Congratulations on getting engaged! Now comes the hard part. You need to start planning your big day. Ireland is becoming a popular wedding location from tourists all over the world. This post will run through all you need to know about planning a wedding in Ireland.
You get to set a date, choose a venue, find a photographer, and make dozens of other important decisions. The typical wedding planning checklist is extensive and often overwhelming.
To help eliminate the stress, take the time to consider the following essential details for having a wedding in Ireland.
1. Set an Estimated Budget for Your Wedding
The average wedding Ireland costs €25,000 to €28,000. However, every wedding is different.
You can easily plan an unforgettable, intimate wedding without spending a fortune. The first step is to set an estimated budget. Decide how much you can afford to spend or how much your parents are willing to spend. Check here to know how much does a wedding planner cost.
The cost of a wedding can easily skyrocket as you arrange catering, select a venue, and start filling out your guest list. A budget helps you keep the costs within reason.
2. Start Planning Wedding Entertainment
With the reception and guest list finalised, begin organising your entertainment. If you want to simplify this process, consider working with a wedding entertainment company that offers an all-in-one service. You can hire a DJ, band, and photographer from one company.
When choosing DJs or wedding bands, use an agency such as 7 Entertainment. Find out what genres of music they cover and whether they accept playlists and requests. Selecting a photographer also requires research. Luckily, most wedding photographers have online photo galleries, allowing you to compare photographers without scheduling interviews.
You will want to plan the wedding entertainment months ahead of time to reserve your preferred choices. If you wait too long, the DJ or photographer you want may already be booked.
3. Choose the Right Time of the Year
Before sending out your “save the date” cards, you need to set the date. The months of May to October typically provide the warmest weather in Ireland, making them the most popular times of the year for weddings.
If you want to avoid the rain, you may need to plan an indoor ceremony at a licensed wedding venue. Ireland is known for its unpredictable weather, making it a challenge to plan a rain-free outdoor wedding. Of course, some people consider rain on a wedding day to be a sign of good luck.
4. Decide What Type of Ceremony You Want
There are three main types of wedding ceremonies in Ireland. You can arrange a religious, civil, or humanist ceremony.
A civil ceremony is officiated by an appointed civil servant called a Registrar. The ceremony must be held at a civil registration office or a licensed wedding venue and cannot be held on the weekends.
Religious ceremonies are officiated by priests and typically require a marriage preparation course. They can also be held on a weekday or weekend.
Humanist ceremonies can be performed by accredited members of the Humanist Association of Ireland. The ceremony can be altered to your liking and can take place almost anywhere.
No matter what type of ceremony you choose, you will need to book a notification appointment with a civil registration service. You must also give notice three months before the wedding date and both of you need to attend the appointment.
5. Select a Venue for Your Ceremony
Do you want to get married outdoors or in a church? Ireland is a beautiful country with many wonderful sites for an outdoor ceremony. However, many churches will gladly host your special event.
Catholic marriages account for close to half of all marriages in Ireland. If you are already a member of a local parish, contact your priest to begin discussing your wedding.
If you do not live in Ireland, you may need to contact multiple churches in their desired area to find a church that accommodates ceremonies for non-locals. Create a list of several churches in the area in case your first choice does not perform ceremonies for non-members.
6. Choose Your Wedding Party and Guests
Deciding on who gets to be part of the wedding party is often overwhelming. You may not want any close friends or family to feel left out.
The average wedding party size is about five people on each side, including the bridesmaid and the best man. If you are planning a large wedding with about 100 or more guests, you may consider adding more people to your wedding party.
Keep in mind that the number of guests that you invite will also increase the cost. One of the biggest expenses is the catering budget as you typically pay per seat.
7. Choose a Reception Venue and Catering
After you decide how many guests to invite, you can start looking for venues for the reception. Pay close attention to the capacity when comparing options. Some reception venues have in-house caterers and may not work with outside companies. If you have the freedom to select a caterer, get suggestions from friends, or look at online reviews. Choose at least three top options and schedule tastings.
Along with catering for the reception, you need to choose a wedding cake. Some caterers can handle this task. However, most couples find bakers that specialise in wedding cakes.
8. Find the Perfect Wedding Dress
Finding a wedding dress, tux, and attire for the wedding party should be completed as early as possible. The décor for your wedding, the design of the cake, and other elements of the wedding tend to follow a specific colour scheme.
Start with the dress, as it is the most important article of clothing at a wedding. You need plenty of time to find the right one since you may go back and forth between a few different options before finalising your choice. After choosing the dress, start looking at dresses and tuxes for the wedding party that fit the overall colour scheme of your wedding.
As a final tip for learning how to plan a wedding, understand that your big day is just one day out of hopefully thousands that you will spend with your loved one. Some of the details of your wedding may not go as planned but you have the rest of your lives ahead of you. Find out more about wedding planning in Ireland here: 7 Entertainment