Your A-Z of Getting Wed
Planning a Wedding can be a stressful and complicated time. I have put together my ultimate A-Z guide to make it just that little bit easier!
A is for Altar. Whether you choose a church wedding or a humanist ceremony, the altar represents the spot you will stand before and exchange vows with your beloved. Don’t be afraid to personalise it, consult with your florist on blooms that may hold sentimental value, candles scented in a fragrance that will invoke memories of that moment forever more.
B is for Bouquet. Choosing an arrangement that will suit your dress and your own personal style. A trend that has become more and more prevalent is the choosing of typically wild blooms. Think outside the box, it doesn’t always have to be roses! Flower by Jen has given us some great tips in this department. When the day is over there are so many options with what to do with your bouquet. One such option is to have the flowers pressed and framed. A memory to hold forever.
C is for Cake. Gone are the days of traditional fruit cake, the sky is the limit when it comes to what taste you want to serve your guests. Can’t decide? No problem, each tier can be of a different flavour. Why does it have to be red velvet or chocolate fudge? You make the rules so choose both! Be adventurous, choose a design that represents both of you as a couple so whether it’s a classic and elegant look or a half tractor-half bridal theme, talented bakers such as Sherly Thornton of the ever popular Mom’s Porter Cakes will help you choose what is right for you. Take into account your guest numbers and if you want to keep some for the next day and order accordingly.
D is for a girls best friend, Diamonds of course! Picking a ring that will last a lifetime is a serious business. Guys, if your picking it out to propose then calling in some expert opinions is always a good way to go. Heather in John Ross Jewellers is an expert in her field. She will guide you on everything from cut, colour and carat. Going in with a budget in mind Heather will help you find something suitable to suit your soon to be Fiancée.
E is for Entertainment. Whether you are rockers at heart or prefer a band that can do it all, the choice is down to you. Do spend time researching them, pop in and watch them perform elsewhere, ask friends for recommendations or think back to that one wedding where everyone was on the dance floor all night, who was the band? Entertainment doesn’t stop there, you have endless choices from a DJ for later or someone to entertain the young guests! Whatever you decide, be sure to pick something you yourself would enjoy.
F is for Flowers. Think budget. Think “What will I do with them afterwards?” Sit down with your florist with a budget in mind. Talk about the flowers you like, what’s in season for example red roses may be affordable in October but try planning a wedding in February with red roses and you will see a significant increase in the price. Plan ahead what you will do with them afterwards, can they be transported easily from church to hotel for example? Will they be left at home to wilt while you are gone away on your honeymoon? Perhaps you could look to donate them to places like nursing homes or women’s shelters?
G is for the all important Groom. We so often plan for women with hair, makeup, skin care treatments, tans etc the list is endless! When planning, factor in a budget for some pre-wedding treats for your husband-to-be. From haircuts to hot towel shaves or perhaps a nice relaxing facial before the big day? Then of course he has to be dressed too! What better place to go than
Formally Yours in Killarney, experts in dressing Grooms they will have your Groom looking stylish and well-dressed ready to meet you at the altar.
H is for Hair. Choosing your wedding hair can be a difficult task. The biggest tip is not to overthink it or feel that it has to be something drastically different to how you wear it every day. Avoid major colour changes in the weeks beforehand as this may not leave time for colour correction if you are unhappy with the result. Do wear a top with a similar colour and neckline to your dress and a full face of makeup in hair trials so that you get a good idea how it will look on the day. Be open to suggestions and inputs from your stylist. The ladies over in Brush ‘N’ Blush are multi award winning stylists who will make sure you look your best and feel confident on your day.
I is for Invitation. Choosing your invitations should be fun a process. Put your personality forward with colours, letter fonts and images. You could incorporate the colour of your bridesmaid dresses, some floral prints similar to what you will want in your bouquet? You can always choose to be more eco-conscious and go with digital invitations which are gaining in popularity, just be sure to go with a professional designer if you yourself are not tech savvy!
J is for Jewellery for your bridal party. Be sure to thank for bridesmaids and groomsmen for all their help, hard work and patience! Popping into
Billy Nolan Jewellers you will find something for every budget be it a dainty necklace or earrings for the bridesmaids or cufflinks for the grooms men, you will pick something up that will show your gratitude towards them.
K is for Keepsakes. It has become a nice little tradition for all guests to receive keepsakes or favours. From placing polaroid cameras on the tables for your guests to take some fun and tipsy snaps to placing personalised sweets or chocolates on every place setting, it shows your guests you appreciate them.
L is for Love and marriage going together like a horse and carriage! The beautiful thing about love and marriage in Ireland is that it is freely enjoyed by all and exclusive to nobody. Love is love regardless of sex. A marriage is between 2 people who just simply want to spend the rest of their days hand in hand, by each other’s side. So embrace it, celebrate it and welcome love with open arms.
M is for Mom. Nobody runs through a boutique’s front door quicker than an Irish mammy who’s child has just announced their wedding. Style is everything and the bigger the hat the better. Multiple consults will take place, what colour are the bridesmaids wearing? What colour is your partners mom wearing? With Kerry full of boutiques there is no fear of a cross over in style! From Annburys in Tralee, Macbee’s in Killarney or
Carina’s Boutique in Killorglin the mother in your life will be spoiled for choice.
N is for Necessary. We can get overwhelmed when planning, a certain keeping up with the joneses mentality. We can feel like we have to provide what we have seen others put on in their weddings, but remember this is your day not someone else’s. I cannot emphasis enough about keeping your budget in mind and sticking to it. Stick to what is necessary and avoid that unwanted stress.
O is for Organised. As soon as you are engaged, I would highly recommend buying a good diary with room for notes etc. Mark in every appointment, idea, dates for wedding fairs etc. Every deposit you pay, every item you buy, staple the receipt into your diary for possible changes in plans or items. Being organised will help things run as smoothly as possible with efficacy and clarity for all involved.
P is for Photographs. Similar to choosing a hairdresser or cake designer, choosing your photographer is just as important. You need to find someone that gets you, understands your personality and style of photographs you want. Sitting down together, making your needs and expectations clear from the start will allow you all to be on the same page, agreeing a budget too and signing off on these will avoid confusion and miscommunication that could potentially disrupt the big day. One of Kerry’s most highly regarded photographers,
John Walsh is particularly knowledgeable in his field of expertise and will ensure your day goes to plan with photos you will cherish for a lifetime.
Q is for Quiet. Your wedding day, whether you are a bride or groom, will be a hectic, busy day with people coming and going all morning and guests all afternoon and evening. Take even 10 minutes when you wake up to meditate. Focus on your breathing, ground yourself with awareness of your surroundings and just feel calm and peace within you. This will bring your body and mind into focus and give you a good level start to the day and help keep nerves at bay.
R is for Romance. Above all else, remember your day is a celebration and a union of 2 people who feel a love so strong for one another, they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Celebrate your romance in the way you word your vows, forget about the room full of people and treat it like a love letter to your soulmate. That moment when its as if you are the only two people in the room, hand in hand, eyes locked on each other while you declare your promise of undying love is a moment in time that will stay forever in your hearts and memories.
S is for Signature Scent. Choosing your scent for your wedding day is more important than people give credit too. Your chosen scent
will linger in both of your memories forever more. Whether you choose for floral and feminine or sultry and sensual, there is something on the market for everyone and every budget. Some of my personal favourites would be Jenny Glow- Velvet and Oud, a steal at just €17.99 with that sultry undertone that will draw your loved one in. For a more floral type I absolutely adore Nuxe Prodigieux in Huile Prodigieuse. It has a subtle vanilla undertone that is so feminine and excellent value at €49.50 given that will last all day but with a slender shaped bottle it is perfect to pop into a small bridal clutch. A new one to the market that I was super impressed with was Viktor & Rolf- Good Fortune. A velvety fragrance with notes of jasmine and vanilla, this fragrance oozes confidence and will turn heads at every pass. The more eco-conscious amongst us will also be delighted to know that it is vegan friendly
T is for Timeless Traditions. No matter how much society has moved forward, we still love and embrace our traditions. On any given weekend across Ireland you will see Child of Prague statues out in gardens in the hopes the rain will stay away. There is still a sentiment for a bride to have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. So whether it’s a handkerchief or a garter belt, there is always a way to tie these items into your day.
U is for Undergarments! We focus so much on the perfect dress we almost forget the importance of starting from the lingerie and out. Whether you opt for control wear or silk and lace, there are plenty of options available. Think of the neckline or your dress, is it backless? Is it a plunging neckline? Making sure you give your body the right support will determine how you look in your dress so choose wisely. With shops like Next and Marks and Spencer’s stocking extensive lines, you will be sure to find something suitable and maybe pick some extra pieces up for the honeymoon too!
V is very, very, extra-ordinary! V is all about the Venue. The venue you choose will be forever central to the memories of your wedding and in photographs of your day. Visit multiple venues, perhaps the place you thought of first doesn’t suit your budget or numbers? Request to see the room after its decorated for an event to get a feel for how it will look. You will be paying a lot of money so don’t be afraid to ask questions, be inquisitive and look for changes in menu etc if it doesn’t fit you or your guests needs. Hotels such as The Rose Hotel in Tralee, The Brehon in Killarney and The Aghadoe are all industry experts in their fields and have dedicated in house wedding teams to assist you and your plans every step of the way.
W is for Wow factor. Every bride wants to see the faces of her guests, family and groom light up when she appears for the first time. Visit multiple stores and try on as many dresses as your heart desires. Be open to advice and suggestions, think of your comfort on the day. Will you be able to move around easily, if you need support on top will you carry a strapless gown? Liz and Mags over in Finesse Bridalwear in Listowel are award winning experts in the wedding dress business. With an amazing eye and attention to detail, they will be sure to advise you on what will look best on you and within your budget.
X marks the spot! Whether it’s your proposal or wedding photos, choosing a location that is romantic and memorable will make the moment that extra special. Put thought and effort into it and be sure to capture the moment too!
Y is for Youngsters. A wedding day is a long day on the little ones especially for flower girls and paige boys. Make up interesting activity packs with colouring, toys and snacks to keep
them entertained throughout the day.
Z is for Zero Regrets. Its quite simple, do it all your way and with zero regrets. Your wedding day is not a time to be a people pleaser. Invite who you want, provide the food and entertainment you want.