An Irish Fairy Tale

Passports, oversized luggage and a tiny rental car was all we needed for our trip to Barry & Victoria´s wedding on July 6th. After a three hour drive from Dublin we arrived in Oughterard where we were invited to enjoy “a happy, fun, relaxed and stress free weekend”. And it most certainly was. It was like the wedding had taken over the town. Wedding guests were everywhere, all dressed up and easy to recognize when walking from their Bed & Breakfast to church. From the ceremony till the bus dropped us off at our B&B on day two it was an amazing experience with its old and new traditions. There is no wedding like an Irish wedding!


Day one started with  – for us Dutchies – an amazing ceremony. One like we have only seen in movies and words spoken which most women know by heart. I am not sure yet where I will have my wedding one day, but the ceremony will be in English. That’s for sure! After the ceremony, buses were already waiting to bring us to the party location, just ten minutes outside of town. We arrived at Skukuza: the estate of the bride´s parents. With the big marquee set up, panoramic view on the lake and the cows grazing next door it felt like we were part of a fairy tale. There even was a fairy tree. An Irish superstition says: You must never disturb a place where fairies gather. In this case under the Hawthorne tree. Next to enjoying the enchanting area, I as a weddingplanner took a closer look to the details. A mobile trailer bar, table seating written on a mirror, clip-on name tags, wellies (rain boots) and flip flops for guests who did not want to wreck their shoes in the mud or needed a break from their high heels. Dancing bare foot, smoking cigars and drinking too many Mojito´s, we blended in with the Irish crowd. We even placed a bet on the duration of the speeches. Of course, we lost that bet: instead of eighteen minutes the speeches only took 42 minutes. With no neighbours around there was no need to end the party at the Dutch standard of 01:00 AM. The last 24-seated bus took about fifty party people back home around 04:00 AM to get the rest they needed for wedding day two. At day two we also experienced uncommon Irish weather (no rain). Live music was played by guests and with a pork on a spit, it changed from a fairy tale into a festival. Add a traditional bonfire and dancing in the open air till the early hours and you have a wedding to be remembered.


I am back home now with muddy shoes, about 300 photos and a lot of ideas for my next wedding. The Dutch have plenty to learn about (foreign) wedding traditions but that is where I come in. Personally, I cannot wait to go on my next “business trip”.


- column July 2012 / Appelen & Peren-Jouw Online Glossy Magazine -