Wedding Planning 2021 – Virtual Appointments (Part One)

Covid-19, Planning & Advice
virtual appointments

Welcome to wedding planning 101 for couples choosing their wedding suppliers in 2021 – virtual appointments –  please note this is part one, you can find part two here.

Life might look a whole lot different at the minute but wedding planning continues and our fabulous suppliers are working hard to help you plan with ease and not miss out on any of the magical experience. Today we’re delighted to bring you a comprehensive list of suppliers, Irish venues and bridal boutiques, who are offering a virtual service.

Lets start with bridal boutiques 

Bella Bleu Bridal, Cork 

Our virtual appointments begin over email or telephone call for the initial consultation. If the bride is unsure what she would like we can do a virtual appointment showing a variety of styles (on or off a mannequin) we offer to get a feel for what the bride is looking for. Following on we can send up to three dresses to the bride to try on in the comfort of her own home. We require a €500 deposit which will be refunded less the cost of shipping to the bride on safe return of the dresses, or alternatively if she is to say yes to the dress we would then happily put the €500 towards the cost of the dress. We require the dresses to be returned within three days of the bride receiving the dresses.

Our advice to brides choosing their dress in this new way is to definitely have an open mind when trying styles at home, especially as they often won’t fit 100% perfectly, it does take a little virtual guidance to really get a feel for the dress. 

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 085 882 6173

Amsha Bridal, Cavan

My brides have really enjoyed our virtual appointments and they really have been helping with the brides that are under time pressure. I keep the appointments simple, we discuss styles they are interested in and I dress the mannequins in those styles, as well as a totally different one to surprise them. 

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 086 780 5957 

And now on to Irish venues 

Abbey Hotel, Kildare

The Abbey has gone through a mayor transformation over the last two years. Before we started the renovation, we mapped out what the ultimate wedding venue would look like. We then set about reconfiguring the layout of The Abbey, so our couples had unique entertaining spaces for all to enjoy on their wedding day! On our virtual tour couples will see how old-world charm meets 21st century modern luxury in our beautiful venue. On the ground floor we will show off our intimate outdoor courtyards, for a sunshine reception and our Garden Parlour on those rainy days! We also have several Georgian lounges, overlooking our courtyards. The Abbey also has a 18th Century Chapel with stained glass windows, original Craven Dunhill mosaic tiles which sit centre stage on our alter, a Chapel Bar and grand Ballroom, with six bespoke chandeliers. 

Hassle Free Viewing: We know our couples have busy lives, so we offer a range of viewing slots from weekday, Saturdays, or late evenings. 

Our appointment system is very friendly, just click the link (See full list of times) and you can then select a time which suits you. If you can’t find a slot you are looking for simply contact us at: [email protected] 

Once your time slot is selected, you will get a confirmation email and a Zoom link which is added to your calendar.

After the tour we can run thought all our packages and options on how we can make your dream day come true. 

More than two people: Show around tours are not limited to one couple, you can also invite your parents, siblings, or friends by sharing the link. 

Next Steps: We know a virtual tour would never be the same as an in-person tour, but we are convinced that if you liked the virtual tour, you’ll love the real one! That is why we are offering couples the opportunity to hold their preferred date with a small booking deposit, and once the restrictions are lifted, if you are not happy with the in person viewing, we will refund you the booking deposit, no questions asked. 

Our doors might be temporary closed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t join us on a virtual tour to show you why The Abbey is an amazing place to host a wedding.

Once you have your virtual viewing booked the only thing you have to do is make sure your mic and camera are on, grab a glass of wine and enjoy the tour!

Email: [email protected] 

Clayton Hotel, Sligo

Booking your first appointment at Clayton Hotel Sligo is exciting – and the experience you have should be lovely, one you will remember for a long time, regardless of current world circumstances. Yes, it can be stressful, and we know so many couples worry about the first appointment. We know we would be just the same! So, we wanted to share with you how we are conducting appointments during a pandemic and how you can get the most out of it. If you are planning your first venue appointment soon, this for you! 

Most of our appointments are currently conducted via Zoom call to adhere to travel restrictions, but we can still provide the top-quality service we are known for and even give you a tour of where you will potentially spend your special day. Appointments can be requested by emailing [email protected] and the Clayton Sligo team will revert back to confirm your personal Zoom appointment.

In order for you to get the most from your appointment, we recommend being prepared and to know what you are looking for, if not that is okay too, our team has years of experience between them and will have no problem helping you decide.

Have your questions ready and also do not be afraid to ask questions or to bring up topics that maybe were not covered during your appointment or that you would like more clarification on.

Go to and click on our wedding section to view our packages, menus, and other essential need-to-knows to help you make the right choice for the most important day of your life.

As the title of author Kumar Milan’s book states; “Things end but memories last forever”, let us at Clayton Hotel Sligo make sure those memories are some of the best memories you’ll have.

Email: [email protected] 

Ballyseede Castle, Tralee

Set on 30 acres of ancient woodlands and manicured gardens, romance abounds at Ballyseede Castle. Steeped in history and splendour, Kerry’s only castle hotel offers an authentic Irish castle wedding experience like no other. We are currently offering couples your very own private unique virtual wedding tour of this fairy-tale wedding venue. A dedicated member of our wedding team will meet you virtually via a video call on WhatsApp and show you around the entire castle. You will get to see every inch of this enchanting and elegant castle including the beautifully decorated formal lounges and Orangery, perfect for your drink’s reception as well as the Coachroom where you and your guests will feast on a sumptuous meal before dancing the night away. Feel free to ask any questions as you are guided around the castle. Treat this virtual viewing as you would a normal viewing. After all, half of the excitement of getting married is the planning! We look forward to planning your distinctively different wedding with us here in Ballyseede Castle and making your dream wedding a reality. To arrange your virtual wedding viewing, email us on [email protected]

Bellingham Castle, Castlebellingham

At Bellingham Castle, the welcome is warm, the facilities luxurious and the memories, eternal. Bellingham Castle is an exclusive wedding venue flourishing with romance, where you and your guests can enjoy a truly magical day in complete privacy. Although we cannot invite couples to look around our castle at the moment due to the COVID-19 restrictions, you can enjoy a virtual wedding viewing. With this tour, we will virtually meet face to face via a video call and take you on your own private tour of the castle, all from the safety and comfort of your own home. On the virtual viewing we will explore the elegant period drawing rooms which are perfect for an arrival reception, the sumptuous Bute Suite and even some of the 19 dreamy and palatial bedrooms. We can take a look at any area of the castle you wish to see, and answer all of your questions. Here at Bellingham Castle, we exceed all expectations in order to ensure you have your dream wedding day. Contact us on [email protected] to arrange a private virtual tour of Bellingham Castle.

Cabra Castle, Kingscourt

On the edge of the magnificent Dún a Rí Forest Park in County Cavan stands the majestic Cabra Castle, one of Ireland’s most luxurious and utterly romantic castle hotels. With the current COVID-19 restrictions in place making wedding viewings impossible, Cabra Castle have adapted to offer couples a virtual viewing experience to give them a detailed look at all the nooks and crannies of this breath-taking 18th century authentic Irish castle. The virtual tour takes place on Zoom, where you will chat with a dedicated wedding co-ordinator, while watching a video tour of the castle. You will get to see all the opulent reception rooms, the Grand Ballroom, the period features and furnishings and even a look at both wedding suite options, which are fast laying claim to the title of ‘Most Romantic Wedding Suites in Ireland’! Planning your wedding day is part of the excitement, and in this virtual viewing you can discuss all your plans for your special day as well as having the opportunity to ask any questions you have. Our wedding team are committed to help you plan your unforgettable dream wedding day. Treat this virtual viewing as you would a normal viewing, make sure to have all your questions ready and if there are any specific areas of the castle you would like to see that weren’t included in the tour, make sure you let us know and we can organise it. To arrange a virtual viewing, email our wedding team at [email protected]

Markree Castle, Collooney

It is hard to imagine a destination with more romance, character and elegance than Markree Castle. Nestled in the stunning North West of Ireland in County Sligo on a 500 acres estate, Markree Castle is a fairy-tale pairing of luxury and exemplary service providing the ideal location to celebrate your wedding in complete privacy. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we now offer couples a virtual viewing to give even just a hint of the magic of Markree Castle from the safety and comfort of their own home. Deirdre and the Wedding Team conduct all virtual viewings using Zoom. Here, each couple will watch a video tour of the castle while chatting with a member of our Wedding Team. We would recommend having all your questions ready before the virtual viewing to help you get the most out of your time and have a sheet of paper on hand to take any useful notes required. Don’t worry though, if you have any questions after your viewing our Wedding Team are there to follow up. This virtual viewing will take in all the key areas of the castle, from the inter-linked dining rooms where your wedding banquet will take place, to the entertainment suite for the celebrations that night and everything in between. Of course, it’s impossible to beat the experience of being at the castle itself for a viewing, but our virtual viewings are certainly an excellent way of finding out all the relevant information while getting a glimpse at this spectacular and luxurious 17th Century Irish castle.  Each Markree Castle wedding is personal and bespoke, celebrating who you are as a couple. We are here to make your dream wedding come true so to arrange a virtual viewing of Markree Castle follow the link here

Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone, Sligo

Due to the present restrictions presented with the COVID pandemic we were delighted to see that this did not deter couples from continuing to book their weddings and making plans for their future, despite their uncertainty as to what the future may be like with regards to weddings going forward.

We full appreciate the excitement that couples experience as they embark on arranging their special day and their first step usually means visiting the venue they have in mind for their special day and as this is not an option for them at the moment we arrange zoom / whatsapp virtual tours of the hotel and try and give our couples the personal experience they would have if they were here in person.  We have found that it makes such a difference being able to talk face to face with the couple once you have shown them all the areas on the hotel and take our time with the walk through so that they can ask questions with regards to the different areas.  We also have our banqueting suite set up for a sample wedding banquet and have found this invaluable as the couples get to see the layout, centre pieces, lighting etc. and also it is important to show the couples the accommodation on offer to their guests.

What we have found very useful is to arrange a second virtual veiwing with the couple a day or two after they have had the initial tour as it gives them time to digest everything and time to note down any queries they may have.

It is also lovely to ask them if they would like to arrange a virtual tour for any of their family members as this can be quite important for a lot of couples who would like to include their parents in the process especially if they are not familiar with the hotel prior to this however it would be advisable that they would have the initial tour with just themselves and ourselves so that they are not distracted and can fully get a feel for the hotel without interrupton.

We advise couples to arrange their tour with us at a time when they are both together and are not rushed so they can relax and concentrate on the tour itself and we would recommend that prior to the call they would have gone through the wedding packages so they can have their questions ready to ask me once the tour is completed.

Our biggest advice would be to have the couple prepared with all the relevant information prior to the call and put them at their ease.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 353 96 26000


Ballinacurra House, Kinsale 

If the past year has taught us anything is that it will take more than a pandemic to dampen the romantic spirits of couples who are still looking to the future to celebrate the things that are most important to us…family and those we love. And nothing brightens our lockdown spirits more than the prospect of a family wedding.  

In these uncertain times with lockdowns and restrictions, 2020 has most certainly been a rollercoaster for wedding venues. Venues who have relied heavily on a showcase element have had to rise to the occasion with new and innovative approaches to reach and engage with couples who have been housebound and cloistered away during this “hiatus” to the norm. In this everchanging landscape of remote working and isolation, “Virtual has become the new Vital!”.  Couples are looking for a more personal, inspirational and tailored online showcase from venues, that is both informative, convenient and above all, offers them a little escape from their current daily drudgery… from the leisure and safety of their “Living Room couch or Kitchen Counter to Country Manor!

With this in mind we have created an in-depth and virtual showcase for couples to immerse themselves and experience the splendour of Ballinacurra House from the pleasure of their homes, at the click of a mouse.

We have developed a Virtual Viewing Video which takes you on an exclusive walk-through tour of the Manor House with our owner Lisa McGahan – giving you a personal walkthrough video where you can explore the Manor House – bedrooms, function rooms and outdoor options – as she also explains the uses, options and flexibility that the venue offers.

Once couples have immersed themselves in our Virtual Viewing Video, our online photo libraries, Wedding brochures and pricelists, our in-house wedding co-ordinator will set up a phone appointment. We have found that this offers a personal approach and our dedicated co-ordinator can get to know you and also answer any questions that they may have. And all of this done over a phone call from the comfort of your Pyjamas whilst chilling on the couch over morning coffee.

Diving into this newfound “Virtual” reality has not only made life far more interesting and convenient for couples to explore their options but also opened up exciting avenues to diversify our ability to breach the distance and allow an interactive experience for all couples, home and away, using an extensive listing of our services and a sumptuous audio-visual tour all from their mobile phones and laptops.

Our ethos has always been to deliver personal, intimately exclusive and ultimately private weddings and we are so excited to create fresh and innovative ways to interact with couples and bring their wedding dreams to life in 2021 and beyond.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 353 (0) 21 4779040

Part Two of the virtual appointments feature can be found here!

(Featured image: Mark Capilitan / Venue: Markree Castle)