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 (please do not wear heels in Ireland; its not fitting!), 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.
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 thing very carefully. Ask yourself if you really need this XYZ thing to complete your wedding style, or if you are buying it only because its what you see at traditional weddings.
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.
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 recently!)
I did my own makeup, 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 DIY 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 simply to stand out better in photos.
I don’t get this. It’s 2017. Professional cameras in 2017 don’t need more makeup to see you better. You’re not going on Broadway where 1,000 rows back need to see your face. 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.
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 during my lifetime.
As for decoration, we didn’t need much. And we couldn’t carry much anyway overseas! We brought satin streamer sticks (small and lightweight), rustic bunting and colorful straws for the bar, ribbons of various shapes and sizes, plus fastening equipment like tapes, ropes and more.
We also contacted a local florist to build a bridal bouquet, small bouquet for my sister, plus boutonnieres for the boys. The florist part was easy. I sent her around 5 images of the style of flowers that I was going for (as inspired by my wedding flower board on Pinterest!), 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.
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!