Guidelines for a wedding this year

Guidelines for a wedding this year

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things you may do in your life, throw in a global pandemic, constantly changing advice and shifting dates and you are all entitled to be a bit stressed.

However relax, take a breath and sit down.  Now more than ever is the time to have a clear head and clear plan.

If you are still planning for your wedding to take place this year, there are a few guidelines to be aware of.

Read the latest Updates for Monday 29th June 2020.

Article by Tara Fay, one of the leading Wedding planners in Ireland.

Guidelines for a wedding this year
Article updated on the 29th June 2020
The Irish government have published new guidelines for weddings in light of the Covid-19 crisis

From Monday, June 29th a group of 50 people can gather indoors and 200 people outside. From the 20th July groups of 100 may gather indoors and 500 people outdoors.

So what does that mean for your wedding?

I have listed some of the most frequently asked questions I have received in relation to the new guidelines. 

So on the 20th of July I can have 100 guests for my wedding?

The guidelines state you can have up to 100 people indoors.  So this number must include your venue staff as well.  So example if your venue needs to provide 10 staff members to serve food and drinks, then your guest numbers reduce to 90 people.

But my photographer and musicians are not in these 100 people then?

Any other wedding suppliers you would like in the room at any time must be included within this number.  So if your musicians need to set up in the room after the meal, then either guests or staff would have to leave to ensure you don’t go above 100 people in the space.

What about my table plan?

Social distancing must be maintained at a table.  So if for example, you have invited a couple or a family they can sit together.  If you have 4 friends for example who don’t live in the same house, they must be seated according to the current guidelines, which is 2m.

I am having a marquee wedding though so I don’t need to follow guidelines

A marquee is still listed as a wedding venue, so you still need to treat it as such.  Therefore you must maintain social distancing within the marquee and the max capacity is 100 people total.

But a marquee is outdoors surely 

Unless your marquee has no side and only partial roof, which is not really practical it’s still seen as a venue and still subject to the same guidelines

 My wedding is in November and I am still going to invite 150 people

Currently, the max number is 100 people inside a room.  If the numbers increase or the social distancing possibly changes, you may be able to have more people based on the size of the room.  However, for the moment the max amount allowed will be 100 people from 20th July.

 I had moved my wedding to May 2021, is social distancing still going to apply then?

Whilst there is no vaccine available, it would be assumed that there will still be social distancing and strict guidelines for weddings.  On a positive note, Ireland is one of the very few countries in the world where guidelines have been issued for weddings.  

 I have already invited 200 people for my wedding when I sent save the dates, do I have to disinvite them

That’s a tricky one, you have a few options:  One possibility is to have two wedding days, so, for example, have one set of guests on one day and the others on a second day.  However if the guidelines remain the same for the foreseeable future, 200 people will not be possible even over two days.  You still need to allow for venue service staff and also your wedding vendors, like your photographer, musicians etc.  You should also remember that you will always get some drop off on numbers.  You can always write a note to your guests and explain the situation to them, it’s not like it’s your choice.

Will guests want to even come to my wedding 

You need to trust in your venue that they have followed all protocols, then its up to each guest to decide if they want to attend.  At the end of the day, your guests do need to take responsibility for themselves.  

What about dancing

The guidelines state that social distancing has to be maintained on a dancefloor also.  What not be a bit creative here and encourage people to dance with their table.  You could have dance offs between different parts of the room.  Socially distant of course.

I thought I could have more people in a church

If you are having a religious style wedding ceremony, you are still required to follow the guidelines for maximum numbers for a wedding under the current guidelines.

Trust me I do know this is a lot to take in.  It is for me as well and I have been doing nothing else but working on and looking at these guidelines for weeks now.  Your wedding will still be beautiful and special and you will get to enjoy it.

Don’t forget that.


This article is written by Tara Fay

Recognized as an industry leader in Ireland, Tara has spent the past five years assisting the national tourism board develop Ireland as an international wedding destination. She pioneered and co-produced the global wedding summit, the Engage!18 Conference, bringing in industry leaders from dozens of countries to celebrate all that Ireland has to offer. Tara is known as the “Wedding Planner’s Wedding Planner,” and is a sought after industry speaker internationally.

Top Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland

5 Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland with something special

There is something undoubtedly transformative about stepping into a castle. Perhaps it’s the thick high battlements protecting you from the outside world, the history, or the secret passageways and hidden tunnels? Or even more so…sleeping in one and getting a feel for the romance of times gone by, experiencing the privilege that past occupants living their pampered lives with servants all around? Here are some of my top choices of Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland you might want to spend your wedding night in!

Article by Roger Masterson, Company Director of Celtic Castles

5 Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland 

Ashford Castle

No expense spared for the big day!

A celebrity favourite, this is the ultimate wedding destination in Ireland…just ask James Bond, Pierce Brosnan! Take the castle on an exclusive hire basis and really go for the full princess option! The castle offers 83 bedrooms, many facing Lough Corrib, plus a very romantic Lakeside Hideaway Cottage.

If you want privacy, Ashford allows you and your wedding party the full castle experience without interruption. Don’t miss out on the estate’s unforgettable activities, including falconry, equestrianism, golf, river cruising, fishing and spa treatments; you will not be bored and, in fact, you may want to stay for more than just the weekend!

Glin Castle

Traditional small family wedding

Overlooking the River Shannon and hills of County Clare, this unique historic property, home of the Knights of Glin for over 700 years, is Irish charm at its best. Compact, with 15+ en-suite bedrooms, perfect for a small family wedding; don’t just stay for one night, make it a proper celebration and stay for the week…you will not regret it!

Family portraits and Irish pictures line the walls, and the library bookcase has a secret door leading to the hall and the very rare flying staircase. Best of all, the village is just 5 minutes’ walk away; the locals will have a few stories to share with you!  Glin is so good, you will want to bring all the family back for your anniversary!

Turin Castle

Just the two of you

If you want the full fairytale wedding, then this is the real deal, with a grand hall complete with authentic armour and weapons. You can squeeze a few more into this castle, up to twelve, but why? Elope and just have the castle for an intimate wedding for two. If you want to go Medieval in County Mayo, the owners Marnie and Brendan know how to look after their wedding guests and there is a wonderful stone building at the back of the castle, perfect for the ceremony.

The Black Castle

Rustic wedding for two

If you just want to turn up to your private, historic 16th-century tower, with your own personal wedding planner, The Black Castle will allow you to experience a castle wedding as it was several centuries ago!  YES, this is “The Real McCoy“! The Great Hall takes you back into the 16th century, with no electricity, plumbing or wi-fi. You will have to save your Insta pics for later! 

Your ceremony takes place in the candlelit Great Hall, warmed by a huge cavernous fireplace with a roaring fire under a stone-vaulted ceiling. Overnight, you will be provided with candles and a supply of fuel for the fire. The bespoke oak, half-tester, king-size bed is supplied with Egyptian cotton sheets and luxurious bedding. Yes, you sleep in the Great Hall!

Belle Isle

Location on the shores of Lough Erne

Originally built in the 12th century as a Norman keep, Belle Isle, this now, 17th-century castle on an idyllic island in Northern Ireland’s Fermanagh Lakelands, is an enchanted hideaway offering a romantic, old-world charm, while the estate’s 400+ acres of rolling hills, flowering meadows, tranquil gardens, and views of Lough Erne take you to a different world. Twenty-seven overnight guests in thirteen individually, beautifully-decorated bedrooms, allow for a lovely, intimate family wedding. You can split the castle up into two parts if your group is smaller.

I think everyone would secretly love to feel like King and Queen on their wedding day! Well, now you can…all at these Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland!

Also, read :



This article is written by Roger Masterson of Celtic Castles 

Celtic Castles delivers an award-winning castle booking service. Whatever you want from a castle experience, they can help. Short breaks for two, family holidays, weddings small and large or functions and events of various sizes and requirements; they have extensive experience of them all. Just tell them what you’re looking for and what’s important to you, and they recommend the best options.






Chateau Challain, a FRENCH EXCLUSIVE wedding venue and Fairytale Chateau in the romantic Loire Valley is one of the top wedding venues in the world. A venue for people dreaming of a large destination wedding and also the perfect location for a small intimate elopement. For all these couples. having their wedding in Chateau Challain will be an utmost sophisticated experience in this elegant and luxurious French castle.

The first glimpse of Chateau Challain is just magical and nothing short from being spectacular. Driving through the countryside near the little village of Challain-la-Potherie you suddenly see the gothic towers, peaking above the tree line in the fields. Every time I arrive I think this as a perfect photo moment.

The real fairytale comes alive from when you enter through the open gates. You will be amazed by the first look of this exclusive french fairytale chateau.


Promo film for Chateau Challain by Alex from “Znaharchuk studio” 

This is an incredible, charming venue for princess brides who envision a wedding in France. With its luxurious atmosphere, it will let you feel true emotions of Love. A place where your dreams come true.

Chateau Challain is the venue to envision your perfect destination wedding or elopement in France or Europe.

Every wedding is unique, and for that reason, I create custom proposals for every one of my clients.

For more information about my process and to schedule a call :


tips for planning your wedding

Tips for planning your wedding day

These are some top wedding planning tips for couples planning their wedding. If you are constantly looking at wedding blogs or Pinterest is your second home and you have your wedding designer, planner in your favourites contacts. Check these tips for planning your wedding day. Even if you think you have everything under control.


The most important tip for planning your wedding day :

Follow your heart in what you feel you need to do to make your Wedding day, the day of your dreams

1• Let one vendor lead you to another.

Your wedding photographer can tell you which is his /her favourite florist’s, and your planner should know which band packs the dance floor.

2• Food for your wedding day crew.

A less expensive meal for them will do the job. You will have to let your Kitchen chef know a few days before the wedding how many people you need to feed (don’t forget photography assistants) and what you want to serve.

3• Just ask.

Your vendors are your go-to, trusted experts during your planning process. You should feel free to say what you really want—It can be doing a bridal portrait session after rather than an engagement session before your wedding. You should feel that you can have a conversation with them about what you want. It is up to them to tell you what is and isn’t possible with your wedding budget.

4• Picking your guests.

Place immediate family, the bridal party and best friends on top of your list. Follow with other family and friends you can’t imagine celebrating without. Under that, list your parents’ friends a few neighbours and so on. Start from the bottom eliminating until you reach your ideal number of guest

5•Create a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one with small logical steps.

Don’t take on too much too fast and end up with everything overwhelming you.

5•Make sure guests know where they’re going.

Ask your ceremony and reception venue for recommended driving directions. Then include the best directions on your wedding website or email them to your guests

6•Be prepared

Ask your celebrant for a list of restrictions (if any). For instance, is flash photography or even photography prohibited?

7•Pick the three things that are most important to you.

Start your budget planning with prioritising, with a number, the different aspects of your wedding day. Like the music, your wedding dress, the flowers and your photographer, and put a number to each of them— Put most of your money into your number ones and spend less on the other numbers. (But everything can’t fall into the number one category) If a designer gown and fab food are what you really want, you may have to choose a simpler invitation and less floral arrangements

8•Keep a contact sheet with your vendor contacts on you on your wedding day

it may come in handy when you have to call one of them.

9•Be done planning your wedding one week before.

Try to have every detail planned the week before your wedding so you can fully enjoy the run-up to your big day.

Love What you See or need advice :

Best wedding photographers Ireland

In Love Photography Ireland wedding photographer

The best wedding photographers in Ireland

If you are in this exciting time of organising your wedding good advice is not to scrimp on your photography.

You have heard the stories of those who got married before.. your wedding day comes and goes so quickly. When the last dance is danced and your dress is cleaned and put away, your photos are all that is left.

You need a photographer that you can trust and that guarantees you will have the best collection of photos to look back at this most amazing and important day of your life.

For this, I have selected some of the best photographers for you.

These wedding photographers create not only amazing stories of your wedding day but also some amazing photography art that you will hold dear for the years to come.

romantic wedding at ballyfin

These are, for me, the best wedding photographers in Ireland

With 25 years of experience, I met some amazing photographers and it is important that

you pick the one that fits best with your personality and style.

These are the photographers that I trust and highly recommend, but I am sure, I am your first choice. 🙂

wedding at Powerscourt House
markree caslte

My favourite best wedding photographers in Ireland

1| In love Photography by Wim Vanhengel

Wim from In Love Photography is a wedding photographer based in Ireland who creates ” fine art” wedding photography for romantic, adventurous and well travelled, open-minded couples.

He approaches his weddings with an open heart and his work is known to focus on tender romantic moments with a natural Style that uses movement to capture your  pure emotions on your wedding day.

Appreciating the efforts you have made to create the wedding of your dreams, your day will be transferred into a collection of beautifully printed, fine art photo’s that will be there for you and future generations.

2 | Christina Brosnan

Christina photographs with a fine art approach to give you soft luminescent portraits for your wedding album while also quietly documenting those in between emotional moments that are equally as important.

Because those shoes and that dress that you invested time and money choosing will be just as enjoyable to remember as the warm congratulations from your loved ones.

3| Into the light project

Into the light, for film lovers and natural light seekers. Seán & Jared  have a artful and editorial approach to wedding photography. Their style is elegant, natural and artistic and their aim is to create timeless images that evoke emotion and tell stories.

Jared and Seán both live in Cork and travel nationally and internationally to shoot weddings and fashion. With a unique style drawn from Film and use of Medium format cameras, they capture honesty, soft, and bright photos filled with life.

4| Weddings by Kara

Weddings by KARA is Karina and Rachel, a photography duo based in Greystones, Ireland that work nationwide and internationally.

Their focus is on recording the timeless elegance of your day in a relaxed and natural style.

By working together as a team, they capture the unique beauty of your day and the people and atmosphere that make it so special.

They are discreet and unobtrusive and believe that natural expressions of happiness make the most stunning images. .


5| Anna G 

Anna is known for dreamy romantic wedding photography that you can discribe as being painterly, nostalgic and emotive. Shooting film made her understand that her images look more romantic and so much more artistic 
Her work is greatly influenced by the couples she photographs, the places they are in and the people around them. 


the Portfolio

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Portfolio 02




fine art photographer In love photography
As a wedding photographer, it is my goal to create a heart-stirring representation of your day that will be passed down for generations to come.

Luxury destination wedding photography for well-traveled couples who cherish artistry and each other.

France | Italy | Worldwide

Romantic Castle Shoot on Grey Likes

I am proud
My photoshoot at Markree Castle is published on Grey Likes

Together with the vision of  Fiona from Fleur Weddings I combined forces with a great team to create this elegant and romantic inspiration shoot at Markree Castle. The castle’s new room has a luxurious French style and natural light streaming through the large doors and windows overlooking sprawling gardens. This is a gorgeous backdrop for wedding photos.  Spring blooms and romantic touches highlighted the design details including calligraphy. Check it all out in these gorgeous film images.


featuring in love photography

Proudly Published on Grey Likes

Let’s meet up at Markree Castle, for a non binding chat about your wedding photography. 

So if you are looking for a special wedding venue in Ireland with a Romantic french feel, this is one to consider. I will show the best spots for your exclusive wedding photo’s, including the chapel, the perfect venue for your intimate wedding blessing which is part of the Castle and reached by a corridor, you don’t even have to walk out the door:))  Sounds pretty beautiful, doesn’t it!

Get in contact for more details..


Read the full article for this shoot
Flowers by Fleur Weddings






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