8 Ways to Personalise a Destination Wedding

No two marriages are exactly alike. Neither should any two weddings be the same. Your wedding day should be a reflection of who you are as a couple, your journey together, and the things and people you love. Infusing my clients’ personalities into the wedding design is one of the best parts of wedding planning, and it’s no different for a destination wedding. In fact, when you choose to have a destination wedding in Ireland, Europe or some other romantic location, you’re already off to a great start in terms of creating an experience for your guests that is unlike any other. The challenge is to find ways to personalise a destination wedding while also making your guests feel at home, and the key to answering that challenge is in the details. Every detail you choose is an opportunity to make your day stand out, to make it meaningful and sentimental, and to make it an unforgettable occasion for everyone who attends.

Here are 8 great ways to personalise a destination wedding.

Brand your wedding stationery. Personalising your wedding stationery can go beyond using colours you love. Have your designer create a monogram or logo that incorporates personal as well as destination-specific elements. You can use this in so many ways: invitations, programs, menus, cocktail sticks and napkins, signage, a custom aisle runner or dance floor, cake decoration, and more!

Build excitement with a special gift. The focus is often on welcome gifts and favours, but a unique way to build excitement for your guests is to have a package delivered before they leave. It could include useful items for the trip such as a guidebook or luggage tags, a packing list and printed itinerary, or some of your personal favourite travel treats and essentials.

Welcome bags with custom destination wedding design

Give your guests the warmest welcome. A welcome gift is always a good idea for a destination wedding, as it immediately makes your guests feel embraced. While it’s always good to include a few items that reflect your destination, such as local snacks or crafts, it’s also fun to include a taste of home. So if you have a fave from your daily lives that you can include, add that to the mix as well!

Plan activities you love. The joy of a destination wedding is spending quality time with special people. Group activities allow you to do this while exploring the local culture and landscape. But you can put a personal spin on these as well. For example, if one of you is a keen cook, you could host a cooking class for guests. Or if you’re keen hikers, plan an excursion to explore the countryside around your venue together.

Put your own spin on the menu. One of the best ways to personalise a destination wedding is through the menu. The perfect balance is a mix of local specialty foods with favourites from your home. The results can be really surprising – and memorable!

Make the flowers meaningful. Take a leaf out of the royal wedding playbook and choose flowers that are meaningful to you as well as beautiful. Again, a mix of seasonal local blooms and perhaps one or two of your favourites (or those of a loved one) is a lovely way to blend where you’re from with your wedding destination. A national flower is another option. For example, if you’re coming from South Africa for a destination wedding in Ireland, you might have your florist include a protea in the bride’s bouquet.

Gloster House wedding centrepiece

Choose music with a story. There are so many ways to personalise your wedding ceremony, including vows and readings. But music is always a good place to start! (Unless, of course, you’re exchanging vows in a church, in which case your musical choices will be limited.) Choose an instrumental version of a favourite song or play some typical music from home or from your culture.

Hand write thank you notes. Sometimes the old ways are the best! Handwritten notes are a beautiful way to make things personal (especially if they come on stationery with your wedding brand!). There are lots of opportunities for this kind of personal contact. A handwritten welcome letter, a personal note left for your guests with a treat at bedtime, a letter set at their place at the reception table, a daily note left along with the day’s itinerary, a personal farewell for them to read on the plane. You don’t have to write all of these, of course – these are just examples of the touchpoints you could use to communicate with your guests in a special way.

Whichever of these ways to personalise a destination wedding you ultimately choose, don’t be afraid to express your uniqueness creatively – even if it means changing up a tradition or two!

Slán go Fóill,


 Images by Doreen Kilfeather, DK Photography, Christina Brosnan,

What to Wear to A Summer Wedding in Europe

If you recently found yourself invited to a summer wedding in Europe, there’s more than one reason to celebrate. Not only do you have an amazing event to look forward to, but a summer wedding in Europe is a great excuse to buy yourself a new outfit! Of course, choosing a wedding guest outfit can be tricky. There are dress codes to navigate, comfort to consider, and few points of etiquette to be aware of. A destination wedding adds further issues like packing, weather, and formality. Whether you’re gearing up for a castle wedding in Ireland or a beach ceremony in the Algarve, here are a few key things to keep in mind as you start your style search.

When in doubt, overdress. Summer destination weddings can be a little confusing when it comes to the dress code. Does a coastal destination mean a casual dress code? What’s appropriate for a marquee wedding in the grounds of a villa or manor house? It’s always a good idea to check with the couple and, if they give you a dress code, stick to it. But when in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to err on the side of formality.

Don’t upstage the bride. While you want to look fabulous at any wedding, it’s important not to compete with the bride, who quite rightfully should have all eyes on her. Rocking a bold accessory is great, for example, but save your most outrageous fashion moments for another time. And of course, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t wear white (or any white-adjacent colours like ivory, cream, pale champagne, or very light pastels. That’s a rule that’s just as important across Europe as it is in the USA and many other countries.

Ireland Destination Wedding Etiquette

Take a cue from your location. Try to make your fashion choices in line with where the summer wedding in Europe will be held. For example, a castle wedding in Positano in summer calls for elegant, floaty dresses while a city wedding in Paris, London, or Dublin might call for a chic cocktail dress. On a practical note, a quaint Greek or Italian village with cobblestone streets may be charming, but leave the high heels at home.

Research the weather. While a summer wedding in Europe often means sunshine and warm breezes, bear in mind that the weather can vary from one country and location to another (and one month to another). Do some research into the weather at your destination and bring along a wrap or jacket in case it gets chilly. (Hint: in Ireland there’s always a chance of rain, year round!) Heat is, of course, also an important consideration, especially in August when much of Europe can be sweltering, so avoid heavy fabrics or cuts that will show unfortunate sweat patches.

What to Wear to A Summer Wedding in Europe

Choose lightweight fabrics that travel well. For any summer wedding, you’ll want to opt for light, breathable fabrics. However, some summer favourites like cotton and linen are prone to creasing and will leave you searching for a steamer on the wedding morning. Blended fabrics are a good option (for men’s suits too) or summer-friendly materials like jersey, crepe, lyocell, or polyester. If you love the idea of a silk, opt for charmeuse, which is the most wrinkle-hardy of the silk family.

Choose a floral print. You really can’t go wrong with a floral print when it comes to spring or summer weddings. They’re always appropriate and pretty, work across a range of wedding styles and settings, and make a style statement without being too showy. They’re a summer wedding go-to for a reason!

Cover knees and shoulders for a church wedding. If the summer wedding in Europe that you’ll be attending will be in a church, especially a Catholic church, you should wear a dress that covers your knees and shoulders or bring a wrap that will do the job.

These tips will help get you started in finding the perfect wedding guest outfit for that summer wedding in Europe. Happy shopping!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Brosnan Photographic