Accessories, shoes, hair, makeup, decorations, OH MY!

This is where you can really let your budget slip out from under your firm grasp. Do yourself a favor and plan the accessories and the costs of each item very carefully. Ask yourself if you really need this ‘XYZ thing’ to complete your wedding style, or if you are buying it only because it’s what you see at other weddings. (Or on Pinterest….)

Remember, you’re getting married in Ireland. Let the lush Irish landscape and blue sea waters be your backdrop. Let the wild heather and roaming lambs be your decor. Show up simple and beautiful and be wed.

The Guinness and tin whistle will take care of the rest.


Take really good pictures of your gown and suit while they’re at the tailors so you can start shopping for accessories. Buy your flats (at least for the outdoor photos… lamb poop is everywhere!), your groom’s shoes, ties, gown sashes, jewelry (if needed), hair accessories, makeup, decoration, and anything else you’ll need to complete your wedding day styling.

If I could do it all again, I would skip the waist sash and skip my jewelry (even though my mum bought them for me). I felt obligated to wear the jewelry because they were a gift but looking back, less would have better to complete my look.


I was able to cut some costs in this area by having my girl Mies do my hair (she’s a fancy hair stylist). She did my practice runs with me, did my hair for our City Hall wedding, and gave me the wedding updo of my friggin dreams! (Seriously, my wedding hair is now famous. Pictures of my updo made it in Boston Voyager magazine!)

If you don’t have a Mies in your life, however, I’d like to introduce you to my other best friend:  Youtube. Lots of Youtubers can teach you how to make a beautiful yet simple updo all on your own.

Remember to think practically about your updo:

Ireland is wet and rainy. If you’re near the ocean, it can be windy. And the more complicated and time-consuming your updo, the more hair equipment and sprays and gels you’ll have to lug across the pond.


I taught myself how to do my own wedding makeup from watching Youtube videos, but it didn’t cut down much on costs simply because I had to purchase about $200 of make-up and beauty supplies.

I chose to do my own makeup for a couple reasons:

1) I didn’t want to spend one of my wedding-week days away from my friends just to have a practice run with a local makeup artist. And,

2) I am very particular about my makeup. Wedding makeup artists tend to plaster brides in gunk and color just to satisfy the camera lens. I don’t get this. Professional cameras don’t need more makeup to see you better. You’re not going on Broadway where the audience can’t see your face 100 rows back. You’re standing in front of a very well-adapted lens and only 30 people who can see you just fine, thank-you-very-much. ::rant over::

I am so happy that I chose to do my own makeup. I spent weeks watching tutorials on Youtube and learned a craft that will come in handy again-and-again.


As for decoration, we didn’t need much simply because the house we rented already had some party supplies on hand. And they were just fine. It was more important for us to pack light and stick firmly to our budget than concern ourselves with how many yards of fairy lights the house has, or what species of faux greens they have to decorate the tables with.

Here’s what we bought and brought with us for decor:

  • Satin streamer sticks purchased from Amazon;
  • Rustic bunting and colorful straws for the bar;
  • Ribbons of various shapes, colors and sizes for odds ‘n ends;
  • Irish postcards to designate seating and double as a guestbook!;
  • Plus fastening equipment like tape, rope, clothes pegs, etc.


We contacted a local florist to build a bridal bouquet, a small bouquet for my sister, plus boutonnieres for the boys. The florist part was easy. I sent her around 5 Pinterest images of the style of flowers that I was going for and had a few back-and-forth emails with her before we settled on the precise flowers, arrangement and costs.

In total, we had 1 bridal bouquet, 1 small bouquet for my sister, 5 boutonnieres for the groom, Dads, brother and two young ring bearers, and a handful of loose white roses which our flower-girl gave to the grandmothers and mothers.

Coordinated Outfits

We didn’t have a formal bridal party. When you have 30 wedding guests, a bridal party of any size would leave a large gap of missing bodies in your ‘audience’. This also helped to cut down on unnecessary costs, like coordinated bridesmaid dresses, extra updos, makeup, and color-coordinated suits.

The most coordinating we did was with our little ring bearer nephews. We found suspenders and bowties on Etsy that matched the blue paisley pattern of the Groom’s tie and pocket square. We also found khaki Irish hats for them at the mall to complete the Irish look.

Then, I instructed my sister to find a simple, flowy floral dress, and bought a simple lace dress for our flower girl niece.

The styling turned out to be a huge undertaking, and it seems like I spent every spare moment planning the details. But it came together exquisitely and, once again, it was worth it!

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