An Ireland Destination Wedding


February 27, 2019
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Olga Hogan

Newlyweds Sydney and Christopher chose an Ireland destination wedding because wanted to stray from tradition and have a more unique and memorable experience. “We sat down and discussed if a more ‘traditional’ wedding was even right for us,” says the couple. “The immediate answer was a hard ‘no.’”

When the pair first told their family and friends about their decision, many thought the bride and groom were joking. “Upon learning that we were both quite serious, most people were surprised, but quite excited,” they say.

Before Sydney and Christopher were able to announce where they were going to tie the knot, they admit choosing a destination was the hardest part of the process. “To start, we wanted somewhere beautiful,” they say. “We also did not want anything tropical or too far of a distance, due to several family members having health issues.”

In the end, the couple chose Ireland because it is somewhere they have both always wanted to visit. Planning ahead was essential for them, especially to get all of the paperwork and legalities sorted.

“We both loved planning a destination wedding because it forced us to let go of control and not focus on the tiny details that will never really matter twenty years from now,” says the newlyweds. “It was like a year and a half long adventure!”

As for resources, the bride and groom say the internet was a hug help for planning their travels and searching for vendors. “Also, do not be afraid to talk to your venue or other vendors for ideas and help,” they say. “Irish weddings are different enough from American ones that we weren’t sure what order things happened in or what other customs would be nice to include in our big day. They’re the experts for a reason, so trust them.”

Because planning for a trip can be slightly difficult, Sydney and Christopher decided to create a website with guides and recommendations for booking airlines, finding lodging, discovering activities and even explaining how the currency works. “Syd even went and explored the country twice prior to the wedding, so she was a great source of help,” says the groom.

Although the time difference and busy schedules made it tricky to coordinate with vendors at times, the newlyweds say all vendors were very patient and communicated with them often. “We mostly used email, but also arranged a couple of phone calls and Skype meetings so we could meet face-to-face,” they say.

Despite the travels, the pair says that they “definitely spent significantly less” for their big day. “A lot of that came from dropping our guest list from 160 down to having 50 people total,” says the bride and groom. “It was a great decision in the end because we had more of a budget to put toward making it a truly special day for our guests who traveled great lengths to be with us.”

While Sydney and Christopher ended up with a smaller guest list, they believe that having a destination wedding allowed them to have a more intimate experience with each other and loved ones.

In the end, the couple advises to have trust in yourself and others, keeping in mind that the vendors are experts with good intentions. “Things will definitely go wrong,” says the pair. “That being said, no matter what happens, at the end of the day you get to marry your best friend. That is the only detail that truly matters. The rest is just an added bonus!”

Vendors: Photographer: Olga Hogan, Ceremony/Reception Site: Barberstown Castle, Florist: Absolutely Fabulous Flowers, Invites: Emma Bauso, Save-The-Dates: Zazzle, Cake: Oceane’s French Cakes, Hair & Makeup: Glamour Style, Gown Designer: Paloma Blanca, Groom’s Clothing Designer: The Black Tux, Rehearsal Dinner: The Duck, Humanist Celebrant: Emer Dillon, DJ: DJ Stevie Dee & Wedding Website:

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