Thinking of getting hitched at home? Does it sounds like a logistical nightmare or an intimate dream? We talk to brides?who've been there, done that, to find out...
ORLA NELIGAN & ALAN HUDSON
LOCATION: ORLA'S HOME, CAHERDANIAL, CO. KERRY
PHOTOGRAPHY: JOANNE MURPHY AND PAUL KELLY
Alan and I aren't very traditional. We wanted to avoid a hotel wedding if we could and were very fortunate that my parents have a holiday home in Kerry that happens to be in a beautiful spot by the sea.
Getting married in a location where I spent much of my childhood was very special. It was brilliant having an exclusive venue to ourselves and guests and we were blessed with amazing weather, which meant we were able to go with plan A, which included a boat trip across the harbour from church to house.
Having a wedding in a marquee anywhere in Ireland is a gamble when it comes to the weather. It had been raining for about 10 weeks before the wedding, the garden was flooded and the area for the marquee was about 3ft under water, so the stress levels were high.
Having a wedding at home means you have to think of everything, from catering and decor to toilets and transport, so it's definitely more work.
As the house was by the sea, we styled things with a nautical nod. Old fishing nets and vintage fishing pots hung around the barbecue area. We had old branches from the trees around the house in large baskets strung with fairy lights and lots of blue and white hydrangea (which grow everywhere in the area) dotted around the place.
The highlights of the day were many. The great weather meant we could enjoy the beautiful setting, sit outside the local pub drinking Guinness, get a lift in a friend's convertible (with the top down) to the beach, travel by boat to the house, eat fresh barbecued lobster in the garden, and enjoy ice cream and terrific fish and chips, later on, from the food trucks we'd organised.
I would advise others to have a back-up plan in case of bad weather (we had umbrellas and pagodas for the rain, ironically they were used to shade from the heat in the end). Have a list of additional suppliers in the event one lets you down. If your location is miles from ancillary accommodation it's worth factoring in transport for your guests - a mini bus that can do several runs to various hotels takes the hassle out of getting guests home.
Featured photograph by Doreen Kilfeather