A dream wedding doesn't have to be a challenge. If you choose beautiful Ireland for your destination wedding, half the work is already done!
What is it about Ireland that brings out the romance? Is it the rolling hills of lush green grass, or the white-sandy beaches? Is it the violet hue of the valleys of Calluna? Perhaps it's the people with their passionate speech and welcoming demeanour. Many famed poets and musicians have hailed from the emerald isle. Whatever it is - the land or the people - one thing is certain ... a wedding in Ireland is a wedding to remember, not just for the bride and groom, but for the guests.
You have your choice of venues. An outdoor ceremony in a field of wildflowers offers a breath-taking backdrop, or choose to marry in one of the several castles dotting the Irish landscape, like Belle Isle. Of course, traditional church weddings are still possible, and Ireland has some of the most stunning cathedrals in the world.
If so, you're probably wondering how to get started with your Ireland wedding plans. Naturally, your travel agent will help to iron out the details such as where to stay and where to book your ceremony, but you'll need to do a little leg work of your own. Getting married in Ireland isn't so different from getting married in the US or Canada, but there are some unique traditions you may want to incorporate into your ceremony for an authentic feel. For example:
- Instead of a typical gold wedding band, opt for the Claddagh. While it is traditional for the ring to be passed down from mother to daughter, that may not be possible for you, but whatever you do, don't buy it yourself! The ring must be given as a gift.
- Hold your ceremony outside if the weather permits, or try to stand in a position where the bride will be standing in the sun ... it is said to bring good luck to the married couple.
- If you can tolerate it, have the bagpipes played during your ceremony. While this instrument is not beloved by all, a good bagpipe player can add to the ambience.
So what kind of planning is needed? Here's a simple checklist for you:
- Select the date - notify your travel agent at once, so he/she can help you prepare.
- Choose where to hold your ceremony and reception and book those places - make sure your flight itinerary coincides with the dates of your wedding, including a few days before for preparation.
- Contact the Registrar's Office in Ireland to settle the marriage license - this muct be done 3 months prior to the wedding.
- Choose the wedding party.
- Pick out the attire and get the first fitting done.
- Purchase the rings - it is customary for the bride and groom to purchase each other's ring.
- Book the musicians, florist, hall decorator, cake decorator, caterer, photographer, etc.
- Finalize the guest list, then send out the invitations.
- Advise the caterer of the final guest number.
- Have the final fitting for the wedding dress done.
- A few days before the wedding, visit a local Registrar's Office to verify the license.
- Show up for your wedding!
Make sure your photographer takes a lot of photos, both posed and candid - the pictures will be a treasure to look back on through the generations.
Book your wedding in Ireland today!
Cover image courtesy: Belle Isle