A Bride Abroad was set up by wedding expert Ciara Jørgensen to help couples plan their big day from afar. Marry Me Ireland asked Ciara for some of her top tips as an industry professional.
What is it about Ireland that attracts so many couples here to marry?
Ireland is known the world over as the country of a thousand welcomes and when it comes to weddings even more so. As a nation, we love a ‘happily ever after’. It’s always exciting to see a wedding car drive by and it is certainly a memory I have always held dear from my childhood, long before I set up A Bride Abroad.
In addition to our welcome, we have something for every type of couple, from five star resorts to glamping venues. From an intimate elopement for two to fireworks for five hundred, Ireland has something for everyone.
For a small island, we really can cater to anyone’s tastes. The standard of food, hospitality and service here are world-renowned and so I think we are a great choice for those looking for a wedding away from their home country.
Where are the most scenic locations in Ireland for outdoor ceremonies?
I guess there is one huge thing to consider with an outdoor ceremony in Ireland and that is the risk with the weather! If you are planning an outdoor wedding you really do need to think of a back up plan, should the weather be unsuitable. Even in the height of our ‘summer’, you could often have very wet conditions. I always urge my couples to work with venues that offer an alternative to a purely outdoor ceremony venue.
The following are some really lovely venues worth taking a look at, if your heart is set on something outdoors. The Venue finder on A Bride Abroad is a great way to find options for your day. The tool allows you to choose by County, budget, boutique, luxury, something different etc. Check out www.abrideabroad.ie/providers/venues/
- Borris House – www.borrishouse.com
- Anna Carriga Estate – www.annacarriga.com
- Dromquinna Manor – www.dromquinnamanor.com
- Mount Druid – http://alternativeweddings.ie
- Coolbawn Quay – www.coolbawnquay.com/index.html
- Hotel Doolin – http://www.hoteldoolin.ie/civil-ceremonies.html
- Clare Island Lighthouse – http://www.clareislandlighthouse.com/en/
- Glin Castle (pictured below) – Exclusive – Book directly through Ciara at A Bride Abroad.ie
How do we find local suppliers i.e. hairdressers, photographers etc?
The internet is really your first port of call, but of course there is so much choice, being far from Ireland, faced with the time zone and not knowing any trusted source locally, hiring a helper might be a good option. Prices for services start at just €500, so it isn’t too inaccessible for couples planning from overseas. Personally, I have created things like My Top 10 wedding band listing, that you can request from me ticking one big task off your list. Just email me – Ciara@abrideabroad.ie.
What are your tops tips for making the perfect wedding day run smoothly?
Plan, plan and plan again. If that isn’t something you enjoy consider an ‘On the day’ coordinator. Your wedding day is for enjoying and not stressing about the details. If you have managed to get to the day itself without any help, the services of an on the day planner might be useful. This person will meet you a week or so before the wedding, get a rundown of what is important to you, what are you worried about etc. and take all that stress away. Leaving you to focus on the wedding day excitement!
If a planner isn’t possible, I would suggest to do up a ‘cheat sheet’ of contact details and numbers (excluding your number or your partners) and circulate that to suppliers and the wedding party. That way your wedding party can manage any ‘on the day’ issues, leaving you to relax and enjoy your wedding day.
How are weddings changing in Ireland over the last five years?
Weddings are changing all the time. Some of the biggest changes I have noticed are that numbers are getting slightly smaller for weddings here. People are only inviting the guests that they really really want to be there. In addition, wedding celebrations are becoming longer. From pre-wedding family meals to post wedding barbeques and breakfasts, it’s a three-day affair!
I have also noticed that people are opting for non-religious or more personalized ceremonies, in much higher numbers. Those marrying in the registry office are having a separate, more romantic, non-legal ceremony at their venue. The ‘tailor made’ ceremony is on the rise.
Finally, wedding décor and styling are huge right now, and couples are making their weddings more personal and bespoke all the time. From monograms to custom cakes, I am seeing a more personalised wedding style emerging.
Any recently engaged couple overseas should check out www.abrideabroad.ie and know about Ciara’s services.
Based in Ireland, Ciara can take care of things in local time, yet she is available to you at a time that suits you via Email, Skype or Viber. A Bride Abroad offers services to suit each and every budget, meaning you don’t have to be super wealthy to get a little extra help at the venue selection stage, in the lead up to your wedding or on the wedding day itself.
Ciara says “the biggest struggles facing overseas couples are, the time difference, the endless wed-ministration in planning a wedding from a distant shore and finding a suitable venue you can trust, given you may not be able to do a site visit yourself.”
You should think of Ciara as your bridal Godmother, that can make any wedding dreams come true! Ciara is reliable, responsive and the most organised person around! Brides are referring to Ciara, as a bride’s best friend.
At Marry Me Ireland we are Experts at wedding ceremonies and will create the perfect bespoke wedding ceremony for you, let us tell your story – contact us here.