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You’ve shouted it from the roof tops, partied with your nearest and dearest and shown off the ring all round. Congratulations – you’re engaged!

Now the real work begins, with the planning of the big event. Don’t worry – with a little thought, a lot of preparation and a fine dollop of humour to boot, you’re sure to turn your vision for the perfect wedding into reality on the day.

To help you on your way, we bring you the nuts and bolts of the wedding countdown calendar.


Most couples plan 12 months in advance, but whether you have a full year before the big day or you’ve thrown caution to the wind and you’re timing is tight, your list begins with the basics.

  • What exactly is your idea of the perfect wedding and does your partner feel the same or have different thoughts – make sure you are both on the same sheet.
  • Work out your budget, agree the maximum number of guests, and research your ideal venue.
  • Decide on a definite date
  • Decide on who your bridal party will be and pose the question to them – make sure to note your proposed wedding date to them to avoid any close family members of friends not being able to attend the wedding.
  • Paint a rough picture of how you want your day to be. Now you’ve a theme or style in mind, don’t panic – you’re halfway down the aisle!


  • Make appointments with the wedding coordinators at your shortlist of venues, and get those quotes rolling in and decide on your final choice of venue (.. and breath a sigh of relief)
  • Start browsing through websites of potential wedding providers – the DJ, band or musicians, the videographer or photographer, any outside caterers, florists and ceremony celebrants
  • Send “save the date” cards if you are getting married abroad
  • Admit it  – you’ve been thinking about that dress, and you’ve flipped through enough magazines to fill a landmass by now. Get out there, hit the hottest spots for gowns, and narrow down your thoughts
  • Create your own wedding website just for you both


  • Book your photographer, car hire, music
  • Give you notification of intention to marry to Registrar (remember you need to give at least 3 months notice)
  • If you need to rent anything such as chair covers, red carpets etc book these now
  • Attend some of the many wedding fairs around Ireland
  • Ensure the hotel has reserved a block booking of bedrooms for your guests – ask them for a promo code(to book the rooms online or offline) which you can attach to your Wedding Invitations or else you can email directly to the people you wish to offer the rooms to
  • Ladies – decision time on the dress! Take the plunge and decide whether you can find the right one off the shelf, or if you’d prefer to have it made. Make those appointments now
  • Grooms, try out a Tux and get your groomsmen on board


  • Research and plan your honeymoon making sure your passports are in date and researching any visas you may require
  • With the wedding gown in the making, plan your bridesmaids’ attire
  • You’ve done the tastings, now agree the final menu
  • If you’ve chosen the wedding gift registry option, make sure the list is ready to go and that it is also available online
  • Check you have all the legal documents required to tie the knot and avoid any last minute drama!
  • Select your wedding rings and get your cake in order
  • Make a final decision on your wedding stationery
  • Once you have decided on your theme meet with your florist to discuss
  • Organise the order of service – mass booklets, readings, songs
  • Look around for alternative accommodation for your guests if there is a need and block book rooms
  • Any ideas on your hen party or stag party!
  • Finalise your wedding cake


  • Tie down plans with your celebrants, musicians, photographer/videographer and florist. Make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to style and theme – fun or serious, traditional or not?
  • Send out your invitations and include directions from ceremony location to venue location if applicable
  • Book hair stylist/make up artist and attend trials
  • Attend dress fittings
  • Choose gifts for parents and bridal party
  • Finalise your guest list and send approximate figures to the venue


  • With the hen and batchelor nights looming, just go with the flow – this one’s not your call
  • Have your final dress fitting
  • Recheck the order of events on the day, everything from transport to the ceremony line-up and cutting of the cake
  • Confirm hair, make up and salon appointments (you’ve already tried them out)
  • Call any guests who have not responded to the invitation
  • Start packing for your honeymoon………..and take a nice deep breath


  • Draw up a schedule of how your big day is going to run and distribute this to your bridal party, venue and suppliers
  • Nominate 1 person from each side of the family to assist the photographer in seamlessly getting the required people together for the shots that you have indicated that you want taken
  • Give your final guests number for the meal to the venue – usually 2/3 days before
  • Finalise your table plan and submit to the venue
  • Re-confirm your suppliers one final time
  • Collect groomsmen suits and final fitting
  • Organise money for your suppliers who need to be paid on the day – consider nominating a family member of someone from the bridal party to do this for you
  • Pack your suitcase for the honeymoon as well as an overnight bag for the day after the wedding
  • Have a relaxed evening with any family and friends from overseas
  • Deliver final payment to the venue if required


  • Ensure dresses/suits shoes have been collected and are in the possession of the correct persons
  • Drop off cake, place names, seating plan, wine or champagne, favours to the venue
  • Ceremony rehearsal with the full wedding party
  • The best man has been given the rings
  • Arrange to have a safe available to you in the hotel or a suitable secure room where all your gifts and cards can be stored
  • Drop off your car at the venue or make sure someone drives it there so that you have it the day after
  • Finalise your speech


Got it all done? Now just relax and enjoy – you’re as organised as you’ll ever be!

Winter Wedding Flowers & Arrangements


So you might feel Jack Frost nipping at your toes but this does not mean you cannot have a stunning array of Winter Flowers inside. We just love winter weddings, who would not!  One of the most magical times of the year.  Log fires, mulled wine, snowflakes falling, twinkling stars and your cosy reception indoors. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can only choose white flowers at Christmas – quite the opposite.  Crisp winter posies on your wedding day can still provide the colour you are looking for. Yes it is true to say that importing more colourful and exotic flowers from abroad can be expensive especially during the winter months but there are a number of flowers available to you:


winter-wedding-flower-ideas-004Tulips – all time favourite large and slender with leaves in a rosette

White scented Hyacinth – A scent with love on your wedding day

Amaryllus – spectacular for table decorations

Roses – all time elegant classic

Lillies – elegance, charm, beauty and grace all in one

Ranunculus – range of colours including white, purple, deep red, orange, yellow and pink – ideal for table centre pieces or boutonnieres

Cymbidium Orchids – make fantastic bridal bouquets

Nerine – delicate flower in pink or white making a pretty addition to a bouquet or floral arrangement


Winter foliage is also abundant to compliment your flowers of choice but keep in mind that some of those with berries may be poisonous so best to avoid leaving within reach of children:

Holly & Ivy – popular Christmas decoration ideally suited to high placed presentations

Dogwood – in both yellow and red stems of vivid colour

Pussy willow – fur like bud which can be made into different shapes

By using the winter blooms available to you and creating a sense of height, you can create a divine décor in your reception with these along with incorporating some foliage and candlelight also.  Remember create your own magical look.


Photo credits:
Sharon Nagassar Design 

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