Dos and Dont’s of Planning a Destination Wedding

Wedding Tips

Ibiza Wedding




DO ask yourself questions before you jump in

• What time of the year do you want to get married
• How important is the weather
• What type of venue do you see yourself in
• What’s your budget
• Is there a country that holds special memories for you both
• Who do you want at your wedding – the two of you on your own, a small intimate wedding, or a larger celebration
• Are your passports in date!
• How will people get there – boat, plane, more than one flight etc?
• Are there relatives or family who definitely can’t travel that you would miss too much.

DON’T assume it’s cheaper to go abroad
• Costs depend on the venue you chose, many of those private venues abroad can charge rental fees
• You may need to bring in everything yourself – caterers, decorators etc
• The more guests the bigger the costs, and more will travel than you think
• Check the currency exchange rates; This can impact on your costs depending on where you are going. It can also mean costs can change over time, something you should factor into your budget.

DO send out save the dates as early as possible
• Give your guests plenty of notice
• This allows them more time to get organised with family and also save if they want to make it a longer holiday
• The sooner they can book flights the cheaper they are likely to be

DON’T book anything until you have done your research
• Do your initial research online to get a feel for what you want.
• Consult with a wedding planner or travel agent who can make recommendations based on your needs.
• If possible make the trip to see your short listed venues before you book, a website can be very different from what you see in person. You need to access the venue location and accessibility for guests as well as the look and feel of it.
• What are the laws for the country you want to get married in? These vary greatly from country to country and you may not be able to have the type of ceremony you want or have a legal ceremony there. Same-sex couples in particular need to check laws allowing them to marry in various countries around the world.
• Have you enough time for paperwork, if divorced additional paperwork may be required.

DO consider the culture of your destination country
• Some may differ greatly from what you are used for example Spanish weddings do not include bridesmaids or groomsmen.
• Embrace local wedding traditions – Italian brides used to wear green on the night before their wedding to bring them good luck.


Wedding Tips

Getting Married in Ireland






Your wedding celebrant plays an important part in your wedding day and if chosen correctly can often add to the fun and memorable moments of your ceremony.  Remember Fr Ray Kelly singing Hallelujah! . So here are my top tips for choosing your wedding celebrant:

Research Online

The first place to go is the Internet. Often times couples are not sure what type of ceremony or celebrant they want for their wedding – humanist, interfaith, religious. The websites for each type of ceremony will give you an overview of the style and approach they have to wedding ceremonies and this will allow you to see which option is best for you. Here are some helpful websites to get you started:



Interfaith Ministers

Full list of all registered solemnisers in Ireland got to

Once you have decided on the type of ceremony you should then focus your search on the celebrant and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want a male or female celebrant?
  • Do you want them to be able to legally marry you or not? Some people will choose to have the legal element done in a registry office or their own country and then have someone perform a separate ceremony on their wedding day. For example –
  • Is budget a factor in choosing the celebrant? If you are budget conscious then it is worth beginning your search with local celebrant. Those that are in your area can often be less expensive as they do not have to charge you travel fees.
  • What have others experience been like with them. Make sure to read reviews, either on the celebrants website or profile or wedding forums such as

Pick someone you connect with

There is nothing worse than watching a wedding ceremony where the celebrant comes across as disinterest or has a monotone voice, has no connection to the couple and just looks like they are going through the motions. After doing your online research make sure you have a phone, Skype call or meeting with them to ensure that you connect with them. Make sure they get what you want to achieve and that you can relax with them. The day itself will be full of emotion and joy and you want someone who will buy into that too and feel excited to perform your ceremony.

Working with a good celebrant will also help you to bring more of your personality into the wedding. They will give you advice on what can be included outside of the required legal elements. It is a really good sign if your celebrant asks to have a Skype call with you so that they can get a feel for you both as a couple, your personalities and what you might like to include on the day. They can suggest poems or readings that might suit you or different elements for the ceremony such as hand fasting, ring warming or sand ceremony.


Once you have booked your celebrant ask them to email you a draft of your ceremony or a sample from a previous wedding so you can get an idea of what the ceremony will consist of. Do this within the first weeks of contacting them so that the details you discussed are still fresh in your mind. Discussing the details of the ceremony early on with your partner will help give you both a focus for what you want from the ceremony and the day itself. By tackling this early in the planning process it allows you to really think about the ceremony without the time pressures you will have doing it nearer the wedding date when you have other tasks on the to-do list.


Book Early

With the popularity of non-religious ceremonies growing annually I recommend to book your celebrant as early as possible. Also as HSE registrars only perform ceremonies Monday to Friday, many of the other celebrants who perform ceremonies on Saturdays are booked up many months/years in advance. So get in touch as soon as you can in order to secure your preferred date and celebrant.

Get Everything in Writing

Whatever celebrant you book make sure that you receive a contract from them with confirmation of any deposit you have paid to secure their services. Read it carefully and confirm that everything you agreed is in the contract and you know exactly what has been agreed and what services will be provided. Make sure you ask the appropriate questions in advance of the contract signing, for example are travel expenses included in the fee, how many meetings are included, how long before the ceremony will they arrive, when is the balance payment due? Is there a late fee if the bride or groom is very late? How many hours does their fee cover?  If the celebrant has an accident or becomes ill and they are unable to perform the wedding, what arrangements do they have in place?

What will they wear?

Don’t make assumptions that the celebrant will wear the appropriate attire, ASK! It is important to ask them what they will be wearing on the day even if you have seen pictures of them on Facebook or their website looking smart and well dressed, their outfit will still need to fit in with your style and theme. For example you don’t want colours, pattern clashing with the bridal party or having the same suit as the groom! Remember it is the couple that should stand out not the celebrant!

Special Requirements

Each celebrant will have their own requirements, so do check with them in advance if there is anything specific the need such as chairs, table (what size/shape), drinking water, PA system. Also ask if is there anything they don’t allow such as the printing of ceremony booklets etc.

Remember whatever type of ceremony you are having you must still need to give your 3 month notification of marriage to the Registrar’s Office in order to get legally married in Ireland. Here is the marriage notification checklist –









Images Via:

Spring Wedding Collections 2016

Wedding Dresses

One of the most exciting time for us ladies is when the new collections from our favourite designers come out! We decided to labour through countless top designer collections to check out the hottest trends and keep you up to date on all things Spring 2016!

Carolina Herrera

Always elegant, Carolina Herrera’s Spring collection offers a wide range for all brides. Mermaid style seems to be dominating this spring and we also get to see her use feathers! My favourite from the collection has to be this dress which is classy but has that edge with cut out detailing on the side (A trend also seen in Vera Wang)

Carolina Herrera

Vera Wang

Always one of the designers to make us ‘Oooh’ and ‘Aaahh’, the Vera Wang Spring 2016 does not fail to impress! This collection is very elegant mermaid style dresses, tulle and sheer material making an appearance. For the more adventurous bride this halter neck dress will certainly get a reaction!

Vera Wang

Monique Lhuillier

The Monique Lhuillier collection offers, in my opinion, the biggest range for brides this Spring including shorter dresses. Lace stands out as the biggest trend among this collection however tulle skirting and feathers also sneak their way in, following other designer collections. I absolutely adore this piece from the collection which granted may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely one of my favourites from the whole spring season!

Monique Lhuillier

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta is one of the biggest names in Wedding dress designers and it’s easy to tell why. Similar to Monique Lhuillier, the collection features shorter dresses, feathers and lace. My top pick of this collection is a strapless mermaid style dress with lace detailing. The added pop of colour makes it the perfect spring dress in my eyes

Oscar de la Renta


The Marchesa Spring 2016 oozes elegance and class with some pieces almost Grecian! Beautiful embroidery, sheer material, lace, feathers and shorter options are all present but my favourite piece from the collection has statement written all over it! Check out this beautiful strapless dress with bold yet delicate tulle skirting, perfection!


So what’s your favourite trend from the Spring 2016 collection? Make sure to let us know by using the hashtag #sharonmcmeel

By Caroline Whitsell


Seasonal Spring Flowers Perfect For Your Bouquet

Wedding Flowers

With a New Year brings a new season and we are excited to look at the spring flowers.

The meaning for these flowers is sincerity (especially the white ones) because of their delicate and earnest appearance. Perfect for a spring time wedding, the purple centre of the white flower is why they are one of my favourites, check out how it adds something special to this bouquet!



Calla LilyCalla Lily
Calla Lily comes from the Greek word for beauty and it’s clear to see why! They are also known to symbolise faith and purity. These are great flowers,  not only because they are seasonal for this time of year but also due to the variety of colours available including yellow, orange and pink!


The Iris flower is a popular choice among brides and again offers a wide range of colours which is how it gets its name from the Greek word meaning ‘Rainbow’. With each colour comes a different meaning including wisdom, passion, faith and hope. Check out this simple yet elegant bouquet!



Lily of the ValleyLily of the Valley
Some may remember a certain Kate Middleton who opted for a Lily of the Valley Bouquet for her fairy-tale wedding! This elegant flower is said to bring luck in love and symbolises sweetness and purity. Either by itself or add some baby’s breath with it, it’s the perfect bouquet for a spring wedding!




Peonies holds the meaning of romance and prosperity and are looked at as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage, what more could you want! Not only is the meaning of this flower the perfect fit for any wedding but the colours available are perfect for spring weddings including pinks and yellows. This stunning bouquet is soft and elegant with it’s use of different spring shades.




We hope our blog has inspired you to create your own perfect spring wedding bouquet.Let us know what flowers you intend to use on your big day!

Images via:

  • Anemone –
  • Calla Lily –
  • Iris –
  • Lily of the Valley –
  • Peony –

Will you marry me? How to prepare to ask the question

Engagement Tips, Wedding Tips

So you have decided to ask your partner to marry you, now you need to decide when, where and how to pop the question. Keep in mind, this is a story they will be telling for the rest of their life and you want them to be proud to tell it. No pressure! The following tips should help you get started:


A brilliant proposal depends on knowing what makes your partner happy but it is also important to think about what suits both your personalities and relationship. So what type of person are they? Are they a hopeless romantic, do they like bold statements or have they a passion in life – your proposal should reflect whatever their values and loves are. If they prefer intimacy, then a private, intimate proposal is the way to go and not a big public gesture. It’s important to propose in a way they’ll appreciate, don’t embarrass them. Over the years they will have mentioned what would make them cringe…do this at your peril!


The location of the proposal can be just about anywhere. Try to pick a place that holds great memories, a place with a story behind it or a place you both always wanted to go to – a landmark, a restaurant, or even fly them to Paris – as long as it has meaning for both of you. You can also combine locations – first a restaurant, then a hilltop under the stars. The possibilities are endless. If you’re planning on going to a restaurant, ask for a quiet table.


Pick a day that’s special to you, such as the anniversary of your first date. Make sure it is a day when they have nothing else on – you don’t want to have everything planned only to realise they have an exercise class that night. Surprise is important, but tough to manage. If you can’t completely bowl them over you can still surprise them with the exact timing or your romantic execution.


Whatever stage you set, the most important thing is what you say and how you say it. Be sincere and let your partner know how much they mean to you. Tell your partner not only that you love them but why you love them, why they’re the only one for you. Show them that you pay attention by including personal elements like the first time you saw them or the first time you said I love you. These could be some of the most important words they hear from you, so make them memorable.


When choosing the engagement ring, you can pick it out yourself or buy a “placeholder” ring. A “placeholder” ring is a temporary engagement ring that you propose with before you are in possession of the permanent ring.  This allows you to still have a surprise proposal with a ring but then choose the permanent ring together. If you decide to surprise your partner check out my tips at


Make sure you bring the ring!  Take their favourite flowers with you. Decide what you are going to wear. Get a haircut. You want to look and feel your best. Give yourself time to get ready. When the moment arrives, look them in the eye and speak from the heart. Make sure you actually ask the question “Will you marry me?” And most of all – Enjoy the moment!

If you are thinking of proposing to your partner and have a question for me you can contact me at



Coca Cola Bottles


Summer Round up 2014!

Events, Wedding Inspiration

So the summer has ended and we have to say it’s been one to remember!

We’ve seen glamorous weddings like Kimyes’ and were shocked when Brangelina decided to walk down the aisle after 9 years together but oh have we been busy in the office too!

We’ve decided to share with you some of our favourite event and memories from this summer! We’ve loved the variety in trends we’ve seen across the summer months when it came to weddings. Whether it was vintage or a simple elegant look we loved it all. Check out just some of the wedding setup from this summer



dunraven arms wedding

homemade jam favours  vintage birdcage wedding

But if it’s just weddings you think we got up to you’d be wrong! We’ve had birthdays, launches (including The Limerick Bridal Ball!) and of course The Pride Wedding Show. Here’s a look at some of the events we got up to:

Cobblestone Joe’s Bar – Birthday Party – BEFORE

IMG_20140530_135900 IMG_20140530_150418

Cobblestone Joe’s Bar – Birthday Party – AFTER

birthday party decor  birthday party decor

party balloons

Robert Kiely Book Launch 

book launch robert kiely pch


Limerick Pride Wedding Show


limerick pride wedding show


When we weren’t busy with weddings and events, we also got our sleeves rolled up and got to work with an office revamp! The office is now in true ‘Sharon Mc Meel’ mode with a vintage look and of course we made sure it was blue and white!

limerick wedding office vintage


We’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for making the past few months so memorable from our lovely suppliers and venues to the amazing couples who fill our office with love and smiles


We hope you all had a great summer filled with fantastic memories just like us!


For more behind the scenes action make sure to check out #sharonmcmeel on Instagram and make sure to follow too!



Wedding Dress Trends 2015

Wedding Dresses

With our favourite bridal designers releasing their 2015 collections we’ve vigorously chewed through the lace and tulle skirts to get you up to speed on the latest trends in the bridal world.


The fashion world must have been inspired by my Throwback Thursday Series as it’s out with the new and in with the old. We’re seeing a comeback in collars and high necklines with most designers opting to join in on the trend including Christos Costarellos, Gemy Maalouf and Jenny Packham. The look adds instant drama to your dress and elongates the neck for a sophisticated look.

Here’s one of my favourite looks from Galia Lahav’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ 2015 Collection:

Galia 2015

Off the shoulder

Off the shoulder dresses are also being seen across the board in Spring 2015 collections. This trend is timeless and so elegant. Carolina Herrara and Oscar de la Renta are loving this romantic look just like – here’s a look at ‘Carmen’ from Carolina Herrara’s Spring 2015 Collection which oozes class and elegance with the combination of the off the shoulder and laces look.

CH 2015

30’s Glam

30’s glam is upon us and there’s no getting away from it. Whether it’s the knock on effect from the Great Gatsby or just our love for old Hollywood it will be filling up all church aisles soon. The look is glamorous without being over the top letting you be a movie star too on your big day. Rosa Clara, Monique Lhuiller and Tara Keely are just a few incorporating 30’s glam into their new collections.

Monique Lhuiller opts for a simple flowy romantic look in this 30’s inspired dress:



Don’t panic, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a superhero themed wedding when I say capes. Instead they can be the perfect pairing for your dress. Carolina Herrara and Alberta Ferretti are leading the way on this trend in my own opinion. Here’s a dramatic look from Ferretti’s Bridal Forever 2015 Collection perfect for a ‘Boho Chic’ bride:


Tulle Skirts

We saw that A-Line dresses were extremely popular in 2014 with brides loving the simple elegant look however tulle skirts are back in a big way with almost all the well known designers including Vera Wang and Monique Lhuiller donning them in their collections.

Here’s a look at one of the many dresses following the trend in Vera Wang’s 2015 Collection


By Caroline Whitsell


Images via:

Bride CA:
Galia Lahav :
Carolina Herrera :
Monique Lhuillier :
Alberta Ferretti :
Vera Wang :

Festival Wedding Fun

Wedding Inspiration

So as the festival season and our busy wedding season collide in a colourful bang our minds got to thinking about having the best of both worlds!

For music lovers it’s the ultimate party so sit back and let yourself be inspired

Your invitations are your guest’s first glance at your big day and what to expect. Make sure they fall into the festival theme. Why not style them like VIP passes? It may look daunting but its simple just print, laminate and punch a hole near the top. Lanyards can be bought online or instead you can buy ribbon and simply tie it on

Festival Wedding Invitations

 People sometimes overlook wedding signage and just think of an A4 page stuck to a pole pointing out the way to the far off church in the middle of nowhere. Get creative and draw up a wedding ‘line-up’ that you are the headliners off. You could use some plywood or maybe get your hands on a wooden crate but really any type of wood will do. Grab some paint and have fun with it! Remember that guests love to feel in the know

  Wedding Signage

When a lot of us think of festivals we naturally think of a muddy mess so be a prepared bride and have stylish wellies on standby. Noone wants to get stuck in the grass in stiletto heels and not to mention what a great photo op it will be with the bride and the bridesmaids looking festival ready!

 Festival wedding boots for the bride

A cute idea for favours for guests are their very own wristband to remember the day. Whether you want silicone wristbands or textile with or without printing is entirely up to you. A lot of companies can make them such as Adband or maybe you could embrace the ‘loom band’ craze and make them yourself!

Wedfest wedding band

 Why not incorporate your festival theme into the food too? Whether it’s burgers, hotdogs, popcorn and whatever else you could think of look into getting a cartering truck. Check out for some inspiration

 Donuts wedding food

So get your flower crown on and have a fun filled day with your nearest and dearest and dance the night away as if you’re in Stradbally!

flower crown

For more festival wedding ideas check out our Pinterest Page

 – by  Caroline Whitsell


Lovebox | Festival: Destination Wedding



coloured jars

If there’s one thing us Irish are famous for it’s that we love a good party and with the 4th of July just around the corner we’re praising all things American and giving you some inspiration for your very own red, white and blue themed soiree!

Whether you have relatives across the pond or you just love Footloose we can all join in on the festivities this Friday and kick off the weekend with an almighty American bang.  Here’s some inspiration for your very own 4th of July bash:

Grab some red liquorice and bundle them together. Tie with a blue bow and you have the perfect red, white and blue themed treat for your guests!

4th july treats

These strawberries are a flawless touch for an all American party!

If you don’t have a steady hand or just don’t have the time simply dip half the strawberry into white chocolate for a very effective red and white pop of colour!

strawberries touchdown

Other food ideas include –

Oreos dipped in white chocolate



Cupcakes – Get icing or pop a cheery on top!

There’s no need to break the bank for your party. Take some old jars you may have in your press or even empty bottles and pick up some acrylic paint in your local crafts shop. Whether you want to paint them in stars and stripes or to keep it simple with solid colours of red, white and blue they’ll be great for candles or straw holders for your table.

painted jars

Balloons are a great way to add a sense of occasion to your party. Pick up a pack of balloons, dig out the patriotic colours and get huffin’ and puffin’

4th july balloons

We all know the 4th of July is famous for fireworks and although we can’t have fireworks without a license here why not run into your nearby Euro shop and get some sparklers. Great for a photo op and a laugh but we do advise you to handle with care as a trip to A&E is NOT our ideal party!


With the good weather still with us (just!), why not opt for a picnic. Pick up some inexpensive picnic cutlery in any good food store – go for some red or white cups, cutlery or blue napkins. Perfect for keeping your theme going and also no wash up!

picnic 4th july

Our top tip: Make sure to keep the festivities going all weekend long!

If you’re around Limerick this weekend there are great events to go to. It’s kicking off in style on Friday with a big launch party at the Locke Bar with live music, entertainment and special beer and burger deals.

On Saturday the main event is an American Style Family Picnic with buckets of free entertainment, American music, sports, food, art and games. Ideal for families and the young at heart. There will also be a big Dog Show in aid of Limerick Animal Welfare taking place.

For those who like to have fun on wheels there will be an American Roller derby at Rollerjam in Ballysimon and later there will be more fun and food at Limerick Greyhound stadium.

Finally, on Sunday there will be the All American Raceday at Limerick Racecourse with special kids zone full of entertainment as well even more barbecuing!

For more info check out

Finally for all those getting married on this special day we hope you have an amazing day and that you enjoy every minute!

wedding couple 4th july

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

– By Caroline Whitsell

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

Wedding Inspiration

Wedding favours are a great way to show off your personality and have some fun with your wedding day. The usual suspects of chocolates or bubbles have been put aside in favour (gotta love the puns) of some quirkier options.

Here are some wedding favour ideas that make me smile and hopefully your guests will love them too!

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

Bottle Openers

It’s one of those things that you never have when you need it, so why not gift one to your guests. Bottle openers come in all shapes and sizes and can tie into pretty much any.

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

USB Flash Drive With Your Wedding Photos

Who said wedding favours have to be given out at the wedding. I love this idea of putting some of your professional wedding photos on to a USB drive and giving them to your guests afterwards. When you think about it most of your guests will never get to see the fabulous professional photograph taken of you or themselves. So why not share them!

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

Tic Tacs And Sweeties

These are a great idea for a winter wedding, they will look like boxes of snow or you can get a fun box to add them into. It’s a lovely inexpensive favour and all your guests will have great smelling breath to boot!

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

Microwave Popcorn

Love it! Such an unusual wedding favour and a great way to bring a pop of colour into your table décor.

Fabulous Wedding Favour Ideas

Name Frames

A great DIY project that will definitely have your guests smiling. The idea is every guests name will be put into a frame along with the meaning and other interesting facts about their name. You can then set them out at each place setting to double as your place names.

The possibilities are endless and a quick search on the internet will give you ideas that match your personality and style. For more ideas and inspiration my Pinterest page!

Images via:


Little Things Favours



Little Things Favours



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