Say ‘I do’ to the wedding business

Sara Kennedy

Sara Kennedy

Wedding bells are ringing as the summer season gets underway, and brides-to-be are counting down the days till they tie the knot. Floating on a cloud of engagement bliss, it can often become slightly overwhelming when faced with the reality of actually planning a wedding.

From worries about the weather to escalating costs and catering questions to flowers, dresses and photographers, there's a never ending 'to do' list and you're just at the start.

To help keep you on track (and from losing your mind), a little attention to detail and a lot of organised thinking will ensure you make it from here to your big day in one piece and without making too many mistakes.

Sara Kennedy, one of Ireland’s leading wedding bloggers - – and author of the award-winning ‘The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide Ireland,’ has over 20 years of experience in weddings spanning everything from Jewellery to Venues.

What started out as an online passion has now led to a successful career for Sara. With an interest in all things bridal she started her blog as a way to voice her loves, frustrations, and helpful tips following her own wedding which was a 100 per cent DIY work of love. Fast forward several years, and she is now an authoritative voice within the industry.

Sara will be heading up the ‘I Do’ school - two days of seminars and workshops for brides and grooms-to-be, at the Wedding and Honeymoon show - one of Ireland’s leading wedding events - returning to the RDS, Dublin on September 7-8.

A big fan of wedding fairs, Sara’s top tip is to visit a wedding show, she comments: “They are a great way to get inspired and organised, you’ll find lots of suppliers all under one roof, showcasing their products and — hopefully — offering discounts!”

Having meet and spoken to hundreds of brides and grooms-to-be, Sara sees couples make the same errors time and again. Here she lists her top ten, realistic money saving tips:  

  1. Set a budget for your wedding and stick to it. Sounds simple yet over 60% of brides and grooms go over it!

  2. Set up a joint account and direct debit savings to out on the day that your wages hit so that you don’t end up spending.

  3. Budget your months expenditure and leave enough room for social life and enjoying yourself, this is meant to be one of the best times of your life and you don’t want to be miserable!

  4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. When you are shopping for suppliers, shop around for the best rate and always ask for a discount or ask what added value they can give you. They may say no, but you never know!

  5. Call in favours. Does your aunt make awesome cakes? Got a friend with a fancy car? Don’t be afraid to ask Auntie Jane if she wouldn’t mind making your wedding cake in place of a gift, or John with the sweet wheels if he’ll drive you to the church. Just tell them it’s OK to say no if they don’t feel they can do it, so they don’t feel like they have to do it.

  6. DIY…I never encourage doing any DIY to cut corners, only do DIY if you love being creative. There are some things on the decor side that could be nice substitutes. For example, for my own wedding, I just didn’t have the budget to do flowers on all tables as we had spent our floral budget doing up the garden. I sourced pinwheels and circus props for our centrepieces instead. I also had no budget left for a photo-booth and our DIY venue wouldn’t have been able to hold a photo-booth, so I made one myself.

  7. Skip Saturday. It seems like it’s the done thing that weddings take place on a Saturday in summer – but because everyone does this, the costs rocket. Break those wedding rules and start looking at weekdays in the winter and you’ll see a marked difference in price.

  8. Keep your eyes open. Join your local Facebook buy and sell groups. Couples often sell off pieces from their wedding after the event. You might pick up candles, décor items and even chair covers. This can also be a great way to recoup some of your budget post wedding, to resale anything you don’t have an emotional attachment too and give someone else a beautiful touch or two within their own financial boundaries.

  9. Mini-Moon to Honeymoon. If you’re getting married in peak holiday season, follow in the footsteps of celebrities, and book a mini moon, as the name would suggest, a shorter break away after your wedding. Cities are particularly popular with bargain saving deals to be had. You can save your honeymoon for off-season dates to bag the best rates – plenty of destinations like the Caribbean islands boast year-long tropical climates. Choosing off peak dates allows you to honeymoon in style with the extra spending money you have saved.

  10. My biggest savings for my wedding was the deals I made at weddings fairs, I got my honeymoon for €1500 less than the original sale price, I got 20% off my dress….. you will see at this coming Wedding and Honeymoon Show at the RDS on the 7th and 8th of September that there are great deals to avail off.


The Wedding and Honeymoon Show opens its doors at the RDS on September 7-8, 2019. Featuring some of the hottest, hand-selected experts in the industry, brides and grooms will have the opportunity to enjoy bespoke fashion shows with the latest in wedding couture, preview elaborate floral designs and timeless wedding venues, discuss upcoming trends and tips with wedding experts, mingle with event designers, and sample the best desserts in the city.

A great way to celebrate your engagement and get inspired for the big day, with show features, including the ‘I Do’ School, catwalk shows, or indulge in afternoon tea. For more show information or to book your ticket visit or check out @WEDDublin on social.  



Woman's Way