As a seasoned wedding planner, I have been privileged to create many unforgettable events. However, there is something particularly enchanting about working in the heartland planning an Irish countryside wedding. The wedding of Stephanie Weimer and David Greaney is one such gem in my portfolio.
When Stephanie and David approached me, they were clear about their vision: a wedding in Ireland. As David was a native, the allure of the lush Irish countryside won over Pittsburgh, the bride’s hometown. It was a decision I couldn’t have agreed more with – Ireland’s natural beauty is truly unmatched.
They had chosen Adare Manor (for a complete guide of Adare Manor – check out the blog post I wrote detailing every aspect of this stunning venue), a stunning neo-Gothic manor sprawling over 840 acres of verdant green in County Limerick. My familiarity with the venue and its staff was an advantage as we embarked on this journey. Throughout the process, I knew I had to be their eyes, ears, and voice, given the vast distance that separated us.
The Role of a Planner
Having been in this industry for years, I understand that wedding planning, particularly for a destination event, is about more than just creativity. It’s about managing logistics, making sound financial decisions, and knowing the local landscape to ensure the ideal Irish countryside wedding they were dreaming of. This is why, when Stephanie and David entrusted me with their special day, I was more than a planner; I was their advocate, making sure that every dollar of their budget was spent wisely.
My deep-rooted connections in the industry allowed me to recommend top-tier vendors whom I knew would deliver outstanding service. I took charge of communicating with them, providing regular updates to Stephanie and David over Zoom. Their trust in my expertise made the process seamless.
Juggling Currencies When Planning A Destination Wedding
Managing international payments can be a significant challenge for couples planning a destination wedding. This was true for Stephanie and David, too, as they had to make payments in both Euros and pound sterling. Recognizing this early on, David had the foresight to set up a Euro-based account, which made the transfer of payments much more straightforward.
Furthermore, we closely monitored currency exchange rates. When the exchange rate was in our favour, we made more substantial payments. Booking vendors two years in advance also played to our advantage, as we secured rates before the pandemic-induced price hikes took effect.
Visiting the wedding venue in person undoubtedly adds an extra layer of excitement to the planning process. Stephanie and David took two trips to Ireland, about eight and three months before the wedding, after securing all major vendors. The couple had the chance to dive into the fun details like food, wine, cake options, and more during these visits. “It was amazing,” Weimer recalls.
In consideration of their guests who had travelled, they filled the wedding weekend with various activities. From a bus trip to Doolin to a golf game and a falconry experience, there was plenty to explore. An itinerary was provided to guests, ensuring that they could make the most of their time in Ireland.
To prevent inundation with queries from guests, they provided a detailed FAQ on their wedding website, including COVID protocols. Also, they directed all questions and concerns to me, effectively delegating tasks and relieving the stress of constant communication. “I was able to actually breathe and enjoy and just take in the moment instead of stressing,” Weimer shares. A big plus for the couple when planning an Irish countryside wedding.
To create an authentic and unique ambience, Weimer worked closely with an event designer and florist. She desired a mood board reflecting the Irish countryside rather than cliche Irish aesthetics. She also incorporated elements of American flair and her Serbian heritage into the festivities.
In the days leading up to the wedding, the couple arrived a week early to adjust, visit family, and take care of final details. Amid all the hustle, they managed to steal a quiet moment for themselves, setting their stress aside and focusing on the essence of their journey – their love for each other.
If you are interested in reading more from the wedding parties’ perspective, check out this fabulous article on Conde Nast’s Traveler here.
The journey to Stephanie and David’s wedding was both challenging and rewarding. Together, we created a magical day that celebrated their love amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Irish countryside. This experience reaffirms the belief that despite the many challenges of planning a destination wedding, the joy of crafting a unique celebration of love is immeasurable.
Slán go Fóill,
Planner: Tara Fay Events | Photographer: Corbin Gurkin | Video: Reel Vision Films | Venue: Adare Manor | Designer: Garth Kelly | Florist: Amie Bone | Staging: Gorilla Design | Furniture: Total Event Rental | Stationery: Grosvenor Stationery Company | Music: ALR Music, The London Essentials, Mamisa String Quartet | Glam: David Cashman, Kate Best, Darren J Feeny, Care of Creatives | Dress & Groom’s Suit: Ralph Lauren