Fairway Fairytale

100 IRELAND’S BIGGEST-SELLING GOLF MAGAZINE Picture this: The most luxurious hotel, complete with leisure facilities to die for, and with a staff that know how to cater for your every need. Now picture yourself getting married there By Brendan Kehoe

Transcript of Fairway Fairytale

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100 Ireland’s bIggest-sellIng golf MagazIne

Picture this: the most luxurious hotel, complete with leisure facilities to die for, and with a staff that know how to cater for your every need. now picture yourself getting married there

By Brendan Kehoe

Picture this: the most luxurious hotel, complete with leisure facilities to die for, and with a staff that know how to cater

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Ireland’s bIggest-sellIng golf MagazIne 101

Adare Manor

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102 Ireland’s bIggest-sellIng golf MagazIne

If you are looking for a special setting to exchange your vows and celebrate the first day of forever, then a golf club might be precisely what you’re searching for.

Golf resorts are exceptional venues, designed to cater for large crowds of discerning

customers. An even though each one is distinctly different, they have a number of things in common. They all offer breathtaking scenery, ceremony and reception sites on the same property, the benefit of an experienced culinary and events team and wedding packages priced more affordably than you would imagine.

When you start planning, it quickly becomes evident that the venue is going to be a considerable expense. There’s no escaping it, so it’s important you get what you want when you hand over that hard-earned dough.

You’ll want to book your venue anywhere from six months to a year before your actual wedding, as venues tend to fill up quickly. If you have your heart set on having your wedding at a particular wedding, in addition to booking it early, you will want to keep your wedding date slightly flexible.

All golf resorts will have a wedding

director or events manager, so use them wisely. And don’t be afraid to ask them what items are included in the price.

There are many reasons for choosing to have the special day in a golf resort, the most popular being that the run-up to a wedding can be a very stressful time, however if your reception is booked in a golf resort stress relief comes in the form of 18 holes for the boys or a day of beauty pampering and spa treatments for the ladies. In many cases couples and family arrive the day before the wedding and take advantage of the many luxuries on offer, the grounds around the resort provide excellent backdrops for photographs and thus ensuring all members of the bridal party and the wedding guests are kept together at all times.

Golf resorts rely heavily on the revenue generated by wedding receptions and are designed to the highest specifications with highly trained managers, chefs and staff ensuring that all couples expectations are met on their big day. Most golf resorts can now offer the ultimate wedding package to brides and grooms by offering the opportunity to have both your marriage ceremony and your wedding celebrations on their beautiful estates. Holding a wedding at a resort is really great for guests, too, as it allows them more variety as they have an opportunity to take a short break,

play golf and relax in the spa.In this current economic climate many

resorts have special offers available depending on the time of year and are not as highly priced as might be imagined in fact the wedding packages at resorts can accommodate most budgets, with the hospitality industry one of the hardest hit by the recession hotels and resorts are competing for the same business and keeping competitive prices is a must if they are to survive we all know of at least one hotel that has closed recently and further closures are anticipated this year. Golf resorts have a huge advantage over hotels as having a championship golf course with a spa is a huge selling point not just for potential brides and grooms, but for all hospitality guests.

Most golf resorts have a unique selling point to draw in potential wedding couples, for example the Lough Erne Golf resort in Enniskillen offers couples the option of arriving to the hotel by sea plane while their guests look on from the terrace overlooking Castle Hume Lough. Trisha Ellse, the resort’s events manager, went on to explain that couples are looking to offer their guests more options than just attending their wedding reception and their guests are using the opportunity to have a short break, play golf or relax in the spa. Couples that book Lough Erne can expect beautiful locations, relaxed atmosphere with all the attention to detail a couple would want on their special day, surrounded by natural beauty.

“Lough Erne Resort is the ideal venue for a wedding reception. We have an idyllic setting, on a peninsula between Castle Hume Lough and Lower Lough Erne, and the resort’s 120 rooms – including 25 Loughside Lodges – gives guests a variety of accommodation options.”

“A lot of brides dream about getting married in a fairytale castle and they fall in love with our property as soon as they walk through the doors”. - Anita Higgins, Adare manor

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Doonbeg Lodge(Below) Lough Erne

Lough Erne is just the place to get married if you want to make a big entrance. Not only can you arrive by seaplane, with all your guests watching, but the resort’s drawbridge can be candlelit for your special day.

The K club in Kildare offers an impressive 200 hectares of stunning scenery, a 1,900 square-metre spa, two world class Arnold Palmer golf courses, manicured gardens overlooking a kilometre-long stretch of the river Liffey for photos and even a private island for the day after party. Unsurprisingly from a resort that has hosted the Ryder Cup, at the K Club couples can expect a world-class service, exquisite food, lavish ballrooms and a wonderful atmosphere in the most beautiful natural surroundings. The hotel offers a variety of options on the day to suit all budgets.

Resort weddings are a good idea because of the package: the beautiful location, the

relaxed atmosphere and being given all the attention a couple would want on their special day.

The Doonbeg Hotel and Golf resort offers a more personal touch. Marie Collins, the resort’s sales manager, explained that she gets to know brides and grooms to be, to offer the perfect tailor made reception to all couples. The hotel prides itself on creating an informal setting in a five star resort. The

hotel offers a marquee overlooking the first green of their stunning links course.

Anita Higgins, the general manager of Adare Manor Hotel, said: “a lot of brides dream about getting married in a fairytale castle and they fall in love with our property as soon as they walk through the doors.

“For the groom – while the priority is to keep their bride to be happy – it is also important that we have something

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104 Ireland’s bIggest-sellIng golf MagazIne 7.

The river Liffey at The K Club. Left; Lough Erne. Right; Brides getting into the swing!

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How many guests does your venue cater for?Do you have more than one wedding per day?Is there a reduction on mid-week weddings?What decorations/fl owers are provided in the venue?Until what time do we have use of the venue?Possiblity of bar extension? Until what time?Are there room hire costs?Is there a wedding rate for guest accommodation?Is the venue wheelchair accessible?When do we need to book the hotel rooms by?Do you offer a free menu tasting?Is there a corkage charge for BYO wine/champagne?Do you charge on how many bottles are ordered or what is poured at the meal?Is there an extra charge for having a choice of starter/mains/dessert?What time can the DJ/band set up at?How much is the deposit to hold the venue?When does the deposit need to be paid?Will I receive a written contract?


How many guests does your venue cater for?Do you have more than one


What you should ask your venue!

1 PERSONALISATION IS KEYWhat about custom designed monograms for the couple? This can be used throughout through out the wedding day from lights on the dance fl oor, the aisle runner, invitations, cake toppers, menus, and even golf balls!

2 WEDDING COLOURSThe trend at the moment is anything but traditional – vibrant colours such as oranges, yellows, hot pinks, greens etc .Use colours as a common thread in your wedding fl owers, linens, invitations, table cloths etc.

3 THEMED WEDDINGSFrench opulence is popular for 2010. Think Chateau Versailles. A word of caution if you’re going for a themed wedding, though: You have to embrace the theme throughout to be true to it and to create the atmosphere you are looking for. This will inevitably drive up the overall cost of your wedding.

4 ECO-FRIENDLY CHICFood and Flowers grown within a 20 mile radius, organic farming invitations made from sustainable materials e.g. bamboo, plant seeds, recycled paper etc.Flavours can include homemade organic cookies, organic caramel apples, potted tulips, bamboo coaster and plants … and it’s a symbol of good luck!

5 SIGNATURE COCKTAILSServe your favourite cocktail and name it after the happy couple á la “Brangelina” Cocktail menus can

feature your monogram Cocktails can be matched to your colour scheme, eg coloured liquors, sugar crystals on glass etc.

6 DESSERTSCupcake displays have become very trendy in the last year, but how about lollipop gardens or personalised M&Ms?

7 ENTERTAINMENTWhy not think about a non-traditional performance? Electric concert violinists, cirque-style performers, stilt-walkers escorting guests … the possibilities are endless.

8 BRIDAL FASHIONSHere are some trends: Brides showing more skin, mini dresses, multiple gowns for the evening or better yet – a convertible dress! 9 BEAUTY AND ACCESSORIESMost brides seem to favour simple headpieces and natural make-up at the moment. Antique jewellery is always in fashion.

10 NEW THINGS!The latest wedding craze is online. Wedding websites allow couples to share their planning process and journey with their family and friends eg. www.mywedding.com / projectwedding.com. you can also share updates on hotels, recreation activities, restaurants, and blog about it all in the process.


special for them, and our setting and the inclusion of the golf course invariably fi ts the bill.”

Anita went on to explain that at Adare Manor, there are a multitude of activities available for the wedding party for both the day of the wedding and the days before and after.

“Golf is one of the most popular, especially as we’re lucky to have one of Robert Trent Jones Senior’s best creations on site. The 18-hole course has played host to many tournaments in the past and we are all eagerly anticipating the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am in July of this year.

“If there are a lot of golfers on both sides of the family then it is a great idea to run a Ryder Cup style event for the day after the wedding, where the two families play against each other. This creates a

great talking point for the next evening.”Kate Kavanagh, from the Seafi eld

Hotel in Wexford, thinks that: “ Couples should sit down discuss exactly what they want from the big day. Everyone wants it to be memorable, but you can’t please everyone, so focus on those who are most important to you.”

Just an hour from Dublin, Seafi eld is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to be secluded without being too far a distance to travel from the city. The resort is set over 65 hectares of parkland, right beside the Ballymoney shore. Designed by Italian architect Francesco Beia in a clean contemporary style, the stunning natural light which permeates the building and the gorgeous sea views make it one spectacular setting for that dream wedding.

The popularity of golfi ng resorts over hotels for wedding receptions cannot be denied, and with stunningly maintained gardens and such a diverse range of activities available to all wedding guests it’s easy to see why.

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