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How to Plan A Winter Wedding in Ireland: Our Top Tips

Winter Weddings in Ireland

In Ireland, winter months haven’t traditionally been the most popular time of year to tie the knot. However, a winter wedding can be a romantic and magical affair if done right. Our checklist will walk you through everything you need to know about how to plan a winter wedding in Ireland, so you can get hitched without a hitch!

 

How to Plan A Winter Wedding: Our Top Tips

Ensure your special day captures the full magic and romance of the snowy season with our wedding planning tips!

Choosing A Date for Your Winter Wedding

One of the great things about getting hitched in the wintertime is that because it is considered “off-peak” season, you are far more likely to secure a weekend date. However, you will have to be conscious of the fact that winter can traditionally be a busy time for many people. If setting a date in December or January, be mindful of your guests’ family commitments and travel arrangements and aim to send out your invitations extra early so you can avoid any clashes.

Budgeting Tips for Winter Weddings

An ideal choice for couples on a budget, planning a wedding for the winter can result in big savings. Since the winter isn’t a peak time to get married, you may be able to get discounts on your venue, photographer, videographer, DJ and transportation. You may also be able to snag a nice off-season discount on your honeymoon.

Selecting Your Venue

When planning a winter wedding, there are a few extra considerations you will have to make with regards to your venue. Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask the venue in advance for photos of any Christmas decorations that will be in the space and check if it’s ok to remove these if they are not to your taste. You should also ensure that there will be someone at the reception who can take bulky coats and keep them safe. Don’t forget to discuss heating with the venue and remember to sit older guests away from any drafts. If there will be open fires, make sure to notify any guests who will be bringing young children.

Catering Ideas for Winter Weddings

During those cold winter months, consider welcoming guests with a tasty hot drink on arrival. Consider spicing up your cocktail menu with some seasonal favourites such as hot port, hot toddies and mulled wine. In terms of food, go for a seasonal menu featuring warm, comforting foods that will be sure to banish any winter blues!

Winter Wedding Fashion Tips

For the Ladies…

Most wedding attire isn’t exactly cosy, so be sure to accessorise for warmth. Pair dresses with stylish cover-ups such as capes or wraps. We also recommend opting for dress styles with capped or long sleeves so you’re not shivering throughout the day. A good tip for high heels is to prepare a back-up shoe or invest in heel protectors for your outdoor pictures.

For the Guys…

Stay cosy and chic with a velvet blazer or with a classic woollen suit. Add a waistcoat to your ensemble for added warmth. You should also spray suede or leather shoes with a waterproofing agent to ensure that they are protected against staining from wet weather.

Winter Wedding Flower Ideas

When it comes to flowers, think strategically. Bear in mind that flowers may be more expensive as there are fewer blooms in season. You can make significant savings by using in-season flowers. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful flowers which are perfectly suited to winter weddings:

o Casablanca Lilies

o Forget-me-nots

o French Tulips

o Holly

o Jasmine

o Poinsettias

You can incorporate these into a stunning winter wedding floral colour scheme. Perhaps the most popular colour scheme is “White Winter Wonderland” which blends together soft ivories, pretty pastels and white accents. If you are planning on a December wedding, you could opt for a more festive scheme comprising jolly reds, plush greens and gold accents. A more modern take would be rich jewel tones such as amethyst, burgundy, cerise, emerald.

Photographing Your Big Day

One major benefit of having your wedding in winter is that your photographer can take advantage of the stunning winter light. Visit your venue during the winter months so you can get an idea of what it will look like on the day.

As we all know, winter weather in Ireland can be unpredictable so it’s prudent to prepare a back-up plan in case conditions are poor. Check with your venue for suitable backdrops to provide some shelter for outdoor photos (such as a gazebo or a conservatory). You also need to factor in that it gets dark much earlier so try to adjust your photo schedule for more light. Our final tip – always have nice umbrellas on stand-by!

Transport Considerations

Bad weather usually means bad traffic, so allow extra time for guests to travel. Alternatively, you could hold the ceremony and reception in a single venue to minimise the amount of travelling needed.

For more tips on how to plan a winter wedding in Ireland, check out the infographic below.

palladium wedding ring with matt finish

Trends in Men’s Wedding Rings

The days of all men wearing the same yellow gold band as a wedding ring are so 1970’s. Today’s modern trends in men’s wedding rings, allow the groom to really express his unique style in the one piece of jewellery he will wear for the rest of his life. In this article we look at men’s wedding ring styles and choosing a wedding ring that is right for Mr. Right.

Choose a Wedding Ring to Suit Your Lifestyle

The one-size-fits-all wedding band is an out-dated concept. What you do every day, and how you do it, should guide your wedding ring choice. Do you work at a desk or on a building site? Do you pop by the gym on the way home from work or jump out of airplanes at weekends? If you enjoy an active lifestyle, you should choose a wedding ring to suit. Choose a hard-wearing precious metal like platinum or palladium over gold. Avoid elaborate decorated finishes which will scratch easily, and gemstones which can chip or fall out. Ideally, a naturally white, hard-wearing metal like palladium with a polished finish is perfect for the active man. Any scratches or dings can be polished out. Alternatively, less-traditional metals can be considered for the practical-minded man.

Non-Traditional Wedding Ring Metals

The jewellery industry are loath to promote these metals, as they are generally cheaper than traditional precious metals, but that does not mean that they should not be discounted as an option. Titanium is as tough as old boots, and will withstand any amount of punishment. If you wand to wear your wedding ring 24×7 and not have to worry about it, than this low-maintenance metal could the the one for you. Same goes for stainless steel, an unfashionable metal that is being given a makeover with contemporary designs available to suit any taste. Best of all, many of these less-traditional metals come at less-traditional prices.

However, you will not find these less-expensive options in the windows of high street jewellers, so you will have to source these rings online and bear in mind that you need to get your ring size right, as these rings cannot be resized. When you cannot choose your ring size in person, in-store, be prepared to have to swap the ring for a different size, so allow plenty of time before your wedding day. The only other thing to consider when choosing one of these metals for your wedding ring is that that, unlike gold, the metal is not malleable – not a problem until it is a problem! If the ring gets squashed on your finger, you have no choice but to get it cut off – ouch!

Titanium wedding ring is an affordable choice

Titanium wedding ring is an affordable choice

Choosing The Right Colour for Your Wedding Ring

A man’s wedding ring is traditionally a yellow gold band in either 9k or 18k. For about the past twenty years yellow has largely been replaced by white metal. First by platinum and as platinum became too expensive, by palladium. The recent steep increase in the price of palladium has seen a resurgence in the popularity of 9k white gold as the metal of choice for men’s wedding rings. However, we have noticed over the past two or three years a huge return to yellow gold. And why not? There is nothing classier than a traditional yellow gold wedding ring for a man.

Of course, if you want to be a bit adventurous, and put some personality into your wedding ring, there is a huge range of two-tone wedding rings available. Rose gold and palladium is a relatively new metal combination that is popular with our fashion-conscious customer.

What about the Wedding Ring Profile

Back in the old days, all wedding rings came in a D-shape profile. The D-shape is as described, with a flat surface on the inside of the band resting against the skin. Nowadays, most wedding ring interiors are curved, not flat, giving a more comfort-fit, hence the description ‘comfort-fit’ ring or ‘court shape’. Most modern wedding ring designs are comfort-fit by default, so if you want a traditional wedding ring like you Dad wears, then you will have to specifically request a d-shape profile for your ring.

On the top side of the ring, comfort for the wearer is further enhanced with tapered edges which gives the ring a couple of advantages. The taper makes the ring more comfortable to wear in terms of the sensation of touch against the adjoining fingers. Also, the gentle curve takes away hard edges, which easily pick up scratched and dents.

Celtic Wedding Rings

A great wedding ring option, standing in plain sight is too often dismissed out-of-hand as too twee or old fashioned. At The Wedding Band Shop, we love to present Celtic wedding rings as an option and hold a great selection in our showroom. Handmade in Ireland, in a range of different metals, there is a ring for everyone. For guys, who do not need to match an engagement ring, they are an increasingly popular choice.

Celtic wedding rings are made in Ireland

Our Celtic wedding rings are made in Ireland.

Back to Tradition

What worked well in the past is often the best. Most importantly, Irish men do not have a tradition of wearing jewellery. So, wearing this one piece of jewelry can become a really big deal. Remember, it does not need to be a fashion statement and certainly does not need to be a conversation piece. Sometimes, the only statement you need to make is, ‘I am a happily married man to the woman of my dreams’. Also, when making your selection, bear in mind that you will get older and fashions change. That 7mm wide two-tone band with a diamond setting might look great now on your 30-year-old finger, but may not age as well as you. Often you need a good reason to move away from a 5mm men’s gold classic court band.

Stainless Steel Wedding Rings are very trendy

Be careful what you wish for!

At The Wedding Band Shop, we have been selling wedding rings for over twenty years, so our advice it so to forget about trends and what anyone else would like you to wear or thinks they know what you should wear. Choose the ring that is right for you. Make sure it is comfortable and that you like wearing it.

Have You Found Mr./Mrs. Right? (Infographic)

You think you’ve found the love of your life, but how can you be sure they are “the one”? When we start to think about settling down with the person of our dreams, the one question that looms over all the others is – “Am I sure I have found my Mr. / Mrs. Right?”

 

With seven billion people on the planet, finding the magical “Mr/ Mrs Right” seems like finding a needle in a haystack. If you think you might be ready to propose, but aren’t 100% sure yet, the below infographic may be helpful. This handy graphic puts together some age-old knowledge about the signs you should look out for that you’ve found “the one.”

It’s also important to remember that the success of a relationship doesn’t solely depend on picking the right person, it also hangs on nurturing the relationship. As such, this infographic also offers some useful tips on how to keep the flame alive over the course of a long-term relationship.

By taking the time to reflect on your relationship, you’ll become certain as to whether they are the one person who will bring you joy for many years into the future. As a first step, think about you want from a long-term, committed relationship. Then consider the values that are important to you and whether your prospective life-partner should share these. Then reflect about your relationship and consider if there is still space for growth?

To learn more about whether you have found Mr. / Mrs. Right, take a look at the infographic below.


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Kids At Weddings 101 (Infographic)

Wondering whether or not you should invite kids to your special day? Read our latest infographic to learn more about the etiquette of inviting children to your wedding.



There’s no doubt that the topic of children at weddings is one that divides opinions. While some couples think that children add excitement to the day, others see them as an expensive disruption. Whether you’ve decided for or against inviting kids to your big day, or are still on the fence, you should read our latest infographic guide to help you plan your day – with or without children!

If you have decided to invite children to your wedding, you will need to think about how to keep them entertained for the day. Weddings can be a bit of a slog for little guests and they can get bored easily… and bored can become bold very fast. This is easy to prevent with just a little forward-thinking. For example, the kids may get a little bored during the speeches so it’s a good idea to put entertainment packs at tables to keep them occupied.

Many couples are now opting for ‘adults-only’ weddings. This often boils down to budget, however many couples simply want to avoid the disruption that young children can bring to the ceremony, speeches and the meal. Deciding not to invite children is an etiquette minefield and requires a great deal of tact. For example, you should try to tell the guests early as they may need to book a babysitter well in advance.


See the infographic below to learn more tips and tricks about children at weddings. It will highlight the key parts of the day when kids might become difficult and also includes handy advice on how to entertain kids at weddings. For those who have chosen to go with a more adult affair, we have provided some pointers on how to phrase the invites.


kids at wedding 101

Should You Elope 101 (Infographic)

Small, intimate and romantic – elopements offer a welcome alternative to the pomp and ceremony of big weddings.

For many, the word eloping conjures up images of starry-eyed lovers spontaneously running away from disapproving parents. However, in modern times eloping presents couples with a small-scale alternative to the grandeur (and expense) of a large, traditional wedding. Eloping no longer necessarily means excluding family, as some couples may choose to invite only their very nearest and dearest to the ceremony.

Should You Elope?

When it comes to eloping, there is no right and wrong. Each and every couple has their own unique definitions of what it means to elope, the most important thing is that the couple is true to their own desires and follows whatever path makes them happy.

When deciding whether or not you should elope, you must take the time to reflect on your motivations – do you really want to elope or are you simply running away from the responsibilities and pressures of wedding planning. Following this, be sure to weigh up the various pros and cons with your partner.

Planning Your Elopement

No matter how small and spontaneous your elopement, planning your elopement still deserves a little thought. Just because you’re forgoing the big wedding, doesn’t mean that your day doesn’t have to be any less special.

If you’re thinking of planning a wedding for two, why not check out our handy infographic guide on how to elope. Not only does it take you through the process of deciding to elope, but it also features some the must-dos, and the most definitely don’ts to get you on your way…

Should You Elope?


Platinum or Palladium Wedding Ring?

Palladium is the new kid on the block, and for that reason many people are unfamiliar with it as a choice of metal when choosing a wedding ring. In this blog post, we discuss the pros and cons of choosing a palladium wedding ring or a platinum wedding ring to help you make an informed decision on a piece of jewellery that you will wear for a lifetime.

Most of our customers  in the market for an engagement or wedding ring don’t know what palladium is, but it’s one of our favorite metals to use for wedding jewelry for many reasons. Palladium rings are often presented as an alternative to platinum rings. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.

Palladium vs Platinum Appearance

Both platinum and palladium are naturally white metals and, unlike white gold, will stay white forever. Both metals will look the same, although palladium will have a very slightly darker hue as it is one shade darker than platinum. However, when highly polished, the difference in appearance of both metals would not be noticeable.

Because gold in its natural state is yellow, we need to rhodium plate white gold wedding rings to prevent the yellow tinge showing through. Platinum and palladium rings on the other hand have a naturally bright white colour. This is a real advantage over white gold as they need far less maintenance. In fact, both palladium and platinum develop a patina finish over time that requires even less maintenance.

What is Patina?

Patina refers to the look that platinum and palladium rings develop over time. When a white gold ring is scratched the gold actually is removed from the ring and over time the ring develops a scratched surface. On the other hand, when palladium and platinum rings get scratched, the metal moves around on the surface. Over time, this gives the ring a matte-finish appearance known as patina.

Most people are excited for their ring to develop a patina finish because of the beautiful look it gives to a ring. However, if you don’t like the look of the patina, you can always have both a platinum or palladium ring re-polished which will bring it back to its original shiny state. Alternatively, you can opt for a white gold ring which doesn’t develop patina.

palladium wedding ring with matt finish

Palladium wedding rings are available in a range of contemporary styles.

 Palladium vs Platinum – Durability, Hardness & Strength

Palladium is a harder metal than platinum, which means a palladium ring is harder to scratch compared to a platinum ring. However, a wedding ring will be worn everyday, so regardless of what metal you choose, your ring will pick up scratches from general wear and tear, so this should not be a deciding factor.  Additionally, as mentioned above, both palladium and platinum rings will develop a patina finish. If you don’t like the patina finish, just like a gold wedding ring, you can get it  re-polishing every now and then to restore it to shiny new. Platinum and palladium are very strong metals suitable for wedding rings to be worn everyday.

Weight of a Palladium Ring vs a Platinum Ring

Platinum is more dense than palladium, making it almost twice as heavy . A palladium wedding ring weighs about the same as a 14k gold ring, so weight should not be considered a major deciding factor. Some people love the heavier weight platinum rings, but some find the lightness of palladium rings to be more comfortable.  So it really comes down to a personal preference.

palladium and gold wedding ring

Today’s wedding rings are available in a whole range of metals and finishes

Is Palladium or Platinum Better for Allergies?

Platinum and palladium are known as hypoallergenic metals, which means that they will not cause skin irritation. If you notice an allergic reaction to gold or silver jewellery, then one of these white metals should be a good option. Also, none of our palladium or platinum rings have any nickel in the alloy, which is generally the main main culprit of allergies in engagement rings and wedding rings.

Palladium vs Platinum Cost

The primary reason platinum rings are more expensive than palladium rings is because platinum is much more dense than palladium (almost twice as dense)! This means to make the same ring, we need to use more grams of platinum than grams of palladium. However, this is not the only determinant of price. Really, the jewellery industry is a secondary market for both platinum and palladium. Both metals are used by the car industry as a component of catalytic converters. So, the price of the metals is driven by the perceived demand from that industry. If the financial industry thinks that Chinese are going to build a lot of cars, then the price goes up.

Over the past five years or so, we have seen a surge in popularity of palladium wedding rings over platinum because if its cheaper price relative to platinum. Traditionally, a palladium ring costs half of what a platinum ring would cost. However, since 2016 the price of palladium has doubled, so we are beginning to see this significant price change being reflected in shop windows. When making your decision on what metal to choose for your wedding ring, bear in mind that just because one metal is cheaper that the other does not mean that one is inferior in any way.

View our great range of palladium wedding rings.

William and Kate’s 5th Anniversary

Imagine a marriage to a Prince. An unlimited budget, Westminster Abbey for the ceremony and back to the Palace for the Reception. In our latest infographic, we look back at William and Kate’s wedding – 5 years ago this month!

A royal wedding is an extravagant affair.

The Most Engaging Time of The Year

Did you get engaged over Christmas? If so, you are not the only ones. In our latest infographic we look at the facts and figures behind engagements in Ireland.

Christmas is the most popular time to 'pop the question'

Christmas is the most popular time to ‘pop the question’

View our stunning range of engagement rings on our website or at our showroom on Fitzwilliam Street.