Bruce and Tara Live

With weddings up to 100 guests recently opened up in Ireland, many couples who have put their nuptials on ice over the last two years are dusting off the spreadsheets, pulling out the wedding mags, and starting to think about getting back to planning their big day. This makes me so happy! But I also know that COVID has taken an economic toll on many of us. If you’re working with a tight budget and an in-person wedding planner isn’t an option, I have a great alternative for you! Introducing: Bruce and Tara Live!

This unique multimedia platform, which launched in May, allows me to share my many years of experience and knowledge with even more couples. It’s also given me the opportunity to work with one of my favourite people again, the fabulous Bruce Russell. Bruce and I have been friends and colleagues for many years and we’ve also been co-hosts of RTE2’s lifestyle show, My Big Day: Home or Away, where we give couples the opportunity to have two experts plan their wedding. Between us, we’ve designed a host of high-profile celebrations around the world and provided expert advice and guidance to venues and industry peers through our consultancy services.

Bruce and Tara Live offers couples three different packages to help you plan your wedding from beginning to end. Each one contains a series of videos chats, planning templates, priority access to webinars, live events, and much more. Or, if you’d prefer a truly personal touch, you can book a live consultation with one of us!

So, what do our three packages include?

The Basics

Perfect for the newly engaged bride or groom who doesn’t know where to start.

  • Access to 4 Wedding Planning Videos (including the most important advice for beginners – like budget, invitations, and choosing your venue)
  • Access to our Wedding Planning Guide and 6 Wedding Planning Templates
  • Access to 3 Wedding Planning Webinars
  • Priority access to tickets to ‘Live’ Events

The Essentials

The tools you need to make the right decisions and keep you on track throughout your planning.

  • Access to 8 Wedding Planning Videos (from budget to venue contracts)
  • Access to our Wedding Planning Guide and 9 Wedding Planning Templates
  • Access to 5 Wedding Planning Webinars
  • 10% discount on tickets to ‘Live’ Events

The Absolute

Everything you need to plan your perfect wedding!

  • Access to ALL Wedding Planning Videos
  • Access to our Wedding Planning Guide and ALL Wedding Planning Templates
  • Access to ALL Wedding Planning Webinars
  • 50% discount on tickets to ‘Live’ Events
  • Ongoing partner offers

For more information and to purchase, visit

Slán go Fóill,



Image Barry McCall

Ireland COVID Wedding Restrictions: Latest Update

For couples planning a wedding in Ireland this summer, it’s been an anxious wait to see whether the easing of Ireland Covid wedding restrictions would go ahead as planned. The good news is that, as of Thursday 5 August, the maximum number of guests permitted to attend a wedding has increased from 50 to 100. This is great news, especially for those who have postponed their wedding more than once, in the hope that more of their family and friends would be allowed to attend. The other good news is that Ireland has now vaccinated close to 90% of its adult population, making larger gatherings safer for everyone.

Since the very beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, I’ve made it my mission to work hand-in-hand with the government and the Irish hospitality industry in order to provide clarity to both wedding vendors and couples. With weddings finally opening up again, it seems like the perfect time for an update!

As always, please note that guidelines and restrictions change regularly. If you are planning a wedding in Ireland, be sure to work closely with your Irish wedding planner to keep informed about the latest Ireland COVID wedding restrictions. You can also find more information on the government website.

Here is a breakdown of where things currently stand.

Guest Numbers

As I mentioned above, the latest rules published by the Irish government state that up to 100 people can attend a wedding service and reception. However, protective measures do still apply.

Weddings can take place at both indoor and outdoor venues. However, outdoor weddings are still preferable from a safety standpoint. Whatever the venue, businesses must ensure they follow current Public Health advice. For example, the function area must be self-contained and only one function per area or room is allowed to take place. In addition, face masks are required for any staff in a customer-facing role, such as waiters or bar staff, where no additional measures like protective screens are in place.

The Ceremony

Under the new guidance, places of worship in Ireland are open for religious services including wedding ceremonies for up to 100 people.

Music is permitted at the ceremony or service. However, the guidelines advise against singing or the use of wind-blown musical instruments like trumpets or clarinets. Guests should also be asked not to sing along to any hymns or songs. A pipe organ or string quartet is a better option if you wish to have live music at your ceremony.

custom single batch cocktails

The Reception

  • Wedding receptions should be a sit-down meal only.
  • Guests must wear masks during the reception when arriving at their table and when leaving it. Guests should enter and exit reception spaces through separate doors.
  • Hand sanitisers must be placed at every access point. There should be clear signage to encourage guests to use the sanitiser.
  • There should also be prominent signage explaining social distancing rules, including clear markings showing safe distances.
  • All service stations for drinks, canapés, etc. must be managed by venue staff with no self-service and individual portions wherever possible. Queues should be managed to allow for social distancing.
  • During the dinner service, there should be no family-style dining. Instead, food should be fully plated. Water jugs must be poured by service personnel and salt and pepper, butter dishes, etc. should only be available on request.
  • Live music is not allowed at an indoor wedding reception. For an outdoor reception, live music and other performances are allowed. Novelty acts are not permitted at any venue.
  • Dancing is not currently allowed.

Additional Guidelines

  • Hotel accommodation is allowed for the bride(s), groom(s), or wedding guests.
  • Wedding photographers are allowed.
  • Domestic travel is allowed anywhere in Ireland. International travel is also allowed, subject to restrictions.

Even though we still have restrictions to navigate, I’m so excited to get back to bigger weddings! I hope you found this roundup of Ireland Covid wedding restrictions helpful!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Doreen Kilfeather, DK Photography

5 European Destination Wedding Locations You May Not Have Considered

Planning a destination wedding is all about choosing a location you love and sharing it with your guests. So what better experience to give them than a romantic European destination wedding? Europe has it all: chic cities rich in culture and history, tranquil countrysides, drop-dead gorgeous beach, lake, and mountain scenery. Not to mention magical venues like castles, chateaux, and grand country houses. As a specialist European wedding planner, I’ve created extraordinary celebrations across Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, Portugal, and beyond. And, while I love the classic European destination wedding locations like Tuscany, Paris, and the South of France, there are so many more countries and regions to explore! To get you feeling inspired, I’ve rounded up five fabulous European wedding destinations you may not have considered – yet!

European Destination Wedding Locations Puglia

Puglia, Italy

Puglia, in the south of Italy, is a less obvious choice of Italian wedding destination than the Amalfi Coast, the Lakes, or the Tuscan countryside, for example. But it’s no less amazing! In fact, with its sandy beaches, whitewashed hill towns, and iconic cone-roofed Trulli, many people consider Puglia to be one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. Couples often choose to have their wedding at a traditional Masseria, as many of these charming local farming estates have now been transformed into luxury hotels and resorts.

European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: Be sure to plan a wedding weekend itinerary that gives guests the chance to experience some of Puglia’s many delights, such as cooking classes, olive oil, and wine tastings, or chilling out at a glamorous beach club.

European Destination Wedding Locations Ireland


When it comes to European destination wedding locations, Ireland is up there with the best of them. Wherever you choose to host your Irish destination wedding, you’ll find breathtaking scenery, a rich history and cultural traditions, gourmet cuisine, and luxury dream venues like ancient castles and grand manor houses. But we also have that extra special something that’s hard to define. It’s in the warmth of our welcome, the friendliness of our people, and the way you and your guests will leave feeling like you’ve found a second home.

European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: Plan for rain! Sometimes it’s four seasons in one day here in Ireland, so we always make sure we have a backup plan in place, especially for outdoor ceremonies. And don’t forget the umbrellas!

European Destination Wedding Locations Loire Valley

Loire Valley, France

World-famous for its wine, the Loire Valley region is also one of France’s most romantic destinations. It’s home to hundreds of fairytale castles and chateaux, including the one which inspired the story of Sleeping Beauty. Summer days here mean clear blue skies, balmy evenings, and air that is fragrant with flowers and vines. Plus the Loire Valley is only a couple of hours from Paris, making it ideal as a European destination wedding location.

European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: While many chateaux have accommodations on-site, unless you’re having an intimate wedding, some of your guests will probably have to stay nearby. Be sure to factor transport into your plans for the wedding weekend.

European Destination Wedding Locations Croatia


Over the last few years, Croatia has become one of the hottest newer European destination wedding locations. If you can’t choose between a beach and city wedding, it’s a great option, as places like Dubrovnik have cobbled streets and picturesque medieval architecture as well as crystal waters and a glamorous Mediterranean vibe. There are some truly special venues here, from ruined abbeys to island villas, and lots of beautiful churches if you plan to have a religious ceremony.

European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: Aim for the months of June, September or October for your summer wedding. July and August can be unpleasantly hot and are also peak tourist season.

European Destination Wedding Locations Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

If you’re looking for a European city destination, Lisbon is a great choice. It’s the kind of place that you fall head-over-heels in love with, and there’s so much for your guests to explore and enjoy, including gourmet cuisine and a bustling nightlife. As Portugal’s capital, it’s vibrant and modern but filled with history, culture, and gorgeous architecture. It’s also easily accessible and has a wide range of wedding venues, including beachside forts, palaces, and luxury hotels.

European Destination Wedding Planner’s Tip: If you prefer a beach wedding vibe, choose beautiful Sintra just outside of Lisbon. This resort town is a magical destination close enough to the capital to experience the best of both worlds.

Of course, the best advice I can give you for planning a European destination wedding is to hire a planner. It will make the whole process so much easier and more enjoyable, and cut out a huge amount of research and admin time. An expert European wedding planner will help you choose the perfect location, venue, and vendors. All you need to do is say “I do!”

Slán go Fóill,


Images: Brosnan Photographic, Lisa O’Dwyer