Over the past 5 years Ireland has experienced a huge number of its young people emigrate to all parts of the world, pursuing career opportunities which were not available in their beloved home country. Since then, many couples made the decision to take the next step in their lives and so began the excitement of planning their Dream Wedding Day! In most cases, they follow their hearts and choose to get married at home in Ireland!
Organising your Wedding should be an enjoyable process, free of stress and worry about how it will all work out on the day! This should be the case even when you are planning your Big Day from abroad! In my experience, and I have had lots of “Weddings from abroad” over the past few years, there are some simple tips and guidelines that, if followed, will take all the stress out of the planning and, indeed, once you have chosen the best team you can, the planning process will become a relaxed and enjoyable experience for you both!
The most important thing I can say to any couple living abroad but with their hearts set on celebrating their Wedding Day at home in Ireland, is GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME! It will take a little bit longer to plan the Perfect Wedding Day from a distance.
Technology has advanced so much in the last 10 years, making the task of Wedding Planning so much easier. There are some things that you just can’t live without!
- The Internet: You will find everything that you need and want to know by googling it! Prioritise! Start with the most important items first.
- Be aware of the legal requirements regarding registering your marriage and get the paperwork done sooner rather than later! Use the internet to find out what steps you need to take. I include a link to the best website to start this journey. www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/bdm/marriagesinireland/
- Make a shortlist of the Wedding Venues, Celebrants and Ceremony Locations for consideration and gather your information from each one. Look out for important details of how long it takes to get an initial response and how long it takes to receive additional information if requested. Even taking into consideration the time difference, you should not have to wait longer than 24 hours for a reply!
- Once you have decided on a date and Ceremony/Wedding venue/Celebrant, start to think about other suppliers such as Bands, Photographers, Florists, Cakes, etc.
- Use forums and review sites to see if the suppliers you are considering have a good rating. BUT always trust your own judgement and instincts!
- Websites that specialise in informing Brides and Grooms, like www.Weddingsonline.ie , are a fantastic source of reputable suppliers and real wedding stories.
- Pinterest becomes every Wedding Couple’s Best friend! Enjoy choosing your theme from the inspiring images on Pinterest!
- Skype: I find this to be an amazing tool when working with couples who are living abroad. I have become a dab hand at “skype viewings” and “Skype consultations”. It makes life a lot easier for you when you choose a venue or supplier than can facilitate this for you. As a Wedding professional with over 18 years experience, I would encourage you to take into account the time difference and choose a venue/supplier that will be available to speak to outside of the 9-5, Monday to Friday, working week.
- Youtube: Particularly helpful when you are choosing entertainers and would like to see them perform first.
- Email: This is a fantastic way of keeping in contact and sharing information with all your suppliers for everything from quick, spur of the moment questions to far more serious items like contracts, accommodation lists and menus.
Family! Weddings are an exciting time for all your family and friends, and they are only too happy to help!
- Choose a small “Wedding Team” from members of your family or friends. Ask them to engage with your selected shortlist of suppliers, for example Hotels/Venues/Bands etc, and give you their honest opinions. BUT again, trust your own judgement and instincts!
- Give your “home team” a list of your questions to ask each supplier.
- Welcome all recommendations which will be offered by many, but never book a supplier without first doing your own research!
- Try not to involve too many people as it is more difficult to make final decisions when there are too many opinions to consider!
Your Perfect Day: To ensure that your Special Day goes smoothly from the minute you make each of those key decisions regarding Venue, Ceremony Location, Band, Photographer, Dress, etc, I would encourage you to:
- Choose suppliers who have a credible track record.
- Choose suppliers who can commit to contacting you regularly without any issues regarding time difference!
- Choose suppliers that you make a connection with. They should be your friends at the end of the planning process! The right supplier will always be “on your side” and not difficult to deal with.
A couple of little hints to keep you relaxed: manage your time so that you don’t end up with too much to do at the last minute! And delegate! That’s what your family, friends and chosen suppliers are there for!
Finally, try to make at least one trip home either at the early stages of planning or midway through the process. It’s good to meet everyone involved in person and you will be able to iron out any issues that aren’t to your satisfaction in plenty of time!
Congratulations, enjoy and the very best of luck!