Ireland Winter Wedding Do’s and Don’ts

Winter in Ireland is magical and wonderful in more ways than one. If you’re planning a seasonal wedding you’ve chosen just the right spot! While the basics of wedding planning remain the same, there are some Ireland winter wedding Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind.

Do Dress in Layers

When it comes to winter weather, layers offer the most flexibility to change and adapt. By wearing layers, you can enjoy outdoor festivities while remaining cozy, and then hang up the extra pieces to dance the night away indoors. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to bring layers even if you don’t end up using all of them!

Don’t Expect Snow Everywhere

If you’re hoping for snow, you may want to research where it’s most likely to occur. Ireland does not get snow on all parts of the island. Some of the more mountainous regions will experience some snow, but the most common weather in winter is rain. If you’re really wanting that all-white winter, you can work it into your theme and design a winter wonderland without the hassle that real snow brings.

Do Provide Warmth for Your Guests

Winter in Ireland can get chilly, which means it is important to provide some form of warmth for your guests. Although your venue may provide a heated indoor space, a thoughtful way to show your guests you care is by providing ways for them to keep warm during the outdoor portions. This could be something as simple as having blankets ready, cozy shawls, or a warm drink bar would be lovely in the winter chill.

Don’t Underestimate the Rain

Irish winter weather can be unpredictable and often comes in the form of rain (rather than snow). Don’t let this dissuade you from a stunning seasonal wedding on the Emerald Isle. However, do make sure you keep an eye on weather patterns and adjust accordingly.

Do Book Accommodation in Advance

Tourism in Ireland is busy in the winter season so you’ll need to book in advance. When planning, try to give yourself and your guests enough time before the wedding to be able to secure accommodation during your wedding weekend.

Don’t Assume Everything is Open

As the season rolls in, hours of operation change across the country. Whether it’s local shops or even attractions you want to enjoy while in Ireland, make sure to do your research. Many places will shorten their hours for the winter and some may close for renovations, so it is always good to know before you go.

Do Be Mindful of Shorter Days

If you want your ceremony to take place in the daylight, or have plans for photos during the golden hour, just remember that the days become shorter as winter rolls in. With a little research, this is easy to work with and may simply require your day or reception starting a few hours earlier than you had expected.

Don’t Assume There’s Sufficient Heating

Although some of our oldest historic castles make for stunning wedding venues, it is important to check and make sure the venue has sufficient heating to keep you and your guests comfortable. While the majority of these venues have had modern heating and amenities built in, it is still good to double-check what they offer to combat the winter cold.

Don’t Let the Season Discourage You

Planning a winter wedding, like any wedding, has its own difficulties and details to look out for. This doesn’t mean it is impossible! In fact, some of my favorite Ireland weddings took place in the winter. Hopefully, these Ireland winter wedding Do’s and Don’ts can help you plan your perfect seasonal wedding in Ireland.

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Images by Story of Eve

Why Choose Tara Fay Events?

Nice to meet you! I’m Tara Fay.

You may be wondering: Why Choose Tara Fay Events? Before I point you to my website and my Instagram where you can see many examples of my work, I thought I would start with an introduction. I am so excited you’re here and happy to share a little bit about myself!

First and foremost, I’m a Dublin girl and I truly believe Ireland is the most incredible place. No matter where in the world my career or travels with my husband and children take me, this city will always be my home.  Even when I’m traveling, the Emerald Isle is never far from my heart. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think this beautiful isle is simply the most magical place on earth!

Wedding planning is what I love to do (and I have been doing it internationally for more than two decades) but I am a fan of all events, big and small. I started my career as an event planner in Los Angeles but returned home to Ireland in 1997 to begin Xena Productions, which would eventually become Tara Fay Events. In those days, wedding planners were something completely new, and I think people thought I was a bit mad! We were the very first company here in Ireland to specialise in private parties, weddings, corporate and social events.

We’ve come a long way since! (My Instagram is a testament to this fact!)

Over the years, my team and I have created and produced many of the country’s most creative and extravagant celebrations for a discerning list of celebrities and leading business figures, both at home and abroad. We’ve had our work featured in all sorts of publications, including Hello Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, and many more. (Most recently, I was interviewed by The Knot about the Irish Ring Warming Ceremony.) I have been a regular guest on national radio and television and I host a YouTube channel with my colleague and dear friend, Bruce Russell, called: Bruce & Tara Live.  You could say I keep quite busy!

If you’re newly engaged and ready to start looking for a wedding planner, here is my best advice:

First, ensure that you have a rapport with your wedding planner and can trust them. This will be the base of your relationship and the most important factor for a stress-free wedding experience. Second, learn about their pricing structure! This information will provide you with a better understanding of what you can expect from them. Lastly, request testimonials from the venue where you’d like to host your wedding, the vendors that you’d like to hire, and from couples they’ve worked with in your selected venue.

I’d love to help you plan the most important day of your life, so if you’d like to learn more about me or discuss working together, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

I wish you all the best!!

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Image by Barry McCall, Story of Eve, Aspect Photography and my Instagram

A Guide to Planning a Holiday Weekend Destination Wedding in Ireland

Wedding bells are ringing and you’re considering a destination wedding over a holiday weekend. The idea seems tempting but carries its unique challenges, especially if your dream destination is none other than the Emerald Isle. But before you dive in headfirst, let’s break down the pros and cons of planning your nuptials over a holiday weekend in this land of mystic beauty.

Pros of a Holiday Destination Weekend in Ireland

Extended Celebrations

Holiday weekends mean extended time off work and transforming your wedding into a mini-vacation for your guests. It’s not just a day, but a complete weekend of joy, celebration, and unforgettable memories.

Travel Ease

With extra days off, your guests have more leeway to manage their travel. They can arrive early or stay late without eating too much into their allotment of vacation days.

If the holiday weekend aligns with an Irish festival, your wedding can incorporate elements of Irish culture, providing your guests with a rich, immersive experience. Whether it’s the lively parade on St. Patrick’s Day or the traditional festivities on Easter Monday, these unique cultural experiences can elevate your wedding to a whole new level of enchantment.

Cons

Availability

Holiday weekends, especially holidays shared between countries like Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day, are peak times for travel. Flights, accommodations, and even your desired venues may be booked months in advance and prices are likely to be higher.

Attendance

Not everyone will be keen on using their holiday for a wedding, as these days are traditionally spent with family or on personal vacations.

Scheduling Conflicts

US and Ireland holidays don’t always coincide. For instance, while both nations enjoy festivities on St. Patrick’s Day, US-specific holidays like Labor Day or Memorial Day won’t be observed in Ireland, and vice versa for Irish holidays like Easter Monday or St. Stephen’s Day.

Before setting the date, research and compare Irish holiday schedules. You might find an overlap that works perfectly, no matter what countries your guests are travelling from.

Navigating the journey of a destination wedding over a holiday weekend can be tricky. Yet, with a dash of planning, a spoonful of understanding, and a pinch of flexibility, you can create an enchanting experience that marries the magic of the holiday and the romance of a wedding in a memorable Irish backdrop. The pros and cons are many, but at the end of the day, the sound of your loved ones’ laughter echoing across the Irish moors and under the holiday fireworks, will make it all worthwhile. If you are interested in reading more about planning a destination wedding in Ireland, check out my Do’s and Don’ts blog here.

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Images by Fred Marigaux Photography, Story of Eve, Unikeye Photography

Formal Winter Wedding at Mount Juliet | Esias & Sheena

Gingerbread House
Gingerbread House

Working with Esias and Sheena to plan their wedding with a theme focused on a winter wedding at Mount Juliet was a delight and turned out beautifully! After hearing about the proposal from Sheena, I knew we had to match the romance and personality of this wonderful couple. My suggestion for the venue was Mount Juliet, which I have featured in a previous post highlighting the top 10 country house wedding venues in Ireland, but the bride initially had her mind set on a few other locations which ended up being unavailable. In the end, after seeing Mount Juliet, she agreed that it was a great location that checked all the boxes she was looking for – being close to Dublin, available accommodations for guests, food options, etc.

To describe a bit more about why I suggested Mount Juliet, it is nestled within the verdant Irish countryside, it is a breathtaking wedding venue that offers an idyllic setting at a majestic Georgian Manor house, set on a sprawling 500-acre estate. The bride described to me that she had always dreamt of a winter wedding and this venue seamlessly blends historic elegance with modern luxury, providing an enchanting backdrop for the ultimate fairy-tale winter wedding. Surrounded by meticulously landscaped gardens, ancient woodlands, and the tranquil River Nore, Mount Juliet is the epitome of romance and charm.

After walking down the aisle lined by beautiful floral arrangements, one touch which made the decor of the reception area stunning was a large hanging centerpiece. As described by the bride, “the room felt like a fairy-tale as a result of the intricate and magnificent floral arrangement. It was the most stunning arrangement I’ve ever seen and added a real wow factor.”

As for the rest of the wedding day decor, she expressed to me that she wanted a theme of a wintery wedding which included white florals and an abundance of greenery with navy and gold accents throughout highlighted by flickering candlelight. This idea was at the forefront during the planning process and I was able to incorporate a medley of white roses and lilies interspersed amongst the many different fragrant white blossoms, the lush greenery adds depth and texture, creating a harmonious balance between vibrant colours and verdant foliage. The floral arrangements were further illuminated by hanging candle votives, their warm, flickering glow casting a soft, romantic light that danced across the flowers and leaves.

The hanging centerpiece and other design elements created an ambiance of a warm, wintery wedding and were not only an awe-inspiring centerpiece but also a testament to the love and commitment shared by the couple on their unforgettable day.

The reception was not only beautifully decorated, but the guests had a great time listening to speeches, eating dinner, listening to a live band, and the night even featured the first dance sung by the Bride’s Uncle. While Mount Juliet wasn’t the bride’s first choice, she admitted that the other venues not being available were a blessing in disguise as the wedding went well, the location provided a stunning backdrop, and everyone had a great time.

Slán go Fóill,

Tara

Photo Credits: Under the Veil, Mount Juliet

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,

Tara

Images by Story of Eve