Why You Need a Wedding Planner Now More Than Ever

Have you recently got engaged and are now facing the prospect of wedding planning? Perhaps you’re a few months down the line, and have already chosen your venue, wedding party, and colour palette. Or maybe you’re somewhere in between the two. Wherever you are on the wedding planning journey, at some point or other, every couple asks themselves: ‘do we need a wedding planner?’ There’s a perception that wedding planners are only for the most elaborate of celebrations but the truth is that almost any couple will benefit significantly from hiring a planner. Sure, anyone can plan a party, but event co-ordination is a complex and time-consuming process. Just like anything else that matters, it’s always a good idea to call in a professional to help! So, even if you think that maybe it’s not for you, here are some of the top reasons why you need a wedding planner – now more than ever!

You’re time poor. These days, time is a luxury most of us don’t have. In between work, private commitments, and daily errands, we’re lucky if we find a few moments to ourselves. Having the time to connect with each other as you prepare to get married is so important, not to mention celebrating with family and friends. Trying to squeeze everything in can create a lot of stress and result in you feeling burnt out and exhausted. On the other hand, working with a professional wedding planner will give you much of that time back. Your planner will be able to handle the majority of the work, including sourcing and booking a vendor team, dealing with paperwork, monitoring budgets, and attending to the finer details. That means you can focus on the fun parts, like your outfit and the honeymoon!

You’re planning a destination wedding. If you’re planning on getting married away from home, the time and complexity involved will only increase. You’ll need to do extensive research on local suppliers and then communicate with them through time differences and language barriers. Having a trusted professional on the ground will allow you to relax and know they have you covered. Plus, you’ll be tapping into their extensive local knowledge and professional network.

You want something extraordinary. Weddings may generally follow a traditional pattern, but every couple wants to feel that their big day is unlike anyone else’s. You want to wow your guests and give them an experience they’ll be talking about for years to come. Perhaps you have some out-of-the-box ideas or unusual requests. A wedding planner can help you bring your unique vision to life. And they’ll often add extra ideas that will make your wedding extra special and memorable!

You need an advocate. Another reason why you need a wedding planner is to juggle the different personalities and opinions involved. Although well-intentioned, family members, your wedding party, and others, can often bombard a couple with their opinions, ideas, and feelings. There may also be complicated family politics, which can be stressful to deal with, especially on your wedding day. Your wedding planner provides a neutral third party who can act as a buffer, mediator, and advisor all rolled into one. Wedding planners are the ultimate diplomats, but they also know how to be firm where they need to be in order to advocate on your behalf.

Tara adjusting bride's trailing dress.

You want a stress-free wedding day. No wedding day goes completely according to plan. No matter how carefully you arrange it, there are always a few small hiccups to be handled. These small things can leave you feeling a bit frazzled on the day if everything’s on your shoulders. More importantly, this is a day you’re supposed to be able to enjoy completely. A wedding planner will take all of this off your plate and allow you to simply show up, say “I do”, and soak in every moment!

These are just a few reasons why you need a wedding planner. If you’d like to know more about the process, do get in touch and we’ll talk you through it!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Story of Eve, Kieran Harnett, Doreen Kilfeather


The First Things To Do After Getting Engaged When Planning a Destination Wedding

You’re engaged! Comhghairdeas! The days and weeks after you say “yes” to your person are some of the most exciting of your life. If you’re already dreaming of a destination wedding, then you have something truly special to look forward to. Not only will you get to share your special day with family and friends, you’ll also get to explore a new place, create lasting memories, and enjoy unique experiences together. But before you start packing your bags and booking flights, there are a few things you need to prioritise. Here are the first things to do after getting engaged when planning a destination wedding.


Celebrate! I know that you might feel you need to jump straight into wedding planning, but first, it’s important to soak up being engaged. Bask in the happiness of the moment just the two of you, then enjoy sharing the news with family and friends and seeing their reactions. Then, of course, there’s the social media announcements and another flood of well-wishes. And of course, you’ll want to throw some kind of engagement party or spontaneous celebration (or several). Pop the champagne, tell the proposal story over and over, show off your ring, and just enjoy every moment.

Compare your wedding visions. Before you make any big decisions, it’s important to spend some time talking about your dreams and expectations. Not everyone has the same idea of what their ideal wedding will look like. For example, is it intimate or expansive? Do you want a religious ceremony? What season do you imagine having it in? Do you have a location for your destination wedding in mind? Are there any practical considerations that absolutely must be taken into account? This is about big ideas rather than details like colour palettes or specific venues or details. Uncover the things that are most important to both of you and, if necessary, find a middle ground you can agree on.

Set a budget. Nobody enjoys talking about money, but setting a budget is always one of the first things to do after getting engaged. This is especially true for a destination wedding, as the cost of the trip itself will be a major factor and there are often hidden costs like currency conversions that can add up. All other decisions will flow from your budget, so unfortunately this isn’t something you can put off. If your parents are involved in paying for the wedding, be sure to include them in these conversations. Figure out your spending limits and priorities and then determine what sort of wedding you can have within this budget.

Adare Manor wedding venue Limerick Ireland

Choose your wedding destination. Once you’ve set your budget, it’s time to choose the perfect destination for your wedding. Are you envisioning a winter wedding in an Irish castle or a summer celebration along the shores of an Italian lake, for example? There are so many possibilities, especially when it comes to European destination weddings. Consider factors like cost, weather, availability of venues, as well as which destinations resonate with both of you. For example, it may be a place where you met, that you visited together, or somewhere you’ve never been but have always dreamed of. This is your chance to make those destination wedding dreams come true!

Hire a wedding planner. When you’re planning a destination wedding, it’s so important to have expert help! Not only will a professional destination wedding planner save you time and stress, they will be able to connect you to a network of trusted local service providers who can carry out your wedding vision to perfection. They will be on the ground to ensure everything runs smoothly and handle issues like legal requirements and vendor communication. And, when the big day comes, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy every second of the trip with your guests instead of rushing around handling last-minute problems.

Book a trip to visit venues. Although a destination wedding planner will be able to advise on the best local venues and visit them on your behalf, it’s always best to see them in person if you can. Try to book a short getaway to your wedding destination so your planner can show you a few options. I love that magical moment when I know my couples have fallen in love with a venue!

Set the date. Once you’ve chosen your venue, it’s time to book it and set a date. Make sure to give yourself a good amount of lead time. This is not only to allow you plenty of time to plan your destination wedding, it will also allow your guests time to book travel and accommodation as well as time off work.

Save the date. With the venue booked and the budget set, you can finalise your guest list. It’s important to let guests know well ahead of time with a destination wedding, so try to send your Save the Date cards out as early as possible. In fact, if you’re still deciding on a venue, you could send these out with just the wedding location.

Of course, these are just the first things to do after getting engaged when you’re planning a destination wedding. There are many more to follow! However, if you get these right, you’ll be setting yourself up for a smooth planning process.

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Lisa O’Dwyer Photography, Story of Eve

Intimate Destination Wedding and Elopement Ideas in Ireland

If there’s one thing that a pandemic has done for many of us, it’s to make us focus on what really matters and value the meaningful relationships with friends and family that form our inner circle. So, even with limits on social gatherings being removed, many couples in 2022 are still choosing a smaller wedding. Of course, the idea of an intimate destination wedding or elopement is nothing new – couples have often opted for pared down guest lists for these occasions in past years. A smaller wedding in a faraway destination really allows you to savour the experience with your nearest and dearest, creating memories that you can savour together for a lifetime.

So how small is small? A micro-wedding is generally less than 20 guests, while a small wedding is anything up to 60. An elopement, of course, is just the two of you, a celebrant, and a couple of witnesses. It’s really up to you how intimate you want to go, but whatever size wedding you choose, your intimate destination wedding doesn’t have to be any less special than a larger affair. Here are a few ideas for making your intimate destination wedding or elopement in Ireland an extra special one.

Dublin elopement MoLI reception table

Go all out on the details. When you have a smaller guest list, you can really go to town on all those little details that turn an event into an experience. For example, a gourmet, multi-course menu, fine china and Irish linens, plush furnishings, lush flowers, and quality wines. You can also focus on making the wedding more personal. For example, by giving each guest an individual gift rather than a favour or handwriting notes of appreciation to be placed at each setting.

Choose an extraordinary venue. Your venue will really set the tone for your day, and when you have a unique venue it becomes a once-in-a-lifetime event. Having a smaller guest list often gives you a lot more flexibility. There are so many intimate venue options to choose from in Ireland, from five-star hotels to historical buildings, ruined abbeys, windswept cliffsides, castles, forests… the list is endless. For example, one special option is Inish Beg Estate, a private island hideaway off the coast of West Cork, which has on-site accommodation for 52 people.

Be bold with the bridal (and groom!) fashion. Of course, there’s no reason why you have to think inside the box for your attire, whatever the size of your wedding. But for many couples, there’s something especially freeing about an intimate destination wedding that allows their inner fashionista to shine. And why stick to just one outfit? Change it up from ceremony to reception, or wear a convertible dress. Think of the gorgeous photos!

city hall bride pink veil and dress

Write your own vows. Personalised vows are always special, but for a small wedding or elopement, they’re a must. There’s something so emotional about speaking from the heart in front of the people you love most (and who love you). There’s won’t be a dry eye! Another way to make your ceremony extra special is to involve your guests in it closely through readings, music, ring blessings, etc. so that it feels like something everyone is taking part in together.

Rethink the seating. Instead of the basic altar and chairs set-up, with an intimate wedding you can opt for something different. Hire church pews and set them in a secret garden to create an outdoor chapel, create a cluster of beautiful lounge furnishings, or set the seating in an unusual pattern like a circle or spiral. Getting creative with the seating will show your guests from the start that this is a wedding unlike any other they have attended!

Make it a multi-day experience. A destination wedding is already a great opportunity to spread the joy over a few days, but this is especially true when you have fewer guests to co-ordinate. Host experiences in the lead-up to the big day, from local tours to cooking classes or even yoga in a special location like a rooftop or beach at sunrise. Take inspiration from your location and dream big!

 Slán go Fóill,


Images by Story of Eve