Love is well and truly in the air in St. Canice’s this week as seven staff in the High Street branch show off their sparklers!
With so many engagements and hence weddings in the pipeline we sat down with each of the fiancés to get some insight into their love stories, the wedding planning process and find out how seven real life Credit Union staff were planning to pay for their weddings.
So where and when did all these lovely ladies meet their men you ask: well one was at a wedding, (they do say from a wedding comes a wedding), two more met in work, two met in a pub and two on-line and they didn’t even change their stories. So many couples who meet online, completely change the story of how they met; at the races, at a conference or even a GAA match being some of the favoured alternatives.
The average length of time that the couples are together is over 6 years, ranging from the shortest at 2 years to the longest of 13 years, so there is no winning formula for when is the right time to get married, it all depends on what you want and your priorities, whether that be for kids, houses, travel, career or education reasons.
The big proposal! Everyone wants the story; so be prepared to be asked this question a lot when you get engaged. Reality can often be less Hollywood than people wish for but the stories behind the proposals and rings are unique to each of our CU brides. From a picnic in Central Park to the top of the cliffs of Moher in Clare each were amazingly special to each of them. There was a lot of knee bending so that’s one tradition that has stood the test of time.
The seven engagement rings were purchased across the globe; New York for our picnicking pair, Sydney, a few from local Kilkenny jewellers and one; a special remodelling using the bride’s mum’s original engagement ring by her cousin Alan Dalton in Dungarvan, who trained locally in The Jewellery College in the Castle Yard here in Kilkenny.
While beauty regimes, slimming clubs, personal trainers and teeth whitening plans are in full swing, only 3 have booked venues at this stage with local favourites: Langtons and the Rivercourt taking centre stage along with Brandon House Hotel in New Ross. The decision as to whether a civil or church ceremony is chosen depends very much on the tradition of having someone to walk you down the aisle or not. Local Kilkenny celebrant Jenny Lorimer has been chosen by one bride as an alternative option for a mix between religious and new age traditions, as she offers a sand mixing or hand tying ceremonies.
Most of the girls have an idea of how many bridesmaids they will have even if the ceremony is not yet booked ranging from zero to a hero group of 4, everyone has their own preference and cost also comes into play. The tradition in Ireland is that the bride and groom pay for the bridesmaid rig-outs as opposed to the US where you can have as many as you want ‘coz they all buy their own dress! Remember; the more bridesmaids, the more opinions of what to do for a hen party though.
The hen party shenanigans are indeed another element and cost to getting married. One of our St. Canice’s hens is being whisked to a mystery venue in the UK, while the others are sticking to home ground. Not surprisingly as Kilkenny is sometimes considered the hen capital of the country, all are opting to escape the Marble City for theirs.
So the dress…… Often taking the most time to decide on and a larger chunk of the budget than anticipated; what are our sparkly ladies planning when it comes to the “gúna deas”. Buying local again is turning out to be the order of the day, obviously the less hassle the better. Local boutique Jeutonic as well as local designer Liesa O’Keeffe Power is helping to keep the mileage low in the search for the perfect gown.
Once the big day is done thoughts move swiftly to honeymoons and even to the new craze of a mini-moon before heading somewhere tropical. There seems to be more excitement about getting away from it all than anything else; from a safari in Kenya to Florida and as close to home as the Irish Cote d’Azur; Dingle with the dog coming along too!
So how are the girls going to pay for all this you ask? Well, no one is relying on their parents and credit cards are a big “NO NO”. Everyone is saving and four will definitely go for a loan. One of the unique benefits of a loan which you can only get from a credit union is that you are not penalised for paying back lump sums. This means that if you borrow for your wedding, you can use any gifts of money from your weddings to pay off the loan early and without penalty, then focus on the mortgage; which you can soon get from the credit union too!
Finally what advice do our seven brides have for others who are about to head down a similar path; stay calm, learn how to win an argument, do your own thing, don’t stress and be prepared to compromise and then just let it go!
It is just one day; you have the rest of your lives together ❤
If you want to chat to someone about your wedding finance we can call you when it suits you.