T-Minus One Month – Wedding Progress!

One month today, barring the unthinkable (touch wood!), I’ll be a married man. It’s high time, then, that I gave you all an up date on just how all the planning’s going. As you’d expect, we’ve got most things well sorted now (and the stag do’s all done and dusted, click here for some vague reminiscing on the carnage). If you’re on your way, can’t wait to see you… I hope we didn’t forget anyone!

The ceremony and afters are going to be in the same place – a converted castle that’s now a rural hotel. It’s called Markree Castle in, and you can take a look here, or there are a few images scattered around the page, too. I don’t want to give everything away, but we’ve got a great musician who also happens to be a very good friend Mark Baker and his group St John The Gambler (we met in South Korea, but he’s now based back in Ireland) performing at the ceremony, and we’ll be sorting out readings in the near future, too. I haven’t seen Helena’s dress, of course, and she’s been playing a lot of mind games about what it looks like – she had me absolutely convinced at one stage that it’s going to be green. I’m still fairly convinced that it’s not white, but I think that probably means some kind of off white, ivory, pale pink, something like that. Let’s face it, I’m not going to be able to work it out, and that’s probably for the best. The suits are all booked, too – they’re three quarter length jackets, with off-color (lighter gray) trousers, white shirts and cravats. I think going simple is safer, and the best man/ groomsmen will all have nice matching ones.

Ceremony/ Drinks Reception Band, Saint John The Gambler:

When the ceremonies over we’ll be having a drinks reception while we do the photos etc., with St John The Gambler playing a bit of folky music for everyone and lots of summer punch. We’re hoping it’ll be outside, as the castle grounds are incredible, but we’ll have to wait and see what the weather’s like on the day. Ireland’s been incredibly sunny for the past two months or so now, so we can probably expect torrential rain, but hopefully we’ll be lucky.

We picked out the food for the meal the other day – we originally went for the two poultry options – guinea fowl and duck, but eventually decided that they’re a bit too similar, so we’ve dropped the duck in favor of steak. Should be fantastic if it’s anything like the tasting sessions, which left us absolutely stuffed. Some nice wine, too, and plenty of fantastic other courses, but I won’t give it all away just yet.

For later in the night we have a Dublin band called Sounds Of System Breakdown, who I’m absolutely delighted to have persuaded to play.They’re perhaps the least wedding like band ever to play at a wedding. Which is the point, because it means they’re not horribly cheesy, neither of us can deal with the idea of lots of tat like Karma Chameleon or the usual middle of the road ballads like Toploader. I promise none of that – I can’t wait for some proper live electronic rock. I’m hoping they’ll even play ‘Love Is Only Chemicals’ just for a nice piece of irony. It won’t be for everyone, but they’re an outstanding live band, so those who do like it will love it. The DJ should, hopefully, get everyone moving, too. There are plenty of little things, too, but I’m only going to give away the main things just to keep our little extras quiet for now.

Sounds Of System Breakdown:

What we still have to do is not insignificant, though. We still have to do the final part of our registration, so I have to be absolutely certain that I don’t oversleep and fail to make the registry office on the 11th of May. That’s about the worst thing that could happen. Then there’s the speech to write, probably a few vows (we haven’t decided for certain how we’re doing that bit, yet), and the finer details of the music and photography to be sorted, as well as lots of other smaller details.

I keep getting asked if I’m nervous. There are two things I’m nervous about, really – having to speak, which I hate, and the first dance, which, if anything, is worse. I’ve never been much of a dancer. Other than that, I’m not really nervous about it at all. I’m just hoping I can lose a little bit more weight for the photos before it all gets underway, and that everything goes smoothly, but with the amount of planning that’s gone into it, it should.

And then it’s off on honeymoon – we’ve booked a week in Turkey, and we should have a chance to hop over to a Greek island for the day, too. It’s been far too long since I’ve had a sun holiday, so much needed.

See you in a castle in the west in a little under a month, can’t wait!

J x

Note for the English guests: tradition dictates Irish weddings go on all night. Don’t let the side down!


  1. James Goulden

    I’m really not looking forward to leaving my travels to come back to Ireland but I reckon this day sounds like it should be awesome, well worth the 5000miles I’m gonna travel to be there.

  2. You’re a legend for doing it, thanks man :). I hope it lives up to expectations!

  3. Great blog and I can’t wait to be back for it! I love the choice in music! Hope you don’t expect me to be in too many of the pictures teeheee!!! And surprised to hear your nervous about the speech….always had you down as Mr Confident! Shows what I know. I know Hanh wishes she could come too and the grounds look awesome! Look forward to seeing ya and Helena tying the knot since I was pretty much there from the beginning!!!! 🙂

  4. Please don’t pick up on the deliberate grammar error! Or tell anyone I’m an XXXXXXX teacher!!!

  5. Only about 90% of the pictures is okay, Mr Jones, I’ll let you off the ones of just Helena and I, but all the others ;). Never been big on public speaking, more than about a dozen and I start to feel a bit awkward. A few glasses of wine with dinner should help, though! I don’t envy Dickon, he’s probably got the hardest job – weight of expectation and that. You’re expected to add some serious Korea comedy, though!

    I know you can manage all night, Paul! The only other wedding I’ve been to in Ireland finished up at around 6am, I’ll be happy if we have a few people still going then 🙂

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