The general trend in groomswear has been a combination of informal and individual style. For a classic, timeless and elegant look, a 3-piece suit mixed with a jazzy neck or bow tie and a pocket square will serve the purpose.
Looking for something smart with a casual twist? Opt for a 2-piece suit. For sophistication, wear a black tie, tuxedo or sharp suit. For something extremely casual, consider gingham shirts, colourful ties and suspenders. A floral or succulent boutonniere will make your look fresh and show who the man of the moment is. Check out the available groomswear styles below and find out which one suits you.
Thinking of getting married abroad? A few pointers for your planning.
Do you dream of taking vows under sweltering foreign skies? Or a snow-covered canopy with a wintry Alpine view? If the answer is yes, you’d be treading a well worn path, where plenty of Irish couples have gone before.
Some of the most popular spots include Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Malta and the Caribbean, but there’s a long list of even further-flung destinations that cater for couples tying the knot.
With no shortage of Irish travel companies to help you plan an overseas wedding, it’s not a mammoth task. Most work with local wedding planners on the ground. You can also find Irish wedding planners that specialise in overseas events.
Both can help you with the logistics, like choosing a venue to suit your budget and style, creating the menus, and finding suppliers for photography, flowers and music.
But just as importantly, they’ll guide you through any legal hoops you need to jump in order to come home Mr. and Mrs.
Every country has different rules and requirements, some quirky and some common. In most you’ll need a Certificate of Freedom to Marry (which you get from the Department of Foreign Affairs). For nearly all religious ceremonies you’ll have to start the process locally. So if you plan to marry in a Catholic church in Barbados, you begin by contacting your local parish priest to obtain a pre-nuptial enquiry and his dispensation for you to marry abroad.
You get the gist — wherever you go you’ll need the low down on the process, whether it’s civil (normally in a registry office or the local town hall), or religious (lots of hotels in fashionable wedding destinations like Cyprus have their own chapels in the grounds).
Some Irish travel companies have posted really useful information on how the process works in popular places on their websites, so do some research online before you pick up the phone.
If you’re brave and bold enough to go it alone, you can of course plan it yourself. But if you choose this route make sure to find a venue that will lend a hand in the organisational department, and count on being able to travel there at least once in advance of the big day. For the legalities, you can contact the relevant embassy or the religious authorities in that country to root out the essentials.
Tips for travelling nuptials
• Weddingmoons are on the up! Combining your wedding with your honeymoon can save on costs. It also means you’re in situ to kick back and relax once the weeding deed is done
• Most couples plan at least a year in advance (you’ll need an absolute minimum of five months), and many travel companies will take bookings up to two years ahead of time
• If you organise everything through a travel company, check out whether they charge a set fee for the planning element, with the travel done separately, or whether you’re buying an all-in package. Discussing this upfront helps to make sure there are no hidden costs
• You’ll often get a group discount if family and friends make travel arrangements together
• Most marriages between Irish citizens that take place abroad don’t need to be registered at home, but the Department of Foreign Affairs does have some guidelines. https://www.dfa.ie/travel/our-services/marriage-and-civil-partnership-abroad
• Brides – a word of advice. Your dress usually goes in the overhead bin, which is an average measurement of 46 x 35 x 23 cm, so bear this in mind when designing that all-important gown!
Watch this space for upcoming posts on the best destinations for getting married abroad.
Gone are the days when the only way to remind your guests-to-be to save the date of your wedding was by using simple cards. You can now notify them of your special day in many unique ways. Want to send a card? No problem. Add some creativity by tying a knot to a vintage-inspired card to symbolise your impending tying the knot.
Attach a balloon and ask your guests to inflate it to reveal your wedding details. Take a photo in a romantic or funny pose and print it on a card, custom calendar or photo magnet to create an awesome and memorable Save the Date. For more inspiration to get your guests RSVPing promptly, see the pictures below.
Do you think adorable wedding gowns have to be long and flowing? Think again! Short wedding dresses are modern, playful and bring some chic to your overall look. They also allow you to flaunt your assets and move easily.
They are ideal for vintage, city hall and more casual weddings. From tea length to minis, lace to tulle and ruffles to bows, there are more than enough options to fit your personal style. Let our pictures help you find that perfect short wedding dress.
Vintage, Eco, celtic or classic — you want your day to be unique. To stand tall amongst wedding extravaganza, and reflect a little of yourselves in the mix!
So how difficult is it to dream up a themed wedding? And how far should you go in making it a special day?
Wedding theme factors
While you might crave a romantic vineyard reception or a salty beachcomber bash, it may not always be practical for an Irish wedding affair.
Yet a theme can be pretty much anything that allows you to set the pace. The basic factors you’ll need to consider first are budget, season, logistics and venue.
Themes can be based around place, like a village wedding, a pier-side party or the grandeur of an old country house. Or they can be planned to reflect an era — think 1950s Mad Men glamour, or 1920s Gatsby chic.
Maybe you want rustic and rural, offbeat and quirky, or classic celtic charm.
Once you have your theme in the offing, you’re ready to plan your day.
Wedding theme prep
But first to the paperwork! Wedding invitations define the feel from the start. A theme may drive your choice of material; so an Eco wedding invite could be on recycled paper, or maybe you’ll avoid paper completely and post sachets of seeds with a time and place inscribed inside! Your imagery and content too — a Celtic wedding invite might use an image from the Children of Lir, or quote from a traditional Irish poem.
If you’re printing a wedding programme later on, make sure it’s in keeping with these.
Themes and your wedding venue
Hotel, marquee or barnyard, a venue is the canvas on which you’ll draw your design. Possibly the biggest challenge in any wedding plan is to find the venue that allows you to create the rest.
Whether you’ve gone for romantic period drama or quirky boho chic, your decor and flowers should both be à la mode. Find out to what degree you’ll be able to influence these, depending on your venue of choice. So if it’s a hotel room and your theme is Victorian vintage, can you drape the setting in lace, place candelabra on the tables and make roses and peonies your flowers of choice?
Themed wedding attire
Your wedding garb is crucial, as well as being the fun part of the plan! Brides and grooms — no matter what your theme of choice, Pinterest and Google are your best research buddies here. When you’ve got an idea of the look you’re trying to achieve, you can hit the shops or dressmakers armed with a rough design. Of course Ladies, if you’ve gone the non-traditional route and it’s a ‘hoolie in a hay barn’, a flowing summer dress over your glitziest pink wellies may be your kit-out for the day.
It’s all fair game
From music and transport, to the food and cake, it’s all fair game on the day.
Setting your theme to music is a must. Whether it’s a sophisticated string quartet streaming melodies from Mozart, or 1940s sultry swing-jazz — your tunes are vital.
When it comes to transport, the world is your themed oyster. Eco wedding? Opt for a horse and carriage, or sport your own electric car. If it’s barn-style, maybe a plain old horse will do (side saddle for the bride of course)!
While the entire meal doesn’t have to be designed with your theme in mind, a few small touches can add a ton of character. At a winter wedding you might start with a hearty shot of soup, or a summer solstice bash could put a focus on fresh seasonal salads.
Finally – your cake. Hand made decorations can convey anything at all. So play with your imagination and you’ll be amazed what you’ll create.
CONSIDERING A HUMANIST WEDDING? IT COULD BE THE OPTION FOR YOU.
Michael and Petra are radiant. The ceremony has been seamless, with readings from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, and an extract from a Dalai Lama speech. Petra’s sister read a poem about love by W.B. Yeats, the bride’s favourite poet. Vows have been exchanged, the newly donned rings are gleaming, and the legalities are all in place.
With the bridal party heading out of the chapel for a photographic spree under the bright July sun, the picture is idyllic. The Wicklow Mountains loom large behind, and the guests are slowly wandering across the gardens with the promise of a Champagne reception back at the main hotel.
Irish Humanist Association
According to the Humanist organisation, their weddings and partnership ceremonies “are all about a couple celebrating their love for each other, and making a commitment to one another in the company of those people who are important to them”. Humanism itself is “a view of life that combines reason with compassion”.
Less than two years ago, this type of wedding ceremony would have had no legal standing. That was before the Irish Civil Registration Amendment Act 2012, which changed the playing field completely.
In the year 2000 the vast majority of couples in Ireland were married in either a Catholic or Protestant Church. By 2011 the figures choosing to marry outside of these had increased enormously. But for those who did not want a religious ceremony, the options were few.
Legally, they had to be married at a civil service in a government-run registry office, as only members of the clergy were allowed to officiate at ceremonies elsewhere.
Then in January 2013 the change in the Irish law took effect, allowing registered members of secular bodies to perform legal wedding ceremonies.
Now it can all happen on the day, and in the venue of your choice (there are some provisos on this).
Why marry outside of the Church?
The reasons why more and more couples in Ireland are choosing to follow this route?
Some are from different religious backgrounds and find that a Humanist ceremony is a place where they can find common ground. Others don’t have a religion. Some are divorcees and face barriers to marrying in a Church; others like the fact that this type of ceremony allows for a personal dimension that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, whilst dealing with the required legalities at the same time.
Book wedding ceremony far in advance
The Humanist Association (www.humanism.ie) had been campaigning in Ireland for over a decade to bring about the change, and their few licensed celebrants are in serious demand.
So if you do decide to go the Humanist route, reserve well in advance. There are currently only 14 celebrants available in Ireland, and their time is booked up far ahead.
Costs are reasonable, and celebrants place importance on spending time with the couple before the wedding to make the proceedings as personal as possible.
And if at some future date you choose to hold a ‘naming ceremony’ rather than a baptism, they provide this service too!
You might have spent a lot of time and effort meticulously planning every detail of your wedding. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility of mishaps happening. If you’re unprepared, even small mishaps can send you into panic mode. For that reason, you should always have your wedding day emergency kit at hand.
Don’t know what should be in your kit? Relax, our informative list will help you learn the essential items to include in your emergency kit and how they will help save the day.
Here’s the list:
• Breath Mints: The “you may now kiss the bride” moment should be memorable – for the right reasons! Breath mints will help make that first kiss memorable due to its sweetness.
• Q-tips: They come in handy when you need to clean up drippy makeup.
• Blotting sheets: Looking oily is not cue at all, especially on your wedding day. Too much shine will make you look sweaty and greasy in photos. These sheets will help you absorb shine and oil.
• Duct tape: Duct tape can fix anything, from a fallen hem to a loose bouquet.
• Mini sewing kit: It could turn out to be the most useful item in the fight against emergencies. It will help you take care of loose threads, snags and tears. The kit should include needles, safety pins, scissors and thread that match the colors of your groom and groomsmen apparel as well as yours and your bridesmaids.
• Medication: Headaches, allergies, indigestion and other medical mini-emergencies can strike when you least expect them to. Don’t expect them to stay away just because it’s your big day. For that reason, take precaution and carry medicine like antacids, pain killers and allergy medication.
• Band-Aids: Your heels look amazing, but that doesn’t mean they’ll feel that way four or five hours after wearing them. Band-aids help you address blisters and small cuts.
• Lotion: It gets rids of dry patches.
• Tweezers: From errant hairs to splinters, this tiny tool sure does come in handy.
• Deodorant: Your smell should be as good as your look. Carry a deodorant or your favourite perfume to keep odour away.
• Hairspray: Helps you tame those last-minute frizzy bits and fly-aways.
• Toothbrush and toothpaste: The overwhelming excitement can make you forget to brush your teeth after waking up.
• Eye drops: They help refresh red eyes that might ruin your look. They are a must-have for those with contacts and dry eye problems.
• Healthy snacks and water: In the run up to your wedding, all the planning and excitement can make you skimp on meals. To avoid passing out or feeling sick during the big day, keep a stash of healthy snacks that are low in sugar and high in protein. Granola bars and fruit are excellent choices. Don’t forget to have some water to keep you hydrated. It’s a good idea to carry some drinking straws to help you stay hydrated without messing up your lipstick.
• Bobby pins: Carry a handful of bobbys for you and your girls to use when your bangs become unruly or ‘dos lose shape. They’ll keep your hair picture-perfect.
• Nail polish and nail file: You’ll use them to polish chips. Clear nail polish can also stop runs in tights and nylons.
• Wrinkle release spray: It helps remove wrinkles from your dress.
• Fake eyelash glue: Eyelashes that promise long hours of wear can fall short.
• Tampons: You might not need one but someone else will.
• Static guard: Spray it on your gown, veil, bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride’s gowns, and anything else that has the uncomfortable static cling.
• Lint roller: This is especially helpful for your groom and groomsmen’s suits.
• White chalk: It covers up stains on white dresses. Let it be your trusted weapon to disguise stains and dirt on your gown.
• Fast flats: You might want to change into them when your feet start hurting.
• Bug spray: This is especially essential for outdoor weddings. Mosquitoes and little bugs that love tulle might attack you. The resulting pink bites won’t look good in photos. Go for an unscented spray.
• Tissue: You may experience a roller coaster of emotions on your wedding day. Throw a travel pack of tissues into your emergency kit to save your makeup from the impending flood of tears.
If you have everything you need to take care of emergencies, you’ll be calmer and happier.
In the Roman times, veils were worn to protect the bride from evil spirits. Later on, when arranged marriages were common, they were used to hide the bride-to-be’s features until the union was legal. This ensured the groom didn’t back out of the deal if he disliked his bride-to-be’s look. Nowadays, veils are considered a bridal accessory. However, some brides still wear them for religious purposes.
From short and funky to long and flowing, there are many beautiful bridal veils to choose from. Only the right veil will transform you into a vision of perfection. On the contrary, a wrong veil will make your beautiful dress look a little off the mark. Read on to find out the crucial factors to consider when choosing your veil.
Veils come in many different lengths. The right length will complement the silhouette of your dress. Consider trying on different veil lengths during your dress fitting to see which one works best with your dress.
Short veils like blushers and birdcages tend to give you an informal or retro look and also add some personality. They are great for tea-length and city hall dresses. Long veils like chapel and cathedral styles are the most universally flattering veils. They give you a formal and traditional look.
As a rule of thumb, the shorter your dress, the shorter your veil should be.
Colour is an important aspect because it contributes to your look in photos. A colour difference may be portrayed quite differently by the camera. Choose a veil that is in the same colour as your gown, or something very close to it.
The fabric you pick should be ideal for the look you wish to create. Synthetic tulle is the most common fabric. It is also the safest and most budget-friendly option. It holds its shape well both outdoors and indoors. It can create a voluminous look without adding a lot of weight.
Silk is the ultimate in beauty and luxury. It is often selected by royalty. It is delicate and can easily tear outdoors. It comes in two different types: soft silk and crisp silk. Soft silk is very fluid, drapey and delicate. You can barely perceive it through touch. It is perfect for vintage style and flowing gowns. Crisp silk is extremely light and transparent. It almost floats in the air, creating a dainty silhouette.
When it comes to detailing, your aim should be to strike a balance between your veil and your dress. The two should never compete. Let’s assume your dress has lots of embellishments. If you go for a heavily embroidered veil, it will clash with the detail on the dress. Your best choice would be a very simple veil. The converse is also true. If your dress is simple and unembellished, pair it with a more elaborate veil.
Duration, in this case, refers to how long you intend to wear your veil. This factor also helps you determine the veil’s length. If you’re planning to remove it before the reception, you can wear any length and style. However, if you’d like to wear it at both the ceremony and reception, it’s best to wear something more functional. A short veil or a long one with detachable layers would be the best options. They will allow you to move easily without worrying about staining them or tripping over them.
You should consider how you plan to wear your hair before selecting a veil. Your hairstyle should support and accentuate your veil. For instance, low updos or hair worn down tends to work best with mantilla veils and bridal caps. Birdcages and blushers are more adaptable and work well with many different hairstyles.
If you want to showcase your wedding hair, choose a veil that you’ll remove for the reception or one you can fasten below your ‘do. If you wear your hair up, the veil can be worn on top of or underneath a bun or chignon. Placing it above gives it a more classic and voluminous look whereas pinning it below creates a modern look and draws attention to your updo.
After purchasing your veil, remember to take it with you for the trial run so that you and your hair stylist can find the perfect style.
These handy tips will help you pick the right veil and avoid any last-minute surprises.
So you have decided to say “I do” away from home. You are constantly thinking of packing your bags and running away to your chosen getaway and having a wedding to remember. Enough of a daydreaming, it’s time to get back to reality.
For you to have a flawless destination wedding, you’ll have to do a lot of work behind the scenes. Let’s make things easier for you by giving you the top 7 essential tips.
1. Hire A Wedding Planner
Planning a destination wedding takes a lot of time and money. For this reason, it is wise to hire a local wedding planner. A local planner will help you research and source local suppliers at favourable prices, handle logistics and overcome language and cultural barriers. If you prefer going with a planner from your country, make sure she has experience in planning destination weddings.
2. Know The Legalities
Marriage regulations vary from country to country. Many countries have a residency requirement. That can be as little as 24 hours to as many as 40 days. This condition implies that you’ll have to reside in your destination for a certain period before your wedding.
There are some documents that may be required for you to marry in the particular country you have chosen. Some cultures may require a specific dress code. For example, in some countries, women have to wear clothes that cover their arms and shoulders.
Make sure you know all the local marriage requirements.
3. Time It Right
When it comes to timing, the primary concern should be the destination’s weather. The last thing you should do is assume that your chosen destination usually has pleasant weather all year round. For instance, if you decide to have your wedding in the Caribbean after July, you’ll encounter interruptions by the hurricane season. A monsoon season, heat wave and snowfall won’t do your special day any good either.
Unfortunately, the most ideal weather in most popular destinations coincides with the tourist season. This means high rates, more crowds and fewer venues. Therefore, you’ll have to book hotels and venues as far in advance as possible.
4. Send Out Early Save the Dates
Your guests will need time to reorganise themselves, take their annual leave, save money and book hotels. If you get caught up in the flurry of activities and leave sending of invites till late, you may get frustrated on your wedding day due to low attendance. Remember to send out Save the Dates as early as possible, preferably 10-12 months ahead of the big day.
5. Plan Extra Activities
Your guests will have covered significant distance. It wouldn’t be fair for them just to arrive, attend your event and leave. Set up some welcome events a day or two before your wedding. Take your guests hiking, sailing, horseback riding or any other exciting activity. Give them lots of information on the destination such as accommodation, maps, weather and local eats. That way, they won’t bother you with too many questions.
6. Carry Extra Money
Carry more money than you think you’ll need even if you have already paid for everything. You may need to cover other expenses like welcome bags, tours, treating yourself and your bridal party to some pampering at some local spa and buying souvenirs just to name a few.
7. Pack Early
It goes without saying that a destination wedding will involve packing. You won’t run back home if you realise you forgot something just hours before your wedding. Start packing early to ensure you’ll have all your wedding essentials with you on the big day.
It is also worth considering shipping luggage ahead to your hotel. When you check in with numerous bags, you’ll waste time in long lines and might also have to worry about lost luggage. Claiming for lost luggage can take too much of your time. You can save yourself from all this stress by shipping your entire luggage to your hotel.
8. Take Care Of The Dress
Last but not least, take special care of your dress. Don’t bundle it with the rest of the luggage. You can’t afford to have it wrinkled or damaged. Take your dress on board with you in a garment bag and ask the flight attendant to hang it for you. Alternatively, you could buy a plane ticket for your gown. Many brides have done that in the past, so don’t feel crazy if you also decide to go down that route.
After arriving at your destination, have the dress steamed by some reputable cleaners. You can also opt to buy a travel-sized steamer and carry it with you. Steam relaxes creases.
You’re getting married abroad. Isn’t that reason enough to be happy and excited? Make sure you enjoy yourself!
So the big day is over, the knot is firmly tied and you’re both in need of some serious R and R. Wherever you go, this trip will be one to remember. From fantasy island retreats to romantic bush adventure, we’ve a few ideas for Irish honeymooners on the prowl.
At only 14 miles long, Antigua is an island for intimacy. Straddling the Atlantic and Carribean seas, barrier reefs surround the glorious sandy beaches, the perfect mecca for watersports. If you’re more horizontally inclined, gaze out onto that haze-filled horizon, the latest page turner in one hand and a cool glass of bubbly in the other. Sunny and dry nearly all year round, this spot is a jack of all seasons. A few of the loveliest resorts have been created in tropical village style with lush greenery and plant life in abundance. A ten minute speedboat trip off the north of the island will take you to the isolated Jumby Bay Resort http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/jumby-bay-antigua where a rondavel one-bed suite includes an outdoor garden with its own private rain shower. Next door to Antigua, twin island Barbuda is yet more deserted and possibly even a tad more picturesque.
Closer to home, the Costa de La Luz in the southern-most part of Spain is the last stop in Europe before hitting African shores. Still relatively undiscovered by tourists, the area’s capital Cadiz is old city charm at its best, with spectular coastal surrounds. Ecologically this area is closely protected, so there are long stretches of unspoilt terrain and not a high rise to be seen. Fly to Malaga or Seville and drive here off-motorway to explore the lovely whitewashed villages dotted all around. Quirky boutique hotels and guest houses with an emphasis on old fashioned service are plentiful. Or stay at the very modern Parador de Cadiz http://www.parador.es/en/paradores/parador-de-cadiz to wander the city, and spend a night or two at the Parador de Mazagon http://www.parador.es/en/paradores/parador-de-cadiz to explore the luscious Doñana National Park nearby.
Spot lions at dawn and springbok at dusk, when it comes to romance, private game reserves are out on their own. Hit South Africa for your foray into the wild, where places like Phinda Private Game Reserve http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/articles/entry/article-southafrica.net-phinda-private-game-reserve in Kwazulu Natal and Kwandwe Reserve http://www.kwandwe.com/ in the Eastern Cape are an unforgettable escape into nature. Pair up your bush adventure with a few glamorous days in the Mother City; in glitzy Cape Town you’ll find contemporary African chic mixed with traditional African soul.
Jump to another Carribean dream, but this time in Mexico’s Riviera Maya http://www.rivieramaya.com/. A long, secluded stretch of paradise just south of Cancún, its waters sparkle a deep turquoise and fat lazy lizards lounge in the sun. The Tres Rios Resort http://www.haciendatresrios.com/ is designed to indulge every last bone of a newly post-nuptial pair. But it’s just one of a number in this area. When you tire of treating yourself, balance the indulgence with a cultural sidetrack to the local Mayan ruins at Tulum http://www.rivieramaya.com/en/being-there/what-to-see/tulum.
Honeymoon heaven also lies on a glistening Greek Isle in the Aegean Sea, an easy hop from Irish soil. At the Mykonos Grand Hotel http://www.mykonosgrand.gr/ newly-weds are tempted with specially designed honeymoon packages that include personal chefs, a rose petal turndown service, and a Kamasutra Seduction box. Inspired by the film shot on location at the hotel beach, their Shirley Valentine package comes with a four-course dinner along the dunes.