A Cliffs of Moher WeddingWords by Emily Garcia
Photos courtesy of Samantha Laffoon Photography
Meagan had always dreamed of tying the knot on the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. A destination wedding appealed to the bride and groom knowing they have family in New England and Miami and both families would be required to travel to attend the wedding.
When Meagan told her family that she wanted to have her wedding in Ireland, her family could not have been more supportive. Being of an Irish descent, her family was “over the moon and joyous at the thought of returning to the motherland and embracing our roots,” Meagan says. Unfortunately, the news did not go as smoothly with Michael’s family. Michael is from Miami and his family is from Cuba. His family had trouble understanding why the couple would choose to have their wedding out of the country and struggled with the idea of traveling to attend their wedding. The family was concerned about the added expense travel would cost. Meagan and Michael resolved this issue by providing financial numbers.
The bride had traveled to Ireland in her 20’s and the Cliffs of Moher took her breath away. She knew then, she would marry at the cliffs. The couple’s wedding planner helped them find ways to cut costs. They decided to find a few large homes on Airbnb and Home Away and divide the cost between guests. Once the couple presented financial options the family seemed more open to the idea of a destination wedding. In the end, a round trip ticket and a seven-night say cost roughly $800 and housing was about $240 a person.
The newlyweds faced two problems before the ceremony. One of the booked houses guests were renting had flooded. The couple was able to book a cliff house in Doolin at the last second. The second problem was that the harpist, Meagan and Michael had hired for their ceremony, could no longer perform because of a family emergency. The couple still wanted a harpist for their wedding and Michael’s brother convinced a local musician, who was playing for tourists, to play during their wedding the following day.
Supporting Irish tradition, the bride’s cousin made a horseshoe for her to carry down the aisle. They also incorporated a handfasting portion in the ceremony.
The newlyweds coordinated their vendors using social media and email. Email was the best option for them because of the time difference and they were able to avoid international calling fees. They also did a lot of online research to find activities before and after the wedding ceremony.
Michael and Meagan say that they spend less money having a destination wedding. They calculated the cost of having the wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina, and compared the price to the Irish destination wedding. Getting married in Ireland, including airfare, lodging, food and drinks for the entire week, the reception, and entertainment was less than half of the local wedding cost.
The bride says having a local wedding would have been more stressful. The couple felt that only asking one family to travel would have been unfair and complicated. The couple recommends hiring a dependable photographer to capture the day. The bride says to spend a little extra getting what you want, including makeup, hair and the dress. “You are in 90 percent of your photos so you want to look and feel your best!” she says.Vendors: Photographer: Samantha Laffoon Photography, Wedding Planner: Events By Bella, Ceremony/Reception Site: Cliffs of Moher and Vaughan’s Pub, Stationery: Shutterfly, Hair & Makeup: Tina's Hair, Gown Designer: Meagan Kelly Designs, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Michael Kors, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: David’s Bridal – Vera Wang Collection
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