Get Married in an Irish Castle or Abbey Ruins

Great! We can help! We see and visit a LOT of Castle and Abbey ruins. It’s our ‘thing’. Certainly, they are romantic and scenic for sure! Plus there are lots of them in most areas of the country but if you are going to do it yourself, you need to know a few things.

Legal Ceremony. Photo by Rob Coakley

Firstly, likely have heard or seen some ruins already that you are interested in. You can also find them online, and see images on google maps and street view but before you plan for a ruins location for your wedding ceremony, you must visit the location in person. For multiple reasons. The images you see may be old and inaccurate. You need to check for access. How the heck are you going to get to it? Do you have to hop over a fence or gate? Are the ruins beautiful but backs on to a road? Does it look great in images but has houses or an unsightly farm {and the smells that come with it} in the background? Potentially it could be grazing land for local farm animals. Do I need to remind you to watch your step? And you likely will need to get permission. Possibly pay a fee and prove that you have insurance to be on the property so be aware. These beautiful ruins are not always public nor have public access so it’s important to be respectful.

If you are having guests, you need to keep them in mind. It’s your dream to get married in stunning castle ruins but is an outdoor ceremony in a country known for rain something that your guests are excited about? Consider if they are healthy and fit enough to walk the distance across uneven grass to gain access to the site themselves. Then they may have to stand for your 30-minute ceremony. It may be possible for you to set up chairs. However, it’s unlikely you will have help setting that up unless you have a Wedding Planner.

Legal ceremony in an Abbey Ruins photo by Tricia Victoria

Always have a backup option. Any time of the year. I always have an indoor backup location for our couples who want outdoor weddings. Most of the time we don’t use them and just go for it outside but it’s important to have. Remember Murphy and his Law?

The other big thing about ruins weddings is if you are planning a legal wedding ceremony then it becomes a little trickier.

In Ireland, you can’t just get married in a field or beside a lake or at the top of the mountain. It’s a little tricky to explain but to put it plainly, the location has to be open to the public and must have an address. Unfortunately most ruins, not all, but most, are in a private field, or public park. The private field would have an address of the owner but it’s not open to the public because it’s private property. The ruins in a public park doesn’t have a mailing address.

Non-legal ceremony Abbey Ruins photo by Darek Smietona

The thing I tell my couples about the legal vs not legal commitment ceremony is that the day you proclaim your love for each other, fully commit and exchange rings and vows is your wedding day. It is beautiful, meaningful and real. Just because you didn’t sign the paper on that date doesn’t matter to your heart.

It is possible to find ruins on a property that is open to the public and has an address. Imagine a hotel, guesthouse or B&B with the ruins on the property or restored castle that has a ruin still attached and unfinished. This type of property is great because you have the indoor option that you may need as a backup and usually a lovely characterful place to stay close to your ceremony!

So ask yourself, how adventurous are you? What about your guests? Will you jump a fence for the perfect location? What about hop on a boat? Risk rain? Most of our couples do! And we do it all of the time.

photo by Konrad Paprocki

I hope that helps to understand the things that need to be considered for a wedding ceremony, of any size, in Irish ruins. Let us help and

I say, just go for it!!

If you have to Postpone your Wedding

Ugh, I don’t even want to write this post! It’s awful. It sucks. It’s a difficult decision. No one wants to do it. It has to be done.

Postponing your wedding.

It’s ok to be upset. It’s ok to feel guilty. It’s ok to mourn your wedding plans. You are not alone.

Postpone your Wedding

Image by https://www.ballphotoco.com/

We are having to help some of our couples to postpone so I figured there were others out there that may need some advice or help.

Look I admit I’ve had a few little cries this week but turn that frown upside down! You are still in love and marrying your best friend.  It will happen and this is just a small part of the big picture of your lives together. Just a small set back that in the big picture of things will be something to look back on and know that you got through together.

Postpone your Wedding

Photo by https://triciavictoriaphotography.com/

You’ve already paid your deposits and likely made other payments, you’ve planned and envisioned your perfect day, and you don’t want any of that to go to waste. Well,  I’ve found most wedding suppliers to be very sympathetic and supportive. To be honest, we are suffering too. For you and for us. We are also financially and emotionally invested in your wedding. We want your day to be perfect. And it will be! It will just be on a different date.

Steps Towards Rescheduling

So, once you’ve made the decision to postpone your wedding, you’ll need to start taking the steps towards rescheduling.

First, there are things to consider.

  • Think about a new date or possible date range. That could be later in 2020 or 2021. Some vendors, venues especially, may request additional fees for postponing for more than a year some may not.
  • You may need to move to midweek or a Sunday and consider how that could work for you.
  • Have you reviewed your insurance, travel or wedding if you have it for postponement coverage; I encourage calling the company and having a direct conversation about it.
  • Look at doing a small legal ceremony with the registrar on your original date and have a wedding commitment/vow renewal ceremony and reception later as you had planned
  • Think about reducing your guest numbers. In this, you may not have a choice be it by governmental regulations or that some people just can’t make your new date. – this could save you some money but generally expect a lower number of guests to attend.
  • Maybe move your plans to a lush micro wedding or elopement. This can salvage your budget in the long run {and I know many couples have considered that in the first place!}
  • Once you have both taken the time to think and talk that all out, create or grab an empty calendar for the date range you have chosen.
  • Contact your big-ticket vendors first. Your venue will be the primary one and get ALL available dates in the range you have decided upon.
  • Take note of the dates the venue has available for you. All of them. Mark them on your calendar then contact your photographer, band, videographer, etc and ask what dates they have available in your date range.

 Email to your Vendors Template

Your email to your vendors can sound something like this:

Hi {I did a group email and BCC’d everyone to save time and make sure I had given all suppliers the same info},

I hope you all are staying well and healthy.

Things are moving quickly in the current world condition so we do want to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding which was planned for xx of xx.  We don’t have much choice sadly however we truly hope to keep as many of our vendors in place as possible for a new date.

We are considering a reschedule for between xxx  and   xxxx in year xxx.

Can you please let me know any and all dates in that range that can work for you? Midweek dates are totally fine!
Once I have replies from all of our team, we will confirm the new date with you all and update the information. Please let me know if there are any additional fees that they may incur for changing the date.

Thanks,

You and Fi

Calendar

Fill in your calendar as you get responses from everyone. That will get you the best possibility of dates and losing the least amount of money. Moreover, once you have a date with the most positive replies, contact everyone again and reschedule for that date and keep moving forward with your plans.

Note you will want to be prompt in getting back to everyone on the new date because, as mentioned, it’s not just you who have to reschedule and you want to secure that as soon as you can!

Let your guests know about your new wedding date! See the email suggestion on how to word that here.

Some pitfalls to expect

A drop in numbers. Unfortunately, some of your guests may be taking a hit on their travel if they didn’t have insurance or maybe just can’t get away from work again, or flat out can’t afford it anymore. Be kind and gracious.

Potentially your venue can go ahead but your original numbers won’t be allowed because of gathering restrictions. Then comes the difficult task of uninviting people. See the document template on how to do that here. Also expect a few subtle changes in your day.

Do not plan to have a receiving line. Hugging is the new no-no. ☹

Keep the larger spaced room in your venue even if numbers drop and have more tables with fewer guests per table, no round tables of 12. Maybe round tables of 8 instead.

Nicely packaged Hand sanitizers and wipes available.

Postpone your Wedding bottle of antique hand sanitizer

Be outside as much as possible. Prepare guests for this and potentially have additional heaters or fire pit or chiminea if allowed by your venue.

Stay in closer touch with your guests and have them re-RSVP 2 weeks before the date so you can update your venue on final numbers accurately. You don’t want to pay for meals and drinks that aren’t eaten/drunk.

Take the day as it comes! Relax and enjoy it. You will be married and the day will be joyous!

 

Postpone your Wedding happy couple dancing wirth guest at wedding

Photo by http://www.brosnanphotographic.com/

That is the most of it really. If you are one of my couples, I’m helping you with all of that anyway. If you are not and need help because it’s just getting to be too much, contact me to see if I’m available to help do the legwork. If I can I will!

A final note, the email templates for telling your guests you are postponing and un-inviting your guests are directly from Every Last Detail. I can’t take credit for those!!

Take care, stay safe, stay in and stay well!

Outdoor Micro Wedding in Ireland with Stunning Views

Katelyn and Corey’s outdoor micro wedding included just their most intimate family and friends. In fact, their friend conducted their emotional ceremony for them surrounded by loved ones at a castle ruins overlooking the stunning views of Dingle Bay, Ireland.

The couple met just after high school and were immediately inseparable. When it was time to commit their future together and quite literally tie the knot, they chose Ireland for it’s history, adventure and beauty. Thirteen of their nearest and dearest came to Dingle with them for this most special day!

After getting ready, the couple met at the wishing tree and holy well for their first look as guests gathered at the nearby castle ruins to await their hand fasting ceremony, ring exchange and sentimental vows.

Claire Brown of Studio Brown Photography made the most of the whole peninsula for their photographs using the mountains, coasts and all around stunning views for their photos.

Kate carried a gorgeous bouquet by Every Occasion Florist and looked stunning with hair and makeup by Tricia O’Sullivan

The group ended up meeting the couple in a local pub for a few pints Guinness. How much more Irish can you get!?!

What a fabulous day they had!

Irish Island Wedding

Logistically having a wedding ceremony on a small Irish Island in the Atlantic Ocean isn’t the easiest but it is hauntingly beautiful and well worth the effort for the brave souls who choose it!

Leanne and Kevin did and they brought along their 17 guests {and one wedding planner 🙂 } for the afternoon too!

The couple stayed on the island the night before the wedding and got dressed and ready as their guests boarded the boat over to Aran Mor  from Galway.

Once ready,  they did first look photos and had plenty of time to roam around the island taking some gorgeous photos which were captured by the wonderful David and Laurie at Awake and Dreaming

Once their guests arrived, I guided them to the first location for the ceremony which was a holy well. Tradition has couples in love tying a ribbon on to the tree for eternity when Leanne and Kevin made their entrance together to their ancient Celtic Ceremony.

On to the abbey ruins for the rest of their ceremony which ended outside of the abbey at the marriage stone where you pass a scarf through a hole and wish the couple health, wealth and happiness!

The special day finished with a few more photos around the island before everyone returned to Galway City for a private dinner and pub crawl.

The whole day was a dream come true for Leanne, Kevin and their families and friends.

Yay!! And thanks to David and Laurie again!!

Dream Wedding in an Irish Castle

Honestly, these two were a dream! Sweet, kind, easy to work with, considerate of each other and everyone else. Of course we had to plan their dream wedding in an Irish castle!

Our first call was to get to know each other a little and the first thing we discussed were their hopes and vision for their wedding in Ireland. They were very conscious of their budget and a bit hesitant when I was trying to get a full vision from them so I asked the big question.

If it wasn’t for money what would you do?
Get married in a castle.

Ok, now we are getting somewhere! And off we went. To Huntington Castle to be exact.

It combined the perfectness of a castle and they could still have their ceremony in an Abbey Ruins.
Don’t get me wrong, we kept things tight and it took some keen negotiating in some areas but we got them what they all that they wanted for their dream destination wedding in a castle in Ireland.

We started with a juicy jewel toned color scheme and Michelle added in a little woodland theme in their stationery. They were fab.

Really fun but still beautiful and creative.

I’ll tell you, it all turned out AH=MAZE-ING.

Just have a look at the photos by Tricia Victoria and the video by Dreamcatcher Productions too that I posted earlier, here.

Michelle’s hair was done by Doireann  and Makeup from Making Faces Salon in Gorey.

The juicy colorful flowers were from Lamber de Bie 

The sun came out just in time for their ceremony in the old Abbey ruins on the castle grounds. The ceremony performed by Michelle’s sister, it was very moving and hardly a dry eye.

 

The couple wrote personal letters to each and every guests in stationery matching their woodland themed invitations. We used them as place cards and all were opened once the couple entered the barn.

For dinner they sat down to the yummy catered meal from Galty VAlley Catering.

After then saying another few words of thanks, Gordon presented Michelle with a surprise cake. It seems she had once told him that when she was a kid, she always wanted one of those cakes that looks like a hamburger.  Well, with the power of a pronouncing this wish to Gordon, and the artistry of Kelly Lu Cakes, she finally got it!   Brilliant!

Such an amazing day!!