Olivia Buckley International

Destination Wedding Planner Advice


The moment you doubt whether you can fly – you cease forever to be able to do it.

Are you dreaming of a destination wedding in Ireland? From the rugged beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way, to our enchanting medieval castles and everything in between, there is no better place than Ireland to tie the knot in truly magnificent style.

If getting married in Ireland is something you really want to do, go for it! Everything you can imagine can be real. Think of all of the amazing opportunities and endless possibilities that await you in the Emerald Isle. If you can dream it, you can do it!

Olivia Buckley International, Destination Weddings, Luxury Wedding Planner, Irish Wedding, Ashford Castle
Olivia Buckley International, Destination Weddings, Luxury Wedding Planner, Irish Wedding, Ashford Castle


Planning your wedding from another country can be difficult, but not impossible. Being thousands of miles away will inevitably bring its own challenges to the most organised person in the world. There are so many moving pieces involved in mastering a wedding celebration – now is the time to really think about the elements of your wedding that are most important to you.


Bringing a wedding planner on board is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you have the wedding you envision. Every wedding planner will be different in their approach and understanding of your concept. They will have different styles, ideas and resources, as well as different levels of knowledge and experience.

Take a step forward in time and visualise how you would like to feel on the morning of your wedding. Would you like to be totally relaxed in your bridal suite, getting pampered with the girls with a glass of bubbly? Or trying to avert a last minute crisis when the photographer doesn’t arrive or finding out the wedding entertainment made a double booking with another wedding? We think there is only one answer to that question! But the former can only be achieved by ensuring the latter does not happen. The only way of knowing that for sure is to work with a team who are the best in their field and trusting wholeheartedly that they won’t let you down.

We really do believe that having the right team by your side will make the world of difference in every way possible. I celebrated my own wedding last year and I was so lucky that I had the full support of my team. It was so wonderful and comforting knowing they were there for me every step of the way. It allowed me to enjoy and appreciate every special moment with my family and friends which is something I will treasure forever.


Would you book a hotel or a restaurant that has a low rating on Tripadvisor? Probably not. The best thing you can do is your homework on potential wedding planners.

– Put a list of planners together and make your wish list for research purposes.
– Spend time researching events and experiences they have created.
– Check out their references and look at clients they have worked with in the past.
– Speaking to their former clients will help you to understand what it would be like to work with them.
– Do they have a proven track record of delivering their client’s brief?
– Getting unbiased accounts is so important to help you make an informed decision.


When you find the right destination wedding planner it is so important to allow them to guide you through your journey. Trust needs to work both ways. The secret to building trust often lies in the unspoken. Thought, consideration and understanding are the fundamental elements that you will share with your wedding planner. They will listen, they will learn, and they will lead. When you can recognise and appreciate the absolute, infinite and unconditional trust and support that you share as a collective, you know you have found the person who will have your back, no matter what. They will be there for you. When you need advice on dealing with family problems, a difficult family member, an uncomfortable situation, or simply to offer reassurance that you have got this, they will be there. After all, a good wedding planner will offer you so much more than just planning. What differentiates your planner from all the others is their ability to create an emotional connection, a professional relationship and a trusted friendship. They will be diplomatic and respectful. They will be the calm to your storm and your solution to everything.

A competent wedding planner will establish effective lines of communication that will work for both sides so whether you live in California, China, Sydney or Spain, time zones should not create a barrier to communication. It is also important to think about the elements of your wedding that may be specific to your background. Does your wedding planner have experience working with different cultures and couples with different beliefs and customs? Are they familiar with Japanese Shinto ceremonies and Jewish wedding Ketubahs? Or would you like to include some Irish traditions into your wedding ceremony?

Olivia Buckley International, Destination Weddings, Luxury Wedding Planner, Irish Wedding, Ashford Castle


Celebrating the best of your culture with tradition and respect is an integral gift that a good wedding planner will be blessed with. Your customs, beliefs and traditions should be at the very heart of the ceremonial elements that are incorporated into your special day.

From traditional hand fasting in spiritual ceremonies and secular humanist ceremonies, to registry office civil ceremonies and celebrant-led blessings, getting married in Ireland can be as unique as you and your partner desire. Understanding your own style is also important to modulate your unique thought process. Try to define your wedding vision to help your planner see what you can see. In order for your wedding to be a success, efficient planning is the key to combining all of the elements.

Read more here about the beautiful Chinese Tea Ceremony that was incorporated into our client’s East meets West wedding at Ashford Castle.

Transparency is an essential part of the planning process. A strong and secure information sharing system is the key to creating an effective hub of communication. It allows the main parties to be involved and up to date at all times. Reaching out in real time, planning virtual calls and arranging video conferences are both effective and essential lines of communication. What is their response time to your calls and emails? Will they be flexible enough to work across different time zones? If you are short on time, don’t feel pressure to choose the first wedding planning company you find. My advice would be to make a shortlist and get in contact with them. Speaking with them will give you a much better insight to help you determine if they are the right fit for you and your wedding.

Before you sign on the dotted line, you will want to ensure that your wedding planning company ticks all the right boxes. You will only get the wedding of your dreams if you are working with someone who shares your vision. Be honest about your needs and expectations and don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you have special requests or unusual requirements, share it with them. Curate storyboards and use them as visual communication tools to express your style and ideas.&

From your stationery designer to your music makers, your wedding planner will be in regular contact with your suppliers so you won’t have to worry about managing correspondence with them. Ideally you should only need to travel to your venue twice during the whole process. If your planner manages your time efficiently, a short trip of 2/3 days should be sufficient to cover your menu tastings and meet as many suppliers as you possibly can including your floral designer, cake designer, hair and make-up artists and design team. A timeline is vital to map out each of the fundamental elements.

At Olivia Buckley International, we create extremely detailed timelines for our clients to ensure everything is being managed and nothing is overlooked. Each phase of planning is mapped and tracked to carefully oversee each moving part. It becomes the road map that leads actions and directs decisions. From the time you send out your save-the-date cards to the point of following up your RSVP’s, every milestone right through to your wedding weekend needs to be captured within your timeline to ensure deadlines are met and managed carefully. 

Another very important element of planning a destination wedding is a Guest Relations service. We offer this service to all our destination wedding clients because we understand how important your guests are to you and your celebration. Each and every one of our previous clients have highly recommended this service and agree that it enhanced their guests experience and allowed them to enjoy their time in Ireland even more. A professional wedding planner will have an experienced and knowledgeable Guest Relations team who will be assigned to looking after your guests by helping with the logistics associated with traveling abroad. They will be your guests’ point of call and will be available at all times to allow you and your partner all the time in the world to enjoy your wedding celebration.

It is such an honour and a privilege to be trusted with turning our clients vision into their reality. As Ireland’s most renowned event management company, Olivia Buckley International leads the way with over 20 years of extensive experience creating and designing beautiful bespoke luxury events including high profile weddings, private celebrations and corporate events.

We truly understand the importance of finding the right wedding planner – someone who sees your vision, understands your thoughts and genuinely wants to bring your dreams to life. From managing budgets to sourcing suppliers, quality and innovation, we have the best contacts in the business. The people we work with are simply the best. We trust them completely and only work with companies that share our passion for creating the very best events. We are also so lucky to work with the most exclusive venues in Ireland.

Magic should be infused everywhere. Even when you cannot see it, you can feel it. Whether you are looking for mythical or magical, ethereal or extraordinary, we are dedicated to bringing your vision to life. It is inherent in our nature to plan for brighter days and special occasions. That is what life is all about. A unique ceremony of spoken promises, your wedding is so much greater than the sum of its parts.

We have been so fortunate to have met and worked with so many amazing couples over the years. We take great pride knowing that we have made lifelong friends with our clients and we celebrate the remarkable journeys and experiences that we have shared together. Based in California, Juliana and Ryan dreamed of celebrating their wedding in Ireland. After falling in love with Ashford Castle, they started their search for the best Irish wedding planner in the business. After finding Olivia Buckley International online, they knew they had found what they were looking for. Juliana and Ryan kindly shared their thoughts and feelings about their fairytale wedding in Ashford Castle and what it was like to work with Olivia Buckley International and her exceptional team of the best people in the industry.

Read their interview here.

A dream without action is a world of make believe. After all, reality is filled with things that were once a dream or idea. Masters at making memorable moments come to life, we embrace the gift of cherishing what lies ahead.

We will turn your WHAT IF into WHAT IS by creating a truly magical day that will be free of worry and full of joy. Each day is only as good as we make it, so why not make it the best day ever!