Old, New, Borrowed, Blue.. Top tips for saying “I do”

I was knee deep in an essay of all about my own Wedding and said to meself, Christine, your just harping on here luv.. Strip this back and start again! So rather than me go on and on about me own, I’m going to mix it up with some Tips alongside with whats new for Weddings 2017!

Setting your date,  It’s the 1st step to any Wedding however there’s no good or bad time in my eyes for this. Be it your anniversary of when or where you met, or you desperately dreamed of a particular location and you can only choose from select dates they have left, your looking for the cheaper time of year to save some euros or basically you just don’t give a damn and your date is your date. All these factors will come into play but the decision is in fact yours..  And your fiancΓ© of course, don’t get off on a bad foot plenty of time and reason for arguing later down the line πŸ™ˆ Do however give yourself a minimum of 18 mths between Engagement and Wedding for the simple reason you will want particular photographers, bands, hair, make up etc and they all book up so far in advance you want to have a choice, not just who is left available, so for this very reason give plenty of time to ensure your getting what you want.

Tip: If your heading away on your Honeymoon anywhere exotic, try tie your Wedding into their “Good Weather Season” you dont want to be jetting off then waking up as Husband and Wife in rainy tropical storm season! 

Location, Location, Location.. My ultimate top tip as Bride and Guest is to hire a venue that can cater to all your guests.. We went with The Knightsbrook and made sure the Venue had availability if it was the case every single guest wanted to stay over, on top of this it was a 2 day Wedding (We done the whole next day thing) and the hotel gave all guests a 2 night package special incdl brekkie both mornings and access to the spa, we fed them for both days obvs so this also brought the price down for them and nobody missed out on a sing song in the residents bar by having to stay in the b&b down the road! On top of that, another reason that sold us on the venue was how adaptable they were with food and drinks.. We had a Cocktail/Heineken drinks reception, and opted for a free toast for the speeches rather than wine on the table with the dinner, they were more than accommodating for the menu and then we also had the evening finger food selection which always goes down a treat! Now in comparison, Marquees are the big Venue trend for 2017, now personally I feel this is bringing on extravagant costs, from paying for the food and those serving it, right down to hiring the table, chairs, knifes and forks and that is a lo-ot of organisation.. So that’s one Trend I would not be buying into had I of been a 2017 Bride!

Tip: Take a few “mini breaks” and have an overnight stay in the Venues your contemplating going for, this will give you a proper feel for the atmosphere, food and accommodation and for us was a major deciding factor. One Hotel I was set on for the Wedding was such a let down when we visited it so this certainly came in handy, plus, your getting a few nights away πŸ™‚ 

Flower Power.. The most protruding theme coming round is Flowers, in all shapes, sizes and colours.. From Centerpieces, on tables, hanging from the ceilings, table running, wrapped round your cake or wrapped round your hair, flowers are everywhere! Now I personally opted for simple candle centerpieces and to be totally honest I didn’t invest myself too much in “decoration” I had white table and chair covers with gold elements on the chair bows and table runners. If I’m being totally honest, ladies please don’t cringe for me, I loved it but we basically went with a Football theme for the wedding, we wanted it to be about us, and to just be fun, for us and all our Guests! So basically our invites were football themed, our table names were Football Stadiums and we entered the reception to the Match of the Day theme tune (pun intended).  So I didn’t go all out on flowers or centerpieces it just wasn’t my thing and it allowed us to spend elsewhere! However if it is your thing I have attached photos to get just how strong the flower power is! Another growing Trend much like the Homeware is the use of copper.. be it in centerpeices or accessories for your Wedding Copper is the “New Rose Gold” again I feel focusing too much on whats hot right now can eat into your budget so the golden tip here is to join Pinterest search Wedding themes and pin, pin, pin.. your basically making a mood board where all your ideas are compiled in the one place. This was a life saver for my whole Wedding I can’t stress enough how many hours of your life your gonna lose here but it be so worth it.. on top of that for every idea you see there is nearly always a budget/DIY version to recreate.

Tip: My bouquets were false flowers from Dunnes Stores that my Mother done a splendid job on, they were so cost effective and it meant we all got to keep them in all their glory!

Say Yes to the Dress.. Now I invested in some bridal magazines here for my inspo and I had so many ideas in mind, I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew what I didnt want and guess what…. I ended up in the exact style I had said I wouldn’t wear!! I never knew Satin hated me so much until I went Wedding Dress Shopping! There is absolutely no advice I can even give here except be open minded, try stick to the budget but then again you see that dress you love and its a million dollars, you will somehow come up with that million dollars to purchase that dress!!!!

Tip: Even if you don’t like the look of the Dress TRY IT ON, you might just surprise yourself!

The Wedding Party People… Bridesmaids, apparently my all white theme is on the way out and the colour is back in, however if i was to do it all again I would have the girls in the exact same dresses, I loved mine, I loved theirs, I really felt I nailed it in that department! The Groomsmen had plain grey suits, white shirts, black tie and black braces or belt whichever they preferred.. and again it was a clean cut look and sat so well with the Bridesmaids white. Debenhams had a great offer on at the time on the suits so keep an eye out for free shirt or shoes offers, or 3 piece for €99 type of thing. We did ask opinions on the choice of clothing as we didn’t want anybody feeling uncomfortable so I would say put the feelers out esp for women in dresses, last thing you want is them feeling uncomfortable for the day! However a really big trend comin through for Bridesmaid’s is mix and matching, sticking to a colour palette but opting for a different dress on each BM, be it one shoulder, strapped, wrap round, which ever style suits goes! If your considering this, make sure to tie it in to your theme that you have the colour palette just right be it bold or pastel.

Tip: I made up the whole wedding party gift bags, the girls I ordered canvas totes from Totes Amaze so they got to keep them, but I filled them with their Personal Dressing Gown, an Alex and Ani gift, pjs for the night before, then their jewellery and underwear for the day and put together a lil weekend rescue kit with the boots 3 for 2 minis like hairspray, mouthwash, deodorant etc. The boys had their cuffs, themed socks, mini jd’s for a pre wedding drink with the hubby. And for the lil kiddos they had a lil colouring set and jigsaw things from Pennys they literally cost a few euro to put together and kept them well entertained! 

The Game changers, this is where battles are won and lost between himself and yourself.. Well it defo was for us.. Given we hadn’t been fussy on all of the above, when it came to Video, Photography, Band, Entertainment this is where it kicked off.. More times than not it was the budget. Some videographers and photographers can be a right oul downpayment, but I wont lie, if you have it spend it cause this is what you will have left of the day! I was so glad we got such good deals on both, but I would defo say, don’t try do this on the cheap, there are way too many horror stories out there, use the recommended vendors from your hotel, look up websites for reviews, not just their own and ask for samples of their work. Don’t chance a thing here and hopefully you will have every great moment of your day captured.

Tip: Ask around friends that have been recently married and see would they recommend anybody for the job here. Its always good to get someone tried and trusted, look at the friends album or dvd to get a good feel of their work.

Band and Entertainment, again this is just not where I would try cut any corners.. after the venue and the add ons, the band was the 2nd most expensive part of the wedding and they were worth every penny!!! The Bentley Boys had the party on from the get go, I had came across them on Weddingsonline.ie and they sent me a sample cd and I was sold. I cant believe I’m saying this but I never went to see any band showcase even the one we chose, risky I know but I was so glad we didn’t need to. The hotel provided a pianist for the drinks reception but looking at Weddings now those drinks receptions are all about entertainment.. We were lucky the Cocktail/Henieken Bar and Fish and Chip cones went down such a treat to distract from my lack of entertainment here.. I know it is an added cost but I would defo invest in something here, its become such a big thing at Weddings now its almost expected to have something inbetween! We attended a friends wedding and they had 2 chaps on the guitars singing some ballads, it was a summer wedding, we were sat out in the sunshine and it really kicked the wedding party into gear from the get go. Some Weddings now opt for Magicians, Irish Dancers and the likes so there is plenty of options available..

Tip: Dont be afraid to go all out on the budget on this one, remember this is not just something you both witness, this is the type of thing that helps bring your Wedding atmosphere and leaves guests talking for months!

Extra, Extra, Extra.. Read all about it. From Wedding Favours to Chocolate Fountains, Candy Carts, Candyfloss & Popcorn Machines, Drinks Fountains, Photo Booths, Light up Initials and Wording, Light up Dancefloors.. or if your going outdoorsy vintage its the added Decoration and Props, Signage, Bunting etc.. By no means does any one wedding need all of these things, If your looking to add extras I would say pick a maximum of 2/3 things from this list, don’t over do it, try stick to your overall theme of the day.. one thing you won’t notice is the price of all these adding up. I opted for a Chocolate Fountain, it came with a free Processeco Fountain, but I was advised that the Processeco would only go flat on this from the pump so even for free I wasn’t taking it, so defo think these things through.

Tip: If you are using the same company for more than one product ask can they do you a deal on hiring them out.

I dont want to write a paragraph on every last thing Wedding releated as you see I didnt touch on Transport, Hair, Make Up, Cake etc.. I thought it best for the 1st Wedding post to go on what I thought had priority! I hope I tied in enough Tips & Trends for anyone kicking off their plans, if you have anything you want covered just  get in touch.. I will be keeping a serious eye on all things Weddings 2017 even for the guests, and I already look forward to my next wedding post and hope you do too!


Christine x