Planning Your Holiday Wedding in Ireland | Pro Tips

Planning a wedding for the winter holidays can be daunting yet worth every minute when it all comes together. When it comes to a holiday wedding in Ireland, there are some key things to keep in mind when you get to planning.

Design and Destination

From stunning landscapes to local arrangements, winter in Ireland is a breathtaking time to host a holiday wedding. Although there are some things to consider in your design and destination to take full advantage of the seasonal beauty.

  • Choose a venue that will complement the holiday season. Whether it’s a historic castle or a cosy inn among a roaring fire, there are plenty to choose from.
  • Fill the atmosphere with a holiday colour palette. Bring a bit of holiday warmth to the chilly season with deep reds and greens or even mix in some gold and silver.
  • Tie the room together with local seasonal floral arrangements. Touches of amaryllis, poinsettias, or even wild berries can bring a bit of holiday spirit to the room.

Delicacies and Culture

Something that is always a highlight of the holiday season is cuisine and cultural events. Your wedding menu is a fantastic way to work in some local winter delicacies and add a touch of Irish culinary warmth, all while your loved ones enjoy a touch of Irish culture.

  • Add to the taste of the holidays with a menu made of warm comfort foods. Here in Ireland, hearty meals are just right for the cool season. From roast meats and warm soups to decadent desserts like Christmas pudding, the ideal winter wedding meal is just a menu away.
  • Bring in a piece of Irish culture by lighting a Unity Candle. Enjoy the moment of being one together by the warmth of a candle symbolizing your union and love.


Entertainment and Extras

Holidays and entertainment go hand in hand as everyone gathers together to be with the people they love. A holiday wedding is no different, and Ireland provides a beautiful space for holiday entertainment and cheer.

  • What is a holiday wedding without music? Live music is essential for a holiday wedding in Ireland. With a mix of your favourite songs and Irish carols or holiday tunes, there’s space for just the right mix of holiday cheer.
  • Mix in some drinks and a space to chat with a mulled wine and hot chocolate bar. For those moments when everyone wants to sit back and relax, a bar of warm drinks is just the place to be.
  • Send your guests home with a holiday-inspired gift. The people you spend your big day with are some of the most important people in your life. Spread a bit of the holiday positivity with a themed favour like personalised ornaments or even personalised jars of local jams or honeys.

Remember, the most important part of the holidays is the people you spend them with! Each of these tips can help create a wedding experience that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime. Don’t forget to enjoy each moment with the people that mean the most to you.

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Story of Eve

Merrion Hotel Wedding Venue: A Complete Guide

As soon as you step through the elegant Georgian doors of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, you’re immediately transported into a world of luxury and charm, wrapped in a warm Irish welcome. This place embodies grace, romance, and hospitality – making it an unrivaled destination wedding venue in the heart of Ireland.

The Merrion Hotel takes its distinctive character from 18th-century townhouses, which once belonged to influential Irish figures — boasting 123 guest rooms and 19 suites, a two-star Michelin restaurant, a luxurious spa, and meticulously manicured private gardens. The hotel exemplifies grandeur, splendor, and comfort – everything you might wish for your wedding day.

Merrion Hotel Front Entrance

You cannot go wrong with a Merrion Hotel wedding, it is undoubtedly a testament to Ireland’s rich history, elegantly situated within four meticulously restored Georgian townhouses in Dublin. These 18th-century townhouses, once the homes of notable figures such as Viscount Monck and Garret Wesley, were designed by famed Irish architect Richard Cassels. Over the years, they have witnessed significant events in Irish history, such as the birth of Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. The hotel’s name, ‘Merrion’, comes from the title ‘Viscount Merrion’, granted to Sir Charles Monck in 1760. Today, the hotel blends its historic grandeur with modern luxury, offering a unique retreat that is deeply rooted in the city’s architectural and social history. It serves as a beautiful reminder of Dublin’s Georgian heritage while providing world-class services to its guests.

Let’s dive deeper into why it is the quintessential choice for your wedding –

Unrivaled Location

Nestled in the heart of Dublin, the Merrion is conveniently located for you and your guests. Not only is it close to Dublin’s airport, but it also offers proximity to the city’s top attractions. From its doors, you can easily access Trinity College, the National Gallery, and the iconic Temple Bar. Moreover, the hotel’s Georgian neighbourhood is dotted with fashionable boutiques and Irish artisanal shops, offering your guests a slice of Ireland’s finest.

Hosting your guests in Dublin will give them the opportunity to enjoy the city which is always bursting at the seams with fun things to do. For history buffs, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse is a must. They’ll discover the rich history of the “black stuff,” and top off their tour with a pint at the Gravity Bar, boasting the best view of the city. If whiskey’s more their speed, they can swing by the Jameson Distillery for a swig of the smooth stuff.

Bookish pals will geek out at Trinity College, home to the iconic Book of Kells, while art aficionados can lose hours in the National Gallery. Tell them to pack comfy shoes – the cobblestone streets of Temple Bar are calling for an evening pub crawl, where they can discover traditional Irish music sessions. And if they’re looking for a breath of fresh air after all that city fun, a hike up to Howth Head promises killer coastal views.

When hunger strikes, they can munch their way through Dublin, from the street food markets to the swanky bistros. Trust us – they won’t want to miss out on the local specialties like Boxty or a traditional Irish stew!

Romantic & Artistic Setting

The hotel’s architecture, comprising two meticulously restored period wings, is in itself a romantic backdrop. The white Portland stone façade, enriched with ornate plasterwork and beautiful antiques, sets an ambiance of historical sophistication. The Garden Wing overlooks the beautiful private gardens, which bloom with many flowers and feature striking sculpture pieces, perfect for wedding photographs.
A unique feature of the Merrion is the extensive private art collection comprised of pieces from many 19th- and 20th-century artists. As soon as you step into the hotel, you are greeted by the extensive collection that adorns the hotel’s public rooms and corridors. Masterpieces by celebrated artists like Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, and Louis le Brocquy create an inspiring atmosphere that brings the rich history and creative spirit of Ireland alive. These pieces showcase Ireland’s natural beauty, its vibrant cityscapes, and portray its people and their stories, making each stroll around the hotel a journey through Irish art history.

One of the most significant pieces you’ll encounter is the Jack B. Yeats painting, entitled ‘Morning in a City.’ Yeats, brother of Nobel laureate W.B. Yeats, is known for his expressionistic, often vibrant depictions of Irish life. His painting in the Merrion, a poignant depiction of early morning city life, is a testament to his evocative style.

Art lovers will also appreciate the works of Paul Henry, renowned for his landscape paintings that celebrate Ireland’s rural charm. His paintings, characterized by a strong sense of color and form, are like visual poems dedicated to the Irish countryside. They encapsulate the rugged beauty and tranquility of the Irish landscapes.

Another important artist represented in the collection is Louis le Brocquy, considered one of the foremost Irish painters of the 20th century. His work, known for its exploration of the human condition, adds a contemporary contrast to the otherwise traditional collection.

Merrion Hotel Art Collection

And it’s not just the established masters that are represented; the Merrion collection also includes works by emerging artists, showcasing the future of Irish art. It’s a testament to the hotel’s dedication to supporting local culture and talent.

The best way to fully appreciate the collection is through the ‘Art Tea,’ a unique experience offered by the hotel where guests can enjoy fine pastries inspired by the artwork, whilst learning about the pieces from a dedicated art guide. It’s the perfect blend of cultural exploration and culinary indulgence, making art appreciation a delight for all senses.

Accommodation Excellence

Each room exudes comfort and style, designed with Irish fabrics, antiques, and artwork. The period-style rooms retain the classic charm of the 18th-century townhouses, while the Garden Wing rooms provide a more modern aesthetic, overlooking the tranquil private gardens. With a blend of classic and contemporary, hosting your guests at Merrion caters to every guest’s preference, ensuring that they’re accommodated in luxury and comfort.

Culinary Masterpieces

When it comes to wedding feasts, the Merrion excels with Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant, and was the first restaurant in Ireland to hold 2 Michelin stars. Led by Executive Chef Patrick Guilbaud, the restaurant offers exquisite French cuisine with a distinctly Irish twist. From succulent canapés to mouthwatering four-course meals, each dish is expertly crafted and beautifully presented. If you prefer a more relaxed setting, the Cellar Bar, set in the original 18th-century wine vaults, offers a more casual dining experience without compromising on quality and taste.

Merrion Hotel - Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

In addition to the fine dining restaurants, the Garden Room at the hotel is a delightful garden dining experience nestled in the heart of Dublin. Designed to bring the tranquility and beauty of the hotel’s private garden indoors, The Garden Room offers panoramic views and an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. The menu is a celebration of local and seasonal cuisine, masterfully prepared by Executive Chef Ed Cooney. It features a blend of modern dishes and traditional Irish classics, showcasing the best of Ireland’s rich culinary heritage. The Garden Room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making it the perfect spot for any meal, whether it’s a leisurely brunch, an intimate dinner, or a casual bite between sightseeing excursions. The dining experience at The Garden Room is complemented by an impressive wine list and attentive, friendly service, ensuring a memorable meal in an enchanting setting.

The Garden Room at Merrion Hotel

Unparalleled Amenities

Beyond the wedding itself, the Merrion pampers its guests with amenities like the Tethra Spa. Your guests can unwind with bespoke treatments in serene settings, or relax in the infinity pool that overlooks the private garden.

Immerse yourself in a world of relaxation and serenity at the Tethra Spa. This luxury wellness retreat, with its soothing decor and calming atmosphere, is designed to provide a tranquil sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s more than just a spa – it’s a blissful escape that elevates your stay at the Merrion to an even more memorable experience.

The centerpiece of the Tethra Spa is the stunning 18-meter infinity swimming pool, bathed in natural light and overlooking the Merrion’s private gardens. It’s a truly calming space, perfect for leisurely swims or energetic workouts.

Alongside the pool, you’ll find a fully equipped gym, kitted out with state-of-the-art exercise machines and free weights. If you’re after personalized attention, the spa’s experienced personal trainers are on hand to tailor a fitness regime to your needs, ensuring you maintain your wellness routine even while away from home.

The Tethra Spa also offers an extensive menu of holistic treatments that focus on nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. From invigorating massages and rejuvenating facials to soothing body wraps and treatments, each service is designed to provide an elevated spa experience. The spa uses premium product lines like ESPA and Darphin, known for their natural ingredients and proven results.

If you’re preparing for your wedding at the Merrion, the spa offers a variety of bridal packages to help you relax and get ready for your big day. These packages, tailored to your needs, can include a range of treatments such as facials, massages, manicures, and pedicures, ensuring you look and feel your best as you walk down the aisle.

Additional amenities at the Merrion enhance your stay even further. The hotel offers 24-hour room service, so you can indulge in the hotel’s culinary offerings anytime you wish. And, of course, the hotel’s private gardens offer a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city – a perfect spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing or pre-wedding festivities.

Ceremony and Reception Spaces

The pièce de résistance for a Merrion Hotel wedding is undoubtedly its reception and venue space. The hotel offers an array of stunning event rooms to suit weddings of varying scales. The grandeur of the Merrion’s magnificent ballroom, with its ornate detailing and stunning chandeliers, sets the stage for an unforgettable reception. This ballroom can comfortably accommodate up to 100 guests for a seated dinner and up to 150 for a cocktail reception.

For a more intimate setting, the Merrion’s private drawing rooms, with their authentic 18th-century décor and striking views of the garden, provide a more personal and serene atmosphere. The Wellington and Drawing rooms, distinguished by their period furniture, original artworks, and marble fireplaces, are perfect for smaller receptions of up to 50 guests.

If you dream of an outdoor wedding, Merrion’s private garden, which features manicured lawns, colorful blooms, and a variety of sculptures, can transform into an enchanting open-air venue. Here, you can exchange your vows under the Dublin sky, with the gentle rustle of leaves and the soothing trickle of fountains.

Each available space for a Merrion Hotel wedding echoes the elegant charm that has become synonymous with the venue. Attention to detail, impeccable service, and an unwavering commitment to excellence insures that your wedding reception unfolds just as you’ve always imagined, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Merrion Hotel Inside Lobby

Merrion Hotel Wedding  – Venue at A Glance

Address: The Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. D02 KF79


Capacity: 100 Guests

To see some of our work from a real Merrion Hotel wedding, check out this festive 3-day Merrion Hotel wedding of Ellen & Geoff.

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Merrion Hotel

Exchanging Vows During Autumn in Ireland: A Kaleidoscope of Colour & Romance

When Ireland embraces the transition from the warmth of summer to the cooler, soothing temperatures, it’s time for the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – autumn. Known for its unique traditions and picturesque landscapes, Ireland in this season offers a fascinating blend of romance and tranquillity, making it an ideal setting for weddings. The charms of an autumn wedding in Ireland are abundant and I advise clients frequently how Ireland in Autumn can make your special day amidst the Emerald Isle’s rustic beauty unforgettable.

Autumn, known as “fómhar” in Gaelic, is the time when Ireland is painted with a symphony of orange, gold, and red hues. The enchanting landscapes, splashed with warm shades, offer a breathtaking backdrop for your wedding day memories. This time of the year brings an unparalleled charm, with the foliage showing off its finest display and the Irish countryside exuding an air of serenity.

As the temperatures drop, Ireland’s weather becomes much more predictable, which is a significant factor to consider when planning an outdoor wedding. The likelihood of showers does remain, but the presence of an occasional drizzle only adds to the ethereal beauty that autumn brings. Imagine saying your vows under a sky bursting with autumn colours, accompanied by the soft pitter-patter of rain, a hallmark of the Irish weather.

Your wedding décor can naturally align with the autumn season, embracing the rich colour palette. Think of burnt-orange flowers, pine cones, and pumpkin centrepieces accenting your venue. Candles can provide a cosy, warm glow to evening celebrations, reflecting the early sunset times of autumn. For food and drink, consider incorporating Irish harvests such as apples, pears, and pumpkins, and don’t forget the warm, hearty stews, a staple of Irish cuisine.


Autumn in Ireland is also a wonderful time to incorporate local traditions into your wedding. The Celtic festival of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest season, is celebrated with bonfires and feasts, a tradition that could add a unique touch to your celebration. An Irish folklore symbol, the horseshoe, symbolizing luck and good fortune, can be included in the décor or as a small charm in the bride’s bouquet.

However, it’s essential to remember that daylight hours decrease during autumn. Plan your ceremony and photoshoot timings accordingly to make the most of the natural light.

Finally, consider your guests’ comfort. As the season can be cooler, especially in the evenings, providing wraps or blankets during outdoor parts of your celebration is a thoughtful gesture.

Getting married in Ireland during autumn is a visually stunning and unique experience. The captivating landscapes, rich traditions, and vibrant colours of the season provide a dreamy backdrop for any wedding. With careful planning and a sprinkle of Irish luck, your autumn wedding in Ireland can be a beautiful, memorable affair – as magical as the season itself.

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Aspect Photography, Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

Fairytale at Adare Manor: Ryan and Emily’s Enchanted Wedding

You may have heard the saying before: It’s all about who you know. In the case of Ryan and Emily, a string of knowing-someone-who-knows-someone is what brought the two together. At a business dinner, Emily sat next to one of Ryan’s friends. The next day, the same friend told Ryan all about Emily. Interested, Ryan started asking around. When he found a mutual friend, he wasted no time asking Emily out on a date. His persistence paid off. Fast forward: Emily was returning from a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Looking for a place to grab dinner and pass the time during a 12-hour layover in Quito, Ecuador, Emily suddenly found herself inside an empty restaurant – empty, except for a multitude of candles and flowers – and Ryan, down on one knee.

With the magic of their first meeting and Ryan’s perfect proposal, the couple felt certain Adare Manor, adorned with their theme of white, green and a myriad of candles, would be the ideal place to say their vows. The couple booked the venue “sight unseen” and accepted the fact that they wouldn’t see the place until the day of their wedding.

Little did they know their wedding planner (me!) would soon discover they were vacationing in London. With a little coaxing, the couple agreed to take a minor detour. In a whirlwind of 12-hours, Ryan and Emily were swept away by the grandeur of Adare Manor. They toured the venue and the surrounding village, explored after party locations, tasted cake options, and even worked in a hair and makeup trial! It was certainly an undertaking, but if their mind wasn’t made up on Adare Manor before, it certainly was now!

When the day finally arrived, Emily and Ryan stayed true to their color scheme. Emily wore a gorgeous white gown by Zuhair Murid and adorned heels by Manolo Blahnik. Ryan wore a dark green, custom-made suit. Once all the details were in place, it was time for the ceremony to begin. A white horse and carriage arrived to whisk Emily off to the ceremony, where guests were taking their seats amongst the meticulously groomed gardens of Adare Manor.

When Emily felt the horse and carriage pull forward, she began to cry. Her fairytale wedding was in motion. Shortly after, tears of joy were transformed into tears of laughter when she encountered all of her best guy friends in kilts and knee high socks. The invitation had specified “Black Tie or Kilt” and her friends had made sure their attire fit the regulations.

During the ceremony, more laughter ensued when Ryan attempted to follow the Jewish tradition of breaking a glass under his foot at the end of the ceremony.  Surprisingly, it was much more difficult than he had anticipated. After three tries, the glass finally shattered. It was then that Ryan realized the simple drinking glass had been replaced with a nearly indestructible whiskey bottle!

After the ceremony, Ryan and Emily spent some quiet time together, reflecting on their new roles as husband and wife. With so many emotions surrounding the wedding, it’s easy to be swept up in all the special moments. Taking time away from the crowd post-ceremony to meditate on such a monumental day is imperative. In fact, these are the moments many couples will remember the clearest when recalling their wedding day.

When Ryan and Emily returned to their guests, they were met with a wonderland of green and white floral, candles, and all of their family and friends. The atmosphere was absolutely enchanting.


Emily and Ryan spent the evening celebrating with all their favourite people under a chandelier of lush white and green florals. The Event Band kept the party going so everyone could let loose on the dance floor. Even Emily slipped into a light and breezy Vera Wang party dress that made it much easier to move. With so much to celebrate, dancing all night felt entirely appropriate!

If you ask Ryan and Emily for their advice, the couple’s first recommendation is to inquire with others who have gone before you. Find out what they did and how they did it. Secondly, the couple advocates strongly for an experienced wedding planner. Emily and Ryan knew they wanted a planner from the beginning, but they couldn’t have known how freeing it would be to have someone take control, help make the big decisions, and be there to navigate any unforeseen bumps in the road.

Emily and Ryan’s wedding at Adare Manor was an absolute vision. The beautiful couple spread their contagious joy wherever they went and their true love was evident to everyone in attendance.

Slán go Fóill,


Planner & Designer: Tara Fay Events | Venue: Adare Manor | Stationary: Appleberry Atelier| Calligraphy: Sarah O’Dea | Photography: Brosnan Photographic | Hair: David Cashman | Makeup: Christine Lucigano | Cake: MM Cookies | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Dress: Zuhair Murid | Florals: The Garden| Linens and Chairs: Total Event Rental | Ceremony Music: Deirdre Seaver | DJ: The Event Band | Entertainment: Orangeworks | Staging and Lighting: Gorilla Design | Sound and AV Production: KCLS