Olivia Buckley is known for her best kept secrets, hosting private wedding celebrations in Ireland’s most exclusive properties. Humbled and privileged to live her dream in the world of luxury weddings, Olivia entertains an exciting roster of international clients.
Olivia Buckley is the founder and Managing Director of Olivia Buckley International, a world-renowned wedding and event management agency that has received international acclaim. Clients travel from across the world, from New York to Singapore, California to Australia, to seek the knowledge and wedding prowess of Olivia. Recognised globally for her expertise in designing and producing the most exquisite experiences; her ability to manage multiple time zones; and her insights into the event and hospitality industry make her the go-to planner when considering a destination wedding in Ireland.
“We showcase the vibrant personalities of our clients, design magical experiences for their guests, and create an unforgettable and otherworldly atmosphere all at the same time! They choose us to create a cohesive aesthetic and experience that is reflective of their personalities. We can do this by working on a select number of events each year to ensure we deliver the very best to our clients. We have been blessed with the honour of working in some of Ireland’s most spectacular venues and our diverse portfolio is a testament to the unique and bespoke service we offer our clients.”
Olivia’s rise to the top of the wedding industry is considered stratospheric. Within ten years of the company’s inception, Olivia Buckley International is recognised as the premier destination wedding planner in Ireland, which leads one to question, “where did it all begin?”
Raised in the heritage and agricultural heartbeat of North Kerry, Listowel; Olivia was surrounded by the spectacular nature that comes with growing up in the countryside.
“Our approach to wedding design is to make it feel like guests have been transported to another world. The design concept could be a Romantic Oasis or an Enchanted Garden and it is our responsibility to transform a space into an immersive, tantalising experience and to make it feel authentic. Growing up in Kerry surrounded by nature, I developed a keen eye for beauty. When I design a space, I understand how to combine all the elements to make it feel authentic. Every single event that we plan and design, we consider what our guests shall see, what they will taste, hear, touch, smell. We focus on more than just the visuals and embrace all the senses; just like you would when walking in nature.”
When Olivia began her quest to create Ireland’s most renowned wedding and event agency nine years ago, there was only one place she considered launching her company: home in Kerry. Based in Killarney, Olivia championed her company independently, managing every aspect of the business, from initial planning and concept design to on-the-day execution. With vision, creativity, and mastery of events, Olivia Buckley International catapulted to the forefront of the luxury events arena. As Olivia’s exemplary portfolio and coveted client list strengthened, her ambition to create a dynamic and strong company came to fruition. Olivia has welcomed national and international talent, hand-picking her team from the highest calibre throughout the luxury industry.
“To share my dream and ambition with likeminded people, who strive for the exceptional and deliver beyond the call of duty, is one of the greatest privileges of my career. Creating a culture of creativity, integrity and passion was of the upmost importance to me and has been so impactful on the business and our client experience.”
Olivia’s focus on creativity, integrity and passion roams farther than her internal team. Through conscious partnerships with local creative brands, purveyors and artisans for every signature event, Olivia’s commitment to uplifting the local economy is resolute.
“We are blessed to live on an island steeped in creativity, from music to art, food and dance. The creative talent within our small country is outstanding. To bring everyone together and create something remarkable is truly amazing. I am delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our capabilities to the world.”
Olivia is an experienced speaker and promotes Ireland globally as a luxury event destination. Showcasing Ireland, its unique heritage, culture, unmatched beauty and pool of amazing talent is at the forefront of her goals as she approaches her tenth year in business. Ireland’s national tourism board Failte Ireland recognised Olivia’s contributions to the wedding industry in Ireland and rewarded her the prestigious honour of enlisting her as their recognised Destination Wedding Planner.
While Olivia is confident to share her ambitions for destination weddings in Ireland, she politely refrains from sharing which clients she has been fortunate to welcome to Ireland for their wedding celebrations.
“Privacy and discretion are the primary elements of what we do. Weddings are deeply personal and intimate. It is our role to protect our clients from the world’s media, allowing them to embrace this special time in their lives, uninterrupted and removed from the hysteria. Most of the time, our clients will enter and leave the country without the media realising, which is extremely comforting to our clients when they hire us.”
With over twenty years in the wedding industry, Olivia’s passion for weddings continues to grow.
“Every wedding is incredibly different. Working with clients from all around the world, we welcome new cultures, traditions, personalities, style, which are the basis of the events we create. We honestly never feel like we host the same wedding or event twice. We work closely with our clients to create a day that reflects them: their personalities, their love, who they are as a couple. This approach makes the wedding day itself so much fun. Our clients recognise themselves in the flowers, the music, the stationary, and their guests recognise it too. It makes it a real celebration of who they are.”
Olivia’s Expert Advice
DREAM WORK TAKES TEAM WORK
The bride doesn’t have to be the shoe runner in wedding planning. Grooms, be involved. And brides, let them be involved. When you work together to create this day, you both will have the sense of reward and satisfaction on your wedding day.
JUST US, TWO
Take time to slow down and be together. Just before your meal, while your guests order is being taken, find 20 to 30 minutes to unwind, take your shoes off, enjoy a glass of bubbly, be alone and soak in the moment. This day is unlike any other and can be overwhelming. To take this moment together, to reflect on everything you have achieved and the love you share. It will be one of your most special memories.
FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH
My advice to couples who are getting married is to let your personality shine through and make it your own. Don’t find an old wedding programme and copy it. Don’t choose a song because you heard it at another wedding. The more thought you put into your wedding, the more fun it will be. Pick readings and music that mean something to you. Take your time at the beginning of your wedding planning to consider what is important to you, what makes your life together magical and bring those elements into your day.
CREATE A WEDDING STORM WITH THUNDER AND GOOD LIGHTING
An area often overlooked is the sound and lighting. Sound can be so disruptive to a wedding. When a microphone crackles during the speeches or the band’s amp screeches, it has the potential to ruin a truly special moment. We always advise our clients to invest in a Sound Technician for the wedding reception to avoid such distractions. Lighting is one of the most fundamental elements of event design and can transform a room. A room may look dull and lifeless until you embrace the possibilities of good lighting. Adding accents, highlights, or colour brings life, vibrancy, and excitement into any venue.
PREPARE TO PLAN
We all know people who sit back, hope for the best and cram the night before the exam. My advice is not to take this approach when planning your wedding. If you have a 12-month lead in or a 6-month lead in, create a calendar to ensure you cover all your wedding tasks. The final month before your wedding is going to be busy with parties, where friends and family want to celebrate with you. If you leave your tasks until the last minute, you will become overwhelmed and your celebrations will be disrupted. When our clients hire us, we create wedding timelines which outline the tasks our team and our client must achieve by a certain date. This makes the process much more enjoyable and ensures the wedding unfolds smoothly.
MODEL YOUR WARDROBE
Plan and pack every detail of your wedding wardrobe for your celebrations. Ensure you try on your outfits, dresses and suits, especially when alterations have been made. For example, if you notice one to two days before the wedding that your suit trousers are cuffed too high, it may be too late to amend. Every outfit detail, from your dressing gown to your post-wedding day earrings, should be safely packed and organised.
MANAGE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
Prepare a shot list ahead of your wedding day. Share your shot list with your photographer, bridal party and family. You should know where your wedding photography will take place and who is required to participate and what time they need to be at the location. Every photographer will want to capture photographs with you before and after the ceremony. Allocate a period of time for photography and videography and be strict with your timeline. Your priority is to embrace the celebrations with your friends and family. As a guide, aim to spend at least one hour at your drink reception.