Looking for a way to make your big day magical? Why not hold the ceremony at the lakeside. You can seamlessly blend the surroundings into your ceremony, from the calming water to the greenery of the gardens, trees, and mountains in the background. Flowers and succulents can be used to enhance the beauty of the natural vegetation. Wooden signs and lanterns on walkways will add to the lake wedding theme. Make good use of the lake by arriving or sailing away in a boat or a canoe. Fill one of the canoes with ice and juice boxes, water bottles or beer bottles for use at the reception. For more ideas on how you can put together your lakeside wedding, have a look at the photos below.
Vintage, Eco, celtic or classic — you want your day to be unique. To stand tall amongst wedding extravaganza, and reflect a little of yourselves in the mix!
So how difficult is it to dream up a themed wedding? And how far should you go in making it a special day?
Wedding theme factors
While you might crave a romantic vineyard reception or a salty beachcomber bash, it may not always be practical for an Irish wedding affair.
Yet a theme can be pretty much anything that allows you to set the pace. The basic factors you’ll need to consider first are budget, season, logistics and venue.
Themes can be based around place, like a village wedding, a pier-side party or the grandeur of an old country house. Or they can be planned to reflect an era — think 1950s Mad Men glamour, or 1920s Gatsby chic.
Maybe you want rustic and rural, offbeat and quirky, or classic celtic charm.
Once you have your theme in the offing, you’re ready to plan your day.
Wedding theme prep
But first to the paperwork! Wedding invitations define the feel from the start. A theme may drive your choice of material; so an Eco wedding invite could be on recycled paper, or maybe you’ll avoid paper completely and post sachets of seeds with a time and place inscribed inside! Your imagery and content too — a Celtic wedding invite might use an image from the Children of Lir, or quote from a traditional Irish poem.
If you’re printing a wedding programme later on, make sure it’s in keeping with these.
Themes and your wedding venue
Hotel, marquee or barnyard, a venue is the canvas on which you’ll draw your design. Possibly the biggest challenge in any wedding plan is to find the venue that allows you to create the rest.
Whether you’ve gone for romantic period drama or quirky boho chic, your decor and flowers should both be à la mode. Find out to what degree you’ll be able to influence these, depending on your venue of choice. So if it’s a hotel room and your theme is Victorian vintage, can you drape the setting in lace, place candelabra on the tables and make roses and peonies your flowers of choice?
Themed wedding attire
Your wedding garb is crucial, as well as being the fun part of the plan! Brides and grooms — no matter what your theme of choice, Pinterest and Google are your best research buddies here. When you’ve got an idea of the look you’re trying to achieve, you can hit the shops or dressmakers armed with a rough design. Of course Ladies, if you’ve gone the non-traditional route and it’s a ‘hoolie in a hay barn’, a flowing summer dress over your glitziest pink wellies may be your kit-out for the day.
It’s all fair game
From music and transport, to the food and cake, it’s all fair game on the day.
Setting your theme to music is a must. Whether it’s a sophisticated string quartet streaming melodies from Mozart, or 1940s sultry swing-jazz — your tunes are vital.
When it comes to transport, the world is your themed oyster. Eco wedding? Opt for a horse and carriage, or sport your own electric car. If it’s barn-style, maybe a plain old horse will do (side saddle for the bride of course)!
While the entire meal doesn’t have to be designed with your theme in mind, a few small touches can add a ton of character. At a winter wedding you might start with a hearty shot of soup, or a summer solstice bash could put a focus on fresh seasonal salads.
Finally – your cake. Hand made decorations can convey anything at all. So play with your imagination and you’ll be amazed what you’ll create.
CONSIDERING A HUMANIST WEDDING? IT COULD BE THE OPTION FOR YOU.
Michael and Petra are radiant. The ceremony has been seamless, with readings from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, and an extract from a Dalai Lama speech. Petra’s sister read a poem about love by W.B. Yeats, the bride’s favourite poet. Vows have been exchanged, the newly donned rings are gleaming, and the legalities are all in place.
With the bridal party heading out of the chapel for a photographic spree under the bright July sun, the picture is idyllic. The Wicklow Mountains loom large behind, and the guests are slowly wandering across the gardens with the promise of a Champagne reception back at the main hotel.
Irish Humanist Association
According to the Humanist organisation, their weddings and partnership ceremonies “are all about a couple celebrating their love for each other, and making a commitment to one another in the company of those people who are important to them”. Humanism itself is “a view of life that combines reason with compassion”.
Less than two years ago, this type of wedding ceremony would have had no legal standing. That was before the Irish Civil Registration Amendment Act 2012, which changed the playing field completely.
In the year 2000 the vast majority of couples in Ireland were married in either a Catholic or Protestant Church. By 2011 the figures choosing to marry outside of these had increased enormously. But for those who did not want a religious ceremony, the options were few.
Legally, they had to be married at a civil service in a government-run registry office, as only members of the clergy were allowed to officiate at ceremonies elsewhere.
Then in January 2013 the change in the Irish law took effect, allowing registered members of secular bodies to perform legal wedding ceremonies.
Now it can all happen on the day, and in the venue of your choice (there are some provisos on this).
Why marry outside of the Church?
The reasons why more and more couples in Ireland are choosing to follow this route?
Some are from different religious backgrounds and find that a Humanist ceremony is a place where they can find common ground. Others don’t have a religion. Some are divorcees and face barriers to marrying in a Church; others like the fact that this type of ceremony allows for a personal dimension that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, whilst dealing with the required legalities at the same time.
Book wedding ceremony far in advance
The Humanist Association (www.humanism.ie) had been campaigning in Ireland for over a decade to bring about the change, and their few licensed celebrants are in serious demand.
So if you do decide to go the Humanist route, reserve well in advance. There are currently only 14 celebrants available in Ireland, and their time is booked up far ahead.
Costs are reasonable, and celebrants place importance on spending time with the couple before the wedding to make the proceedings as personal as possible.
And if at some future date you choose to hold a ‘naming ceremony’ rather than a baptism, they provide this service too!
When you think of a beach wedding, you envision lovely fluffy sand, nice breeze and enticing scenery. But have you thought about the unbearable wind, noisy tides and curious onlookers? Beach weddings have some unique challenges that have to be considered during the planning process.
We have compiled some handy tips to help you pull off a fantastic beach wedding.
1. Dress Appropriately
Beach weddings call for special dresses and veil styles. A princess ball gown will make it harder for you to walk on the beach and take photos. Choose a dress made of light, airy fabric such as cotton, crepe and organza to keep you cool and allow for more movement. Beach weddings have a relaxed atmosphere so you can choose to wear a shorter dress.
Avoid wearing a long veil. It will cause you lots of trouble in the wind and make life harder for the photographer. A better alternative would be to accessorise your hair with fresh flowers.
Sand and heels are like oil and water. Ditch heels for shoes that don’t sink in the sand like wedges and sandals. Even better, you can go barefoot. But if you can’t picture yourself walking down the aisle without heels, a wooden walkway can be created for you. It will make it possible for you to wear your heels and also blend well with the surroundings.
2. Time It Right
When planning a beach wedding, it is important to think about the time of day. High temperatures may not be favourable for some of your guests, especially young kids and old folks. High tide can affect beach space and destroy your layout. Check with the venue to learn about the typical weather and have the ceremony at the best time.
3. Choose The Right Flowers
Heat and direct sunlight are enemies to many flowers. For your beach wedding, you’ll need flowers that can last in the outdoor heat. Flowers that wilt easily like roses, hydrangea, bouvardia and poppies are a no-no. Orchids, plumeria, calla lilies, chrysanthemums and succulents will work well.
4. Rent A Sound System
There is a lot of background noise at the beach. Your audio can be easily absorbed by the wind and crashing waves. Provide a sound system to enable your guests hear your vows. Use a microphone windscreen to reduce wind noise.
5. Guide Your Guests
Make sure your guests know the section of the beach where the ceremony will take place. Put a welcome bag at the front of your wedding site and place the necessary items to prepare them for the setting, for example, bottled water, beach blankets, sunscreen and hand fans.
6. Get A Permit
Check with your wedding coordinator or venue to ensure you have the necessary beach permits.
7. Have A Plan B
Mother Nature loves doing things her own way. You can never be quite sure of what she’ll throw your way. You should have a backup plan in the event of a sudden change in weather. Make arrangements with a nearby hall or hotel to serve as an indoor alternative.
By following these tips, you’ll give your guests a memorable beach party. Don’t be surprised if one of your unmarried friends decides to say “I do” on the sand as well.
Can you dare to be different? If yes, we highly recommend you choose a forest wedding theme. This unique theme doesn’t require anything fancy or extravagant. You just have to use natural elements to enhance the already stunning natural setting. Not planning to have your celebration outside? No problem.
You can still enjoy your theme indoors with a combination of enchanting hanging lights and greenery. Green and ivory colour scheme will complement this theme. Evergreens tree branches and candles used as centrepieces will set the tone of the event on the table. Woodland-inspired decorations such as birds’ nests, tree branches and aspen leaves are ideal for adorning the different cake layers. Check out the pictures below to fuel inspiration for your big day.
Many girls have grown up watching Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and other fairy tales, and have dreamt of having a fairytale wedding. Fortunately, you do not have to go to Disneyland to turn this dream into reality.
All you need is imagination and creativity. Lighting, décor, bouquets, pumpkin carriages, silvery and shiny cutlery and crockery are some of the details that can create the fantasy effect that characterises fairy tales. Have a look at the pictures below that take getting married to Prince Charming to a whole new level.
Not many things bring fantasy to reality in the manner that a beach wedding theme does. The sunshine, crashing waves and beautiful white sands provide a stellar natural backdrop that needs little décor. You can make the most of modest items to create unique décor. Wood can be used to make a rounded or rectangular arch and decorated with fresh flowers or fabric straps to set off the ocean behind.
Shells and starfish accent bouquets, favours and centrepieces. You can also incorporate them into your groom’s boutonniere. Ditch shoes for jewellery and enjoy the feeling of sand between your toes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the cool ideas below.