As many of you know, Lucan Spa Hotel is part of a super wedding community called Let’s Talk Weddings. The group is a collection of the very best wedding suppliers throughout the country, providing future brides and grooms with the highest level of knowledge within the wedding industry. Let’s Talk Weddings also provides a brilliant outlet for couples to seek advice or details of suppliers on their journey to their big day through their Facebook group.
In this blogpost, we’ve taken some of the recent questions posed on the group and given our expert advice, packaging it together as our own miniature Q&A! Enjoy!
QUESTION: Hi guys! We are going to book our wedding reception this week and pay the deposit! Very excited! Please tell me any questions I should ask before proceeding. My mind goes blank when it comes to these things so would appreciate any help!
It’s an exciting time when you’ve decided on your wedding venue, and the buzz and anticipation can sometimes distract couples from ensuring they have their “eggs in order” when it comes to confirming a few details. The list could be endless; however, we would recommend confirming the following:
- You should have a clear understanding of what you are booking – what is included in your package and the price of this package/menu.
- You should confirm if this price is “locked in” or set in stone for your date, or if not, what factors would apply where the price could change (i.e., minimum guest numbers, VAT rates, inflation etc).
- You should confirm any complimentary items that are included in your package and if these are subject to any changes (e.g., based on a minimum number of guests).
- You should confirm details on accommodation. Are there rooms included in your package? Are there discounted rates for guests and are these limited to a certain number of rooms? Can you block book rooms and what is the procedure for this?
- You should ask the hotel is there any requirements or limitations with regards external suppliers. For example, some venues don’t allow chocolate fountains or LED dancefloors.
- YOU SHOULD SIGN AND RECEIVE A COPY OF YOUR CONTRACT!! We cannot believe the number of brides and grooms who comment on Let’s Talk Weddings saying they have not signed or received a copy of their contract. A wedding contract should be signed BEFORE paying a booking deposit.
- You should confirm the payment terms and schedule, as well as the cut off point for final guest numbers to be provided to the wedding venue and when final payment is made.
Ideally, the above should be provided in writing. This avoids any confusion should there be a change in the venue personnel from the time of booking your venue.
QUESTION: I was told I would need four songs for my wedding ceremony. 1. Intro 2. Reflection candle 3. Signing 4. Introduction as married couple. What songs do you use for each piece?
Every solemniser or registrar has a preference for the number of songs they think should be included in your ceremony. What is important to remember is that this is your day and you should only choose the number of songs that you are comfortable with. Every couple and wedding is unique, and we have witnessed a varying range of songs from 2 to up to 6 songs played over the course of a wedding ceremony.
In saying that, the typical number is 3-4 songs, and these are:
- Processional/Entrance – usually this is a hugely romantic song or ballad. Depending on how many people will be walking up the aisle (and the aisle length!), this may need to be a long piece of music.
- Candle Lighting – this is typically a short piece of music, something soft and instrumental based.
- Registry signing – this would typically be a longer piece of music, as it would be the part of your wedding ceremony where a lot of photos are taken.
- Recessional (Exit) – think of something upbeat and lively to help celebrate becoming a married couple and help kick off the party atmosphere.
QUESTION: What would you feel if less people are coming to your wedding and sometimes it’s hard to follow-up on them whether they will attend or not?
Firstly, don’t stress too much if you have less people attending your wedding than originally planned. Typically, couples receive 10-20% of invitees that decline or cannot make the day, especially during summer months. We would recommend to our couples to anticipate this, and if needed, broaden their invitation numbers if they had a certain number of guests in mind for the day.
With regards following up on RSVPs, unfortunately, this is the case with 90% of weddings and you are certainly not alone. There will always be a considerable number of guests and invitees who fail to RSVP by the certain date. We recommend sending them a quick follow up text to these guests.
QUESTION: Do brides change out of their wedding dress in the evening?
This is entirely up to each bride and is a personal decision. Typically, around 10% of our brides and/or grooms change to another outfit during the day.
QUESTION: Do page boys also wear button holes?
Again, this is a personal choice and decision for both you and your page boys. One thing to consider if you do choose to get button hole flowers for children is to assist with putting these on securely. Typically, button holes are pinned to the lapel of a suit jacket. However, kids will be playing and running on the day, so we recommend using extra safety pins to secure a button hole and ensure it’s fitted correctly for all your photos.
QUESTION: Hi All, I’m sending out save the dates soon for June 2024. How did you all broach getting immediate family to book rooms?
Okay, so this is a really good question and something that crops up a LOT! It’s also particularly important in 2023 given the undersupply of accommodation throughout the country due to many hotels and providers taking their stock off the public market. We don’t think we can stress this enough – IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR GUESTS TO BOOK THEIR ACCOMMODATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We recommend including all the necessary details on any Save the Date Invitations, stressing the need to book as early as possible. Don’t forget, most if not all hotels and venues offer 24 or 48-hour cancellation policies, meaning there is no commitment needed at the time of booking (i.e. it costs nothing to get rooms booked nice and early!).
What we would NOT recommend is for couples to get involved in booking bedrooms for their guests – this causes unnecessary stress and confusion to you and your partner. People are big enough (and bold enough!) to book their own rooms. This can often lead to double-bookings preventing more people from being able to book accommodation.
QUESTION: I have my final wedding appointment in the hotel coming up. I’m just wondering what kind of questions should I be asking, my mind goes completely blank when it comes to these things?
Your venue should have a complete file of your day and you should ask them to recap and go through this so you can tick off everything. You’d be amazed the number of times going through this file in-person reminds a bride or groom of something they’ve forgotten. Items to highlight include:
- final guest numbers.
- the time you will arrive (e.g., are you staying night before, getting ready in hotel that morning etc?). If you are getting ready in the hotel that morning, maybe confirm if you would like snacks/drinks brought up to you during that period of the day.
- confirm any items you will be bringing in for the day (e.g., guestbook, extra decor) and when you will be arriving to the hotel with these - it is best to arrange with your coordinator a time when you’re bringing in these so you can go through them all and where they should be put out throughout the venue.
- your menu including arrival and evening catering.
- all times, including guest arrival, dinner call, speeches and evening food serving time.
- any needed details for children present (high chair, menu etc) or anyone with any individual needs (dietary requirements).
- confirm details about any suppliers who will be present on the day (for example, a decor company may need early access to get set up).
- confirm any bedrooms that you booked and if these are on your account or the individual guest’s account- this is particularly important this year due to general shortage of accommodation throughout the country.
- the total cost and balance due.
QUESTION: Hi everyone, how many bottles of wine for around 60-70 guests? We can supply our own but not sure how to work it out? Thanks.
There would be a couple of factors that would impact the answer to this question (e.g. your menu, time of year, are your guests wine drinkers etc). However, a general rule of thumb would be to allocate half a bottle of wine per person. If you’re looking to cut down and save as much as possible, ask your venue to serve the wine to guests rather than leave wine bottles on the tables – this will always reduce the number of bottles used on the day.
QUESTION: Is 6 months post wedding too late to do thank you cards? When is the cut-off date for them?
It’s never too late to send out post-wedding thank you cards, and 4-6 months would be a typical time period. In saying that, anything within 12 months of your day would be okay too.
QUESTION: Hi all 👋 looking for activity bag ideas for the children at our wedding. Ages range from 12 years to 18 months. Any idea or suggestions appreciated. Thanks a million.
There’s lots of creative ideas to include in a activity pack for children. Along with the usual ideas such as colouring books, mini games, bubbles etc., you can include fun stuff like a photo scavenger hunt, whereby a disposable camera is included with a list of photos for the little ones to capture throughout the day.
QUESTION: Has anyone been to a wedding with Celtic handfasting during the ceremony? Did it feel a bit much to have the candles, the vows, the rings and the handfasting? I want people to go away saying they were delighted with the brevity of the ceremony to be honest because I hate a long ceremony but I'm worried the handfasting might be a bit overkill.
For a typical wedding ceremony, there would be a number of parts that would be considered “permanent fixtures” that would occur for nearly every ceremony. These include the lighting of candles, your vows, the exchange of rings and the signing of your green folder. After this, everything else is definitely down to your own unique preferences. These rituals can vary, and examples include handfasting, a sand ceremony, sealing a time capsule or even a tree planting ritual. Generally speaking, couples would typically choose one or two “rituals” or a reading during their ceremony and this would definitely not be overkill.
QUESTION: Anyone else go with a small cake just for the bride and groom? We are trying to keep things low cost and we figured wedding cake for guests might not be missed with dessert and evening snack. Tia!
If there is one tip we would recommend to couples, it is this: YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE THE TYPICAL 3 TIER WEDDING CAKE! For nearly 95% of our weddings, we would be either handing 50% of the wedding cake back to couples on check-out as guests decline a bit of cake in the evening time. A smaller, one tier cake is not only a cute alternative, but a very practical one too.
QUESTION: Just wondering if people requested their guests not to post a pic of the groom and the bride before they did themselves. Did you put it on mass booklets or menus? We have sent our invites already. I don't want to be up on Instagram the minute I walk down the aisle.
This is a very common request and we have seen multiple ways in which this is communicated to guests. Firstly, many couples ask their wedding solemniser or celebrant to make a quick announcement before the ceremony, asking guests to refrain from posting any photos on social media for the day at your request. Alternatively, you can source very cute signs and dot them around your venue with a very polite message for guests to refrain from posting pictures. Finally, as suggested, you can include a quick note on booklets or menus with this request.
QUESTION: Hi everyone, I’m wondering if anyone has had a civil/humanist ceremony and got a blessing done by a priest on another day? Wondering if it is possible as we have booked to be married in the hotel but would like some sort of blessing at some stage. Thank you x
From time-to-time, this option is chosen by our wedding couples. Generally speaking, this has been done in the case whereby a priest is a family friend or a couple wished to incorporate a religious aspect to their day without having a full church ceremony. Priests have come in and included a private blessing for couples either before or after a civil/humanist ceremony, or the couple have chosen a separate day to celebrate a blessing at their local parish church. What we would recommend is having a chat with your local priest in order to find out more about the options available.
QUESTION: Hi all. Any ideas / photos of what you used for people to put their cards in. Or is it too assumptions that people will bring cards? I just don't want to give the job to people to mind them, would rather the family enjoy themselves not worry about the job of minding and storing cards. Thank you ❤️
The wedding post-box is certainly a popular idea among couples and as mentioned in this question, takes the pressure off a member of the wedding party (e.g., bestman) from collecting cards and potentially having numerous envelopes with quite a large quantity of cash lying in their pocket or handbag. When hiring a post-box, try and choose one with a bit of weight (so it’s not knocked over easily) and placed in an obvious space for guests to see and make use of (e.g., beside a table plan). Another tip is to choose a certain time of the day to have one of your wedding party take it and put it away safety somewhere (e.g. an overnight bedroom).
Let's Talk Weddings is a great community and a fantastic resource and tool for any future bride or groom planning their nuptuals. You can check out their website here or visit their Facebook page here.
Lucan Spa Hotel offers a wedding day of your dreams in Dublin no matter what your size and plans. For more details and to arrange your own private viewing, you can contact our wedding team by filling out the online form here.