Planning a Wedding in Ireland while living abroadNovember 10, 2017
Why Castle Oaks House Hotel is the Perfect Venue for your Wedding Day:November 10, 2017
So! You’ve made the big decision and have wisely chosen Castle Oaks House Hotel as your Perfect Venue for your Very Special Day! Fantastic! And as an added bonus, you get to plan your day with one of Irelands best loved Wedding Personalities, Liam Barrett. Liam has guided hundreds of Wedding Couples from the first step of booking their venue right through to the Big Day itself over the last 20 years, so who best to share some of his Top Tips with you?
Below you will find some really valuable advice from Liam and, as you will find out over the coming months, he and his dedicated wedding team are always on hand to assist you both as you go through this exciting process of Planning your Perfect Dream Day here at Castle Oaks House Hotel.
What Liam says:
- Photographer – When choosing a photographer, the quality of their work is so important and will almost certainly be why you decide on one over the others. However, you will spend a lot of your wedding day with this person, so it is very important that you instantly feel comfortable with them and that they are listening to you and your ideas! There are so many different styles of photography out there so make sure to take to time to find the person show best reflects your personality! Particularly for a venue with so many photographic options, it also helps when your photographer is familiar with your Wedding venue but if they are not, make sure that they are agreeable to meeting with you at the venue prior to the day to have a look around the grounds with you!
- Videographer – while many couples consider that this might be something that they can dispense with and save a little bit in the process, I would always encourage couple to think again about this. I frequently hear couples who didn’t hire a videographer say that they regretted their decision afterwards! You are so busy on the day that it flies by without you realising and you miss some of the goings on that the videographer manages to catch! It’s always lovely to relive this beautiful and special day over the years to come.
- Celebrant – two things spring to mind when I think of the Celebrant! Firstly, as soon as you have decided what type of ceremony you would like, you need to check the availability of your chosen celebrant as they are all very much in demand and to delay may cause disappointment! Secondly, meet your chosen Celebrant before you confirm your booking. Be it Priest/Vicar, Humanist/Spiritualist Celebrant or the Civil Registrar, it is really important that you are comfortable with them and that you can bring your own ideas to your Ceremony without any controversy!
- Choosing your Menu! – My advice is simple…. KEEP IT SAFE! Remember that you have invited a number of very different guests from across the different age groups so it’s best not to complicate things. If you feel inclined to do something a little bit different then do so on the starter or the dessert courses.
- Wine – Unless you have a friend or family member who can “get you a good deal” or if you are a real wine buff with selective taste in wines, then my advice is if your package includes wine then leave it in! Hotels usually include their wine at a very small additional cost to the package so if you take it out the saving may not be that great.
- Cards and Gifts – There’s only one way to ensure that your gifts and cards are accounted for and safely stored, and that is to “appoint” one person in the Wedding Party to be the “Go To” guy or lady for your guests. The Post Box is a fantastic help on the day as it ensures that all cards are placed carefully in one place until the Photographs and Meal are over. Most Venues will have a safe where you can place your cards once you have emptied the Post Box and until Check-out the following day.
- At Bell Call – this is your opportunity to spend some time alone for the first time on the day! Take a drink with you and go to your Suite and chill for a half an hour or so before taking up hosting duties for the remainder of your Big Day! You’ll be glad you did!
- Speeches – while we at the Castle Oaks are happy to go with speeches before the meal, my advice is to hold them to the end of the meal if at all possible! Remember, your guests are on the go since early on the day of your wedding, so they are hungry and ready to eat as soon as you both arrive into the Banqueting suite. I find that most young people now are used to presenting/speaking in public and that frequently it is the dads that are nervous, so you could always consider having the dads speeches first and then do the rest after.
- At turnaround – if you are planning some additional entertainment then this is the time to have it! There is always a lull between the meal and the first dance, while the band set up and the staff turn the room for dancing! I have seen some fantastic entertainment at this stage of the day, for example, Fire Eaters, Caricaturists, Roulette tables, or whatever you are considering! This keeps your guests together so there’s no one missing for the first dance!
- Residents bar – As a couple, you have pulled out all the stops to be the best hosts possible and to ensure that you guests have a ball! In the Residents bar, you are off duty! It’s your turn to kick back and relax and enjoy yourselves! This is also a great time for a few more nibbles for your guests who, guess what, are a little bit peckish again! I find that more and more couples are adding a small late snack to their wedding packages; something simple like a few rounds of tasty sandwiches does the trick and doesn’t blow the budget!
- Breakfast & Check out – My words of advice to all my couples are “Eat before you Meet!”! Order your breakfast to your room for around 9.30am and make sure to have had something substantial before you go to the Hotel Breakfast room to meet with all your guests again. I can assure you that, once you start chatting there’ll be very little opportunity for you to eat yourselves! In most cases the Wedding couple are the last people to check out as you are anxious to wave your guests off before you leave yourselves.
- DON’T STRESS! – if there are a few last-minute details that you don’t get around to in the few days prior to the Big Day, don’t let it stress you out! The most important things have been done! You’re the only ones that will notice the little bits ‘n bobs that you haven’t gotten time to do!