I’ve been busy over the past few weeks. Why? I’ve been planning my wedding! Sean and I got engaged in February while we were away on a little break to Westport in Mayo with our baby son Henry. It was a really exciting time as you can probably imagine, as I’ve been writing about and helping to plan other people’s weddings for years. Life was busy at the time, I was just a few weeks away from going back to work part-time, Sean was working long hours and Henry was (and still is) definitely a handful! We decided to wait a little while before starting to plan our wedding, rather than jumping into the process. I know many people have to deal with endless questions about setting a date, but luckily our friends and family were a little more forgiving than that.
Of course, I’ve been planning my wedding in my head for quite some time now, but when it actually became a reality, I became really confused about what I wanted! There was also a big conversation between Sean and I to decide what type of ceremony we were going to have. I have never wanted a church ceremony, and while Sean wasn’t really pushed either way, he was erring on the side of a religious wedding. After much discussion, we decided to go with a civil or humanist ceremony, feeling that we will be better able to personalise it to our relationship, and it will be shorter than a traditional church wedding too!
In April we began searching for our wedding venue – another big decision to make as I am from Kerry, Sean is from Clare and we live in Galway. Having both worked in hotels a few years ago, neither of us wanted a typical hotel wedding reception, instead looking for something more special and unique. After checking out a few more unusual venues in all three counties, we went to visit Ballyseede Castle in Tralee, which is just over 20 minutes from my home. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did – but we completely fell in love with the place! It’s a stunning castle, but with a more homely and relaxed feel than some of the other castle venues in Ireland. Beautiful grounds surround the castle, with an option to have our ceremony indoors or out, and there are three fantastic dogs living at the castle too! Marnie, the owner and wedding co-ordinator, was so helpful and is really willing to help me put my personal stamp on the venue for the big day.
So that was the venue decided – but what date? We knew we wanted late spring/early summer 2018 so that there would be plenty of colour and, hopefully, warmer weather. We planned a Saturday originally but found ourselves faced with uncertain dates for Communions from some key members of the bridal party. Eventually we bit the bullet and booked a Friday – so it’s all confirmed!
My friends are such an important part of my life, and I had always envisioned my three best girls standing at my side on the big day. In late February, before anything was even booked, I asked my amazing friend Linda to be my maid of honour. I created a little keepsake box for her filled with goodies in a beautiful pastel colour palette of mint, pink and primrose yellow. Mint is definitely going to be part of the colour scheme so it was fitting. Linda was super excited to be asked and is already planning the hen! I didn’t get a chance to see my other two best friends, Emer and Marie Claire, until last weekend, and I really wanted to ask them in person to be my bridesmaids, so when they came to Galway to visit I presented them both with little token rings. They are thrilled to say the least!
That’s the wedding journey so far; I’m also writing a monthly guest blog for WeddingDates where I’m covering my wedding plans, but we’re taking things slowly as we both have so much going on in our lives, not to mention looking after a very determined seven month old boy! I’ve just booked a couple of appointments to try on wedding dresses in Cork at the end of June, so I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with that!
Tagged: ask bridesmaids, ballyseede castle, castle wedding ireland, Irish wedding, setting a wedding date, wedding planner, wedding planning