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  • Writer's picturekatiepersuasionpho

A Chat With Emerald Aisle Events: Irish Destination Wedding Planner

It is no secret that destination weddings hold a special place in my heart. Specifically, Irish destination weddings! Ever since I was a child, I’ve been addicted to the country’s beauty, art forms, period homes (from cottages to castles to Georgian manors). Visiting Ireland further cemented my belief that there is no lovelier nor romantic place where one could enjoy saying “I Do.” 

If you’ve ever considered an Irish destination wedding, this post is absolutely for you! I had the extraordinary good fortune and pleasure to connect with Nicole from Emerald Aisle Events. She taught me so much about differences between our wedding industry cultures that I had no idea existed! As a planning couple, these differences will especially affect you. Read on to avoid common headaches, pitfalls, and mistakes that can siphon joy from your planning process. (Scroll straight to the bottom for spoilers about what these differences are)

Getting to Know Your Irish Destination Wedding Planner:

(Please note, I do not own that following image)

First, let’s get acquainted with our gracious hostess. Nicole and Olivia own a Emerald Aisle Events, a destination wedding planning business that caters specifically to American couples who wish to marry in Ireland. After unofficially aiding couples plan their destination weddings, the ladies of Emerald Aisle decided it was time to elevate their special skills. Olivia and Nicole said on New Year’s Day ‘23, “Is this the year we go for it?” And they did! Nicole is the business partner on U.S. soil, and Olivia is her counterpart in Ireland. Together these two help Americans navigate the complexities of achieving an Irish destination wedding. Aside from their expertise in bridging the gap between our cultures, Nicole is also a recent bride- an NYC girl who said yes at Cabra Castle in Ireland. She can lavish you with empathy and fresh memories. 

Favrorite part of your job?

Nicole shared that she loved planning her own wedding but the emotional roller coaster of navigating planing sometimes colored her joy. Now she loves getting to indulge in the project management, planning, education, and creation aspect- with all the glory of hindsight and experience to help her couples! She now paves a path and saves her clients from suffering those same emotional pitfalls and situations. 

3 sources of inspiration

Nicole finds creative inspiration in the vendors she works with, and always trusts their professional expertise. Building a close knit team of humble, giving vendors is a strength these women have that will deeply benefit their clients. 

What is your dream wedding to coordinate?

Floral heavy design to lavish guests with a transforming experience. Joyful celebrations specific to Irish culture (explanation in timeline below) check many of her boxes. Hint: it revolves around lots of quality time with loved ones, a focus on good food, company, and dancing. Also, Nicole says that for her, a full dessert bar is a must! 

What are your clients like?

Most Emerald Aisle couples are collaborative, open people who trust their selected vendors. Due to the fact that they’ve chosen a memorable overseas event they clearly value shared experiences, adventure, and have the ability to trust and relax. 

Now, let’s unveil some of these mysteries that Nicole shared with me during our chat. These are the top differences that pose a struggle for many Americans who want an Irish destination wedding.

Common Pitfalls for Americans Planning for Ireland

-Comparatively speaking there is a lack of convenience and retail. Orders will take longer to ship. For instance, you often can’t just run down to a specialty shop and pick up welcome kits for your guests’ hotel rooms. Instead, you’ll find yourself staying up late to source and compile baskets- when you could be enjoying your welcome party or spa day instead.

-We live in an instant gratification culture. The Irish have a more laid back approach. This tends to make planning couples very anxious because we are so accustomed to checking lists off as quickly as possible and micromanaging timelines. This is where a planner is imperative. They will liaise for you- she will manage the timelines and cultural differences that may otherwise worry fast-paced Americans. 

-On a much more positive note, weddings in Ireland are often more affordable than many U.S. markets! Stunning venues usually include many of the design and rental aspects that Americans have to pay for separately. Costs are simply different between our culture’s wedding budgets. Ultimately, prioritization is such that you will have to make fewer design and experience sacrifices to stay within your budget if you marry in Ireland. So yes, you can have your wedding cake and eat it too.

-The standard timeline for Irish weddings is slower and longer. Here is a sample timeline of events at an Irish destination wedding:

-Day one welcome party. No rehearsal

-Ceremony, 2 hours for cocktails, a full sit down dinner at a slower pace. 3 hours of a live band followed by 2 hours of a dj with an afterparty.

Day 3: a more casual affair in which one can continue to enjoy their guests. Barbecues are traditional followed by traditional Irish music and dancing.


Nicole’s parting words for planning couples:

Planning should be fun, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Get a planner early in your engagement so that you can enjoy this chapter! Especially if you are planning an Irish destination wedding! You should work with a vendor who will liase between our cultural differences. Finally, getting married in Ireland is actually much more affordable than in many American markets! 

If you still aren’t convinced that a destination wedding is for you, but you love the Old World wedding aesthetic, these resources are just your size:

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