There is no other place in the world that can match a couple in uniqueness as can Ireland. From a vast, stunningly beautiful landscape to serve as backdrop for your wedding, to opportunities to work with motivated vendors who will personalize your wedding to be completely reflective of you both, you can have your dream wedding and actually enjoy the wedding planning process and wedding day. The food and drink, history, art, and culture are a delight and will keep you and your guests constantly entertained. Easy to navigate, modern but still retaining a quaint classic tradition about it, Ireland embraces romance and adventure like no other place alive.
If you are considering a destination wedding for your upcoming nuptials, Ireland must be at the top of your list.
Unparalleled Beauty and Variety of Locations to Choose From
Rarely does a place live up to its reputation, but Ireland manages to surpass it. From the imposing granite peaks of the Twelve Bens in the Connemara Mountains, holding court high above the black waters of the loughs (lakes) and golden fields below, to the gently rolling hills across the island, verdant in the famous Kelly green hue and dotted with fluffy sheep sleepily grazing under the ancient sky, to the black rocky coast, disappearing into the sapphire waters of the Irish Sea, it is easy to see how Ireland’s landscape has inspired and continues to inspire poets, musicians, and writers alike for centuries. Absurdly beautiful variations on the color green can be found at every turn, from the soft grass on which the cows graze to the soft moss gently guarding castle ruins, to the dark green of tall noble pines along Kerry’s coast, you will never tire of seeing such unbelievable lushness and variety in vegetation. Not to be outdone, the waters of the hundreds of lakes found on the Emerald Island vary from royal blue befitting a king to an impossibly dark navy, mysterious and primordial and surely full of ancient secrets. Dotted by white-washed cottage houses with thatched roofs and brightly colored doors and windows often have a charming bicycle parked at the front under the awning, gently trickling a taste from that morning’s rain. Bold castles and sprawling estates stand strong and defiant throughout the fertile island, at once a remembrance of its rich history and demonstration of wealth and power, standing equally as strong in the hidden embrace of the island’s countryside are circles of stones, a precious reminder of Ireland’s Celtic ancestry. From towering cathedrals alive in their tradition to the stone ruins of monasteries now in slumber, from quaint pink-walled and bright blue trimmed houses along the quay to the bustling brick-stones of the old Victorians in Dublin, Ireland is truly a feast for the eyes and senses.
You will not have trouble finding a location to host your destination wedding; you will have difficulty deciding between the many perfect options to choose from.
Hospitality and Abundance of Things to Do
Céad míle fáilte! “A hundred thousand welcomes!” is perhaps the official unofficial battle cry of the Irish. Hosting a destination wedding adds another element to the planning process: you will want your guests in comfort, be welcomed warmly in thanks for their efforts to make the trip on your behalf, and have things to do. Truly no one does this better than the Irish. The Irish are very proud of their culture and home, and are eager to please guests. Their excitement to share their traditions and pastimes is infectious. While you focus on pampering yourself the day before your wedding (as your vendors are busy at work on the details), your guests will enjoy exploring Ireland and even partaking in some activities they might not otherwise attempt! Between sight-seeing the landscape and kissing the Blarney Stone, they will be regaled of folk legends and stories by the local boatman as he takes them across the lake, and then later a bartender no doubt will keep them vastly entertained between pours of Guinness at the 500 year old bar. The next day they will go clay pigeon shooting, perhaps ride a horse through the Gap of Dunloe, meet a few sheep along the mountain side as they stop to picnic with freshly baked bread, still-warm scones, fruit jams made by the local grannie and crisp apples picked up at the local farmers market during the driving break. They will make friends with the locals, sing at the pubs with bellies full of the best fried fish on the planet, and probably learn a jig at some point they will be excited to debut at the eleventh hour of your reception. Your guests will come back to settle in their warm beds with a quick stop in front of the roaring fire in the lobby, enjoying an Irish coffee or whiskey before they retire to their rooms and sleep comfortably, ready to celebrate your special day in the morning.
You will be at ease knowing you and your guests are being well taken care of, everyone relaxed and excited for your wedding day.
Proficiency and Professionalism
You will need help in planning and executing your perfect day, so give yourself the gift of not worrying and put your trust in Irish hands to help you. Reception venues pride themselves on hospitality and making their guests (your guests) feel welcome and comfortable. Florists take pride in their craft, gaining inspiration from the beautiful surroundings. Hair stylists are up to date on all the latest fashion trends while demonstrating high proficiency in classic romantic styles, and come fitted with an army of supplies to work with the bride, bridal party, and family members in the comfort of their rooms. Photographers know the country and all the nooks and crannies for the most insanely gorgeous pictures you could only imagine; you will have a romantic adventure for an hour taking your pictures in hidden corners of estate gardens or under the ancient oak tree atop the perfect hill. Bartenders pouring perfect pints, wait staff serving elegant hand-crafted dishes to your guests at the candlelit table, musicians pacing the party throughout your perfect evening…you will not have to worry about any detail being left unattended or not executed to perfection.
Vendors realize the importance of your special day, and they will go to lengths to achieve it for you. They work very hard and diligently, and rarely need extra direction. They are masters at their crafts, taking pride in their work, and genuinely want to please you and your guests and help create a wonderful memory for you all. You will find their personality extremely easy to work with, and the planning process will be a joy rather than a chore as many couples often complain it becomes. If you are one who likes to be involved with every single detail they are happy to work with you down to the shade of purple you want in floral arrangements. Conversely, if you want to be more hands-free, you can fully entrust the vendors to execute your vision and just show up on the big day and enjoy yourself and your guests.
Hire a wedding planner who knows Ireland’s hidden gems, can coordinate all of your vendors for you, and can help orchestrate your wedding day to run effortlessly, allowing you to actually enjoy your special day.
Many wedding traditions actually come from Ireland. “Tying the knot” comes from the ceremony of hand fasting, where the bride and groom joined right hands and had a rope or chord tied around their clasped hands, solidifying them as one. Or “wedding bells ringing” comes from the bells children and people of the village would ring as the bride made her way to the ceremony; the bells intended to ward off jealous faeries who out of curiosity and spite may come to jinx the beautiful bride. Even the “honeymoon” gets its name from medieval times, when the bride and groom were sent off to live together for a lunar cycle (one month) and copious amounts of mead (honey wine) were provided to help acquaint them with each other. The Irish understand the ceremony and celebration of getting married and do so with love, respect, and humor.
Let this inspire you to think about your own traditions you would like to incorporate into your day, be it old or new ones, and other ways to make your wedding uniquely about the both of you.
Sense of Timelessness
Ireland is uniquely modern and vintage at the same time. It is classical and visionary, traditional yet not restrained. Especially if you are gravitating towards a more vintage styled wedding, Ireland truly is the perfect place. Gorgeous hand-made lace (an Irish tradition), classic gardens with gorgeous richly hued flowers in bloom, ancient oak trees and silver candelabras at the table in front of a roaring fire are all straight out of a Jane Austen novel. Castles and colorful banners, spiraling staircases and stained glass windows in gothic arches are medieval perfection. Rustic pubs with worn countertops polished until they glisten from the nearby fire welcomed people like you in the same exact way for hundreds of years. Ireland has a unique way of allowing you the gift of stepping out of your everyday life, leaving the worry and stress behind, and stepping into a different time where people can relax for a moment and cherish what is good in the world. It is a way to touch the past without leaving behind modern comforts.
People really underestimate this aspect when planning their weddings; allowing yourselves and your guests to get into the right mindset for your wedding is the difference between a good wedding and a great one that will be remembered for years to come.
Many couple are shocked to find how much a wedding costs to produce, and even more shocked to find that hosting as a destination wedding is more affordable, especially in Ireland. Firstly the location of your wedding is a natural backdrop; be it indoor or outdoor the many castles, gardens, estates, cliffs, pastures, lakes are a perfect location to host a wedding and reception. These are in of themselves the setting. There is rarely need for an army of floral arrangements or elaborate construction like stages, flooring, lighting to create a space suitable for the ceremony; the place you choose stands on its own and it stands proudly and perfectly. Many times floral arrangements are only needed for the bridal party, table arrangements, and some decoration for indoor spaces like entrance of the church. Ireland boasts a collection of amazing musicians (folk, traditional, modern) and DJ’s that would be happy to play for your day for a very reasonable price, and many of them stay well past the contracted time simply for the joy of music and being part of your day. Food and drink is locally sourced, fresh, and prepared with pride be it a 5-star chef or local pub owner, and many are happy to coordinate a personalized menu reflective of your tastes and preferences.
You can spend your money on enjoy time with your guests rather than on details and retrofitting spaces to properly hold a wedding.
Should you want an outdoor ceremony with a castle as your backdrop, or lush gardens in bloom with a rainbow of flowers, a traditional ceremony in a cathedral or quaint local church, something ancient by a stone circle or more casual and modern, there are literally a thousand places in Ireland that can accommodate about any style of wedding you had in mind. Put together with a fully capable staff and Irish wedding planner to support you, enthusiastic and ready to work for your big day and you have the makings of a truly legendary celebration you and your guests will remember for years to come.