried through in your bridesmaids colours, stationery, chair covers and lighting. My big tip here is to take into account the colours of your venue. A minimalist venue style leaves you with plenty of scope for colours, but if there are very strong colours in the wallpaper or carpets, it may limit what you can use. If you both have favourite colours, try and create a palette to see if they will work together – I am a big fan of a colour combo as opposed to just one solid colour. Be careful to make sure they complement each other though – as hot pink and bright orange might be a little much…You can also use the seasons as a guide. There are many more colours out there than the typical ones you are used to seeing each season! We are all used to seeing the burgundy and chocolate brown at Christmas, and the baby pink in summer but there are so many other options out there.

A gorgeous way to bring in a strong colour without having it looking too ostentatious is to bring in an ombre style. This is where you have several shades of the same colour – this could be in the bridesmaids dresses and this is great to give them each an individual look, or in your cake or flowers.

To make your theme or colour scheme work in your venue, again consider the colours that are in your venue. Are there any features like pillars or antique furniture that you can incorporate? Is it a very modern space? A rustic theme may not work, but a 1920’s art deco theme might. Is it an older/historic property? Modern themes and bright colours may look out of place.

First Dance Woes

Where to begin? What song? Swaying slowly with your arms around each other? Or being thrown up into the air a lá dirty dancing? The first dance has been around for aeons, and now each wedding is trying to outdo the last with a choreographed ensemble. But is it for you? Or is this first dance fad about to fade? How can you be different without putting your back out?

The tradition began as a way to ‘open’ the dancefloor for guests, and commonly involved the couple performing a waltz. With the decline of ballroom dancing, more and more couples are attending dance instructors for lessons before they hit the floor at their wedding. In recent years, a choreographed performance has become the norm with couples often surprising their guests by breaking from a slow shuffle into a fast-paced, bells and whistles duet, with many going viral on the net afterwards.

But have you had it with ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ from Dirty Dancing? Bored with breakdancing? Remember, you don’t have to make a performance! Often, the song you choose for your first dance will be really special to you as a couple, and is not necessarily appropriate to convert into a dance routine. If you’re getting up at 7am to get ready for your wedding and you’re not going to be performing this thing until 10pm, that is 15 hours of worrying and feeling nervous if one or both of you is not 100% confident about it. I would whole-heartedly recommend going for dance lessons if you’re not feeling super confident about the whole event, but this could be to teach you the waltz, the foxtrot, the boxstep, swing, anything! It doesn’t need to be flashy to be beautiful.


I must say though, this ceremony entrance to ‘Forever’ is my guilty pleasure!

Garden Party Wedding Inspiration – A Sneak Preview

Over the weekend, I was so excited to plan and style a gorgeous garden party inspired photoshoot featuring Galway model Stephanie Casserly. With photography by my very talented brother Niall Foley, and featuring hair styling by Siobhan Murphy, make-up by Flora Psarianos, headpieces by Olina Bridal, dress by Tracy Bridal, cake by Grace Daniels Cakes and stationery by yours truly, it all came together during some intermittent sunshine between downpours at Woodville Walled Gardens in Kilchreest, Co. Galway. Here are some behind the scenes shots – the difficult decision of a shortlist has been made and I’m so excited to see the final photographs really soon!

Men & Maids of Honour

A while back, I posted about choosing your wedding party, which can be a difficult task if you don’t have the perfect number of sisters and brothers and need to start picking between friends and cousins. This time, I’m offering up a little advice for the lovely maids and handsome men that you do choose to be by your side on the big day.

For the girls

Bridesmaids

First up, what are your duties? What’s expected of you by the bride? The most important thing you will provide is emotional support. It will be an incredibly stressful time for her in the run up to the wedding, and she’s going to need her friends to keep her calm. You’ll more than likely be involved in picking out a lot of the wedding elements, including choosing the bride’s dress, the venue, flowers and more. Of course, you’ll also be responsible for organising a bridal shower and hen/bachelorette party. This is an important one – you need to bear in mind what is affordable for the guests as well as what the bride will really like or enjoy. Don’t be afraid to ask the bride what she wants for these occasions.

So apart from the obvious, you may find yourself dealing with a bridezilla, or even a groomzilla. Bossy relatives, handsy groomsmen and too much booze could all lead to big day disasters. Here are some tips to help you survive your job as bridesmaid:

Don’t get drunk. There will be a lot of eyes on you throughout the day, so behave well, keep calm and don’t end up with red wine down the front of your dress.

Speak kindly about the bride – this applies from the day you are asked to be a bridesmaid right through to the big day and beyond. She might be pissing you off, but you never know who might be listening when you start mouthing off about her behind her back.

If you would rather be a guest and not a bridesmaid, then say so. The bride really needs people beside her that can help her organise the wedding, keep her nerves at bay and help her hold her dress up when she needs to pee. So if you’re not willing or able to, then don’t be afraid to say no.

If you’re bringing a date that doesn’t know many people at the wedding, try to introduce them to a few other guests before you get called away to your maid duties. He or she will probably be left alone for much of the day, and could be left feeling very awkward or out of place.

Pack your emergency kit – band-aids, breath mints, lipgloss/lipstick, deodorant, flat shoes, hair pins and tissues.

Take your time at dinner – you’re in a tight dress!

For the guys

groom-wine

The best man or groomsman is probably not going to have quite as many duties in the run up to the wedding other than planning the stag or bachelor party, but the job is just as important. You are there to provide moral support to your buddy as he takes the biggest step of his life, keep the wedding rings safe and to make a speech that will entertain the guests without getting the groom into serious trouble with his new spouse. No pressure, eh?

When you’re planning the stag or bachelor party, the same goes as for the bridesmaids. Remember that even though you might be able to afford a 3 day knees-up in Amsterdam with hotels, dinner, drinks and excursions, not everyone that your groom wants there might be able to afford the same. You don’t have to go too far to have a fantastic night out the guys.

Look after the stag! It is perfectly possible for him to enjoy his stag without drinking so much he blacks out/sleeping with a stripper/ending up on a boat to Iceland.

Accompany the groom when he is getting his final haircut before the wedding – watch that barber like a hawk!

Go to the rehearsal! You do not want to be standing at the altar and not have a clue when to stand up, sit down, or which side to stand on.

Keep the phone numbers of the most important people in your phone for the big day – the chief bridesmaid, mother of the bride, venue, band, cake maker, wedding planner. That way if anything is running late you have the correct contacts to hand.

Keep an eye out for troublemakers at the reception – if someone is getting too drunk, too quickly, be ready to escort them outside for a coffee. Your groom will appreciate that you have his back when he is too busy to keep an eye on these things.

Emerald Isle, Wedding Style – a quick guide to a destination wedding in Ireland

Have you always dreamed of tying the knot in Ireland? Images of green fields, castles and ocean views going through your mind? Don’t know where to begin? Here’s our quick advice guide for those planning a destination wedding in Ireland:

First things first, you will need to notify the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of your intention to marry in Ireland. Unless you are planning to make a trip to Ireland to organise everything, you can do this by postal notification. Visit this link from the HSE to find out more and the contact details for the local office in the area you wish to marry.

Next, you’ll need to decide what type of ceremony you want to have. If you would like a church wedding, again you’ll have to contact your desired church to ensure your preferred date is free. In a Roman Catholic Church, it is desired that you have some link to the parish or community that the church is based in – and you will generally both need to be of the relevant faith. The most common faith in Ireland is Roman Catholic, with a number of Protestant and Methodist churches also available. If you would prefer to have a civil ceremony, you can book this through the HSE (see above link) who perform ceremonies Monday-Friday between office hours, and require at least three months notice. During summer months they tend to be booked out well in advance so keep this in mind. You can also have a humanist solemnisor perform your ceremony; these recently became legal and give you a lot more options in terms of location, time, day and personalizing your ceremony. The venue where you choose to have your ceremony must be approved by the HSE; but once you have applied to the HSE for approval they will send the relevant paperwork to your venue.

The other option is to get married legally in your home country, and have a ‘blessing’ here in Ireland – again, there are a number of people who can perform this ceremony for you (for a fee) – try the Humanist Association of Ireland.

Don’t forget to have fun with it! Try to incorporate beautiful Irish wedding traditions such as a horseshoe for good luck, a bell to keep bad spirits away and a statue of the Child of Prague to keep the rain away!

Irish Wedding Theme

Finally, and most importantly, hire a wedding planner! If I could give one piece of advice to any couple living abroad, it’s this. We can help you with all of the legal side of things as above, as well as travel arrangements, venue sourcing, organising catering, music, flowers, photographers and accommodation. We can also help you set out an itinerary to make the most of your time in Ireland. Contact us for a free proposal!