Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

While living in Limerick, Anton and I would frequent the town market on Saturdays. One Saturday we went down and heard someone playing the uilleann pipes. We stopped and looked at each other. Immediately our eyes began to fill and that’s when we knew we couldn’t have this wedding without them. I had heard them many years back and always dreamed about having them at my wedding. Not realizing that one day I would infact marry an Irishman. They are just the most beautiful sound and a tradition in the Irish heritage.

I am pleased to announce that I have just booked an uilleann pipes player for the wedding ceremony. I’m so excited. He’s only going to play at the ceremony because we’re having a band play at the reception. He’s only €150, which I thought was reasonable. If you want to know who he is you can email me. Haven’t asked if I can blog about him yet. I will and post it at a later date. Visit this great website  if you’re getting married in the Cork area and want an uilleann pipe player at your ceremony. Donal was quick to respond to my email and although he couldn’t help me being so far away, he was more than willing to offer suggestions for someone closer to my area.

The wonderful person who actually referred me to the player I booked today was Gabriela Avram. A terrific lady who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know from social techie events here in Ireland. She’s got a great blog about the events she attends and the work she does in market research in technology. Thanks again Gabriela!

 “There are some things you can penny pinch on but my hair isn’t one of them.”

The first of three huge planning details I took care of yesterday was booking a videographer. I had called a few a couple months back to no avail. They were all booked. So I figured it wasn’t meant to be. Then I went poking around the internet again yesterday and found this great website, Keane For Beauty, with links to an array of bridal planning websites and phone numbers. Now mind you these services are mainly localized in County Clare, but most will travel for a nominal fee.

I first contacted Brooks Video,  from the links on the website, who said they regretably couldn’t cover it because they weren’t going to be in town. Yet they were more than willing to offer me two alternatives and one in particular worked out beautifully. The videographer I chose to go with is SES Digital. They have several packages to chose from ranging in price from €650 to €1100.  Very reasonable considering I’ve been quoted anywhere from €1200-€2000.  Declan from SES Digital was extremely helpful in answering all my questions and even sent me samples of his work. You can see them on the website as well.

The second thing I booked yesterday was the hairdresser. I found her on the same website as the videographer. I’m using Ev’s Hair Design in Quin. She’s really close by and can come to the house to do all the bridesmaids, my mom, and myself. Bridesmaids and mothers pay roughly €30 and mine will be €50. Plus another €50 for the onsite fee. I figure it’s worth it because the way the wind is out here, I’m not chancing too many trips to and from the car. So once I get my veil and tiara/comb I can bring it to her for a free practice run. There are some things you can penny pinch on but my hair isn’t one of them.

“…with enough ribbon and flowers…I’ll be happy.”

The last thing I booked yesterday was the transportation. I cheated and looked on www.goldenpages.ie for someone local. All of the websites I found were in Dublin and I wasn’t willing to pay twice the amount for the commute. So I’m going with Joe O’Leary in Limerick. For a black stretched limo that seats 8 that will pick me and my girls up at the house, drive us to the church, take us to any photo sites we chose, then on to the reception, will cost a total of €300. I called several places yesterday and needless to say they were the cheapest. An alternative to this, that I don’t have the pleasure of, is having a friend or family member that has a Hummer or larger vehicle that can pick a lot of people up.

An idea that Anton came up with as a solution to the problem of ‘how do he and I get to the reception with a limo full of the wedding party?’ was for us to rent a Mercedes or equivelent for the day. That way he and the groomsmen can use it to get to the church in style and we can use it after the ceremony. We’re going to have someone in the wedding party, or a friend, drive us instead of a chauffeur. That is going to cost a fraction of the amount it would if we booked a Rolls Royce with chauffeur. Ideally a Rolls is what I wanted but with enough ribbon and flowers on the car, I’ll be happy.  

Another website that helps with wedding planning is www.weddings.ie. It’s loaded with ideas from “etiquette for the big day” to “who pays for what“. You can even find bands, chauffeurs, and bridal party gift ideas on the site as well. I found it very useful.

So that was my entire afternoon yesterday. Surfing, emailing, calling, and booking things that seemed to only be available by chance. And the funny thing is I always ended up booking with the least expensive option. Guess this wedding is really meant to be. If you put your energy out there to get a budget wedding, do your research, and open your mind to fun alternatives, you’ll get exactly what you want. The perfect ‘wedding on a dime’.


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Up or Down?

One of the biggest questions for my wedding day is not ‘Where will the reception be?’ or ‘Who shall I invite?’ No it’s considerably more important then that. It’s by far one of the most important things I have to plan for my special day. And the question is… ‘Should I wear my hair up or down?’

I know that might seem a bit unimportant to most people but to me it’s a matter of life and death. My entire wedding day is going to be photographed and treasured for decades to come. So I don’t want to look ratty or disheveled. Personally I prefer my hair down, but I have a strapless dress and shoulders I wouldn’t mind showing off so I’m leaning more towards up. Maybe I’ll do both. Front up with a tiara comb, which I have to show you, and the back down and curled. My hair has a natural wave to it, that most people don’t see because I straighten it, so it should take the curl nicely.

Here are a few pictures of ideas that I had for my day.

 hair.jpg                              hair-5.jpg 

  hair-6.jpg <I love these two> hair-7.jpg This one has hair ornaments!

Plus there are these fun little hair ornaments that add a little something to your do. I’d advise against it if you’re wearing a tiara or other headpiece as it may be over kill and garish. Try them on and do a pre-run of your hair with your stylist a couple times before the wedding so he/she knows exactly what to do on the day. You don’t need to experiment the day of and end up not getting what you want.

hair-2.jpg                 hair-3.jpg                hair-4.jpg              hair-8.jpg

Here are a few pictures of the cool tiara type combs I’m going with. They’re a lot easier to keep in your hair and a lot less painful as well. I’ve tried on countless tiaras and kept wondering how it was going to stay in with all the dancing I’m going to be doing. Then I came across the tiara head-comb and voila! it stays put. It’s absolutely gorgeous with or without a veil and gives you the look of royalty. Depending on the hairstyle it can even look as though it’s a full tiara.

hair-9.jpg                           hair-10.jpg

Before I go I have to post another cake idea I found thats absolutely gorgeous. I’m going to try and get this made using gerbera daisies instead. I love the idea of candles around the cake. For people who can’t afford a waterfall in the middle of their tiers of cake, candles are an eye catching inexpensive alternative. It adds a touch of class as well.


 Stay tuned for the jewelry blog next….

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So I’m thinking photographers are pretty straight forward as to what they do for weddings, thus resulting in a similar price right? WRONG! I got price ranges from €850 to €2000. What makes these prices so different? The biggest reason I came up with was ego. Which in my opinion if you can back it up fair play to ya, but I’m still not hiring you. I looked at a few websites and actually talked to these people about their pricing and what they do and don’t do. Some charge extra for shots of me getting ready, others charge more for collage type pictures, and one just said if I paid any less than he charged I’d get crappy pictures that wont stand the test of time. Test of time? I don’t need these pictures to last 3000 years. Just about 40 or so will do. And considering I have pictures from 40 years ago and they look good as new, I’m going to say current technology will ensure this will happen again. Not to mention all photographers put all of your pictures on a CD or DVD as well. 

 “Ever heard the term Bridezilla?”  

Make sure that whatever photographer you chose you really like them. This person is going to be following you around all day and capturing moments of the best day of your life. Meet this person over coffee beforehand and get some rapport going to get a feel for what this person is like. If they creep you out or rub you the wrong way don’t hire them. They will just aggravate you on a day that is already hectic enough.

 One photographer told me he would get the essential 24 shots out of the way then relax and take as many as I want after that. What are the ’24 essential shots’ you ask? Well they are of course the church shots like exchanging rings, candle lighting, and us entering and leaving as well as the pictures of us at the reception entering the hall, cutting the cake, and the bridal party dancing. So once he gets those shots ‘out of the way’ he can relax and take the frilly pictures like me getting ready, candid family and friends shots before and during the wedding services etc. Well that’s great right? Nope, because the last time I checked I don’t own a time machine allowing you to go back and take all those fun pictures that I so desperately want. I could feel this person’s anxiety over the phone so I could just imagine what I would be like if I hired them. Ever heard the term Bridezilla?  

“Well let’s just say if he had been standing in front of me he wouldn’t have been vertical very long.” 

At the peak of my frustration having spoken with Mr. Ego, Mr. 24 Essential Shots, and Mr. Quality Photos That Will Stand the Test of Time, I thought I would let the last one know how I felt about him trying to charge me €2000 for 40 pictures in a €300 Italian leather album. I first commended him on being a sole trader, as I am one myself. Then I tore into him for quite literally ripping people off and preying on the fact that a wedding will only happen once. And to ‘make it special’ by basically forfeiting a down payment on a house to pay for everything was sickening to say the least.

I also informed him that I wanted to have kids someday as well and having a wedding at this cost pretty much cancels that out. His comical retort to that was reminding me of tax breaks for having children. Yea, very funny asshole.  Then this person courageously suggested I should just go away and get married. To which I replied, “I’m an American living in Ireland. I DID GO AWAY TO GET MARRIED!”   He corrected me saying he meant fly to Italy and elope. Well let’s just say if he had been standing in front of me he wouldn’t have been vertical very long. I calmed myself and said, ”Let me get this straight. Because you are ripping people off and I can’t afford you I should ‘go away’ and get married away from my family and friends? Am I reading you right?” The phone call ended rather abruptly after that one. I then came to realize that apparently Satan’s day job is photography.  

Finally a photographer that gets it… 

The photographer I did choose to go with, Roberto Grilli, is fabulous. He’s reasonably priced (1000 euros) and after meeting over coffee we really got to chat about everything I want. He’s more than happy to accommodate me and even suggested we go to the church so he could get an idea of what shots he could take. When we arrived he went into the church and walked all around checking angles and lighting. He showed us where he would want to stand and even told us to ask the priest if it was ok that he went behind the altar to take pictures. Apparently some priests have a problem with this so make sure this isn’t a problem for you. It could narrow down what church to book if that’s an issue.

He then went outside and walked the church grounds. It was amazing watching him because you could see he was getting inspired. And when someone I barely knew got excited about my day it confirmed my gut feeling about hiring him. We talked about how different it would look in the summer with the trees in bloom and hoping the garden would be tended to. Then he also gave us the idea that we should ask around, being new to the area, to see if there were any places close by that were exceptionally beautiful to take outdoor photos. Knowing the weather in Ireland is fickle and it could rain at any moment, he suggested finding a spot for indoor photos as well. All things we hadn’t even though of ourselves. We chatted a bit longer in the pouring rain and really built a relationship with our new photographer. His non-refundable deposit was 200 euros, a fifth of the total cost, which we thought was reasonable as well. 

For those who have absolutely little to no ‘wedding capital’ Eirepreneur blogger, James Corbett, suggested this website for free wedding photographers. They take loads of pictures throughout the day and upload them on their website for free. Then you go to your own private gallery via a link and choose which photos you want printed. They charge you per print as opposed to the day. Just be aware that it might cost more than some packages other photographers have set up already so price shop a lot. If you aren’t concerned with having loads of pictures printed then this would most likely be the cheaper way to go. Plus you can print them whenever you have the money. One thing they point out on their blogsite is they don’t take the traditional pictures that everyone wants. They capture the ‘feeling’ of the day. Meaning all candid shots they think are cool. It’s a new way of looking at your wedding day or a supplement to another more traditional photographer. If you chose to go this route please post a comment. 

An alternative to getting a traditional wedding album made is to make a book out of it! There is an excellent website for those of you who want an alternative to a standard wedding album. What a great idea! Thanks to Elly Parker for commenting on the blog and giving us her pearls of wisdom. For a preview of her’s check out the link in the comments section of this post.

 “…don’t get intimidated by the “Mr.’s” 

So bottom line when looking for a photographer on a budget, look for the 3 P’s: Price, Personality, Pictures.

1. Call around and get all the prices.

2. The least expensive ones you should meet with to get a feel for their personality.

3. Out of that you can narrow it down by looking at their pictures and make your final decision. It may take some time but it’s well worth the wait.

There really are people out there who do good work at a decent price. So don’t get intimidated by the “Mr.’s 

Thanks again to everyone for the great advice they’ve given me on planning the big day.

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