We got married last Christmas in the city centre of Dublin, it was a fantastic day and I want to give a shout out to the people that were involved in making it so enjoyable. Also, I found the Weddings Online forums helpful when planning our wedding, so I hope the below can be of some use to a future couple.
Venue: Fallon & Byrne
Once we decided on a city centre wedding at Christmas the first venue that came to mind was Fallon & Byrne. We looked at a few others but kept coming back to Fallon & Byrne. We knew it had a great reputation for food and wine, it had the vibe we wanted, and the lights outside the front are fabulous at Christmas.
The management team were great, they were organised yet relaxed in the lead up which put us at ease. We went for a tapas style menu for dinner, it was delicious, everyone raved about the food, and how a tapas menu was a great change for a wedding dinner. The service was also fantastic, wine and water glasses were regularly being topped up and the events manager was going around the tables checking how everyone was. At the end of the night when people were leaving the food and the service were two of the main things they complimented.
Ceremony Venue: Smock Alley
We had our ceremony and a drinks reception in Smock Alley Theatre on the quays. There are some very picturesque venues around the city for wedding ceremonies, we chose the banquet hall in Smock Alley as we loved the red brick and the stained glass windows. The management team were great, very easy to deal with and gave good advice where needed. The hall was stunning on the day, there is a real sense of occasion to it and it is a fabulous backdrop for wedding photographs.
Celebrant: Billy Hutchinson
There are a few different options out there for a celebrant if you are having a non-religious ceremony. Friends of ours had been at a ceremony officiated by a Humanist celebrant and spoke very highly of it so we looked into that. We found Billy’s details on the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) website. We emailed Billy and met with him soon after. After meeting Billy we were delighted that he would be officiating our ceremony, he had a lovely manner and he gave us great guidance for the ceremony from sample templates to readings to different symbolic rituals that people like to include in the ceremony. The ceremony was our favourite part of the whole day, and I think that was due to us being able to chose a ceremony that felt personal to us. We really valued Billy’s input.
Band: The Hitmen Trio
After the food and service, the other main thing people mentioned when leaving at the end of the night were the band, The Hitmen Trio. They were fantastic, they had everyone up on the dance floor for the night. Their style is very energetic and nearly feels like a gig, but they cater for everyone, all ages were up on the dance floor. The song we wanted for our first dance wasn’t on their set list and they learnt it for us, they did a great version of it, we really appreciated the extra effort. We also found them to be very reasonably priced.
Flowers: The Garden, Powerscourt Centre
We were quite late looking into flowers, and we weren’t sure where to go. We always admired the flowers in The Garden in the Powerscourt Centre so we asked in there. They were great, they didn’t make any issue about the fact that we weren’t giving them a lot of notice. Everything was very easy with them, we met with them and gave them an idea of what we wanted and they arranged us some beautiful flowers. Our order was for bouquets and centrepieces for the dinner tables. We used the centrepieces in Smock Alley for the ceremony and then brought them over to Fallon & Byrne for the tables. The flowers lasted for ages afterwards which was a lovely reminder of the day.
Rings: Abana Jewellers, Powerscourt Centre
Like the flowers we were a little late shopping for wedding rings. We went into Abana Jewellers in Powerscourt (probably the same day we went into The Garden) and met Denis, who also didn’t make a big deal about us being late in shopping for rings. I wanted a wedding ring that that fit the shape and style of my engagement ring, Denis designed something that suited perfectly, I was delighted with it. He really knows his stuff, I would highly recommend him.
Dress: Say I Do & Denise Assas
One of my bridesmaids is living in Cork so that was where I did most of the wedding dress shopping. I bought a Jesús Peiró skirt in Say I Do in Middleton. I really loved the selection of dresses/designers in Say I Do, I thought they had a varied selection which included alternative styles as well as classic shapes. I would also highly recommend Rice ‘n’ Roses and Memories, while I didn’t buy my dress there, they had gorgeous dresses, varied stock again and the staff gave great advice on what suited.
So I bought the Jesús Peiró skirt and now I had the task of finding someone to make me a top. Luckily, someone recommended Denise Assas to us. Denise is a French dressmaker who works from a studio on Dame Street in Dublin. I cannot say enough good things about Denise. I told her what I was looking for in a top, and all the areas I wanted to highlight and hide, and she completely understood what I was looking for. She made a mock of the top so I could see if I was happy with it first, the fabrics she used were stunning. She is a lovely, relaxing person, my mam and I would look forward to going into her. She ended up making a gorgeous jacket to go with my mam’s dress for the day. My finished top was fabulous, it fit me perfectly and I felt great in it.
Hair: Oisin Ryan Hair & Beauty
My bridesmaid living in Cork has been going to Oisin Ryan for her hair for some time now and raves about it. She mentioned the wedding to him and he said that he would be happy to come up and do the hair for it. He was fantastic and reasonably priced. We had a trial down in his salon in Cork where he listened to what I wanted, looked at pictures and gave me advice on what would work. My two bridesmaids wanted different styles and Oisin did exactly what they wanted. Everyone was delighted with their hair on the morning of the wedding. Oisin is also a very easy going, funny guy, it is bonus to have someone like that around on the morning of your wedding.
A friend recommended Tara McHugh to me for our make-up, she was amazing and reasonably priced. I had a trial run with her for a friend’s wedding, she did such a beautiful job, the makeup didn’t look heavy but it lasted all day. She came to the house the morning of the wedding and did all the makeup including my mam’s. Everyone loved their makeup. Like Oisin, Tara was very relaxed and easy going, it’s nearly therapeutic having your makeup done!
Apologies if I’m repeating myself a lot in the above! To summarise, everyone was fantastic, true professionals, lovely people and I would highly recommend all of them. Best of luck!