The recession caused an inevitable surge in young people emigrating to find work and to build a new life. Many of our customers nowadays live in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and throughout Asia, and while they have settled down abroad most still want to come home to Ireland to get married. It’s a wonderful memory for them to make, and gives them the opportunity to celebrate with all of their friends and family without the huge cost of getting their guests to travel abroad. Planning your Irish wedding from abroad however can be a daunting task and can be difficult at times. Today we’re giving some helpful advice on how to go about planning your wedding at home in Ireland from abroad.
1. Make a list, check it twice!
Firstly, you will need a strong checklist of things you will need to organise. Church or ceremony venue, reception venue, band, photographer, florist, cakes…making out this list combined with your approximate budget for each item as well as your ‘must-haves’ will make it easier when you start to approach suppliers so you can ask all the right questions from the beginning.
2. Build your team at home
Ask your family members and close friends if they are willing to be your troops on the ground. It may be useful for them to visit venues and wedding fairs to pick up information and ideas for you. Bear in mind that some suppliers will not accept a booking before having met a couple in person, so unless you are planning to come home to book and pay deposits (not ideal when you could be competing for available dates), find out if the suppliers will accept deposits from a family member, or if it is possible to arrange a Skype meeting.
3. Be prepared for it to take time
If you are corresponding with suppliers mostly via email, bear in mind any time differences that could cause a delay in responses. If you are 12 hours ahead and send an email in the morning, the supplier probably won’t read it until the following morning their time, you may not see a reply til late that night, and so on. Be patient, and remember that this is where your initial list of questions will come in handy so that you can ask as much as possible right away.
4. Allow enough time between landing in Ireland and the wedding
There is nothing worse than getting off a plane 24 hours before your wedding, when you may be suffering from jetlag, puffy eyes and blocked ears! Give yourself a couple of days to settle back in at home, to relax and ensure everything is ready. This will eliminate any possible issues if your travel plans are delayed.
5. Find out all of the legal requirements
The Registrar’s office in Ireland will require a meeting with you before the wedding, so factor this in to your travel arrangements. If you are planning on being home 12 months before the wedding, try to schedule in the meeting at this time.
6. Hire a wedding planner
Finally, trying to plan a wedding from abroad can be daunting task. If you have busy jobs, kids, or perhaps don’t have many people at home that can help you out, it may a good idea to hire a wedding planner to do the hard work for you. They will have valuable insider knowledge of suppliers, the ability to negotiate discounts, and will know all of the right questions to ask as well as being in the same time zone. Many also offer a ‘day-of’ service so that they will be on hand to help you throughout the big day itself. Many couples consider it a frivolous expense, but in the long run could eliminate a lot of stress and get you a great deal.
Do you have any tips for brides and grooms that are trying to organise their wedding back home? Tell us!