The Definitive Guide To Your Perfect Wedding 2014

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Flower POWER

PLUS • Keep the kids entertained • Vintage tea party • Wedding traditions • Plus much more... A PERFECT CAKE FOR A PERFECT DAY



WELCOME Welcome to the 2014 edition of The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding, your essential guide to wedding planning! Being a bride-to-be can be a busy and stressful time. The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding is jam-packed with topics and features to help you design and plan your wedding. We examine changing trends in the Irish wedding scene as well as lots of advice and tips on wedding fashion, beauty, flowers and more! We had such a great time in the office making the 2014 edition of the The Definitive Guide to the Perfect Wedding so we hope you enjoy reading it and of course, the team at The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding would like to congratulate you and wish you all the best for the exciting time ahead. Don’t forget we’re online at and on Facebook. We’d love to hear how you’re getting on planning the big day or if you’d like to share some memories we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line via Facebook or the website! Happy planning!

Jen Cosgrove

Jen Cosgrove Editor

Contents 34 A VERY VINTAGE TEA PARTY A vintage tea party style wedding reception 40 CARICATURES Make it a day to remember with an event and wedding caricature artist

6 PICTURE PERFECT BRIDE Advice on how to look your best on your wedding day 8 A MEAL TO REMEMBER Memorable food for your big day

42 KEEPING THE KIDS ENTERTAINED Creative ideas for entertaining kids at your wedding: 44 FLOWER POWER Flowers help set the tone you’ve chosen and can be used to transform your reception venue

14 A PERFECT CAKE FOR A PERFECT DAY Wedding cakes to make a statement 22 GET BUSY AND GET GORGEOUS Prepare your beauty skincare and nail care regime well in advance PUBLISHED BY: RD Marketing and Media Unit 1, Office 5, Airport Business Park Waterford T: 051 364 267 E:

EDITOR:  Jennifer Cosgrove PRODUCTION MANGERS:  Lia Brennan and Rachel Sheehan PUBLISHER: Ruán Dignam E: DESIGN: Mandy Boosey E:

ADVERTISING: Laura Warren, Maurice Walsh and Martin Ryan MARKETING: RD Marketing & Media Special thanks to: Dawn Ryan, Elizabeth Brauders, Hazel Bradshaw, Joanne Elliot, Karen Docherty, Karen Redar, Laurie MacDonald and DISTRIBUTED BY:  Newsspread

Disclaimer: Whilst every care has been taken to secure names and addresses and particulars of entries, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies or omissions. All information is accepted as correct at time of going to press. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any forms or by any means, including photocopying and recording without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the publisher. Such written permission should also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature,


70 FOR BETTER OR WORSE The good, the bad and the ugly of the latest wedding trends 54 WEDDING CENTREPIECES Create a wow factor with a fabulous table centrepiece

74 WEDDING TRADITIONS Some of the most popular traditions and the meanings behind them

58 BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Our guide for the perfect bridesmaid dresses 64 POPPING THE QUESTION Choose the perfect venue for that all important question



“My music, your choice”

087 639 1379

Picture Perfect Bride Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. It is the most photographed day of your life, so you need to look and feel the part! by Dawn Ryan


efore you even think about makeup, you need to make sure that your skin is in great shape. If you’ve never thought about this before, and find that your skin could be in better condition, first find out your skin type. This is the key and the best place to start. Next, it’s time to find a suitable cleanser, toner and moisturiser and to establish an almost religious routine! It is so important to look and feel like you by bringing out your natural beauty and enhancing your features, rather than covering up. Contoured cheekbones with a pop of colour and emphasis on the eyes will always flatter. Make-up should be classic and timeless. It is vital not to wear too much – this may look great on camera but can be caked and heavy in person. You should find a happy medium, so spend some time considering your wedding look. While I always urge bridesto-be to hire a professional make-up artist, many women are adamant on DIY beauty with no professional help. Be sure to spend the months leading up to

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your big day testing products. Longevity is imperative – you don’t want to spend your day nipping to the bathroom to touch up. Visit beauty counters in Debenhams, Brown Thomas etc. and ask (nicely!) for samples. Test these as early as possible in the day and see how long and how well they last for you. Investing in a good primer is also a must. If you want to go with a certain look or era, then consider getting lessons from a professional so that you can recreate the look yourself. If you do choose to hire a professional make-up artist, it will save you time and stress about doing it yourself. She will have many products that you may not, and your best interests at heart to ensure your wedding make-up is perfect. Needless to say, your wedding look is not the same as your average look for a night out on the town. Bear in mind that if you are wearing white or ivory, your make-up will appear different to if you were wearing a black dress. This also applies to fake tan. It is no harm to add a little bronzer and darken up for the

evening, but for your ceremony you should keep everything as naturally beautiful as possible. You will be happier when you look back on your album in ten years time and see how radiant you looked! A good make-up artist should arrive early on the morning of your wedding and stay until you are safely in your wedding dress. Do your research, go online and have a look at websites and portfolios, check out their feedback on wedding forums and be sure that you like the looks they’ve created in the past. Get in touch and check pricing and availability, and always organise a trial or two before the wedding. That way, your makeup artist can work with you to create a look you’re both happy with. Hiring a good make-up artist is money well spent, especially for your wedding day. Dawn Ryan is a make-up artist specialising in Bridal Beauty W: E: M: 085 2818033

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remember There are many details that guests will remember about your wedding day – great music, the happy couple beaming, and, of course, the food...

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day



very wedding guest secretly hopes for amazing food. Planning a standout reception menu is easier than you think. With a bit of time it doesn’t need to be overly stressful, and should create a memorable wedding. Food and drink make up a large percentage of your wedding budget, so the meal is worth some serious consideration. You have several options when it comes to the wedding breakfast. Some want a formal sit down meal, some prefer a more relaxed buffet, and others might go for canapés. Whichever you choose, make sure yours is the best it can be. A sit-down dinner is the most popular (and most expensive) option – for this you will need a starter, main course and dessert. While the wedding day is definitely all about the happy couple, it is important to think about your guests and their enjoyment.

Dietary requirements Keep in mind that some of your guests may require a vegetarian or vegan meal,

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by Lough Rynn Castle WARM Baby Jacket Potatoes with Sour Cream Red Onion and Cashel Blue Cheese Tartlet Sautéed Dublin Prawns on Pea Purée Mini Chicken & Mushroom Vol-au-vent Vegetable Spring Rolls with Tomato Jam Asparagus Tempura with Sweet Soy Sauce Wild Mushroom Patties with Basil Hollandaise Clonakilty White Pudding with Onion Confit Crispy Black Pudding and Apple Wonton Bruschetta of Scallops and Chorizo Peking Duck Spring Rolls with Hoi Sin Sauce Mint and Tomato Marinated Lamb Kebabs Tempura Fried Prawns with Chilli Jam Butterfly Tiger Prawns with Lime, Chilli and Coriander Skewered Pork, Tomato and Apricot Dip COLD Irish Smoked Salmon on Homemade Guinness Bread Smoked Chicken and Mango with Coriander Foie Gras Terrine on Toasted Brioche Crayfish in Marie Rose on Blinis Cherry Tomato with Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese Smoked Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese Cherry Tomato with Rocket Pesto Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta with Aged Balsamic and Parmesan Caramelised Goat’s Cheese with Tapenade Herb Rolled Goat’s Cheese Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls Carpaccio of Beef with Fresh Horseradish Crème Fraiche

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” George Bernard Shaw

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and remind them to let you know of any dietary requirements such as coeliac disease. If you want to cut costs or just try something a little different, you can host a brunch or buffet instead. It is also a great idea to have canapés and a glass of bubbly on offer when your guests first arrive at the reception venue. Again, work your tastes and personalities into your menu – a build-yourown burger bar or retro sweet buffet will be a big hit with kids and the young at heart! Passing around great food is a wonderful way to get people talking – place different entrees and sides on each table for guests to share – it’s less fussy than having plated courses. Choose silver-service trained staff to ensure your sit-down

meal isn’t ruined by splashing sauces and bouncing potatoes and have people on hand to keep your buffet topped up and to explain what the dishes on offer are. If serving canapés, make sure they are plentiful, hot where applicable, and easy to eat whilst juggling a glass of champagne. What you serve at the reception says a lot about you as a couple, and reflects the affection you have for your guests and the other members of the wedding party.

Menu ideas We have put together some great ideas for impressive canapés from Lough Rynn Castle and a stunning sample menu to inspire your starters, main courses and desserts.


Platinum Menu Option by Lough Rynn Castle

STARTERS (Choice of two starters) Tian of Fresh Irish Crab with Avocado, Ginger, Chillies and Coriander Dressing Tian of Smoked Chicken and Mango, Mixed Leaves and Tarragon Vinaigrette Warm Buckwheat Tartlet of Ardsallagh Goat’s Cheese, Mixed Leaves and Cider Vinaigrette

Pan-fried Duck Breast, Carrot and Potato Gratin, Mixed Vegetables with Honey and Thyme Sauce Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass, Pea Risotto, Mixed Vegetables, Saffron Velouté Fillet of Arctic Charr, Tomato Compote, Turned Potatoes with Basil Cream Sauce

Guinea Fowl and Mushroom Terrine with Gribiche Sauce

Roasted Fillet of Organic Salmon, Tomato and Basil Mash Potato with Black Olive Cream Sauce

Terrine of Thornhills Confit of Duck and Foie Gras, Mixed Leaves and Walnut Vinaigrette

Fillet of Monkfish, Ratatouille, Turned Potatoes with Red Pepper Coulis

Tiger Prawns and Avocado Timbale, Marie Rose Sauce

Atlantic Turbot, Truffle Mash, Roasted Fennel Cream Sauce

Pan Fried Foie Gras, Mushroom Duxelle, Sautéed Apple and Toasted Brioche

DESSERT (Choice of two desserts) Trio of mini desserts with chocolate sauce


Chocolate Mousse with a Milk Cloud

Cream of Cauliflower with Chilli Beignets

Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Raspberry Coulis

Leek and Potato Soup with Chive Crème Fraiche

Raspberry Crème Brûlée with Shortbread Biscuits

Cream of Carrots and Coriander Soup

Selection of Cheeses with Savoury Biscuits

Classic French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup with Basil Oil

Baileys Cheesecake with Coffee Anglaise

Seafood Bouillabaisse

Lough Rynn’s Jaffa Cake with a Nougatine Cream



Mango and Passion Fruit Sorbet

Freshly brewed tea and coffee

Champagne and Strawberry Sorbet

With Petit Fours

Apple and Calvados Sorbet Blackberry and Pepper Sorbet MAIN COURSE (Choice of two main courses) Pan-fried Fillet of Beef, Roasted Shallot Ragout, Creamed Potatoes with Red Wine Jus Roasted Rump of Lamb, Red Pepper Cous Cous with Garlic Red Wine Jus Chicken Breast with an Asparagus Mousse, Gratin Potato, Green Peppercorn Velouté

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


cake A perfect

for a perfect day Your wedding cake will be a huge focal point at your reception, so you want something that has style and elegance and is really going to wow your guests and make a statement


edding memories are meant to be cherished for a lifetime and the cake should be just as special. The wedding cake goes back as far as the Roman empire. There was a custom where the cake was broken over the bride’s head. Needless to say, this is no longer practiced and thankfully, considering the size of some wedding cakes today! According to the history

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books, the reason for this is that the breaking of bread over the bride’s head symbolised the breaking of the bride’s virginal state and the subsequent dominance of the groom over her…charming! In the 17th century, there was a popular dish called the Bride’s Pie. The pie was filled with mince and sweet breads and there was a special ‘ingredient’ which was a glass ring. It was


claimed that the lady who found the ring would be the next to marry. In the 19th century, cakes became more popular with the earliest cakes being single tiered and later evolving into multi-tiered masterpieces. Typically, wedding cakes were white. The colour white denoted purity and the cake was known as the bride’s cake. This highlighted the bride

as the central figure of the wedding, and we see that still today. Brides nowadays don’t always go for the white wedding cake, but sometimes the icing on the cake matches the colour scheme chosen by her for the bridesmaids and décor. Today’s wedding cakes come in all shapes and sizes. The single-tiered cake has now become multi-tiered and can

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


be made from sponge, fruit, chocolate, meringue etc. The cutting of the cake is the first task that the bride and groom perform as husband and wife. Tradition used to have it that the top tier of the cake would be saved for the christening of the couple’s first child. The saving of the cake is still widely practiced, but can be used for many occasions as decided by the bride and groom.

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The Perfect Cake You can order your wedding cake from a caterer or a bakery. Some hotels and restaurants may also be able to provide a wedding cake, but ordering from a bakery that specialises in weddings will result in a more unique cake. Next to the bride and groom, the wedding cake is the showpiece for the wedding. Although most wedding cakes still have white frosting, the actual flavours and shapes now vary greatly. Just about any flavour cake can be used to make a wedding cake, whether it’s carrot or chocolate! The traditional wedding cake consists of three tiers. The tiers may be set on top of each other or separated by columns. Some bakers can prepare cakes in

special shapes, such as a heart or gift box. If you’re looking for a unique shape, verify that the baker has done something like it before. Cake decorations may include fresh or sugared flowers and foliage, ribbons or edible pearls. Remember, the cost of the cake largely depends on the labour required, so the more elaborate your decorations, the more expensive the cake. Size is determined by the number of guests. Choose the flavour you want, the most common being chocolate, carrot, rum, white, lemon and biscuit. You can also add a filling to your cake such as custard, strawberry and chocolate sauce or always consider having tiers with different flavours if you and your groom have varying

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Tips on planning your perfect wedding cake: ❣❣ If you’re planning to use a cake topper other than flowers, be sure to discuss it with your baker. Some porcelains and heavier cake toppers need to be anchored down into the cake. The traditional cake toppers are small figurines of the bride and groom. ❣❣ Your cake knife and toasting glasses should complement the overall setting; these items will forever bring happy memories of your wedding. ❣❣ The couple cut the cake together, the bride cutting the first two slices with the groom’s hand placed over hers. The groom feeds the bride first, followed by the bride feeding the groom.

have a friend or family member get a quick lesson on how to set up the wedding cake. You can also check for individuals who bake from their home – it’s less expensive than ordering from a bakery and can make for a more personal experience. Some bakeries require a deposit for columns and plates, while some use disposable ones that save you the rental fee and hassle of returning the items. ❣❣ To save money for the cake topper, knife and toasting glasses, you can borrow from a friend or family members as ‘something borrowed’ is an age-old tradition we all know well!

❣❣ Toasting glasses are used to toast each other after you cut the cake. These are usually decorated with ribbons or flowers and placed near the cake, making for a beautiful wedding photograph. ❣❣ To save money, compare the taste, type and quality. Some bakers don’t have set-up and delivery fees, while others do. In order to save money for the fee,

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Selecting a baker Once again, check with friends for recommendations. When you visit a bakery, be sure to taste test the flavour of cake you are interested in. The baker should also have pictures of cakes they have done before so that you can select a style you like. If you’d like to save the top tier for your first anniversary, be sure to let the baker know this up front. As a frozen cake may not be tasty, many couples have the baker prepare a fresh cake on their first anniversary. Questions to ask: ❣❣ How long have they been baking wedding cakes? tastes. This option should keep everyone happy!

Variations on the wedding cake You may be looking to do something different, or (heaven forbid) not be much of a cake person! Either way, there are lots of alternatives to the traditional wedding cake, whether you want to include an extra dessert or replace the cake outright. ● The cupcake cake has been a hit at many weddings in the past couple of years. It gives you the option to have lots of different flavours and styles of decoration. The cupcakes can be served as a tower with the beauty and formality of the tiered cake, or on platters as part of a dessert buffet. They have the added bonus of being quick and easy to transport to the reception venue and serve to your guests. ● A sweet buffet is a charming way to offer your guests a delicious variety and even give

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❣❣ May I see photos of some of the cakes you have done? ❣❣ Will the cake be fresh or frozen ahead of time? ❣❣ Do you have a speciality cake? ❣❣ How will the cake be delivered? ❣❣ How and where will the cake be assembled? ❣❣ Are there fees for delivery, assembly etc.?


a nod to your childhood. The options are limitless – you can choose from luxury chocolates and macaroons for a more formal feel to retro favourites such as dolly beads, cola bottles and love hearts. Remember to provide a few spoons for each bowl and place a sign asking guests not to handle the sweets to avoid spreading germs! ● For summer weddings, you can’t go wrong with an ice cream buffet. Provide beautiful sundae glasses with a variety of favourite flavours and toppings for guests to customise their own ice creams. You can also hire a professional to whip up spectacular creations and entertain all at once! Other great frozen options are the healthier frozen yoghurt,

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invigorating sorbet and stylish champagne ices. ● The classic croquembouche or croque-en-bouche is a French dessert meaning ‘crunch in the mouth’. Served as a high pyramid of profiteroles bound together with expertly-spun sugar, it has been a popular choice for weddings in France and Italy for decades. The croquembouche can be decorated lavishly with caramel, sugar-sculpted flowers and pearls, ribbons, chocolates, or anything else you can imagine. ● Like the cupcakes, cake pops can be served in a tower, on plates and trays, or three to a pretty glass. There is so much you can do with their small, round form – we’ve seen cake pops dipped in edible glitter, with topped

with sugared roses, covered in sprinkles, even iced in edible wedding dresses and tuxedos! There are so many great options to customise these adorable mini-cakes to suit your wedding’s colour scheme and theme. ● A pancake station could get a little messy, so isn’t a great choice for the more formal wedding. You can have a lot of fun with this if your wedding has more of a relaxed atmosphere. Set up your station with a professional chef flipping pancakes for your hungry guests and a range of toppings such as fresh fruit, warm Nutella and chocolate syrup. Easy to serve with disposable plates and napkins, your guests will enjoy this social dessert option.

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T: 021 428 9155, 087 980 8571 The DefinitiveW: Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day E:



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It’s time to get busy and

get gorgeous


ou’ve got the dress, flowers for the tables and everything in between but there’s still tons to do before that walk down the aisle. Nothing is more beautiful than the natural glow of happiness that becomes every bride, but to help that glow along, you need to start planning your beauty routine at least six months in advance of the big day.

HAIR Great bridal locks require a little love and devotion. We all know that washing, blow-drying, and heat-styling on a daily basis can make for split ends. Start repairing from the inside out. Experts believe that a diet filled with Vitamin B helps bring out your hair’s natural shine – dull hair can actually be a symptom of a Vitamin B deficiency. Foods like fish, nuts, and eggs will give you a good head start. An invigorating scalp massage and deep conditioning treatment, about 4 weeks prior to the event, not only feels good,

Don’t leave your big day down to chance. Understand the beauty treatments you want and prepare your skincare and nail care regime well in advance. Beauty Tips from Cara Kagan but stimulates the hair follicles and adds body. Despite what many bottles claim, there is no way to repair damaged ends – once your hair breaks, get a trim. To revive fading colour and disguise roots without the damaging effects of a chemical process, New York City stylist and salon owner Antonio Prieto recommends using a vegetable dye to add shine, deepen colour and temporarily cover roots. It should buy you another month without chemicals. More practical and timeefficient still is simply changing your parting. “Combing your hair toward your face rather than away from it calls less attention to the hairline,

where greys and roots are most visible”, says Patrick Melville, the artistic director of the Warren-Tricomi Salon in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Centre.

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


For minimal frizz, few flyaways and a bouncy blow-dry, switch your dryer to the ‘cold’ setting for the entire process, suggests Fabrice, top stylist at the Frédéric Fekkai Salon in New York. “It takes longer”, he concedes, “but it’s the only way to power-dry your hair without actually drying it out, and gives you much more body and shine.” Although colouring fine hair can give it more texture, Melville recommends avoiding cool and light shades. “If you go too light, hair will appear transparent, and that will call attention to thinning spots. Golden, warmer, denser colours are less see-through.”

HANDS AND NAILS It is extremely important to take good care of your hands, especially before your wedding and as it’s your left hand’s time to shine, attracting its fair share of attention on the day, it’s important to get your nails ready to complement that shiny new wedding ring! We’ve all been indoctrinated to slather sunscreen on our faces, but our hands still seem to be getting short shrift. While the age spots, lines, wrinkles and redness that mar our complexions can be tackled to some extent with a laser or Botox, the hands, due to the thinness of the skin and their lack of fat, are not good candidates for any of these high-power anti-aging methods, so use an SPF hand cream like La Prairie’s. A good manicure improves the health and texture of your hands and fingernails, helps prevent hangnails and snagged cuticles and the accompanying hand

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massage improves circulation. To elongate fingers and make your hands look younger, more feminine and graceful, file your nails in a perfect oval shape. The almond-shaped nail is to the hands what the stiletto is to legs! Yes, you really can prevent polish from thickening by storing it in your fridge.

EYES An age-old error when tweezing our own brows is doing one at a time. Getting trapped on one eye guarantees uneven results. Alternating back and forth between brows and standing back to take in the full effect once in a while will minimise mistakes. When filling in eyebrows, use a brow pencil or powder that is one shade lighter than your

hair colour. Otherwise, you risk the effect being too harsh and unnatural. You’re not looking to add colour, just shade in the patchy areas. To get beautiful brows that go the distance, Christian Dior make-up artist Pati Dubroff first uses a pencil, then a matching brow powder. ‘A pencil by itself doesn’t have much staying power, and powders never have enough oomph,’ she explains. ‘Put the two together and the result is perfection!’ To prevent smudges, first apply all eye make-up except mascara. Then apply foundation, followed by concealer. Shadows always fall off the eye, eyeliners always smudge,and putting foundation over concealer pulls it off. This



Hair Studio

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Nude shades enliven skin only if lip-toned, with a hint of rose or mauve

order keeps your make-up pristine and saves you time. To make eyes look instantly brighter and more awake, add a dab of subtle shimmer to the corner of the inner eye, just above the tear duct. This is absolutely the best eye-opener. High Beam by Benefit is great for this task. Whether your eyelids are red from seasonal allergies or lack of sleep, you can deflect the discolouration by applying a flesh-toned pencil, such as Giorgio Armani’s Smooth Silk eye pencil in No.1 along the lower lash line. Armani’s Tim Quinn says, “Smudge it lightly with your finger or a Q-tip after applying, and it invisibly conceals a multitude of sins! You can cover it with colour if you’re going for the smoky effect.” For long, lush lashes without

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clumping, first apply a thickening mascara with a big brush, such as Catrice’s The Giant. Next, use a separating one with a smaller brush or comb that gets closer to the roots, such as Maybelline’s Lash Discovery. For an immediate dash of alertness, use a white pencil on top of shadow to draw a vertical line on the eyelid from just above the pupil to the brow bone, then smudge it with your finger. Two to try: Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Blanc and Armani’s Smooth Silk in No.0. Rather than try to define eyes by drawing a line across the eyelids, the pros unanimously recommend using a pencil to fill in the spaces between each lash. Get your pencil as close to your lashes as possible and make a teeny dot between each one. Smudge with your finger or a

Q-tip – the effect is softer, sexier and smokier without the harsh lines.

LIPS Instead of lining lips with a pencil that matches your lipstick many make-up artists now use clear and nude pencils. Pencils are waxy and lipsticks are creamy, a coloured pencil will last longer than your lipstick. For added staying power, after lining your lips with a neutral pencil, fill them in with a pencil that matches your lipstick. Top by applying your lip colour with a brush. A lip brush helps to blend the pencil into your lipstick so that both will wear longer. The darker the lipstick, the smaller lips will look and the more washed-out the skin; bluebased tones whiten teeth, while yellow and orange tones can


have a dingy effect. Nude shades enliven skin only if lip-toned, with a hint of rose or mauve. Nothing is more deadening than a beige or taupe lip.

SKIN Using under-eye concealer is a don’t when it comes to blotting out a blemish. ‘Since it is meant to hydrate, it is too oily to adhere to a pimple and may even make it look worse’, says makeup artist Laura Mercier. Instead, go for a concealer specially created for blemishes, such as Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, or use an oil-free stick foundation. To get rid of sheet marks or those left by a massage cradle, Joanna Czech, owner of New

York City’s Sava Spa, suggests massaging the face and applying ice-cold compresses to stimulate circulation. Vibrant shades of blush that look intimidating in the packaging are far more natural and fresh-looking than tones that are muted with hints of brown and grey. True rose can be beautiful, but no one, no matter her skin tone, flushes dusty rose. While many women avoid using blush because they’re afraid it will make them look clown-like, makeup artists swear by it as a tool for achieving a fresh and youthful look. Benefit’s lip and cheek tints are ideal for the more subtle bride – Benetint and Posietint are cult products that

will bring a natural flush to your look and are perfect for carrying on the day for quick touch-ups. ‘People try to imitate a tan by applying bronzer all over their face, but this looks completely fake,’ says Chanel makeup artist Susan Sterling. ‘Instead, think about imparting luminosity.’ Use a big, fluffy brush to sweep the faux glow onto cheekbones, forehead, chin and brow bones – the places that naturally get


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the most colour. Don’t forget your décolletage and neck. Applying to the sides of the nose will create a slimmer illusion. Clean up less-than-crisp lip lines and other smears with a flat concealer brush dipped

in foundation. A cotton swab will wipe away everything, even the make-up you want to stay put. The brush lets you apply a thin layer of foundation that camouflages smudges without removing the make-

up underneath. You can’t beat this technique for creating a beautiful and clean lip line.

TREAT! pply a topical acne treatment A containing benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid or salicylic acid over your entire face, not just where blemishes have already appeared. At night, use a drying spot treatment product and dab oilfree moisturiser on dry areas. In the morning, apply an oil-free sunscreen gel over the face. For whiteheads, run the corner of a flannel under a hot tap, then hold the corner to the offending blemish until it grows cool. This brings all the fluid to a head, and you should then be able to slide the whitehead off.

CONCEAL Use a small make-up brush

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Hair and make up by Sarah Clancy

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At Evanna we offer a wide range of beauty and complementary treatments, we specialise in anti-ageing & holistic treatment and bridal make-up

Mon to Sat 11am – 8pm Sun 12pm – 7pm

• Shellac & Gel Nails • Mary Cohr & Crystal Clear skincare • Microdermabrasion & Glycolic Facials • Jane Iredale mineral make-up

60 fountain Street, ferrybank, Waterford t: 089 207 2794 e:

Gift VoucherS aVailable

The Faythe, No 81, Wexford Town T: 053 9170848 E:

to dab concealer or cream foundation (in the exact shade of your skin) directly onto the blemish. Use a fingertip to wipe away excess concealer around the blemish and if necessary, apply another coat of concealer. If the make-up becomes cakey, carefully wipe it off and start over. Gently brush powder (in the same shade as your skin) on top of the concealer.

HOW TO GET RID OF BLEMISHES Wash your face with a gentle oil and fragrance-free cleanser, preferably a non-detergent labelled pH balanced. If you have oily skin all over your face, use a cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Don’t scrub – irritated skin swells around the pores and causes breakouts.●Skip toner unless your face is very oily – it can dry out the skin.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE If you have oily skin and feel that you need toner, apply it only on the T-zone and rinse off afterward (leaving it on can dry the skin). Use a clay mask as often as every three days to absorb excess oil. To stop redness and swelling in an emergency situation (such as your wedding!), ask your doctor for a cortisone injection. It calms down a pimple almost instantly. If you can’t get to your dermatologist (or needles make you squeamish), temporarily reduce redness and swelling by dabbing on a drop of drugstore cortisone cream, Preparation H or Vasocon-A eye drops.

HAIR & BEAUTY SERVICES For an award-winning experience Bizzy Fingers, in Enniscorthy, Wexford specialises in creative styling, up styling and colouring. The award-winning salon is run by Fidelma English a highly qualified stylist who trained at Robert Chambers Academy in Dublin and has over 20 years of experience. Fidelma says “I have a great passion for my work and I expect high standards at all times from myself as well as stylists that work with me, I love what I do!” Fidelma has a wide range of clients, male and female, young and the young at heart and is driven by the day-to-day challenges that running her own business provides, creative and otherwise! She has competed in many hairdressing competitions such as the Alfaparf Fantastic Hairdresser 2013 and City West’s Hair Wars. Sit back, relax and be spoiled at Sandra’s Hair Studio in Hacketstown Road, Carlow. The salon has an enthusiastic team of top stylists, master degree colour technicians and hair extension experts who between them have over 20 years experience and industry knowledge. Cutting, colouring, micro beading extensions, top salon products, creative upstyling, and hair and make-up packages are just some of the services offered for that night on the town or your special day. The salon offers an enjoyable, high standard experience with ambient surroundings. To ensure your crowning glory is perfect for your big day Ravens Hair Salon in Limerick will help you get the right look for your day, whether it be from a magazine or simply your own imagination. Top stylists will guide you and aim to make the run up to your big day as special and stress free as possible. Make-up services are also available and our talented on-site make-up artist

can help you create that perfect look! We always aim to give our customer the best value and will work out a budget that suits you! We aim to make the run up to your big day as special and stress free as possible. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trial, bring a friend and make some memories! Trust Evanna Beauty Wexford to take care of all your beauty needs for your big day. We are a team of highly qualified staff with over 10 years experience; all are qualified Jane Iredale make-up artists with specialised wedding make-up training. Get ready for your big day with all the latest up-to-day treatments designed to have you looking and feeling great. We offer an extensive range of facial and body treatments – microdermabrasion, Catio Lift facials, IPL skin rejuvenation, ionthermie anti-cellulite body treatments, Vita Liberata organic tan, flawless mineral make-up with great coverage, gel nails and semi-permanent mink lashes – you name it, we have it covered. We will look after you in a professional, friendly, relaxed manner in salon or in the comfort of your own home. Book your trial and check out the standard of what we can do. See us on Facebook and check our web site at To help relieve the stresses and strains of organisation your big day, Baan Thai Massage in Ferrybank, Waterford offer a wide range of relaxing stress relieving and therapeutic massages. Whether you want a 20 minute massage or a two hour massage we can facilitate you.  Got a match or marathon coming up? Try our pre-sports massage where we can work on particular areas of your body so you reek the amazing benefits from this massage and perform to your true potential.

fabulous on your LOOK

BIG day At Sugar Dolls we specialise in nails, beauty treatments and sunbeds. We have complete packages on offer but you can also put together a package tailored to suit each bride. Gold Treatments: • • • • •

Sunbed course (60mins) Gel Nails Dermalogica segment treatment SPA pedicure Shellac/Gelish hands and toes

Silver Treatments: • • • • • •

Dermalogica Microzone treatment Shellac/Gelish nails • Classic manicure Spray tan • Make-up False lashes Brow shape + brow and eyelash tint File and toe polish

Other beauty treatments available include: waxing, Novalash extensions and nail art.


3 x Silver e65 1 Gold + 2 x Silver e 90 2 x Gold + 1 Silver e 110 2 Gold + 2 Silver e12 5

HEN NIGHT PACKAGES Would you like to pamper yourself during your hen night? We can organise a special event for you and your girlfriends to make the hen night more fun and glamorous.

We are located in Dublin 22 and Dublin 15. Please call us 01 616 6943 (Liffey Valley SC) or 01 534 0573 (Blanchardstown SC) for more details.

Castle weddings For a true fairytale wedding, a castle is an obvious choice.


ere in Ireland, we are renowned for having a wealth of beautiful and historic castles to choose from, spanning the entire country and many different ages. Steeped in romance, an Irish castle wedding is a dream come true for many couples and wherever you want to tie the knot, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one. Lough Rynn Castle, Co. Leitrim, is one of Ireland’s leading wedding venues. Set on an isthmus between Lough

32 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

Rynn and Errew, it offers you a stunning backdrop for your wedding day. For that fairytale touch, explore the Castle estate with its walled gardens and 300 acres of natural beauty that provide the ideal setting for those timeless photographs. On entering the Castle itself, you are offered a red carpet welcome and champagne arrival before being seated for a sumptuous meal.

The wedding package at Lough Rynn includes a range of accommodation, including luxurious suites, large hotel rooms and the private Courtyard rooms. The wedding planning team are available to consult with you on all the details, and offer you a complimentary menu tasting prior to the big day. The Castle is registered to host civil ceremonies, and can host up to 320 people for reception in the Grand Ballroom. See our Wedding Menus section on pages 11 and 13 for a small sample of the gorgeous food the chefs at Lough Rynn have to offer.



musical entertainment

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and choosing the right style of music is an essential part of the planning process.


ride and grooms who want to add the X-Factor to their special day should consider including the exclusive sounds of The Saxophone Lounge. The Saxophone Lounge is the creation of Bill Finnegan, a saxophonist with over 15 years experience in the music

industry. Bill, accompanied by professionally produced backing tracks, can play a vast repertoire of tunes, ranging from light jazz and Latin right through to classic and current popular songs. The classy instrumental sound created is warm and cheerful creating the perfect atmosphere. The volume is kept to a level where guests can chat freely and enjoy a tipple. The Saxophone Lounge can play for two hours or more at any time specified by the bride and groom and is ideal for ceremonies, cocktail receptions and wedding breakfasts.


For more information and to hear music samples log onto



Create the perfect atmosphere at your wedding with the cool sophisticated instrumental sounds of ‘The Saxophone Lounge’. Available for ceremonies, cocktail receptions and wedding breakfasts. Log on to to hear music samples. Email or call Bill on 00353 (0)774 502 The Definitive Guide toYour Perfect5875 Wedding Day


A very vintage

tea party Have you considered having a vintage tea party style wedding reception? Afternoon tea party receptions are becoming more popular for weddings. What better way to celebrate your wedding than in grand vintage fashion? By Karrena Legg, Oh So Sweet Occasions


fabulous vintage tea party reception is a great option to keep guests entertained while photos are being taken and can be achieved on any budget. Here are some tips for creating your perfect vintage tea party on this incredibly special occasion.

Creating your style A vintage tea party is a lovely and

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indulgent way to celebrate your wedding. Begin with deciding on the style of your tea party to create the full vintage experience. The options are endless from 1920s decadence, to 1950s retro or secret garden party. Draw upon your own interests and add your own personal twist whether that is Downton Abbey, a particular colour scheme or a touch of festival chic. If you have a passion for a certain era


The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


or theme then indulge yourself and fill your tea party with pretty vintage details. Do your research and develop ideas for your tea party. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and will allow you to put together an ideas board for creating your perfect vintage tea party. Alternatively you may wish to work with a vintage china and props supplier and create a shared Pinterest board to develop your ideas. There are wealth of different options available but remember to keep it personal and make it special for those you wish to be

36 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

there. Your personality should be reflected in your big day and leave a lasting memory with your guests.

From drawing room to tea room Where and when will your tea party be held? Finding the right location for your tea party is essential and will allow you to set the scene. A tea party is as enjoyable indoors as it is outside in the summer sunshine. Options to consider include outside the church after your wedding ceremony, in a beautiful garden


fruit cocktail make the perfect tipple and can be served in pretty teacups or glass jars. As an alternative champagne or sparkling wine can add a touch of luxury to your tea party and will go well with fresh summer berries and cake. Match food and drinks to the style of your vintage tea party and include some of your own personal touches.

Where to find the vintage look

(have a plan B for weather changes) or your wedding reception venue. Think about what venue or location will work with the style of your tea party. For example, sometimes bunting can look out of place in a big stately home. Consider if there is enough space for all your guests or do you need a smaller space for a more intimate garden style tea party?

Delicious cake and tea party tipples

china, yummy cake and tea. For those that are budget conscious a vintage tea party could be the perfect solution. Your menu can be as simple or extravagant as you like from dainty finger sandwiches with a variety of fillings to cupcakes, colourful macaroons or naked cakes. Tea and coffee are not the only drink options available for a tea party reception. Homemade lemonade, Pimms or a summery

Do you have the right teacups, plates and so on? You can create the setting with beautiful china tea sets, fresh flowers and pretty tablecloths. Look around your home and speak to family and friends to source vintage china and props. You may be surprised by how many treasures are

There is something so sophisticated about a fabulous vintage tea party with beautiful

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discovered, hiding away in the back of cupboards or the garden shed. Once you’ve exhausted family and friends other vintage items can purchased from antique shops, auction houses, car boot sales, charity shops or online. If all else fails then many home accessory shops sell vintage inspired pieces that can be mixed in with your other vintage items to recreate the look. China is only the beginning. Props, decorations and assorted tea party paraphernalia will bring everything together and make your tea party

unforgettable for all the right reasons. Everyday items can be used to create unusual displays such as old leather suitcases, books and bird cages. If you or your friends are talented crafters then a tea party

can be a great opportunity to showcase your DIY skills. There are some really simple DIY projects that can look striking and add to the vintage tea party atmosphere. You could try making your own bunting, creating vases from old glass jars or even DIY cake stands. If you would prefer a more relaxed approach then consider using a vintage tea party company to help you turn your vision into reality. A specialist company can help you recreate the elegance and fun of a tea party, transport you to a nostalgic world of vintage style and leave you to enjoy your special day. There are many local businesses that provide this service and can offer that personal touch while working within your budget. Let your imagination run wild but more importantly enjoy the whole tea party experience!

Karrena Legg, Owner of Oh, So Sweet Occasions With a background in marketing and events it has always been a dream of Karrena’s to start her own business and use her creative skills. Oh So Sweet incorporates both her love of anything sweet and the opportunity to be creative when designing themed events. Karrena’s passion for vintage tea parties started with happy memories of Sunday afternoon tea with the family. Always a warm, loving atmosphere and friendly chit chat. The table was always set with a beautiful table cloth, china cups and saucers, sandwiches cut into triangles and mouth watering cakes. Whether you are planning a vintage themed hen party or a relaxing afternoon with friends an Oh So Sweet event is a lovely and indulgent way to celebrate your occasion. Check out Oh, So Sweet Occasion’s website

38 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

Caricatures with a personal touch Bring your wedding to life and help make it a day to remember with leading event and wedding caricature artist, Hughie Glynn WHO IS HUGHIE GLYNN? By the age of 11 I realised that I wanted to study and work in the field of art and design for the rest of my life. I went to Dun Laoghaire School of Art & Design (now known as Blackrock College) and went on to study Graphic Design. From there I worked as a free­lance artist and it was during those early years that I discovered my own style of painting, especially with caricatures. I carried out some commissions for corporate events, birthdays etc., and as I developed my style it got recognition, especially within the equestrian fraternity, with Lester Piggott being one of a few recipients back then, to take notice of my work. My caricature style stood out as well as the expected over­emphasised, exaggerated features that are typical of caricature work, it also included those little personal details – I would include a recipient’s

40 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

musical taste, their mannerisms, favourite comments, sporting affiliation, anything that made an individual the person that they were. My caricatures are like a biographical storyboard with narrative and are visually humorous and highly informative at the same. I create original, hand­painted, exclusive pieces of ‘artwork’ and carry out caricatures for weddings, corporate events, or as presentation gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and many other events.

Wedding boards My wedding board caricatures are very detailed as I add some humour, with not just the visual, but with what I like to call the ‘Mike Myers mini me’ look! The bride and groom are captured

in a mini time capsule while the surrounding framed mount is adorned with wonderful keepsake comments by friends and loved ones.

Evening entertainment caricatures I also work with the traditional Parisian medium of charcoal and pencil. This medium allows me creativity as the charcoal itself takes on its very own look and finish, making each piece highly individual and different to each sitter. I love working with the charcoal pencils as it’s very quick, only minutes to complete a single pose. The guests have great craic being involved and derive great enjoyment when they view their finished pieces. A bride and groom typically hire my services for 2-­3 hours, right up until the main meal call


announcement. The wedding guests are therefore entertained while the wedding party are traditionally having their photos taken after the church ceremony.

Wedding invites Many couples today want to make their big day very unique, and highly personal, and by designing your own invites this can be achieved. I can carry out, to whatever your own specifications are, black and white or full colour caricature artwork for your stationary. You also get the added bonus of receiving an original piece of artwork that can be framed up for prosperity! The artwork size is A4, so I can include the details

required, and when it’s reduced down in scale the sharpness intensifies producing a ‘stand out’ fun image!

Hughie with Saoirse Ronan

Portaiture commissions I also carry out traditional portraits using various mediums depending on your taste and budget. Visit my bespoke portraits website www.portraitsfromphotos. ie to see the many samples that I have carried out. I have been painting portraits and creating illustrational works of art for well over 20 years now. A commissioned portrait is a highly personal and totally unique gift that not alone captures the life and soul of the recipient, but it also offers you

the client the best opportunity to express your love or admiration towards that person.

Former clientelle have included... Saoirse Ronan, Patrick Bergin, Stephen Fry, Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh, Amy Huberman, Lester Piggott, Kathryn Thomas Sean 0’brien and Brian O’driscoll.

Caricatures Ireland Original artwork for: c weddings c communions c confirmations c corporate events c birthdays c anniversaries c presentation gifts

Visit my website to view samples of wedding and corporate guests alike enjoying themselves as I carry out this unusual entertainment service. For further information please contact Hughie Glynn – T: +353 086 8929072 E: or visit

Keeping the kids


More and more couples want to include children in their big day, whether it be their own children or children of family and friends that they don’t want to leave out. Contributed by Jennifer Cosgrove


ersonally, I think this is a lovely idea but there are a few things to remember when inviting children to the wedding, particularly if they are younger than the age of ten. ❣❣ Sitting still and quiet during a wedding ceremony is nearly impossible. ❣❣ Sitting still and quiet during a five hour wedding reception is definitely impossible ❣❣ The more the parents want to talk to the friends, the more attention the children need. ❣❣ The dance floor is a great place to run around and burn off energy – que sliding around the dance floor on their knees! ❣❣ Falling asleep on chairs will happen sooner or later – a wedding is a long day for everyone involved, it’s important to remember children will tire out and the day’s fun will disappear for everyone quite quickly if the

42 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

children are left tired, bored and irritated. With that in mind, couples ask me all the time how to entertain the children. Here are a few creative ideas for entertaining kids at your wedding:

CREATE A PLAY AREA FOR THEM Put in a low table covered with butcher paper stocked with crayons so they can work together to create a mural. Make sure to have extra paper for those artists who like to work solo. Another way to do this on a smaller scale would be to mark kids’ table seating with coloring placemats and crayons. This is a super simple and easy way to keep kids entertained at weddings, especially when waiting for the food to come. These sheets can be customized with the bride and groom’s

names and wedding date. They include a word search, connectthe-dots, tic-tac-toe, heartshaped maze and more. For those with separate kids’ tables, you can top the tablecloth with craft paper so youngsters can draw right on the tabletop and even craft crayon centerpieces for easy access and a cute touch for the younger crowd.

SERVE FOOD THEY WILL ENJOY Some children like to choose what they eat, so a kids’ buffet is a fun idea that will keep the group entertained for a while. If you don’t have enough children


will also get some amazing photographs and video!

ENTERTAINMENT If you have the budget, bring in some special entertainment. Caricature artists, face painters, and balloon artists are a small sample of the fun entertainment you can bring in for the children at your wedding. Or you can have a separate room with supervised Wii tournaments, kid’s DJ, movies and more!


attending to warrant a buffet, serve them a plated meal of kidfriendly food.

PUT UP A CHILDREN’S BAR Stock a children’s bar with soda, water and mixers to make Shirley Temples. It will make the kids feel special and it will keep them from crowding the adult bar.

KID-FRIENDLY MUSIC At some point in the evening, ask your entertainment to play kid-friendly music It doesn’t have to be for long, but the kids will have a blast if they have the opportunity to dance to some music that they recognize. You

The easiest way to keep kids entertained at weddings is to give them something to do! Create a scavenger hunt featuring wedding-themed items like a white dress, a delicious dessert, something blue (you get the idea) for a wedding activity for kids that will last the entire celebration. Provide a few disposable cameras and you may be surprised to see the activities you missed while they were off snapping pics of the items on their list. Plus, it’s another great way to gather some candid memories from your wedding!

separate kids-only photo booth to avoid rushing kids out of this wedding activity. Include funny hats, feather boas and the everpopular moustache on a stick. Etsy is a great place to search for wedding booth prop sets as well as printables to make your own. While these wedding activities for children can keep kids entertained at the wedding reception, you may want to hire a little help to watch over your youngest guests as well. Most of the time teenagers of the family are only too happy to help out, the children are familiar with them and you can still keep an eye on everything. It will help you and your guests relax and enjoy the wedding reception knowing the kiddos are staying out of trouble. Failing that, most hotels provide a babysitting service for guests at the hotel so when the celebrations get into full swing you can avail of this service, the children will be safe in their hotel rooms with a vetted babysitter and the parents can enjoy themselves too!

PHOTO BOOTH These are fast becoming a very popular feature of weddings the world over, a photo booth is the perfect way to keep guests of all ages entertained. Be sure to stock your photo booth with tons of dress-up items and photo props; you can even have a

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day



POWER Flowers are a vital part of any wedding.They help set the tone you’ve chosen for your wedding and can be used to transform your reception venue.


lowers for your wedding can also represent up to 20% of your wedding budget, so deserve some careful thought.

Finding a florist You want to be sure to select a florist that has experience

44 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

with weddings. You’ll not only be relying on them to provide the perfect flowers for your wedding, but to prepare and deliver them on time. It’s a good idea to take a look at some of their work, whether at photographs of past weddings or their website or Facebook

page. You want to select a florist that will listen to you and offer suggestions that are appropriate for your wedding. You should also check how many weddings they plan on doing on your date. Questions to Ask ❣❣ Does the florist specialise in weddings? ❣❣ How long have they been in business? How long have they been doing wedding flowers? ❣❣ Are they familiar with your ceremony and reception sites? ❣❣ How will the bouquets be assembled? ❣❣ When and where will the flowers be delivered? Is there an extra charge for delivery to your venue? ❣❣ Can you see samples of their work? Be sure to see work from the floral designer that will be working on your wedding.


❣❣ What flowers will be in season when your wedding takes place? ❣❣ If you have a specific budget for your flowers, ask the florist how you can get the most for your money. ❣❣ What is the current trend in wedding bouquets? Is it something that appeals to you or would you rather a more traditional bouquet? ❣❣ How many weddings does the florist have that day – or even that weekend? You want to be sure that they spend time on your floral arrangements and aren’t rushed.

❣❣ If you are looking for arches, trellises, vases, potted plants etc. can they rent them to you? ❣❣ If you would like to have your bouquet preserved after the wedding, can the florist do it? If so, how and what are the charges?

FLORAL TIPS by Jeri Solomon, Jeri Solomon Floral Design So, you’re planning your wedding! It’s an exciting time, but did you ever think there would be so many decisions to make? An important element of your wedding day is the flowers. Like with so many other parts of your wedding, you will have choices to make – from who will create your floral designs to what bud your groom will wear as a boutonniere. Here are some tips to assist you with some of these decisions.

So many florists, so little time! Start looking for a florist as soon as you have chosen your ceremony and reception sites, and the colour scheme for the bridal party. It is possible to start the process before you have these pieces, but the florist won’t be able to make the appropriate suggestions without this information to hand. A good way to find a reputable florist is to ask for recommendations. Many of the vendors

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you’ve already hired, such as photographers and caterers, may have their own suggestions. Function sites will often have lists of their preferred vendors also. After all, they work with floral designers at every wedding.

Who’s right for the job? You may have a flower shop or floral design studio to create your wedding flowers. Many floral studios specialise in weddings. Whomever you hire, you want to make sure that they do. When you interview designers, ask them how many weddings they do each year. There are so many details to a wedding, and you want to be assured that your floral designer is well versed. Most of the time, you will meet with a floral designer for a consultation. Make sure that the person you’re meeting with is the person who will be overseeing the flowers at your wedding. If you meet with one person, and another oversees the production of your arrangements, there is

46 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

room for miscommunication. Choose a designer with whom you are comfortable and who you trust. You will have a relationship with that person for many months during the planning stages, and you want to be confident that they are professional and listen to you.

I don’t know a tulip from a tiger lily! You may not know the names of flowers, but you know what you like and dislike. Before you meet with your potential floral designer, look through some magazines and websites to see if

there are styles of arrangements that you enjoy. Home and garden magazines often have pretty table arrangements to inspire and magazines featuring celebrity weddings always have great pictures. Cut or print out pictures and bring them to your consultation. A great exercise to do before you meet with a florist is to come up with adjectives to describe your personal style and perfect wedding. Words like dramatic, romantic, elegant, whimsical, fun and simple all conjure up very different ideas. Those ideas will help your designer choose the best varieties of flowers to create a look you love.

The Bouquet The bridal bouquet is one of the most beautiful and important elements of the bride’s attire. It should be carried low enough that the intricate details of your gown are visible. The traditional bouquet is made up of white flowers, but there are many designs, sizes, scents and colours to choose from.


Floral designs for your special day If you want a colourful bouquet, you can use roses, freesias, tulips, stock and gerbera. There are also fragrant flowers for bouquets such as gardenias, magnolias and wisteria. Your flowers should complement your gown, the colour scheme of your wedding, the season, attendants’ attire and the formality of your wedding. You can also use your favourite flower in your bouquet.

Quick tips:

❣❣ If you use delicate flowers that will not withstand the hours of heat or lack of water, make sure your florist uses a holder to keep them fresh. ❣❣ To save money, select a flower which is in bloom and plentiful at the time of your wedding. ❣❣ Avoid out-of-season flowers. ❣❣ If you have a favourite flower that is out of season or very costly, consider using a silk substitute.

Maid of Honour & ❣❣ If you are petite, you should Bridesmaids carry a smaller bouquet. ❣❣ A long cascading bouquet The Maid of Honour’s bouquet complements a simpler gown can be larger or a different and a tall bride. colour to the rest of the ❣❣ Final arrangements should bridesmaids’ bouquets. Award-winning specialist wedding florist be made well in advance to The bridesmaids’ bouquets Utopiaensure Flowers, Ballytruckle, Lower Grange, should Waterford the availability of the complement the bridal T: +353 (0)513 73400 E: flowers you have chosen. bouquet, but are generally

From the traditional bouquet to something with a twist of fun, we have the perfect flower arrangement for you

Donnybrook Dublin 4 T: 087 603 1121 W:


smaller in size. The colours should match with the dresses and colour scheme of the wedding. If your bridesmaid will be wearing a floral print, select a flower that will complement the print. Have your attendants carry a single stemmed rose, lily, or other suitable flower to give an elegant look.

Corsage If you wish to wear a corsage on your going-away outfit, have your florist create one. This will make for pretty photos as you and your new husband depart for your honeymoon. To save money, ask if your florist can design the bridal bouquet in such a way that the central flower can be removed and worn as the corsage. The groom

Utopia Flowers for your special day

Award-winning specialist wedding florist Utopia Flowers, Ballytruckle, Lower Grange, Waterford T: +353 (0)513 73400 E: The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


wedding and the preference of the bride. In a candlelit ceremony, the stand may be decorated with flowers and greenery for an elegant effect. For the aisle pews, a cluster of flowers, cascade of greenery or ribbons are all popular choices. They are used to mark the pews and add colour. You can also use candles with adorning greenery.

Reception site

is responsible for providing corsages for his mother and grandmothers. These should be coordinated with the colour of their dresses.

Boutonniere The groom wears his boutonniere on the left lapel, nearest to his heart. These are generally single blossoms such as rosebuds. The groom gives each man in his wedding party a boutonniere. The ring bearer may or may not wear one depending on his outfit. To save money, consider using a minicarnation instead of a rose.

Ceremony site Flowers add beauty, fragrance and colour to your ceremony. The purpose of flowers on the main altar is to direct the guests’ attention toward the front of the church. The flowers in the ceremony can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. If your ceremony is outside, you can decorate the

48 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

arch or gazebo that functions as an altar with flowers and greenery. In choosing a flower, consider the colour scheme and décor of your ceremony venue. Select a few dramatic showpieces that will complement the existing décor. Décor should be determined by the size and style of the building, the formality of your

The flowers at your reception should tie in with your style and colour scheme. Flowers can transform a stark reception hall into a warm, inviting and colourful room. For an evening reception, using a votive candle can create a romantic setting along walkways and around a pool. Use twinkling lights for a romantic effect and place them on indoor and outdoor trees. You can also rent indoor plants or small trees to give your reception a garden-like atmosphere. The head table is where the wedding party are seated during the reception. This table should be decorated with a larger, more dramatic centrepiece than the guest tables. To set the top table apart from the others, consider using different colours or a dramatic style of arrangement. At the guest tables, a small floral arrangement makes a popular centrepiece. The arrangement should complement the table linen and must be kept low enough so as not to hinder conversation


among guests seated opposite each other. Avoid using highly fragrant flowers where food is being served. You can also host your reception in a beautiful garden or by water, surrounded by nature’s beauty. To keep the cost down on guest tables you can use small potted flowering plants placed in white baskets, or consider using dried or silk flowers.

BOUQUET TYPES by Posy The posy had its heyday in Victorian times, when flowers were also the secret messengers of lovers, each flower having its own meaning. Thus, bridal

flowers were chosen with regard to their traditional significance. The posy fell out of favour in the first half of the 20th century, before slowly creeping back into fashion over the past few decades. Whether the end result is formal or loose and unstructured, there have always been two methods employed by florists to create posies. These are ‘natural stems’ (also called hand-tied) and ‘fully-wired’, where the stems of the flowers are removed and replaced with florists’ wire, then constructed into a much lighter posy with an easy-to-hold handle. As its name suggests, natural-stemmed posies look more informal, while the latter option gives a neat, polished effect. These two looks have

been combined in recent years (mainly under the influence of the Martha Stewart magazines and TV show), to form a third option called ‘wrapped stems’ – a combination of the two styles where the natural stems are wrapped in a beautiful ribbon or fabric, sometimes even embellished with pearl pins. In fact, the ribbon adorning

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a bridal bouquet is becoming almost as important as the flowers themselves, due to the popularity of lace, velvet and beading trims in the fashion world.

Biedermeier Another variation on the posy is the Biedermeier – carefully arranged concentric circles of coloured flowers, each ring containing a different type of flower. Originally from Switzerland in the late 1800s, this tightly structured bouquet often had lemon or orange peels added for fragrance. The Biedermeier is showing signs of popularity again due to its dramatic geometry and pleasing symmetry.

Nosegay The nosegay, traditionally a small bunch of flowers and / or herbs, was resurrected temporarily in the 1890s as a small, tight posy of small

50 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

flowers, often backed with stiff tulle. It was extremely popular for flower girls and bridesmaids, and is now surely due for another revival, perhaps reinvented with softer swathes or organza and larger flowers.

Arm Sheaves The arm sheaf first became popular for brides in the early 1900s under the name of ‘Bernhardt’ bouquets – inspired by the presentation bouquets given to the actress of the day, Sarah Bernhardt. This shape is held cradled in the arms, or more recently upside-down against the skirt of your gown. An arm sheaf is a good choice if you like the natural look of stems but want something a little larger and more dramatic than the classic posy. Usually larger than a posy, you may find it heavier, especially as one arm does most of the holding. The ribbon or binding treatment can be a feature in itself, so make

The fan enjoyed a fleeting popularity in the late eighties. Lacy plastic fans were embellished with carnations, baby’s breath and plenty of ribbon. Around the same time, some unfortunate brides, possibly badly affected by teasing their hair one time too many, chose to carry flowerfilled baskets. The sight of what appeared to be an overgrown flower girl walking down the aisle confused the wedding guests, who were already likely to be traumatised by the sight of the groom in a pale pink tux. While we may still be trying to forget and move on, it doesn’t take a great leap of faith to imagine a bevy of bridesmaids carrying elegant bamboo fans embellished with jewel-coloured orchids and rich, two-tone ribbon. Perhaps the fan is due for a revival as well!

Crescent Bouquet A crescent bouquet may be suitable for the bride who wants a small, unusual bouquet with more structure than a posy. It’s perfect for complementing a slim waist and hips, as it has a dainty, curved line. Surprisingly it has never reached dizzying heights of popularity, which means that this bouquet will never date your wedding photos!

Shower Bouquets Shower bouquets replaced posies as the bridal bouquet

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of choice around 1910. By 1920, this style became quite exaggerated, with larger and larger bouquets almost dwarfing the dress and concealing the bride! ‘Lovers’ knots’ were incorporated into the design – yards of ribbon streaming out of the bouquet featured knots along their length into which buds and foliage were inserted. Interestingly, the custom of tossing the bridal bouquet to unmarried girls is only half of the original tradition – the catcher of the bouquet was entitled to untie a lovers’ knot and the wish she made on doing so was said to come true. Lovers’ knots are the evolutionary forerunner of ‘swing flowers’ – tiny blossoms ‘swinging’ on narrow ribbons attached to the posy bouquet. After reaching their peak in the 30s, shower bouquets all but disappeared by WWII, their generously elaborate style at odds with the austerely simple suits worn by wartime brides. Corsages, now the sole premise of mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom, were often worn instead of a hand-held bouquet during war years. What used to be termed the shower, now became known as the multi-trail bouquet, and subsequently renamed the princess in honour of the late Princess Diana and her own impressive bouquet. The new shower bouquet regained top position in the 1980s, albeit in smaller sizes. The shower then gave rise to

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the popularity of the similar teardrop, trail and cascade bouquets. These are all variations in proportion and shape, with the most contemporary being the cascade. It features waterfall-shaped dimensions, the width across the top not much more than the width below. This gives a more natural, flowing look than the stiff point of the teardrop and

a neater look than the trail, which peaked in the 90s. Their long, elegant line can often be more flattering than the plump, round shape of the posy and complement elaborate and vintage gowns beautifully. Further information at: www. You’ll find a wide selection of wedding flowers to order online, delivered world-wide.

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Get creative:

Wedding centrepieces Flowers, candles, dazzling decorations and more – though they may not be the centre of attention (that should be you), the decorations that adorn the centre of the guests’ tables at a reception deserve a bit of careful consideration.

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raditional wedding centrepieces often revolve around floral arrangements, though the modern era welcomes initiative and contemporary style for just about anything. Unleash your creativity and explore new and memorable ideas for unique wedding centrepieces. Some of the most elegant and unusual decorative touches can exist even within a strict budget. Popular items to mix and match for creative centrepieces include: candles, flowers, glass bowls, ivy, mirrors, floating candles, foliage, fruit, branches, vintage books, pearls and other trinkets, feathers, wildflowers and everyday items spraypainted in gold or silver. Gather some of these or come up with your own and mix and match as you please to create something individual to you. Often, the reception hall may have standard centrepieces available onsite, but any good venue will be willing

56 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

to accommodate your own requests. If you are having your reception at a private location such as your home, a park or other non-commercial location, consider crafting your own wedding centrepieces. Below, some ideas are listed for more traditional centrepiece designs: ❣❣ Glass bubble bowls with ivy and a white or coloured pillar candle. ❣❣ Floral arrangement in a handmade ceramic pot or planter ❣❣ Mirror with a sculpted candle sitting upon it ❣❣ A small basket of coloured wildflowers in the wedding’s colour scheme If thoughts of generic pillar candles and flowers are not your idea of an ideal centrepiece, perhaps you need to spruce things up a bit. Listed below are a few ideas for simple yet stylish centrepieces: ❣❣ Shallow glass dish with floating candles and river rocks.

❣❣ Glass bowl with floating candles and rose petals. ❣❣ Small metal pail with seashells, flowers etc. ideal for a beach wedding. ❣❣ Small basket of flowers with love poem scrolls. When nature and the great outdoors are important to you, let them come out for the celebration! Let it be known at each table how much you and your fiancé enjoy the beauty of nature. Listed below are some examples that might be suited to a garden or countryside wedding: ❣❣ Painted birdhouses, matching the wedding’s colour scheme. ❣❣ Dainty teapots or cups and saucers – you could place a floating candle in the teacups. ❣❣ Small basket of flowers, herbs etc. ❣❣ Snow globes can be custommade and are ideal for a winter wedding with a few bright red berries and sprigs of holly. If none of these ideas


inspire you, start thinking of centrepieces your guests will talk about for years to come. Think unusual, creative and outrageous and see what you come up with! Your centrepieces should always reflect you. How about: ❣❣ Lucky bamboo plants, to share the luck of the newlyweds with their guests. ❣❣ Bonsai trees. ❣❣ A sweet jar with chocolate or

retro sweets from the new Mr. and Mrs. ❣❣ Glass bubble bowl with colourful beta fish and pretty stones or glass marbles to match – add floating petals and place a mirror below the bowl for an unusual special effect. ❣❣ Mini mailboxes or wishing wells with notepaper and pens for the guests to leave hints and advice for the newly married couple! Countless themes and colour schemes are available for brides and grooms to choose for their weddings, and the freedom to slect the perfect centrepiece adds another element of creative control to the planning process. No matter what your budget is, creative designs can be easily prepared and displayed with a

bit of time and careful crafting. When it comes to creating your centrepiece, have fun with it!

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


So, you thought choosing a wedding gown was exhausting? Now you have to deal with the bridesmaid dresses.This is the part of the wedding planning process where friendships are made or broken.

58 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


The ultimate guide to choosing

Bridesmaids DRESSES By Sara Elliott of


ridesmaids don’t want to upstage the bride, but they do want to look – well, not hideous. You’ve probably seen so many disastrous bridesmaid dresses in movies that they’re a cliché. Oh, you know – the Little-Bo-Peep dress with balloon sleeves, or the satin nightmare with puce stripes and a big ruffle to match. This brief primer will help you inject some sanity into the search for the perfect apparel

for your bridesmaids. Check it twice before you make a final decision. Your friends will thank you for your thoughtfulness.

IT’S YOUR WEDDING! The bride always has the final say in the choice of bridesmaid dresses. It’s not a dictatorship, though. Bridesmaids are responsible for paying for their gowns, so being considerate of their feelings is important if you want friends after the wedding.

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After discussing your wedding theme and colours with them, you may want to ask your bridesmaids for general suggestions about their dresses. Although it pays to be diplomatic, your opinion is the one that counts the most. A full-length bridesmaid dress will cost on average €200, so being mindful of your friends’ budgetary concerns is important, too. If you want a friend to participate in your

60 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

wedding who can’t afford to pay for a gown, you can opt to buy it for her. This may be sensitive territory, but if the alternative is for someone special to bow out of your wedding party because of financial concerns, it’s an option. If you have a wedding theme that includes specific colours, like autumn russets or spring pastels, then bridesmaid dress colours will be pretty easy to pick. If your colour options are more open, you can go with

a shade that will flatter your wedding gown or complement your flower choices. You can also choose colours that reflect the year’s wedding trends. A good idea is to choose your colour and fabric, and let your bridesmaids choose the cut, as one style might not fit all.

CHOOSING THE PERFECT DRESSES Let the bridesmaid dresses do the heavy-lifting of tying


together different elements of your theme. If you have three bridesmaids and want to choose three different complementary colours for them, pull it all together with your bridesmaid bouquets. By using the same flower varieties in three different colour ways, one for each bouquet, you can integrate the look with a minimum of fuss. Roses and miniature calla lilies are great for this because they’re available in so many colours. Add all three colours to your bridal bouquet, and you’ll have created a nicely unified composition with a custom look and feel. Let bridesmaids express their

personal style by selecting a colour and asking them to choose dresses in the same shade. When you lead with colour, it can solve a number of potential problems while still pulling everything together effectively. Your attendants need to get through the day in relative comfort, and the weather will have an impact on how fresh and friendly they’ll be feeling for the duration. In spring and summer, opt for lightweight fabrics like chiffon and silk. In fall and winter, go with heavier satins or even velvets if you like drama. You can play with textures and

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fabrics a little depending on the venue.

FASHION AND FUNCTION Choosing a style is one of the biggest challenges in the choice of bridesmaid gowns. Because body types can vary so much, it may be hard to find a single dress style that will flatter every woman on your list. Gown manufacturers have tried to make this easier by providing dresses in different styles that have unifying aspects in common, like fabric, colour or accessories. You can choose individual dresses that will flatter the wearers but still look similar enough to present an attractive and unified whole for the wedding ceremony and

62 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

photo ops afterward. Just be sure to order all the dresses at the same time. Fabrics can look very different depending on their associated dye lots, so make sure the bridal

shop knows they’re all for the same wedding. Accessory cover-ups can be lifesavers, too. A strategically placed shawl, scarf or even bolero can make a bodyconscious bridesmaid more comfortable with a dress style that works for everyone else in the party. Bridesmaid dresses are sized differently from manufacturer to manufacturer. Each bridesmaid will have to be measured for her gown and then wait to have the gown made or fitted to those unique measurements. This can take time and may require more than one fitting. Depending on the shop, dress manufacturer and time of year, lead times can vary from a few weeks to a few months. A good approach is to start the process as soon as you’ve selected the dresses. So, plan ahead and hold onto your sense of humour. If a bridesmaid goes on a diet, discovers she’s pregnant or decides gelato is the best breakup comfort food, you may be in for a little extra drama. We’d like to tell you that if you pick the right style and fabric, those bridesmaid dresses can be worn on multiple occasions. But we don’t want to lie to you. Bridesmaid dresses perform a unique and specific function, so they’re often hard to repurpose for everyday (or evening) wear. It’s only human for bridesmaids to want their investment to do double duty, but realistically it’s a long shot.

Your Perfect WEDDING

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our dress is the essence of the day. Your entire wedding is built around this iconic purchase. Whether you ran around at 6 with a pillowcase on your head or are white knuckled in fear at the thoughts of entering a bridal shop. The Courtyard truly understands the emotion behind this decision and pride themselves in making your visit as seamless as possible. The Courtyard has an exclusive secret weapon, international designer Caroline Castigliano. A Castigliano bride has the luxury of knowing she

will look magnificent from any angle. Focusing on fit and fabric, Caroline has perfected the art of the silhouette. From opulent Hollywood glamour to regal elegance, to boho chic, Caroline will capture and release your inner bride. Customer service is top priority. The team delights in making you feel welcome and special from the moment you set foot inside. Each bride and her entourage have the privacy of the entire boutique for her viewing. It also boasts enormous fitting rooms and plenty of room to walk, twirl,

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swish or dance should the feeling arise. The Courtyard for Brides is one of Dublin’s fastest growing bridal stores. This little oasis is just outside the city centre. Offering calm and serenity in a beautiful courtyard flanked by trees and a church. Its quaint location belies the sophistication of the boutique itself. The Courtyard truly is the epitome of style and luxury. It certainly comes highly recommended as a must visit. The Courtyard experience is without doubt one you will look back on and cherish forever.

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Popping the

question A proposal should be a special event that you will both remember for the rest of your lives...

64 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


For those who are in love, Bunratty Castle in Co. Clare is the ideal venue to bring your loved one for a very romantic proprosal

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


66 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day



hether you’re the one proposing or saying ‘yes’, here are some great locations and creative ideas to make it a truly memorable occasion. The Cliffs of Moher are an ideal place to pop the question, with a spectacular view and the option of a gorgeous sunset to win her over. The cliffs rise 394 feet above the magnificent Atlantic Ocean – what better place to go down on one knee? Just remember to stay well back from the edge! Resplendent with medieval tapestries, furniture and artefacts, Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare is the ideal venue to bring your loved one and is the

most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland. You can attend a medieval banquet complete with court musicians that will serenade your brideto-be if you phone ahead and inform them of your intention

to propose. A goblet of Bunratty Mead is also on offer! Whitefriar Street Church, Co. Dublin is home to the relics of St. Valentine. It has become a pilgrimage for those seeking

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T: 00353 (0)87 936 3769 E: The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day 67

With a spectacular view, the Cliffs of Moher are an ideal place to pop the question

and celebrating love. An ideal place to propose in the presence of the patron saint of lovers. Make it a surprise: Even if you’ve discussed getting married before, the proposal itself should come at an unexpected time and in a memorable location. Be prepared: You should consider what you’re going to

say and practice before the big moment so you don’t get tonguetied! There’s no need to write a big speech but a few heartfelt words can go a long way. Be creative: You can work your personality and favourite places or things to do as a couple into the proposal to make it memorable. Say it with flowers, balloons or even the

REAL STORIES... “Jamie and I had arranged to meet friends for my birthday. During the evening, he took me aside and gave me my birthday card. On the outside of the card it said, ‘This is no ordinary birthday card…’ and on the inside it said, “It’s a proposal”! He then handed me a box with my beautiful ring inside. To me, getting married wasn’t about having a ring on my finger. It was about making a promise to Jamie that no matter what happens, we’ll love each other enough to work through the bad times and embrace the good. Luckily for me, it also means I have my best friend by my side for the rest of my life.” Déarbhla Flynn

68 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

family pet! The possibilities are limitless. Make it intimate: If the movies are to be believed, every proposal takes place in front of a thousand cheering onlookers. Most women (and especially if your lady is on the more reserved side) prefer a more intimate and personal event between the two of you. Remember, you have plenty of time to share your engagement with others, but you only have that one magic moment. Do you have a great proposal story? Tell us on Facebook: irishweddingguide?fref=ts

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to detail coupled with a blend of historical and modern elements are captured throughout our collections. Experience the vast array of exclusive jewels in our private viewing gallery. Your wedding ring is the most precious piece of jewellery you will ever own. It is a presentation of you and your partner’s love, commitment and bond. So when choosing the perfect ring, you want to ensure one of quality beauty and style. This is where Callaghan Jewellers of Buncrana comes to the fore. A leading light in the jewellery business for over 50 years, Callaghan Jewellers name is synonymous with tradition,

distinction and excellence. Choose with the specialist knowledge and advice from our trained staff, you can be assured you will find your dream ring at Callaghan Jewellers Buncrana. As well as being known for quality, brides and grooms are also flocking to Callaghan Jewellers Buncrana to avail of their fantastic wedding ring promotion. Callaghan Jewellers are open six days a week Monday to­Friday 9:30pm ­to 6pm and Saturday 10:00am t­ o 6:00pm – we are open right through lunch. If you’re getting married, look no further than Callaghan Jewellers Buncrana.




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For better, for worse FOR BETTER... ❣❣ As street food turns gourmet, more and more food trucks are appearing at outdoor wedding receptions! This is catering with a difference – you can choose your cuisine, or just have an ice cream truck with fancy cones and sundaes to keep your guests cool. Blogger Jessica, who writes Budget Savvy Bride says, “These kitchens on wheels are going to have a big presence in weddings in 2013. It’s cool, different and convenient! Imagine a gourmet hot dog truck at your laid-back park wedding. It’s a fun way to feed your guests that they’ll be talking about for years to come.” ❣❣ In 2013, we’re seeing a return to vintage elegance. With big-budget films such as Anna Karenina and The Great Gatsby and the country’s enduring love for Downton Abbey, we’re seeing a lot more

70 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

vintage-inspired bridal gowns and beauty styles. This means more formal receptions, rich fabrics with ornate lace detail and vintage costume jewellery. ❣❣ We’re starting to spot wedding dresses with pockets! Pretty, practical and smart, designers have picked up on this bright idea and are now beginning to include dainty, concealed pockets in their bridal wear. They allow you to keep essentials such as tissues and lipstick to hand without the bother of a clutch or traipsing up to the bridal suite Designers debuting pocketed gowns this year include Paloma Blanca and Priscilla of Boston. ❣❣ The Duchess of Cambridge is partly responsible for the return to simple and classic style and elegance. Catherine Middleton drew gasps in


We’re seeing a lot more vintage-inspired bridal gowns and beauty styles

her Alexander McQueen with its beautiful lace detail, long sleeves and a modest neckline. Charlotte Cross recently reported that the dress has signalled a new era for wedding gowns, and we are now saying goodbye to the strapless dress in favour of high necks and shoulder coverage. If you’re not fond of your arms, the lace sleeves favoured by Kate are very forgiving and still manage to be alluring with glimpses of skin through the detail. ❣❣ Alyssa Brown of Alison Events in San Francisco tells us that 2013 weddings are set to be glitzier than ever. Even for outdoor weddings, ‘There’s crystal on the table, lots of gold and silverware.

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


❣❣ Black tie is also playing a huge role right now – it’s floor-length gowns for everybody!’ ❣❣ Spectacular chandeliers are set to take the place of candles, especially in marquees receptions, wedding cakes will be big and ornate and invites will show glints of gold and silver with the use of foil stamping and calligraphy. ❣❣ When it comes to colour, mint is huge right now. It’s clean, fresh and pops of mint in your reception décor will bring a retro feel to the celebrations.

FOR WORSE… ❣❣ We have (unfortunately) spotted a new trend that comes to us from the USA – bridal ‘diapers’, or nappies. Aisling at said it best when she heard this one: ‘Christ on a bike!’ Faced with having to manoeuvre around yards of fabric, corsetry and tulle, some US brides (not many, we hope!) are choosing to wear adult nappies to relieve themselves on the big day. We’re not sure, but this just might ruin the romance. ❣❣ We’re seeing a lot of brides going for plastic surgery including breast implants and rhinoplasty for their wedding

72 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

days. A consultant at Harley Medical Group revealed that they have seen a 13% rise in pre-wedding surgical treatments while psychologist Baljit Rana argues that brides ‘feel pressure to go under the knife for to achieve perfection, which celebrity culture promotes.’ We encourage brides-to-be to celebrate their natural beauty and remember that your wedding day is all about marrying the love of your life. Remember, he thinks you’re beautiful the way you are.

❣❣ Japanese company Kokoro Co. have manufactured a robot that can legally perform marriage ceremonies! The I-Fairy recently married a couple in a rooftop ceremony, wearing a wreath of flowers. Behind a black curtain just a few feet away, the I-Fairy’s controller typed commands into a computer. Bride Satoko said, “Those in the robot industry understand that robots are our friends. It was a lot of fun!” This one’s for the die-hard robot fans, folks. I think most of us would like


but that may not be for the right reasons!

the person marrying us to be living and breathing! ❣❣ With the popularity of ‘The Walking Dead’ and brand new zombie rom-com ‘Warm Bodies’, we’re starting to see some couples taking ‘’til death do us part’ a little too seriously! With ghoulish locations, gory makeup and hair and horrendous zombiethemed wedding fare such as a brain-topped wedding cake and sweets shaped like body parts, a zombie wedding is one your guests (and your parents) will never forget –

❣❣ Finally the wedding trend bloggers have called ‘awkwardly sexual’ – as good a reason as any to avoid it – the animal mask. A quick search online will throw up a fair few bridal and engagement shoots in which the happy couple and guests appear as plastic deer, tigers … and even wearing rubber horse heads. This has a few disadvantages: shots in which the bride and groom are looking into each others eyes come across a little unsettling. It’s just a little reminiscent of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, in which animal masks are used to conceal identities during an orgy. Huffington Post writer Sara Burnett says it all when she worries that she’s not the only one who thinks ‘sex cult orgy’ when she sees one of these strange wedding shots!

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day



traditions Tradition is a funny thing. We carry out actions each and every day that are based purely on tradition.


e dress appropriately for the different occasions in our lives, such as funerals and nights out. We eat traditional meals such as Christmas dinner and follow traditions that our parents and grandparents have handed down to us.

We all know the old rhyme, ‘Something borrowed, something blue…’ but the meaning behind wedding traditions isn’t always clear. Here are some of the most popular traditions and the meanings behind them. We’d love to hear about

‘ Something new represents good fortune and success in the bride’s new life’ 74 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

your own family traditions, so please email them to info@ and they could appear in the next issue!

WHY DOES THE BRIDE WEAR A VEIL? The bride’s veil and bouquet are of greater antiquity than her white gown. Her veil, which was yellow in ancient Greece and red in ancient Rome, usually shrouded her from head to foot, and has since the earliest of times denoted the subordination of a woman to man. According to tradition, it is considered bad luck for the bride to be seen by the groom before the ceremony. As a matter of fact, in the old days of marriage by purchase, the couple rarely saw each other at all, with courtship being of more recent historical emergence. The lifting of the veil at the end of the ceremony symbolises male dominance. If


The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


the bride takes the initiative in lifting it, she is showing more independence. Veils came into vogue in the United States when Nelly Curtis wore a veil at her wedding to George Washington’s aid, Major Lawrence Lewis. Major Lewis saw his bride-to-be standing behind a filmy curtain and commented on how beautiful she appeared. She then decided to veil herself for their ceremony. The tradition has become more of a finishing touch, bringing the dress and hair together.

WHY A HONEYMOON? In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice. When early man felt it was time to take a bride, he would often carry off an unwilling woman to a secret place where her relatives wouldn’t find them. While the moon went through all its phases (about 30 days), they hid from the searchers and drank a brew made from honey. Hence, we get the word ‘honeymoon’.

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WHY DO THE ATTENDANTS DRESS ALIKE? In early weddings, it wasn’t only the bride who wore white! It was once common for the bride, her groom and their friends to walk together to the ceremony on the morning of their wedding. Afraid that someone, perhaps a rejected suitor, would spot the happy couple and curse them, the groom’s friends wore clothes almost identical to his and the women costumed themselves like the bride. These disguises tricked evil-wishers into letting the real bride and groom live happily ever after. Of course, today we dress our attendants alike for beauty and symmetry.

WHY THE BLUE SATIN GARTER? Why this particular ‘something blue’? In ancient Israel, brides wore a blue ribbon to signify fidelity. The garter-throwing itself derives from a bawdy ritual called ‘flinging the stocking’. In Britain, the guests would playfully invade the bridal chamber. The ushers grabbed the bride’s stockings; the maids, the groom’s. They took turns sitting at the foot of the bed flinging the stockings over the heads of the couple. Whoever’s stocking landed on the bride’s or the groom’s nose would be next to wed. Today, many brides wear two garters. One is kept as a memento of her wedding day (possibly to be displayed on

her groom’s rear view mirror!), and the other is retrieved by the groom and tossed to all the young unmarried men attending.

WHY DOES THE BRIDE WEAR WHITE? The colour white has been a symbol of joyous celebration since early Roman times. At the beginning of the 20th century, white stood for purity as well. Today, it holds the original meaning of happiness and joy.

WHY DOES THE BRIDE CARRY FLOWERS? For centuries, flowers have stood for a variety of emotions and values: roses for love, lilies for virtue and so on. In ancient marriages, the brides carried herbs beneath their veils to symbolise fidelity. Greek brides carried ivy as a symbol of neverending love. Orange blossoms were chosen by the Spaniards to represent happiness and fulfilment, because the orange tree flowers and bears fruit at the same time.


demons from going into the groom’s home, she was carried across the threshold upon entering for the first time.


‘ Something blue represents purity and a faithful marriage’ ‘ Something old represents the link between the bride and her family’ During even earlier times, in ‘primitive marriage’, when the fear of demons was prevalent, the brides carried pungent garlands of herbs and spices for the purpose of frightening off evil spirits. Today, brides carry flowers in the colour scheme of their wedding, bringing beauty and elegance as well as old world customs to their special day.

WHY A WEDDING CAKE? Beginning in early Roman times, the cake has been a favoured part of the wedding celebration. A thin loaf was broken over the bride’s head at the end of the ceremony to symbolise fertility and the guests eagerly picked up the crumbs as good luck charms. During the Middle Ages, it became traditional for the couple to kiss over a small cluster of cakes. Later, a clever baker decided to bring all these small cakes together and cover them with frosting. Thus, the modern tiered cake was born.



Brides wore blue the border of their wedding clothes to denote love, modesty and fidelity. These are ideals still associated today with the colour. Blue also denotes the purity of the Virgin Mary and is the most popular of all colours. See also ‘Why the blue satin garter?’

During the days of ‘marriage by capture’, the bride was certainly not going to go peacefully into the bridegroom’s abode! Thus, she was dragged or carried across the threshold. In even earlier times, it was believed that family demons followed the woman, and to keep her family

The throwing of rice on the couple has always been symbolic of wishing prosperity and good luck. In the Orient, throwing rice means, ‘May you always have a full pantry.’ Wheat and other grains are sometimes thrown in addition to rice, also wishing prosperity and lack of want. Each shower bestows goodwill traditions of wealth upon the newlyweds. To this day, rice remains a token of a life of plenty.

WHY GIVE THE BRIDE AWAY? In times when women were granted few privileges and even fewer personal rights, the bride was quite literally given away to the groom by the father, usually in exchange for monetary gain. Today, it is seen as symbolic of the blessings and support of the bride’s family for her union and their continued trust and affection.

WHY AN ENGAGEMENT RING? In the early days of ‘marriage by purchase’, the betrothal ring served two purposes. These comprised partial payment for the bride, and a symbol of the groom’s honourable intentions. The diamond was found first

The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day


the days of the early Egyptians. A primitive bride wore a ring of hemp or rushes, which had to be replaced often. Durable iron was used by the Romans to symbolise the permanence of marriage. Today’s favourite is of course, gold, with its lasting, untarnished qualities of beauty and purity.


in Medieval Italy, and because of its durability was chosen to symbolise enduring love.

WHY THE THIRD FINGER, LEFT HAND? In ancient times, it was believed there was a vein in the third finger of the left hand that ran directly to the heart. The ring being placed on that finger denoted the strong connection of heartfelt love and commitment. Although we know now that this is not so, the tradition has continued to this day. Medieval bridegrooms placed the ring on three of the bride’s fingers in turn to symbolise God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit. The ring then remained on the third finger and has become the customary ring finger for English-speaking cultures.

WHY A WEDDING RING? The circular shape of the wedding ring has symbolised undying, unending love since

78 The Definitive Guide toYour PerfectWedding Day

When families arranged marriages, they were trying their best to guarantee their offspring a pleasant and comfortable life. The bride was expected to bring a ‘dowry’ of money, jewels, animals, or something of substantial value to the marriage. This substantial value was provided by the family of the bride and represented her perceived worth. On the other hand, the groom paid a ‘bride’s price’ to her family and promised to faithfully support her.

TRADITIONAL GIFTS Bride’s gift: The bride’s gift is traditionally given by the groom to the bride. It is typically a personal gift such as a piece of jewellery. A string of pearls, pearl earrings, a watch or locket holding photos are ideal gifts. Groom’s gift: The groom’s gift is given by the bride to the groom. A handsome watch, a photo of the bride framed in silver or crystal or an elegant pen set are suggested gifts. Maid of honour and bridesmaids’ gifts: Bridesmaid

‘Something borrowed from a happily married woman will bring good fortune’ and maid of honour gifts are given by the bride as a permanent keepsake of their wedding. For these gifts, consider items of jewellery or engraving something such as a frame or champagne glasses with the wedding date and a ‘thank you’. On the day, you can also give your bridesmaids a cute clutch filled with lipstick, nail polish, stockings and any other wedding day essentials. The gift for the maid of honour may be similar but should be a bit more expensive. The gifts are usually presented at the bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. To save money, you can ask your photographer to make a special photo of each bridesmaid and her escort. Select a beautiful frame that will remind your bridesmaid of the occasion and have it engraved. Best man and ushers’ gifts: Best man and ushers’ gifts are given by the groom to his ushers as a permanent keepsake of the wedding. For the gifts, consider a leather wallet, an engraved pocket watch or a personalised bottle of his favourite tipple! The gifts are usually given during the bachelor’s party or rehearsal dinner.

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