A lot of extra sparkly presents were given and big questions asked between Christmas and New Years - congrats y'all! However, when the initial wave of joy and endless celebratory champagne subsides, newly-engaged couples often find themselves in a new wave: one of panic. There's a million and one decisions to make and plenty of them are in areas you've never given much thought to, so it can be hard to know where to even begin.

Well, we've got your back, newly-engaged friends! We rounded up some of the vendors you'll be on the look out for over the next few months, and asked them what you need to know as you begin the planning process!

Wedding Planner

Petal & Twine is a bespoke wedding planning and boutique styling studio based in Ireland, providing overall creative direction, and wedding planning. They specialise in elopements and destination weddings, offering their services both in Ireland and Spain.  They hand-pick locations and work with talented vendors to bring you the perfect day, and we asked them what you need to know about hiring a wedding planner.

1. I know nothing about wedding planners. What do I need to know when choosing one?
"For many newly engaged couples, it's their first time planning a wedding, which can be stressful and overwhelming. There are so many things involved in finding the right venue, looking for vendors, styling and decor, the list just goes on. It's the most important day of your life and everything should be just the way you envisioned; our job as wedding planners is to guide you every step of the way by offering our expertise in the industry and our creative ideas and concepts. We will take care of all the planning details and visual aspects making your dreams reality. We can help save you time and money, all that's left for you to do is relax and enjoy your wedding day."

2. What are the big mistakes brides and grooms make when they are choosing their wedding planning and how can newly engaged couples avoid doing the same?
"It is quite common for couples to make these "game changing" mistakes while planning a wedding. Couples get carried away making big plans before setting a budget. Invest your time in finding out the prices and costs before you start making a wedding wish list... The biggest mistake of all is how couples sometimes underestimate the planning process itself. Having no knowledge and experience in this area can be tricky; it might seem like a lot of fun at the beginning, but it's way more complicated than it looks. That's why hiring a wedding planner might seem like a smart move. There are different types of packages that wedding planners provide, for those who doesn't want a full planning there are different options such as partial wedding planning or day-of event coordination. Getting professional guidance is a big help to make sure everything runs smoothly on your special day. There are services designed to suit everyone's needs. Everyone deserves a perfect wedding!"

For more information, visit Petal and Twine's website, or catch them on Facebook or Instagram.



Dee Organ is a professional photographer based in Dublin, who is passionate about capturing 'moments'. With weddings, rather than aiming for formal shots, she aims to capture the essence of the day - all the emotions, energy and love. We asked her what you needed to know about booking a photographer!

1. I know nothing about wedding photographers. What do I need to know when choosing one?
Too often I hear stories of unhappy brides because they made their choice on the wrong criteria. Everyone has a budget, but bear in mind when the goodies are all gone, the photos are what you have left for as reminders for a lifetime. You may need to adjust your budget proportionately. Meet your photographer or at least speak with them on the phone or via skype. It’s very important that you like the person you are working with. A good rapport with your photographer will not only insure you actually enjoy spending time with them while shooting on the day but also the difference between stiff uncomfortable looking photographs or relaxed and natural. How you are feeling will show in the images... I offer a complimentary engagement shoot in my package, it gives me and the couple a chance to get to know each other and they get used to being in front of the camera and what it’s like to be directed. It’s breaks the ice so there is no uncomfortableness on the day. The fear is gone and we are friends. Also they get a chance to see the finished images and have as nice keepsakes of them from before they are married. Some even use the shots for their invites.

2. What are the big mistakes brides and grooms make when they are choosing their wedding photographer and how can newly engaged couples avoid doing the same?
There are two distinct styles of shooting for weddings, traditional and photojournalistic. While some photographers are strictly one or the other, many are a mix of the two but the balance varies considerably. You need to think about the kind of wedding images you like. Are they mainly fly-on-the wall candid shots or more formal/dramatic posed shots. Most people today will say they don’t want to spend all day posing for pictures, there are guests to see and partying to be done. It’s good to talk to your prospective photographers about how much time they will spend directing you to find the photographer that fits you. Also it’s good to plan your timeline for the day with this knowledge. I like to chat with my couples about this beforehand and we find a happy medium that works for them. I have a mixed approach that I adjust for the couple and what they want.

For more information, visit Dee's website, or catch her on Facebook or Instagram. You can contact her by calling 086 226 5615 or emailing [email protected]

Bridal Gown

Marian Gale boutique has been a luxury bridal shopping destination for 36 years. Stocking bridal wear as well as dresses for bridesmaids and mother of the bride, their collection is sourced from around Europe and is exclusive to the boutique in Ireland. We asked them what you needed to know about shopping for your dress!

1. I know nothing about wedding dresses. What do I need to know when starting to shop for mine?
"When preparing for a bridal appointment, we advise the following; wear nude lingerie with good support and a bra with removable straps always comes in handy. Make sure to have a good breakfast/lunch before coming in - appointments last for at least an hour and trying on lots of dresses can be hungry work! We recommend keeping guests accompanying you to your appointment to a maximum of three people. Any more and there are just too many opinions in the room!"

2. What are the big mistakes brides  make when they are choosing their wedding dress and how can new brides avoid doing the same?
The most common mistakes brides make when choosing their dress is overthinking. With so many resources to pour over between magazines, online and social media, we are seeing a lot of brides get overwhelmed and find it really tough to come to a final decision. We always say to go with your initial gut instinct and choose the dress you feel happiest in. Additionally, don’t let the opinions of others affect your choice too much either - at the end of the day it’s you walking down the aisle not your mother/sister/best friend!

For more information, visit Marian Gale's website, or catch them on Facebook or Instagram. You can contact them by calling 01 269 7467 or emailing [email protected]


Wedding Cake

Brian, the brains behind Baker Boy Cakes, is a fully registered and insured home baker, based in East Cork. He works to bring the details of your wedding into your cake, whether it's the lace of a dress or sugar craft flowers to match the bouquet. We asked him what you needed to know about sorting your wedding cake.

1. I know nothing about wedding cakes. What do I need to know when choosing a cake maker?
"Depending on your timescale and budget, like everything else, shop around. By attending wedding fairs, searching on the internet, reading reviews, looking through photos of their work and style, tasting their cakes, availability to include allergen free cakes and by word of mouth, you’ll find the perfect wedding cake designer to create your perfect cake for your big day. Once you have found them, book them, even if it’s over a year or two down the road and especially around Christmas, as it’s the fastest time of the year to book up. The way I work things once a couple books me I only meet them about three or four months out from the big day, at a wedding consultation morning. There you will taste a lot of cakes from a selection of flavours from vanilla, lemon, red velvet, raspberry and white chocolate, chocolate biscuit cake to name but a few. We then start the process of finalising your design whether it’s a traditional style iced cake or the more modern semi naked or naked cake and what elements you want included to incorporate it into your plans."

2. What are the big mistakes brides and grooms make when they are choosing their wedding cake and how can newly engaged couples avoid doing the same?
"Meeting too far in advance doesn’t allow the cake designer to take everything in to account when designing your cake, once dresses, colors, flowers, table settings, wedding themes and even your wedding invites are a very important part of brining everything together, it helps us to get a better idea of the direction in which you want your cake design to go. Also, a lot of couples fall into the scenario where they think they have to feed all their guests but that’s not the case anymore. You’ve got to remember the cake nowadays isn’t cut till the evening reception, where more food is served and not everyone will eat cake. I also find that many couples instruct the hotel to cut half the wedding cake or not to cut certain tiers and the remainder is kept for the day after celebration which has become extremely popular nowadays."

For more information, visit Baker Boy Cakes' website, or catch them on Facebook or Instagram.


Wedding Make Up

Helena K has been a makeup artist for four years, specialising in wedding makeup. We asked her to tell us what you need to know about wedding make up.

1. I know nothing about wedding make up. What do I need to know when choosing a make up artist?
Wedding planning guides say allow three months before your wedding to book makeup but most good makeup artists are booked nearly a year in advance. Once your artist is booked you can have a trial whenever is convenient, but allow enough time to find another artist in case you're not happy with your original makeup artist. Most of all when booking your makeup artist make sure you click.  If your not comfortable with them you won't enjoy the whole experience of getting ready that morning.

2. What are the big mistakes brides make when they are choosing their wedding make up artists and how can new brides avoid doing the same?
Your wedding makeup needs to look flawless but you have to look like you. You don't want the groom to turn around and not recognise you. Trend makeup looks don't always look great on your wedding day. You have to keep in mind how your wedding photos will look in 20 years time. Keep your eye makeup soft and medium shades. Too light and you'll look bare but too dark and your eyes will vanish. Also bold lip shades need constant maintenance so keep this in mind when you are thinking of a red or berry lip. But they key to perfect makeup is your skin prep so start early. Book facials,wear sunscreen,keep hydrated.

For more information, visit Helena's Facebook or contact her by calling 087 955 1962 or emailing [email protected]


Wedding Flowers

Dundrum Blooms have been in business for 10 years and since day one, they've been doing flowers for weddings. From bridal parties to church and venue decoration, they create floral arrangements to suit individual couples. We asked them what you needed to know about arranging your wedding flowers.

1. I know nothing about wedding planners. What do I need to know when choosing one?
"Do you have a colour theme? Do you have a particular style of flowers, bouquet you like? Have you had a sneaky peruse through bridal magazines before and fallen in love with something? Have you picked your bridesmaids colour? Have you a sample of fabric? These things all help when you visit a florist for the first time, but if you haven’t then our job is to help you make some choices using our expertise and experience.

2. What are the big mistakes brides and grooms make when they are choosing their wedding planning and how can newly engaged couples avoid doing the same?
"I would suggest not to get hung up on particular flowers which might not be in season or will increase the cost significantly. It can sometimes prevent us from being creative with what is available and in season. Be careful to decorate the church, appropriately to its size. Always remember you can take pieces to the venue after the ceremony but the church is very important to get right.

For more information, visit Dundrum Bloom's website, or catch them on Facebook or Twitter. To get in contact, call 01 298 2988 or email [email protected]


As part of the fastest growing independent travel agency in Ireland, Meath-based Travel Counsellor Mandy Walsh, has over 22 years of experience. Priding herself on delivering an excellent level of personal service, Mandy is available to her customers around the clock, at a time that suits them. As a honeymoon specialist, she can offer advice and tips on the best options available, with a host of exclusive destinations and services for couples looking for a truly unforgettable experience. We asked what you needed to know about planning a honeymoon.

I know nothing about honeymoon planners. What do I need to know when choosing one?
"It’s important to remember that when you are planning your special trip, timing is everything. I will help you to discover the best honeymoon destinations for each month of the year, so you can choose the perfect place to start your married life together. I have spoken to so many couples whom had their hearts set on a particular destination only to discover its ‘rainy’ or ‘hurricane’ season. Another worry can be that the budget won’t allow for that perfect honeymoon so look at what you can forfeit, what won’t even get noticed by many on your big day could be the key to you having that fortnight in the Seychelles or Bali or the Maldives that you have always dreamed of. The happiest day of your life deserves to be followed by a dream holiday that’s remembered forever."

For more information, visit Mandy Walsh's website, or catch her on Facebook or Instagram. Get in contact on 046 9483906 or 087 6499980 or email [email protected].



Wedding Gift Registry

The Wedding Shop is an independent wedding list company in the UK and Ireland. Their flexible service allows couples to build a list that is entirely personal to them, with no hidden fees. Their showrooms on Clare Street have advisors on hand to help guide couples through the whole process of building a gift list. We asked them what you needed to know.

1. I know nothing about wedding registries. What do I need to know when choosing one?
"Most people don’t know where to start! A good place to start is our website and enjoy some ‘virtual shopping’! It does help to talk everything through with someone as our offering is so large. We would love to welcome you to our Dublin showroom to meet with one of our trusted advisors and we can guide you through hundreds of samples and help you select products that you will cherish forever."

2. What are the big mistakes brides and grooms make when they are choosing their wedding planning and how can newly engaged couples avoid doing the same?
"Couples should always put more gifts on the list than there are guests, this gives your guests a choice and ensures there is something for all tastes. We also see a gift list as an opportunity to upgrade that old toaster and the broken teapot to something you will have forever and love. So many couples live together now and already have a home filled with products so our honeymoon and cash contributions are also very popular."

For more information, visit The Wedding Shop's website, or catch them on Facebook or Instagram.

Buy The Wedding Planner for €19.95