My Ireland AM Classic Wedding Trends 2015-2016

In preparation for my visit to Wedding Week on Ireland AM i was asked to provide some images and discuss the trends coming down the tracks for Classic style weddings.

Here is what i gave the guys in TV3:


This picture is provided by and it is one of my favourite looks of the last 2 years. Kate Middleton inspired so many brides. Her dress was designed by Alexander McQueen, a Victorian style with signature lace bodice and sleeves. For Debbie, her dress followed this trend by adding lace sleeves. Debbie did something very clever with this dress, she bought an A line strapless Enzoani dress from RK bridal in New York – and then customised by getting this lace cover bolero from Tulip Bridal in New York to achieve this Middleton style.


We see Debbie here again but this time we can see the  full length of this stunning gown. She also opted for a classic cathedral veil which is very typical of a classic wedding.

Lace has been dominating the wedding catwalks now for the last few years and we’ve seen it in many variations. This style would be one of the most popular, figured at the top with a flowing train at the bottom. This sort of style is timeless and we will probably see a lot more of it, especially since Emily McDonagh, Peter Andrea’s beautiful bride wore a similar style 2 weeks ago.

thumb_011_1024The key with classic weddings is that less is more, we see by this venue, Tankardstown House in Meath, that they have a very neutral style with chivari chairs, ivory embossed linen and simple candelabras. There are so many venues that fit the ‘classic’ bill. Classic venues generally fall under the category of castle, country house, stately home or private estate. Examples include Glenlo Abbey, Dromoland Castle, Carton House and Bellingham Castle to name but a few. What I have seen within the last year is a lot of new wedding brochures from a lot of venues where they are taking advantage of the better economy and have increased prices. A trend going in to next year will be that the recession bargains will no longer be available and most venues will be back to full prices. In saying that we have seen some research to suggest that some couples are planning on spending more.

With this we are going to see a little less DIY and more investing in premium suppliers which offer the DIY look! I myself love to DIY but even i knew my limits and bought a lot of ready made crafts from Etsy from my own wedding.

There will still be a lot of couples opting out of the classic / hotel type wedding day and will essentially build their own day. There are of course couples that won’t pay the high rates and may opt for smaller weddings rather than the large scale ones. With this trend the wedding has to be financed and we saw in the recent survey by Weddings Online that a lot more couples are looking to get a loan from Banks or Credit Unions. We all tend to start off with great intentions of not spending a fortune and sticking to budget but we all get caught up in the moment and feel like we can’t live without those extra bits and bobs.

Many venues that I talk to have told me that they are getting asked by more and more couples to provide less conventional menus and step away from the beef or salmon options. There are more looking for dessert tables/ buffets which Harvey’s Point do very well. Others are getting ice cream delivered after church. Others are splashing out on cocktail receptions too.

thumb_007_1024The key colour schemes are white, ivory, gold and silvers. Some add pastels within bouquets and on bridesmaids. Pastel colour schemes are really the big colours of this year and we’ll see it again next year. In flowers we are going to keep seeing more and more white peony roses.

Overall the majority of the time, the colours are muted. Some do subtle pops of block colours in their shoes or in their bouquets but overall it is very neutral.

Debbie’s overall wedding style started with her dress which translated well to her venue and now in this image on to her cake. A beautiful, simple, understated cake. The detail is exquisite but its is not overbearing and just very simple at a glance. Going in to next year, we will see more simplistic styles but for those who want something more elaborate we can see more and more opting for cup cakes, there is also the Naked Cake concept , rainbow cake and then Ombre styles. If you open pinterest you will see that these cakes are dominating the screens. There are  lot more opting for alternative styles such as cheese boards, ice cream cones, or macroon cakes.


The dress you see here is photographed by Peter Rowen and is a different example of a classic style, it is a ‘sheath’ gown. This is where the gown touches each and every contour of the body. This style can be either incredibly flattering or terribly unflattering, its not for everyone.

This bride customised the original dress to make it very unique to her. Similar to Debbie, Annie actually added an extra long train and lace at the front.  This would be a style that we are going to be seeing a lot more of.

The trends for next years weddings is backless, plunging necklines and in some cases the dresses are getting more figure hugging. Lace will still be very present.


thumb_114_0082_1024This is Annie wearing the David Fieldon dress and as you can see she has complemented the overall style of the dress with a very classic Spanish style cathedral veil.

Annie’s hair and make up are again so elegant, she opted for neutral tones on the eyes, clear complexion and light contouring. Her hair is swept back with some light curls framing her face. Classic styles tend to go for a very natural look and don’t over do it on eye make up or lipstick which you made in more Hollywood glam styles.

Annie and Geoff went for a traditional church wedding and this type of ceremony would still be the most popular on Ireland but research over the last few years shows that civil ceremonies are growing year on year. Going in to next year there will be another growth in this type of ceremony.

We get to see a close up of Annie here, what is most striking is the pure volume of material in her veil and how well it complements the over look of her dress. What is also shows is that the best feature on the day of your wedding is really your smile and this really comes through in Annie’s face!


We can see the back of Annie’s dress here and it is hooked up for walking. Again, like her veil, there is so much material and this is very typical of a classic look. Going in to 2016 we are going to see more tailored dresses with even longer trains. Geoff is in a traditional wedding suit but again there is a big convergence to Dickie Bows as an alternative to the general tie.

For Dickie Bow inspiration read this! To see more of Annie and Geoffs wedding day Click Here.



This is from a recent photo shoot i did with Elaine Barker Photography for the Station House Hotel and Timeless Bridal Wear, again a very classic venue and style. This would be more of a vintage classic look. The dress is by Elizabeth Stuart and it would be very in-keeping with Downtown Abbey and this would be a very big trend over the last 2 years. We are seeing more and more couples opt for a stately home as a venue. This would also fall under a 1920’s style wedding and you can see that with the hair and makeup it too. Vintage is still a very strong trend and we are going to see so much more of it.

The good thing about a ‘classic’ style is that it really cannot go out of fashion so when you look back at the photo’s you are always on trend!



thumb_IMG_8864 copy 2_1024This is an alternative to the traditional veil. This is a bird cage headpiece and it is very popular in vintage styles. For the best real vintage accessories and gowns, Dirty Fabulous in Dublin City is by far the best. Another big trend is the hair jewellery and in particular the beads. Kilkenny Design have some gorgeous ones. Others are just going to leave their hair down in the Hollywood glam style.

While Classic weddings are hugely popular there are of course a lot of alternative weddings and people that don’t want the traditional set up. We are seeing more and more of that but the purpose of this piece was to zone in on the classic styles we are currently seeing and what we can expect more of in the next year.

Wedding Insurance

I received an email the other day from a bride who couldn’t get her head around the whole wedding insurance issue. She was undecided on whether it was important or not. I gave her the knowledge i knew, bearing in mind that i am by no means an expert but i understand the products out there and i had to get insurance for my wedding last year.

I was hosting the wedding in my husbands grannies back garden which meant that it wasn’t in an approved venue. By not being approved, it meant that it wasn’t an ‘insured commercial premises’. It hadn’t been safety vetted etc. This would be the case for a lot of barn and marquee weddings. The main issue we had was if someone fell or hurt themselves, we would need to be in a position to look after them financially should there be a need to. This was one of the hardest things to source and we had to get Public Liability Insurance in both myself and my husbands name. It was €200 and in my case, you couldn’t put a price on piece of mind! We got our insurance with O’Loughlin Insurance Group.

If you are getting married in an approved and insured venue, you can rest assured knowing that this responsibility is in the hands of the venue! If you are bringing in third parties – decorators, drapers, lighting, etc that is outside the venues remit, then some venues can ask for their public liability insurance as say one of the lights went on fire, (god forbid)and if its not owned by the venue then they won’t be able to cover the damage and the responsibility lies with whomever supplied the lighting. If a supplier cannot provide this insurance, the venue could say that they are not happy with them bringing their services to the venue.

General wedding cover usually comprises of cover for a genuine issue whereby a supplier failed to show up or provide a service. It really is coverage for the random things!

Wedding Insurance won’t cover you if you change your mind, that’s on your own head unfortunately but it is the safety blanket for those ‘just in case’ incidences that we all hope won’t happen with our special day.

In terms of pricing, from what i can see, it can vary. It depends on the level of cover you want and there are options if you were going down the marquee route. Some providers i found offer cover from €30apx for very low level of cover. The majority offer cover from €75 but like car and health, you pay for the level of cover you want.

Here is a list of some providers i found if you are interested in shopping around:

Im not an insurance expert so i honestly don’t know which one is the best option. I also heard that if you have home or contents insurance that you should call your insurer and let them know if gifts, dresses, rings etc are now in the house. In some cases your insurer may be able to add on a package for the period of your wedding to your policy which will cover you.

Again, it is one of those things we don’t like to think about when it comes to our wedding day but i always prefer to be safe.