Use smaller weddings to focus on 'positive things', planner says

A wedding planner says people should use their smaller weddings to focus on things that are impor...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.18 27 Aug 2020

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Use smaller weddings to focus...

Use smaller weddings to focus on 'positive things', planner says

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.18 27 Aug 2020

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A wedding planner says people should use their smaller weddings to focus on things that are important to them.

It comes as recent public health guidelines say that there can be a maximum of 50 people in a function area, including employees.

While all wedding guests have to leave by 11.30pm.


And face coverings should also be worn by guests when arriving to and leaving their table.

But wedding planner Sharon McMeel told Lunchtime Live people have several options.

"We're very lucky in this country that we have a phenomenal amount of venues.

"Everything from castles that'll take 10 people in it, to beautiful restaurants, to overlooking the sea.

"There's great options for everybody.

"And even people who have weddings booked in the venues that were going for 100 or 150: they would have rooms within their venues that will take more intimate weddings.

"Even before COVID, we were doing fabulous smaller weddings or elopements and things like that for people.

"And it's very intimate.

"And a lot of times what people find is when they're not spending the money on feeding or entertaining 100, 200 or 300 guests they get to spend it on stuff that might be more important to them - or they might be able to have an open bar for the day when they didn't have it before.

COVID-19 weddings Image by Pexels from Pixabay

"You can upgrade your wine for your dinner, or a lot of people - the battle when they're looking at the budget is will we get a photographer and a videographer or will we just get a photographer?

"And a lot of people regret afterwards not getting a videographer.

"So with these new guidelines, people can start to do those kind of things.

"And it's to look at those positive things that you can bring forward that you can now do".

Andrew Rudd is owner and executive chef in Medley in Dublin and Ballintubbert Gardens & House in Laois.

He said one suggestion is to divide the celebrations.

"I have four weddings next week and the wedding on Friday is for 20 guests, the wedding on Saturday is for 44 - but the 44 on Saturday.... I said 'what are you guys doing tomorrow? Do you want to split the party into two days?'

"So we're having the a la carte dinner on the Saturday for one wedding couple, and the same wedding couple are having a brunch on the Sunday".

"The industry has come together really well and we're sharing the love.

"I'm directly opposite the Westin Hotel, so they worked with me to give preferential rates for brides and grooms so they're all staying there.

"If guests are staying there, there is an opportunity for a residents' bar".

COVID-19 weddings Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Lydia from Dublin was meant to get married back in July.

She told Lunchtime Live: "We were meant to get married on July 23rd and we were offered dates in September but decided to push it back until next year.

"We're now April of next year - but the longer things are going on, the more it looks as though these restrictions are going to be in place for quite some time to come".

"I had my big dream of a summer wedding with summer colours and summer flowers... I'm now getting married in April, and it's the 7th of April, so it's quite early so it's not really ever what I pictured".

On changing the arrangements, Lydia said: "The suppliers, I can only compliment them: they were all fabulous.

"Provided they were available on any other date that we chose, they all just literally lifted up our day and dropped it into the new day".

She believes the biggest problem for the wedding industry is the constant 'wait and see' approach.

"It's a massive industry, it's worth so much money to this country that I think at this point there needs to be a roadmap for the wedding industry - as opposed to this kind of wait and see attitude.

"These businesses need some idea of what this is going to look like a bit longer term.

"This jumping from week to week to week, an awful lot of these small independent businesses just won't survive that".

"The biggest problem I feel with future lockdowns is I'm in Dublin but we're getting married in Wicklow.

"If Dublin happens to be in some kind of local lockdown at the time, but Wicklow isn't, me venue are perfectly able to host my day".

"They can comply with their side of the contract I signed with them, but my only way of complying is to take whatever the number happens to be - whether it's 50, 100, 150 or 200 people from Dublin...and drag them all into Wicklow with me - that's the only way I have of complying with my side of the contract that I signed".

And she had this advice for host Sinead Ryan, who was meant to get married herself next weekend.

"My first piece of advice for you directly would be you're allowed to worry about the big things and the small things - one doesn't necessarily negate the other - so don't feel bad for feeling bad that your wedding is not going ahead, you're entitled to it".

Use smaller weddings to focus on 'positive things', planner says

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Main image by Pexels from Pixabay 

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Andrew Rudd COVID-19 Weddings Public Health Guidelines Sharon McMeel Wedding Guidelines Wedding Planner

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