Liss Ard Estate, West Cork

One of the biggest wedding trends I hear most about from my clients is that they want something different for their wedding. So wanting something different is a trend in itself, il leave the irony to settle in. I have to admit I love the challenge though. Having to dream up different ways of how to make each wedding unique from the other while sticking within a reasonable budget, look no further, I’ve got this.

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Wedding Fair Survival Guide

Hello all of you beautiful brides and grooms to be! I can’t believe we are into September already, this year is flying and I know that if you are planning a wedding for 2017 then it is probably flying faster than you can imagine! This month I want to share with you some advice on attending the upcoming wedding fairs.


A Wedding Fair survival guide!

So you are newly engaged and want to get started on planning your wedding. Where better to start than at all of the wedding fairs being held across the country in different venues and hotels. It is a fantastic opportunity to see what various hotels have to offer and see how your reception room will be set up on the day of your wedding. It is also a great way to meet suppliers face to face and save you the time that is normally spent sneakily searching online for your dream wedding while at work (hello Pinterest boards!)

Hotel Wedding Fairs

If it is the hotel themselves hosting the wedding fair then entry is usually free for couples which is always a welcome bonus while you budget for your wedding. Take your time walking around the hotel and take note of how it is set up as most hotels will set up their ballroom as it will be on your wedding day. Be sure to chat to the wedding coordinator and pick up a brochure with their package prices so you can start narrowing down your venue.

Bigger Wedding Fairs

These fairs are much bigger than a hotel fair as they are usually run by a bridal magazine or an outside company. As a wedding planner myself and a regular at wedding fairs in Cork, I feel like I must clear up a little myth that seems to do the rounds at the bigger fairs where couples are charged an entry fee. A lot of couples ask me how much we, as suppliers, get paid to be at the wedding fair, meaning do the entry fees get divided between the suppliers. The answer is a resounding no! We actually pay anywhere from €100 all the way up to €1000 plus to take a stand at these fairs. Most suppliers will also have some special offers available on the day to couples so it can make up for the entry fee.

Panic Booking

If suppliers do have special offers available on the day, majority of them will keep these open until the next working day to give you the chance to make a decision. I meet so many couples who are in the horrors after doing what I call “panic booking” where they feel under pressure on the day to receive the special offer, pay a deposit, and then regret it afterwards. Please don’t feel under pressure on the day of wedding fairs, unless you are certain of what you are booking, there is nothing worse than feeling upset or stressed that you have parted with money that can be spent elsewhere on the budget.

Bring your nearest and dearest!

Wedding fairs are no fun on your own, bring along your fiancé, best friends, parents or your in-laws to be! It is a great way of involving your family in your wedding planning and I think it is a great idea to make a day of it! Gather your information from the various suppliers and head for lunch or dinner afterwards with your wedding fair buddies to chat about who you met and get feedback from them. It will also help you to narrow down your choices while involving your friends and family in some decision making.

Tony and Michelle

Back in August I shared this story in Hi Magazine and I’m so excited to share it on my own website now. One of my favourite things to write about  are the Real Weddings that I get to work on myself. I am thrilled to share with you a really special wedding that I worked on back in June 2016.



I was given the honour of being Tony and Michelle’s Wedding Planner for their big day on June 24th. I really wanted to make sure they received the star treatment and knew that Caroline, wedding coordinator in The Kingsley Hotel would be just the person to help me do that. There was nothing that couldn’t be done! Tony and Michelle had a beautiful Civil Ceremony in the hotel followed by pictures in the nearby Fitzgeralds Park.



They kept their guests entertained all day with a fantastic selection of musicians, including two outstanding bands in the evening, The Roaring Forties and Transmission. We even had a magician to keep the kids entertained while the parents sat back and enjoyed their meal. Tony had the whole room in tears laughing at one of the funniest grooms speeches I’ve heard, but our bride Michelle stole the show by giving a speech of her own which was as beautiful as she was. Tony and Michelle danced the night away surrounded by their family and friends and I couldn’t have been happier to be a part of their wedding day.

Suppliers List:

Hotel: The Kingsley

Wedding Planner: Alexandra Manning, The Wedding Experience

Cars: Cannon Limousines

Photographer: Victor Horgan

Videographer: Captured Occasions

Cake: Trace of Cakes

Brides Dress: Cinderellas Closet

Flowers: Flowers by Shirley

Band: Roaring Forties & Transmission

Reception Music: Jack Ahern

Cinderellas Closet Event

We are well and truly into this crazy summer season. Despite the unruly weather, everyone is busy going to weddings or getting married themselves! It is such a busy time of year for those of us in the wedding business but I’m loving every minute of it! (Coffee also helps… Send coffee!)


On June 23rd I attended an event in Cinderellas Closet where they were launching their accessories boutique! The event was gorgeous, from the accessories, to the dresses, to the brides to be and attendees all busy checking out the fantastic collection on display. The prosecco on arrival went down a treat too!



What I love about the new accessories boutique is that you don’t have to be a bride buying a dress to avail of the Cinderellas Closet teams expertise and advice on what accessories to buy. This boutique is perfect for those attending a wedding, or a bride who just needs to pick up the last few bits and pieces. Azure Jewellery can be found adding sparkle to the already oh so glamorous bridal shop, and can also assist you in designing your own piece. The perfect mix of the personal touch with the professional finish!


A big thank you to the team in Cinderellas Closet for having me at their event and congratulations on your new boutique!


Chelsea & Paddy

There are so many different moments throughout a wedding that I love. My favourite job as a Wedding Planner is being at the back of the church with the bride before she walks up the aisle, fixing her dress and wishing her luck. It’s the moment that all of the planning comes together. My other favourite thing about weddings is being a guest! Getting to see my friends get married is so special. I recently had the pleasure of watching my friends Chelsea and Paddy get married and it was such a gorgeous wedding.


Continue reading “Chelsea & Paddy”


SPRINGspiration! Like Spring Inspiration? See what I did there? Anyway…

When March finally showed us a bit of Spring time sunshine I got extremely excited about all of the gorgeous possibilities for weddings at this time of year.

We had a tough few months of persistently bad weather during winter so it’s no surprise that couples planning for their springtime wedding really grabbed the opportunity to use bold and bright colour schemes.

Its the time of year that signifies the end of the cold and darkness and the welcome sight of flowers in full bloom and that odd ray of sunshine! I think planning a Spring wedding is such a great idea. It gives people something to really look forward to during the winter months and the time of year is so significant. What better time to start your new chapter as a married couple than in the time of year that brings so many new beginnings.

I have put together some ideas for those of you celebrating at this time of year.


This is such a great opportunity to go for some bright and bold colours. The wildflower look is extremely popular and you can find some gorgeous blooms to compliment your colour scheme for both your bridal party flowers and centrepieces for your tables. This bouquet was one of my favourites to make for a photo shoot.




Fingers crossed and weather permitting, why not grab the opportunity to take as many of your photos outside as possible? Chat to your photographer and see if there are any nice beaches, forests or gardens nearby your reception to capture some of the springtime sun. (Keep those umbrellas on standby though!)



Photo Credit: Davitt Vaughn

The Suit

If you have been toying with the idea of leaving the darker suit behind, now is the perfect time to choose a lighter colour to make the groom really stand out from the crowd. Still opting for the darker option? Add the pops of colour to the grooms pocket square and socks! I love the variety Saville Menswear in Cork have on offer and you can’t go wrong with a pair of Happy Socks!


Credit:Saville Menswear Cork


I hope you all enjoy your Springtime weddings!

If you are having a springtime wedding and are looking for some inspiration then please feel free to get in touch.


Weddings Online Article

Back in May I was asked to contribute to an article for Weddings Online which was to be all about expert advice from Wedding Planners around Ireland.

I could have talked for days but managed to narrow it down to just a few simple pieces of advice that I would give me clients. I was in good company too with the other wedding planners giving great advice.

Put it all together and you’re onto a winner!

Take a look below

– Happy Planning!

Ciara and Cian McCarthy

Ciara and Cian McCarthy

In the February issue of Hi Magazine I wrote about Ciara and Cian McCarthys wedding on 30th December 2015. Take a look below and you can read Hi Magazine free online here too!

As a Wedding Coordinator every wedding I work on brings something new and exciting. Every couple is different and they all want their wedding day to tell a story about their relationship in some way. When we created The Wedding Experience at Occasions little did I know that I would get the chance to work on a wedding as lovely as that of Ciara Murphy and Cian McCarthy.




The 30th December 2015 will be remembered by many due to the weather conditions but for us, we will remember it as the winter wonderland, fairytale wedding that saw Ciara and Cian walk down the aisle in St Mary’s Church in Passage and become husband and wife. Together with their handsome little boy Tiernan, their family and friends, they said their “I Do’s” to the chorus of a choir and headed off to Midleton Park Hotel for what can only be described as a massive celebration.




When getting caught up in the little details of planning your wedding, it can be hard to remember that this day is a celebration and a chance to have an amazing night with your loved ones. Ciara made sure to embrace the celebrations throughout her engagement and planned her wedding with her guests in mind.



We decorated the room with white tree centrepieces covered in snow and crystals, with little candles around each table on frosted mirrors. There was a lovely touch of simple rustic décor running through from the flowers to the pinecones added to the centrepieces to really give it a Christmassy feeling. Cian’s grandmother made the wonderful cake that was pride of place as you walked into the room, we then decorated this with some of the flowers left over from Ciaras bouquet which rounded off a lovely personal touch that you could sense throughout the whole wedding.



The guests were treated to one surprise after the next, from the amazing food to the show stopping Irish dance show to the band and then DJ! It was an absolute honour to work with Ciara and Cian on planning their wedding day and I wish them all the happiness in the world.


A big thank you to Davitt Vaughn for the wonderful pictures! You can check out his work here!


“I just want to say a huge thank you to Alexandra Manning and the team of The Wedding Experience for organising our wedding on the 30th December! Ye are amazing! Nothing was too much of an ask. They took the stress out of everything for us, from the church to the dj everything was perfectly organised. Would highly recommend your service, thanks to all who helped to make our day perfect!”

30th December 2015 – Ciara and Cian