Getting Married in Ireland – Civil Weddings vs.Traditional Weddings

Getting married in Ireland these days has changed dramatically, especially looking back over the last 2 years or so.

Trends are definitely changing, taking us away from the more traditional weddings format. In my opinion, this is due in no small part to the introduction of civil weddings in Ireland.

This has given rise to a totally new creativity not only in wedding photography but also in how weddings are styled and themed.

An Abundance of Choice

With more and more choices available and the wedding industry growing every day, it often seems that brides and grooms are spoiled for choice – they can go for so many different options, and this can often call a sense of panic. More choice means more stress, and deciding on the right ceremony, and all the other details can be quite a daunting task, but there are some great places right here in Waterford or nearby in Wexford and Kilkenny.

As with photography, the choice of ceremony is totally a matter of personal taste. Each ceremony captures and reflects the personalities and spirit of the principal persons involved – the bride and groom. This important fact can however often get lost in the shuffle. If the bride and groom try to please their families, their friends, and just celebrate the day in a way that will be memorable for everyone, they can forget that it is about them and celebrating their union.

Whichever style and ceremony you go for, remember that you need to tailor it to your own wishes and celebrate what the two of you have, with the people you care about the most.

Wedding Styles

When getting married in Ireland regardless of the format chosen, it is important to remember that with both traditional weddings and civil weddings, certain obligations must be fulfilled, to make the marriage binding. There is a bit of paperwork involved as well, but nothing to cast a shadow on your day. However, once this is done, there is an abundance of formats and styles that the happy couple can choose from.

Since the introduction of civil weddings in Ireland in 2007, we have seen trends changing year on year in our wedding photography business. Our bookings reflect an increase of approximately 30% uptake in civil weddings. This is a very interesting fact to explore if you care to do so, and good to know when planning out your bookings for the year ahead.

Styles and fashions may change but the essence of a wedding ceremony remains constant. Whether it takes place in one of the many beautiful churches and their stunning surroundings or a country house hotel, the quintessential themes of love and commitment are key.

Wedding Themes

If you are stuck for wedding inspiration, here are a few questions you can ask yourselves to help you determine what kind of a wedding theme you will ultimately go for.

A good place to start is determining the number of guest you will have. You can do this by putting names down on paper: either all the names that come to mind at first, and then cutting down if necessary, or the other way around, by settling for a number, and then writing the names down.

Once you have that down, you can start exploring venues. Are you hosting a traditional or a civil wedding? Which county are you getting married in? Would you like to have people stay in the area for a few nights, and which day of the week would you like to get married on?

Looking for venues is best done well in advance, and the best way to go is think of the general atmosphere you want to capture. Do you want it to be something cozy and quaint, or are you looking to throw a big bash and party all night? Are your guests a younger crowd, will there be many kids?

The venue itself will influence most of your subsequent choices, like the menus, drinks, music, either band or DJ, and so on. It can even influence your choice of dress and suit. If you are getting married in a more formal setting, the outfits you go for should reflect that as well, both yours and your guest’s.

The venue will also determine the kinds of photographs you will get taken. Make sure you sit down with your photographer and discuss all the important points, from when they will be arriving at the venue and how, to details like what parts of the ceremony are they photographing, when are the group photos going to get taken, and when are you two going to have your private shoot and where.

You can also choose to have your couple’s photos taken on another day if you so choose, but bear in mind that that will also mean you need to get your hair and makeup done twice.

Once you have settled on all the major details, it is time to choose the smaller ones, like the décor, the flowers, the candles, and so on. Make sure the atmosphere you create is one where you both feel most comfortable in, and which will reflect who you are as a couple, how you are with each other, and what you want your future life together to be like.

Over the past 10 years, we at Infokus Photography Studios have been fortunate enough to have photographed so many wonderfully memorable wedding days in locations all over Ireland, both north and south. These have ranged from traditional weddings in picturesque settings to modern, personalized civil weddings. We love all of our brides and grooms, and it has been our pleasure to take part in their special day. Such an occasion was when we worked alongside Franc of “Weddings by Franc”, soon to be aired on RTE television.

We hope that our snapshot into getting married in Ireland has been informative. If you would like to find out more about wedding photography in either genre please feel free to contact us at Infokus Photography Studios. We invite you to visit our website and view our gallery.