Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Stylist’s Corner: 7 Trends to Easily Work Into Your 2018/19 Wedding

With spring already in full swing and wedding season around the corner, this week we’re going to dive into some trends, ideas, and notes to keep your wedding planning on track or maybe even add in some last minute details for your upcoming summer destination wedding in Ireland! Pictured: a little sneak peek of our style shoot that will display some of these ideas on the list! Coming soon! (photo by Christina Brosnan)

Welcome Them

Etiquette always dictates some sort of acknowledgement or official welcoming of your guests to your destination wedding. You have a bit of latitude in how you can express your welcoming and thanks, but a detailed personalized welcome basket is a solid trend many couples are using to great effect.  Although some pre-made baskets are available, we encourage you to take this detail on with some consideration and have fun with it — this will be the first impression your guests will have after arriving to Ireland for your wedding, so put in the thought (and money) to make it count!

Some ideas to get you started:

  • easy to pack / collapsible container to hold everything your guests can take with them — think bags over structured baskets!
  • itinerary — include a map, detailed notes on activities, helpful information like the nearest drug store or gas station so your guests can stay in the loop and get excited for the festivities!
  • bottled water — always great to stay hydrated and an often overlooked item to purchase on the go
  • snacks — embrace Ireland’s offerings and include some authentic Irish treats like Taytos, chocolates, and candies
  • freshly baked goodies — nothing welcomes you more after a hard day’s journey than a couple of freshly baked cookies or scones with fresh jam
  • nightcap — a little shot of the local stuff never hurt either…most people do mini Jameson bottles, but if you’re feeling frisky try the more authentic poitin!
  • bath and beauty — if you’re planning a retreat style event, consider including some herbal soaps and locally made bath salts and soaps
  • shawl / cap — if you really want to gift them something authentic, include a wool shawl or cap they can keep warm with at your wedding and take home as a keepsake
  • personalized, hand-written thank you note — they spent a lot of money to come to Ireland, so take the time before the revelry begins and thank them all personally for coming this way, for supporting you both, and looking forward to celebrating together

If you want to take the welcoming a step further, organize a fun event the first day everyone is gathered.  Tea parties, outdoor games and activities, a relaxing picnic on the grounds, sight-see together are just some ideas off the bat. For something more spectacular, get a live band to play your rehearsal dinner for a surprise and to get the party started early, then let the DJ take over at the wedding!

Personalize It

Gone are the days of pre-cut, pre-designed details.  Take the time to really put some thought into the elements of your day and have yourselves reflected in the details. Express your likes, loves, and journey together throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to ask the venue to create a custom menu and drinks.  Take a chance at the dessert table and offer some items that mean something to you — do a design, special color, flavor that reminds you of a shared memory or something that’s unique you.  Ask your florist to include your favorite flowers or sneak in something into your bouquet that may remind you of your first date or the first flowers he gave you. Grooms — add a little something to your personal look! Socks, cufflinks, ties, boutonnieres….don’t be afraid to add a little quirky (not tacky) to your look. And with the ceremony, don’t be afraid to ask the celebrant to incorporate your favorite song lyrics or movie quotes. One of the best elopements we ever did the bride walked down the aisle to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” played on the Irish harp, and they used quotes from their favorite songs into the ceremony in stead of religious readings. It ended up being really moving because it was authentic and them.

If you need help brainstorming some ideas, Waterlily Weddings is happy to help!

First Look…plural

My personal top favorite images from the galleries I see are the “first look” shots.  They are a part of the wedding day I really wish every single couple would incorporate into their schedule. The moment is so authentic and raw, and makes for the best pictures out of the entire gallery.  I’d love to see this a step further. Especially when you have all of your loved ones with you that day.  If you have kids, I’d love to see the first look done with them — the moment mom sees her kids all dressed up and they see mommy dressed up beautifully. Dad’s first look with his little girl is always a favorite of mine — seeing the look of Father of the Bride as he gazes upon his daughter is one of the most moving and spectacularly poignant moments in a wedding.  But often overlooked is Mother of the Bride as well. Or parents of the groom. Siblings… little brother seeing his big brother get married. These moments are absolute gold and something you will always cherish — work them into your schedule for the day, talk to your photographer (hire a second if you have to) to capture these!

Surprise Entertainment

Get ready. Ceremony. Pictures. Cocktails. Dinner. Dance. Sleep.  It’s a formula in the wedding world since time began, it seems, and it’s as stale as it reads. Everyone loves a great party and great music — by no means get rid of it. But step up the game a bit and think outside the box with some added details to enhance and enthrall your guests! Have the band teach your guests Irish dancing — have everyone get up and get involved! It will be the best time every has, I promise you! Invite a professional Irish dance group to come perform for everyone to start off the evening’s dancing! Guaranteed hit. Hire unexpected performers like magicians or artists to perform throughout the reception. The idea is to keep the reception interactive with your guests so they don’t get bored!

Waterlily Weddings has a wonderful selection of exciting performers, artists, and professionals just waiting to delight your guests!

Organic Details at the Ceremony

Some couples think they need to skip on the ceremony decor and splurge it all at the reception. I’m not a fan of this. The ceremony is actually the climax, crowning moment of your entire day and should have the emphasis. Skimping on the chair decor, scaling back on florals will end up bothering you in picture later on. You don’t need to go insane here. But make sure there’s a natural focal point for the eye  (besides the couple). Bring in organic details to the space like flowers, flowing linen ribbon, ceramic pots and urns.  I’d love to see a mix/match of different urns and ceramic pots with different plants and flowers on a color spectrum worked in and around the chairs.  Is there a pond? Add fresh flower petals to it and some fresh blooms. Indoor castle wedding? Drape fireplaces with greenery and flowers to make it look lush and organic. Err on the side of too much rather than not enough!

Sexy, Not Moody

I. Hate. The. Word. Moody. I don’t know who coined this term for this gorgeous aesthetic, but it’s annoying and doesn’t begin to describe the true intention of this darker, sexier presentation. Sweet rose quarts and airy neutral tones have had their time to shine for a while. They are timeless and effortless and always pretty. But sometimes you want to express a bit more soul, a bit more depth to your wedding day. Embrace the bolder colors. Don’t be afraid to use color. Don’t shy away from jewel tones and bright tropical notes…. they will work in Ireland when done a certain way! Use colored candles and napkins, embellish the seating chart more, add pop of color to the stationary, go for the bolder bouquet….don’t shy away from these if the colors are speaking to your soul. And don’t be afraid to go darker — deep crimson, merlot, winter green, dove grey, smoke, eggplant, rich deep navy, even black are all incredible colors to work into your color palette in larger amounts or just as accents.

Contact us today — our design and style department is always looking for new an exciting ways to work with the incredible colors and textures Ireland has to offer!

Mix It Up On the Bridal Party

Girls on one side, boys on the other. Says who?!  It’s 2018 and everyone is friends with everyone. I would love to see a bridal party where there’s a mix of girls and boys on both sides of the couple. It’s not about gender, it’s about love and support so let everyone stand where they want.

While on the topic ….. don’t have a flower girl? Have a sense of humor on this and invite another guest to take over the duties! One of my favorite moments of a wedding we did was when the couple had a “flower boy” — their grown adult friend complete with basket in hand gleefully deposited petals with expertise before the bride made her entrance. It really worked, breaking the tension and getting everyone in a great mood to enjoy the ceremony. It was so much fun and just worked. I’ve seen a wedding trend called “flower grandmas” — I cannot express how cute this is and I hope someone does this this year!


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