As I am almost 4 years sober and already married I had no intention on having a Hen do. Instead, I decided to go to Hamburg, Germany where my matron of honour Andreea lives.
We rented a beautiful penthouse apartment in the city centre. Boardinghouse Rosenstrasse is a five story building with 9 renovated, spacious apartments in the heart of Hamburg city-center. The staff were very accommodating and let us check in at 12 (rather than 3) as I explained 3 of us would have been travelling for 9 hours at that point (Jenny, Catherine & I stayed at the Airport Maldron the night before our 6am flight).
The penthouse was on the 5th and 6th floor and had two large terraces.
My bridesmaid Avril had Eanans face turned into masks which will haunt me until the day I die.
My friend Gwen made a photo book with Memories including all the girls who attended the bridal shower.
We visited Hamburg zoo and aquarium which was probably a highlight of the trip for me. We accidently made a small child cry when her mother explained to her they didn’t sell the tiaras we were wearing at the zoo!
Andreea arranged for us to play black light mini golf , This place also had a cocktail bar and pizzeria.
We had dinner at Hamburgs rollercoaster restaurant which was a unique experience. It was very busy on the Friday night and a booking is definitely required.
My bridal party spoiled me rotten on this trip. So much thought and effort went into planning the events, games and props. I felt so lucky to have such a great mix of friends.
Eanan wanted to force his friends to attend ProgPower Europe for his stag do. He had the choice to attend in 2016 before we were legally married on in 2017 before the wedding. He decided after the 2016 lineup for the festival was released that he would have his stag do in 2017.
His best man planned the stag but I wanted to add some extra touches for my husband. I made survival kits and t-shirts for all those travelling to the Netherlands.
I ordered the T-shirts from vistaprint. They were 120 euro for 7. 6 T-shirts initially got lost in the post so vistaprint kindly reprinted them, sent them by overnight shipping and refunded me 65 Euro. Their customer service was top-notch.
List of content and links:
- Protein shaker
- Pipe keyring
- Bottle opener keyring
- Sweet bags / personalised labels
- Stag head badge
I could not fit anything else in but I did manage to get some penis confetti which the guys through over Eanan randomly throughout the tip.
I put together some travel essentials for the girls travelling to Hamburg for my bridal shower. I collected pieces over a few months and the girls loved them. It was a great way to give back for all the spoiling I received on the trip.
List of content with links:
- Bridal sashes
- Badge & Badge stickers
- Eye masks / Personalised labels
- Selfie light
- Hair ties / link to my printable
- Red phone charger
- Red charger cable
- Phone stand
- Bottle / Personalised labels
- Ear plugs
- Sweet bags / Personalised labels
Our invitations have finally gone out and I have my front room back. I wanted to do something different with the invites. From the start I knew I wanted my invitations to come in a nice box and I worked from there.
Our invites came in either a white or black box. Postage within Ireland worked out at 1.85 euro per invite, luckily I had put two stamps on each before I went to post them!
We had ordered our laser cut invites a year in advance so we did not have all details finalised at the time. We decided to use the original invite page that came as part as the laser cut invites as an info page as our venue is tricky to find and I didn’t want to clutter up our invitation page.
A few months ago another bride posted a promo code for optimal print. I still did not have all the wedding details finalised but I did have the menu done so I went ahead and ordered the rsvps from them.
I liked the quality of the optimal print rsvps so much that when it came time to order the invites I went with them again. Luckily they fit in the invite box as I had checked on vista print and their ones were slightly too big.
We used our photos from the civil ceremony on our wedding invitations, they were taken by Lorraine Cryan who will also be photographing our wedding.
We decided to send out save the dates before our wedding invitations as the wedding is during the christmas holidays and wanted to give people plenty of time to make arrangements.
We have only received one save the date in the past from one of Eanans old classmates. It was in a postcard style but was also a fridge magnet. Like everything to do with this wedding I researched every possible option from business card styles, to postcards and engraved pencils.
We actually found a Galway based company called Save the date who also do invites, RSVP cards and other wedding stationary.
We decided we were going to go with some form of fridge magnet. We found that since we planned well in advance we could get 70 custom magnets for just under 100 euro from aliexpress. They took around two months to arrive and there were plenty of sellers with many options to choose from.
The black envelopes also came from aliexpress and were 1.20 euro for a pack of 10.
The envelope seals came from ebay and worked out at 10 euro for 100 including using parcel motel as they came for the uk.
The Sunday Independent has teamed up with Benetti Menswear and Michael K Diamonds to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a fabulous Michael K Diamond ring and a Benetti Wedding package including suits for the groom and groomsmen from the Spring Summer Collection.
To enter the competition follow the link below:
Don’t forget to like Michael K’s facebook page to check out his new Moonlight collection!
One Lucky Bride could win a free dress with a choice of 1 of the 6 dresses shown below:
3 days after we had our civil ceremony we went on a mini moon to Marrakech for 5 days. We went direct with ryanair and had booked about six months in advance so our flights worked out at just a little over 400 euro.
We stayed in Mogador Palace in a superior double room with a poolside view. The hotel was stunning, the staff were so helpful and attentive. The hotel is a 10 minutes drive from Djemaa El Fna square and from Marrakesh Airport. It features an indoor pool, multiple outdoor pools, a garden and fitness centre with a sauna, hammam and hot tub.
The hotel has 3 restaurants serving international and Moroccan food as well as a pool bar. There was a lovely man at reception serving Moroccan tea and treats throughout the day.
Marrakech in January is beautiful. It was in the high 20s most days except for one day when we felt like we were being cooked alive! If you like oranges you will love Marrakech as orange trees grow like weeds there.
We did the typical tours around the markets and up into the Atlas mountains where we had a guide take us around on camels. I haggled for everything including the guided tours and found that you should never pay more than a third of what they originally ask.
The begging is pretty intense and it’s actually the children who will keep it going the longest, luckily they only ask men for money. The guys with monkeys on leads will follow you if you even glance their way and will expect you to pay them for merely looking. I personally found it very upsetting to see the conditions of the monkeys and tried my best to avoid them.
I only saw a few snake charmers and before I knew it I had a snake on me, at this point you are going to have to pay them. We spent a grand total of two minutes with the snakes and they tried to charge us 20 euro each, we gave them around 3 euro total. They were not happy and crowed Eanan looking for more money, it was not very busy at the time and there was a heavy police presence so I just pulled him away in the direction of the police and they gave up.
There are many beautiful gardens and old ruins to explore and there is a real sence of history in the city. Even though Marrakech is so close to Europe it is like stepping back in time so don’t expect good wifi anywhere!
- Visit the Atlas mountains
- Shop at Jemaa el-Fnaa
- Get a guide for the Marrakech Souks
- Visit El Badi Palace
- Visit Saadian Tombs
- Take pictures of snakes/ monkeys/ dancers unless you are prepared to pay
- Buy argan oil from a stall