Weddings ain’t what they used to be! Neither is marriage, for that matter. No longer a life sentence for the begetting of as many children as possible, the ideal marriage these days is an egalitarian partnership.


  Most importantly, in Ireland this time-honoured institution is now open to any loving couple, whatever their gender or sexual orientation. Far from being a threat to marriage, marriage equality for LGBTQ couples only served to make the idea of getting hitched more appealing to a far greater number of people.

Weddings, like everything else, are subjected to the prevailing winds of fashion. While the traditional touches — the fancy dress, dinner, dancing, bridesmaids and groomsmen — are unlikely to disappear any time soon, contemporary couples don’t necessarily do things by the book.

Some of our contemporary wedding trends come from the United States, and through new technology. Pinterest and Instagram are both sources of inspiration, and it’s not unusual for the big day to be documented across social media. Savvy couples even use special hashtags to keep track of all the photos, posts and tweets. We are in an ever-more interconnected world and, in this instance at least, it is a good thing...

Another notable trend is that these days, couples living in urban areas are more likely to have their wedding in the city. Not only does it give them a great variety of venues to choose from, it’s more convenient and less expensive for family members and friends based in the city too. Venues like Dublin’s chic Medley, located right in the heart of the city on Fleet Street East, offer great food in a super-stylish setting. Their private event space in the mezzanine appeals equally to foodies and fashionistas.

Irish couples are also getting married later. On average, brides and grooms are around 33 and 35 years old respectively. This means they are more likely to pay for the wedding themselves, or contribute money towards it. Because of their financial involvement, couples want a wedding that reflects who they are and what they believe in. A civil ceremony can have any theme a couples wants — from Star Wars to scuba diving! Indeed, even couples getting married in church like to add personal touches that reflect who they are and their relationship.

Here at Hot Press, we’ve brought together some of Ireland’s most creative and interesting wedding specialists. You’ll find everything from venues to photographers and service providers to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. The rest is up to you!

The Anchormen
Tel: (086) 021 8770

Widely regarded as one of Ireland’s hottest live bands when it comes to weddings, corporate events and parties of every description, Anchormen are the bee’s knees! This band of thoroughly professional musicians and singers has no less than three vocalists in the line-up and ten years gigging experience behind them. Members of Ireland’s Wedding Band Association, they are the consummate professionals from beginning to end. Anchormen truly love what they do and guarantee you a wedding reception or a party to remember! Working off a comprehensive set-list that includes all your musical favourites from virtually every genre known to man (and woman!), including pop, rock, country, soul, singer-songwriter, Irish folk/trad, jazz and Rat Pack classics, they are experts at reading the dance floor. And with a fearless approach to repertoire and arrangement, Anchormen aim to seamlessly merge the best tunes for your guests on the night, transforming your special event into a musical extravaganza. The result is a gigantic, high-energy, fun-filled sound that must be seen to be believed. Contact their Management Team today, headed up by Alan, to check availability for 2017 and beyond.

The Suite
Tel: (086) 865 0217

The Suite are an energetic, professional and highly experienced wedding band, combining effortless musicianship with superb four-part vocal harmonies to add a unique twist to their extensive and varied set list. Having gathered momentum over the last seven years, The Suite have become one of the most sought-after wedding bands in the country, featuring in Hot Press’ “Wedding Bands to Want” for the last three years in a row! Priding themselves on providing the absolute best in wedding entertainment, their professionalism, attention to detail and drive ensure that every aspect of your big night’s celebrations will be exactly as you had dreamed. With a “song for everyone” music policy, they guarantee that even the most left-footed relative or guest will want to get out on the floor at least once during the celebrations! When it comes to the music, The Suite aim to have something for everyone, young and old. Whether you’d like to have your father dancing to the Saw Doctors, your mother singing to Amy Winehouse or you and your friends letting your hair down to Paolo Nutini and Bruno Mars, their set-list covers all the bases. And it’s all done with absolutely no backing tracks whatsoever – they really are this good!

The Hitmen Trio
Tel: 086 805 8777 (Roly) 087 952 7624 (Cian) 085 162 4193 (Romain)

The Hitmen Trio are three men who play hits in their own way – this is a wedding band with a difference. The Hitmen Trio use amplified acoustic instruments and pride themselves in their creative, original arrangements and mash-ups, giving well-loved songs a unique makeover. They have received the Hot Press Wedding Band to Want accolade 4 years running – 2014/15/16 and now 2017. No mean feat! Last year they won the Judges’ Commendation for Wedding Band of the Year at the awards and also won the Brides’ Choice award with Mrs2Be. The band are known for their harmony vocals and use guitar and piano to create an upbeat yet intimate sound. Roly Smyth, Cian Mekitarian and Romain Piccolo are virtuoso players; their shows have so much energy and passion you’d be forgiven for thinking there were twice as many onstage. Their set includes Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Johnny Cash, as well as a waltz or two for older guests. You can book them for the whole day – they’ll play instrumentals, religious and romantic music at the ceremony, a laidback pre-reception and spin the tracks after the main show as well. The Hitmen Trio come with an official seal of approval from some of Ireland’s most prestigious wedding venues, such as the K Club, Millouse in Slane, the Four Seasons, Brook Lodge, Killiney Castle, Castle Leslie, Lyons Estate and Clonabreany House.

Jimmy Kilgallen Photography
Tel: 085 124 6758

Sligo-based photographer Jimmy Kilgallen has been shooting weddings for four years, with his documentary style winning many admirers. Taking a relaxed approach, Jimmy aims to be as unobtrusive as possible throughout proceedings, and to photograph the occasion as it happens, so that couples have a faithful record of their wedding day. As well as being an expert in candid photography, Jimmy also shoots formal wedding portraiture. Here, he uses direction and humour to capture the couple, and their families, looking natural and at ease. He believes that a skilled wedding photographer should be able to complete the formal wedding photography within half-an-hour. Of course, some couples want their photographer to take a more discreet approach so that they can spend more time with family and friends. Again, Kilgallen is the perfect solution. His laidback style and good humour allow him to capture the wedding day as it unfolds. Great photographs of your nuptials are a wonderful memento of what is, after all, still one of the biggest days that any of us can ever live through.

Medley Fleet Street East
Tel: 01 555 7116

Medley Café Bistro is one of Dublin’s most stylish new restaurants. Set beneath The Irish Times on Fleet Street, this impressive venue offers a slice of New York’s famous Meatpacking District in the city centre. Medley has a sleek bistro cafe as well as a gorgeous private event space. The bistro is the brainchild of one of Ireland’s most highly regarded chefs, Andrew Rudd. The bistro menu is a “medley” of different cuisines and flavours, but all dishes are focused on offering nutritious, healthy eating, with incredible flavour. Upstairs, in the mezzanine, is Medley’s private hire and event space. With a balcony facing the glass wall, the space is decorated with natural wood, leather and bronze, along with antiques and designer lighting. The kitchen is happy to prepare a special menu for your wedding. Andrew has catered private events for many years, and is used to creating unique wedding menus. There’s even a dish preparation area where guests can see Andrew and his team at work. In addition, there’s a fabulous cocktail bar stocked with famous labels and exclusive vintages, plus a dance floor. What more could you want?