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Wedding Budget – How To Save Money On The Important Stuff

Wedding Budget – How To Save Money On The Important Stuff

Your wedding day is one of the pivotal experiences of your life. It is an event that you and your family will remember and reference for ever more. For this reason people tend to put some of their frugalities to the side when it comes to wedding planning. For many it simply feels worth it to splash out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. But does that mean you have to spend a small fortune?

It is very possible to decide upon a budget and stick to it when you are planning your big day. Your budget will depend on so many factors. Your salary, commitments in the coming months, family dynamic and personal preferences. For example – many people choose to get married abroad for sentimental (or weather) reasons. It is often a cheaper way of getting married believe it or not.  Check out the below blog for some tips on getting married abroad.

Here are some top tips for saving money on the important stuff 

1. The Dress.

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We know how important your wedding dress is but there are a number of ways to find a beautiful dress and save a few pennys at the same time. Research bridal outlets and the designers they stock. Do some homework and decipher when the next season line is to be unveiled. At this time there is a good chance that older seasons will have a reduced price. You can also enquire about buying a floor sample which is a lot more common than you might think. Just inspect it carefully before you hand your money over. 

2. Invites & Place Cards

It might surprise you at just how much money could be spent on a mere invite and the card that marks where an individual will sit. Who knew you even had to budget for these things? There are so many ways of creatively making your own invites and place cards. You can buy discounted sets on crafty websites like or you can pick up some inexpensive supplies at your local arts and crafts store. Sometimes less is more.

3. Wedding Flowers

Choosing local and seasonal flowers makes all the difference. Local means you will spend less on transport costs and seasonal means that you will get the freshest flowers for your money. Choose larger statement flowers as they will be vibrant, beautiful and you will need less of them. 

4. The Wedding Music

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This is a BIG one. Many people think that it is a simple case of hiring a band for the post-ceremony and post-dinner part of the event. Evening entertainment is often the only thing on ones mind. However, when it comes to the actual wedding planning it can suddenly feel very overwhelming. There are a lot of other elements of the wedding celebration that require music. The wedding ceremony (many of which are happening in venues/outdoor rather than a church), the drinks reception, the wedding “walk-in”, dinner and then the evening entertainment. If you hire different people or arrangements to do these things separately it will become overwhelmingly expensive. These days a lot of couples are hiring a professional wedding DJ who can do it all. It means less stress as you are dealing with one person throughout the planning stages and it works out significantly cheaper to hire one person to do it all. A wedding DJ is equipped and trained in providing appropriate and individual music for all of the musical options at your wedding. It’s a no-brainer for many couples. 

5. The Wedding Meal

Many couples specifically choose a venue that allows for outside catering. This gives you the option to research and fine-tune the perfect dining option that will please your guests and your budget. Many couples are now looking outside the box and offer buffet-style options above a sit-down dinner. Some even hire a food truck. Do it your way and get the most out of your money. 

How To Pick Your First Dance Song And The Importance Of It On Your Big Day

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A friend recently told me that she got teary eyed watching an advertisement for a coffee brand. Safe to say she doesn’t generally get emotional about caffeine. It was the music in the background that triggered the response. She could just about make out the feint beat of “stand by me” by the Ben E. King and this was the song that played while she and her husband had their first dance. Their wedding day was a couple of years ago, but the mere suggestion of that song makes her heart race and her eyes fill.  This anecdote says it all really. 

So how important is the first dance at a wedding?  Well, the dancing itself is probably the least important thing.  I’ve personally seen everything from ballroom dancing and waltzing right down to Irish Dancing and a hip hop dance routine.  What is important is the sentiment.  You see, so much of a wedding is about inclusion.  It’s about sharing a personal and poignant experience with those you love the most.  You want everybody to be comfortable. You want to ensure that everyone enjoys the food, the music and the atmosphere.  But the first dance?  It’s about just you two.  Apart from the ritual element of the wedding ceremony (at the alter or otherwise) this may be the only other moment that is specifically for you and your new spouse.  The spotlight is on you and the person you have just married.  It’s a couple of minutes to lock eyes, stand close and connect.  To celebrate what has actually just happened.  You’ve just taken the biggest step in your journey of love.  You have united in marriage in front of your family and friends. 

The timing of the first dance is quite appropriate too.  The ceremony is over, the meal has been enjoyed the you have just about fixed your make-up after the beautifully emotional speeches.  The first dance is an opportunity to focus on the couple once again and take it right back to basics.  It’s a chance to watch and appreciate a special moment between the couple who have just promised a life of love together.  It’s an opportunity to have a glimpse at where it all began. To where the story once started.  It started with just two people and here we can appreciate the simplicity and magnificence of them sharing a dance together surrounded by those who love them most.

For some couples choosing a first dance song couldn’t be easier.  They may have always had “their song” and it is the obvious choice.  It may be so obvious that their friends and family know in advance too.  It could be a song that they notoriously dance to on a night out or share on social media. 

For others it takes a little more consideration and it can feel a bit pressurising to find THE perfect song for their big day.  Let’s face it, the first dance happens once and once only. 

Rather than making it a stressful task, many people have great success when they simply keep their ears open in the lead up to their wedding.  The wedding planning stage might be eighteen months and for that eighteen months they make a list of songs that speak to them.  They may have heard the song on the radio, at another function or come across it on a TV show or ad.  If a song speaks to you and evokes an emotional response then it’s probably going to be a contender. Especially if the emotion is connected to your partner and the relationship and life you share. 

For others the song is a tribute to a time, person or experience they may have shared with their other half.  It seems fitting to play it and experience it in the presence of their loved ones. 

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The important thing to remember when choosing a first dance song is that you make the rules.  It doesn’t have to be a slow song.  It doesn’t have to be a ballad and it absolutely doesn’t have to be a song that the wedding party will recognise.  If you want to head bang to Metallica then you should absolutely do that.  If you want to quietly slow dance to ‘My Heart Will Go On’ then you should do that proudly too. 2018 has seen a rise in weddings using songs from The Greatest Showman as their first dance.  

At the end of the day(or start of the night) it is your song choice.  Pick the song that whenever you or anyone else hears it, you and they know that it was the song you had your first dance to on your wedding day.  In essence, IT'S YOUR SONG.


Irish Weddings Home And Abroad

Getting Married in Ireland and Living Abroad

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So you’re living abroad and coming back to the Emerald Isle for your Wedding Day? There really is no place like home when it comes to the biggest celebration of your relationship and love. To exchange vows and nuptials in the country you love the most is a magical experience.

You might be one of the thousands of Irish people who left the country in search of work opportunities. Or maybe a little holiday soon turned in to a longer holiday when you met that special someone. Whatever the reason, you’ve now found yourself happily engaged and wanting to get married back in Ireland.

For some of you the decision will have been as clear as day. Getting married in Ireland might be a no-brainer if you are both originally from there.

If your partner is not from Ireland then chances are the decision was a lot more complex. But now that everyone is happy and on board you want to make sure that your wedding is all kinds of amazing. Perhaps your partner’s family will travel to your home country to experience an Irish wedding and you want it to completely blow their minds. You also want to achieve it without having a nervous breakdown.

The most important thing about planning a wedding from a different country is communication. You will be doing a great deal of the planning in an online capacity and in many cases it starts with an email enquiry. If a potential vendor replies in a negative way or if the communication has been unreliable then it’s more than likely a sign of things to come. It is incredibly important to choose someone who makes you feel comfortable, confident and reassured.

Reading testimonials or taking recommendations from people you trust is a great place to start.

Meeting a potential vendor is a really good idea too. If you are planning a quick trip home then why not make some time to meet and discuss your plans. You will leave Ireland feeling confident in your choices and the service providers you have secured.

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Getting Married Abroad, Living In Ireland

On the flip side you may be one of the many Irish people who dream about getting married abroad. European Cities and destinations like Ibiza and France are extremely popular among Irish couples for a wedding away from home.

Communication is another really important factor here. Language barriers can pose some difficulties but in 2018 there are some really great platforms and routes that can be taken to give you the wedding of your dreams abroad.

Ensuring that you have secured the perfect venue, food, drinks and clothing are some of the most important decisions to be made. We have the luxury of choice in this day and age and with weddings abroad becoming more and more popular it is becoming increasingly easier to plan a wedding remotely from your computer or phone.

Music is a non-negotiable for many couples who plan to wed abroad. Something that is going to provide the most important backdrop for their big day requires the right person for the job.

There are a myriad of options when it comes to hiring a local DJ or musician in the country that you hope to marry in. It can feel overwhelming and impossible to know where to start.

But what if your music needs are specific to an Irish audience? You’re marrying your soul mate in beautiful surroundings. You are dressed for a beautiful day of sunshine and the local food is the stuff of dreams. But you also happen to want to hear Maniac 2000 and The Green And Red Of Mayo. Your guests have took the time to travel to your wedding abroad. You want to give them something special. You want to share something unforgettable with the special people in your life who have made the effort to attend your big day.

Your Pinterest boards are awash with scenes containing vineyards and picturesque backdrops but your mind cannot imagine a wedding that does not involve joining the entire party for a recreation of River dance.

Have you considered bringing an Irish DJ with you for your big day? Believe it or not this is very normal practice these days. People simply are not willing to cut corners when it comes to their wedding entertainment. They want to be able to put their time and energy in to the aesthetic aspects of the day, confident in the knowledge that someone will provide the perfect musical ambiance for the occasion.

Bringing a trusted Irish Wedding DJ to your wedding abroad is extremely cost effective too. A cheap Ryanair flight and cheep and cheerful hotel can be organized in minutes. It’s cutting out a huge amount of the stress and injecting something really authentic and “Irish” in to your wonderful day.

A great Irish wedding DJ will have done this many times. They’ll have had the pleasure of entertaining thousands of wedding guests over the years in a variety of cities and countries. Their passion is ensuring that your wedding guests experience a day like no other. They take the time to provide a unique and special arrangement of music that will make your wedding day feel like home away from home.


Check out my testimonials right here. You can enquire today and I will be more than happy to chat with you about the music that will provide the magical spark that you and your wedding guests will never forget.

Your Big Day – The Research And Preparations That Are Paramount

Your Big Day – The Research And Preparations That Are Paramount

When we hear the words “wedding planning” we automatically think about research. If a couple declare that they have officially started planning their wedding then you can be sure that they are doing everything in their power to ensure that they are securing the most suitable products and services for a day that deserves nothing short of perfection.

But how does one even begin researching each important service and element? And at what point is a decision made and an agreement made? Furthermore – how is an agreement made?

Friends & Family

Word of mouth is perhaps the most reliable source for any couple who are soon to wed. A testimonial or introduction from a person that you trust is worth it's weight in gold. They will be able to tell you, from the horses mouth, about the ups, downs and everything in between. They absolutely won't put you wrong. They may recommend a Wedding DJ who made their day extremely special. Imagine securing that service knowing that the recommendation came from a trusted friend rather than a paid advertising campaign that pointed you in it's direction. One is steeped in truth while the other is a business contract aimed at advertising a service to you.

Wedding Locations

While you are researching and visiting different wedding ceremony and reception locations you can absolutely look for their opinion and advice about certain vendors and companies. After all, they are dealing with them on a professional level every day of the week. They will be quick to declare any obvious negatives and a testimonial or recommendation will come naturally should they genuinely know a suitable option for you and your big day.

The Internet

This is where the majority of your research will take place. It is also the very first impression we get of a company or vendor. Is their enquiry procedure straight forward? Is there a testimonial section on their website? Did you find the initial email or phone contact with them a positive experience? If little care and consideration was given to their first contact with you then chances are they do not regard communication as something overly important. When planning your wedding communication is of vital importance for you and everyone involved.

Secure That Booking

When you have decided on a vendor you must then secure the booking. These services are usually booked significantly in advance and therefore usually require some kind of deposit to officially secure it for you. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the next step in the experience. When will you hear from the vendor again? What do they need from you? Do they have any advice for you at this point other than securing the date with them? You want to make sure that the booking experience is a positive and uplifting one rather than one steeped in uncertainty.

It Really Is The Little Things

When all major wedding activities and elements are booked and secured it might be time to plan for the unexpected. One of the most important days of your life is bound to have the odd hiccup or too. For this reason it is advisable to have a little Emergency Survival Kit. Little touches that will make a huge difference to the experience of your guests. This is a day they will remember and refer to for years to come – let's make it a seamless one.

1. Tool Kit

You might consider a little tool kit for your big day? A little bag that is left with a trusted guest. It might contain spare pins for the corsages, a needle and thread in the event of any clothing disasters and some chalk to neatly clean up any scuff marks that may appear on your all important wedding dress (works a treat and does not damage the dress). A little bag of tools that will give you some extra reassurance in case an issue arises.

2. Toilet Kit

On a day where everyone wants to look and feel their best it might be a nice idea to leave a toilet kit in the male and female bathrooms. Little touches like deodorant, chewing gum, plasters and hair clips will make a big difference to some of your guests that didn't consider for a second that they might have needed these things throughout the day/night.

3. Special Extras

Have you thought about some extra touches that might brighten up the day of your wonderful guests? Flip Flops for sore feet (the dance floor has been full all night – you've made a great choice with your wedding DJ) and maybe luxurious treats like Cigars for the grooms party and a shawl or cardigan for the bridal party. They'll never forget it.

The Wedding Planning Secret That Will Save You A Lot Of Money...

The Wedding Planning Secret That Will Save You A Lot Of Money...

You Do Not Need A Wedding Band


Every single element of planning a wedding carries it's own stress. Anxiety and worry comes from every single angle and to be brutally honest many couples can find it an extremely stressful experience. There are a lot of people to please and pay for. Every couple dreams about a day that ticks all the boxes and naturally in the most cost effective way possible. Weddings are expensive and it can be difficult to know where to draw the line, cut corners or make sacrifices. The best day of your life has genuine potential to put you in debt for longer than you would like to think about.

Being money-savvy when it comes down to your wedding planning is nothing to be embarrassed about. A world where money is no object would be truly magical but it's just not the case for the majority of us. Shopping around for the best deal is completely normal and every single saving ads up. Certain venues have better offers off-peak or mid week. Discount codes can be used on props and extras. Dresses can be bought during sale periods. These are smart things to do and your future self will thank you.


Saving money on your wedding entertainment could actually be a lot simpler than you might have anticipated. Have you considered choosing a great Wedding DJ INSTEAD of a band? Because this is fast becoming the norm for Irish couples who are due to wed.

Booking a great Wedding DJ instead of a band is becoming the preferred option for many couples in recent years and it's easy to see why. When it comes to a wedding band there may be four or five members that come together seven nights a week to entertain wedding couples across Ireland. Four, Five and sometimes more members have to make their way to venues across the country. They must also transport their instruments, sound system, amps and lights. Thousands of euros of equipment, expenses and transport costs. An oblivion of expenses and 4+ members who need to be paid. Hence the astronomical fee that a wedding band requires for your booking. Thousands upon Thousands of Euro for their wedding set at your wedding.

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In 2017 the trend has shown many couples are opting out of the wedding band scene and focusing on finding a great Wedding DJ instead. This generation of soon-to-be-wed couples are passionate about music and specific in their requests and desires. They want more than the generic wedding set that is offered to them. The same set that is played seven nights each week at events across Ireland. They crave something unique. Something special. They are also cost conscious and want value for money when it comes to paying for their wedding entertainment.


This is where booking a great Wedding DJ comes in. A really good Wedding DJ has the ability to navigate their way through the wedding based on the specific vibe,

mood and guest preferences. They look upon the wedding as a unique and very special experience rather than ticking a box for the evening. This is a person who knows, appreciates and understands the music from their own generation as well as all of the other decades. It is, in fact, their obsession. Getting it “right” at your wedding is what they live for. Moving with the night and changing the music choices according to the crowd's reaction is thrilling. A wedding band may have formerly been a pub band and there is nothing wrong with that but their set is their set. The crowd's reaction will not change the set.

It's time to get value for money when it comes to your wedding entertainment. Choose a great wedding DJ and get a unique and professional entertainment package for a fraction of the cost. In 2017 a wedding band is absolutely not a necessity.

Testimonial From A Wedding In Dublin, September 2017.

“One of my friends said to me that I can't NOT have a band for the wedding. That same friend text me a few days later raving about Darragh O' Dea. He's not like some of the other “wedding djs” with an ipod, he knows his stuff! Seriously he is so good. He knew how to gauge the (very mixed) crowd perfectly. In the lead up to the wedding I was worried about people not dancing! Well I was worrying for nothing!  I really enjoyed the music and Darragh really put us at ease. We had spoken to him a lot in the run up the day so I felt like I already knew him by the time I finally met him. He is such a nice guy.

I would 1 million percent recommend him. Thanks so much again Darragh”