I must be nuts! Planning a wedding for our daughter, in Ireland, 3,000 miles away from our home in New York, and with a bride who lives in Memphis, Tennessee! What was I thinking! Of course, Ireland is beautiful and we have lots of family there, and the bride really wanted to be married there and in a Castle, but how to get everything done so far away! Oh, did I mention she wanted it outdoors in a beautiful walled garden. In Ireland, where the weather is frequently questionable.
Weddings can be stressful to plan and you have to make so many decisions that it is helpful to have someone who’s opinion you can trust be a sounding board and offer ideas. I love weddings, but so many follow the same pattern…we wanted something a little different.
Someone told me about Kate Deegan. At first when I heard that she was Wedding Planner of the Year, and that she did several celebrity weddings, I was skeptical. I did not want a fancy hot shot who would be a know- it- all, or use up my limited funds with celebrity ideas. One thing we definitely did not want was a showy wedding, just a great time. I have run lots of parties in my life, I was sure I could do it alone. Boy was I wrong!
We met Kate in Ireland last August. We immediately felt she was perfect. Incredibly competent, but “regular”, a natural, gracious, happy,can-do person. She answered all our questions with great patience and wonderful common sense. She knew the Castle we had chosen, she had done several weddings there, and knew how best to coordinate with them….a very important thing. That was it. We were smitten! My husband said that the wedding was for our daughter, Christine, but the Wedding Planner was his gift to me. We couldn’t believe how she just calmed us down. She fully understood what we wanted in a wedding…after all, she has planned so many of them, and she had fantastic ideas.
Over the months, Kate and I, Kate and Christine, Christine and I communicated, mostly by e mail, occasionally by phone. My many long winded e mails always got a cheerful and prompt response. Kate kept us on track. When it was time to make a decision, she gently prodded us to make up our minds, always offering her suggestions, but always open to ours. Don’t get me wrong, Christine and I worked hard on this event…but Kate was a wonder! At the very least, I definitely would have had a twitch without her.
Some may think a wedding is a wedding, but Kate doesn’t. She worked to help us put our own stamp on the festivities. Kate found hair dressers, someone to press the gown after its transatlantic trip, a company to bring the guest on a tour of the West of Ireland, the perfect pub for lunch, with traditional music, a wonderful restaurant for the Rehearsal dinner and farewell luncheon, flowers, cake, linens, chairs, runners, musicians,car rentals,band and DJ, photographer and video guy and so many more things, I cannot even recall all of them. She even found items for the goodie bag. She also got maps and tourist literature for all the guests.. More importantly,she knows everyone who we needed to help us. It would have been impossible for us to accomplish this alone.
She understood that we felt if people made the long trip to join us, they should have an unforgettable experience. Her answer to any idea was always, “perfect” or “brilliant” She arranged the biggest and best surprise of the wedding. My daughter and I love the movie, Love Actually. We always talked about the wedding scene where a surprise gospel choir and musicians play and sing the Beatles, All you need is love instead of a recessional. Well, Kate found a gospel choir,yes, in Ireland, horn players and enlisted the wedding harp and violinists… and we did it! Christine’s look to me when the singing began was priceless…my little secret that could never have been done without Kate.
There are differences between weddings in New York and Ireland. Kate was superbly skilled at melding the two cultures to make the most wonderful wedding. My sister told me that one of my Irish cousins told her it was, “probably the best weekend of her life”. Oh and yes, we had beautiful sunshine and puffy clouds. Kate even arranged for sunshine so we didn’t have to go to her Plan B!
I have two pieces of advice: 1) A wedding planner is a wonderful thing. Get one, she will probably save you money, not to mention keep your stress level down. Hire Kate Deegan. I am confident when I say there is no one better,more competent, more professional and just plain nicer to work with.
Christine and JoashJuly 2012
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