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Tuesday, 01 June 2021

Weddings With: Alison (aka Bespoke Words)

We recently chatted with Alison (aka Bespoke Words) about her work as a Celebrant and Solemniser in Ireland. Keep reading to learn more about what Alison's work involves and to learn about some of her top tips for couples who are thinking of hosting their ceremony at the Maryborough:

My name is Alison Driscoll, and I am a Cork based Celebrant and registered Solemniser with Entheos Ireland. My business name is Bespoke Words because that is what I offer – a ceremony tailored to you carefully crafted by me, a wordsmith. I am a storyteller and writer and I just love to celebrate life and love with my couples. I adore getting to know you and noting all the lovely details that make you such a great couple. I weave these into the ceremony and so your personality jumps off the page. I offer a relaxed, calm and lighthearted ceremony that doesn’t need to compromise on your values or wishes. I can legally marry you in your venue without restriction on the form or content of your ceremony from song choice to room layout. I am celebrating modern love stories and changing the way we view the ceremony part– it can be as much fun as all the dancing and chatting, you just need to find the right person to bring it all together.

Our first question for you today is - what are some of your favourite things about The Maryborough as a wedding venue in Cork?

The location and setting of the Maryborough are what makes it so perfect. It is so close to everything logistically for those travelling from Cork, Ireland and further afield. The setting itself is exquisite – the grounds, those hydrangeas! The landscape of the Maryborough is divine. It’s such an oasis but still has that real luxe feel of a high-class hotel. I love the entrance to the Maryborough too and the iconic photos snapped on the steps. The staff are exemplary too – Ellis and all the weddings and events team are so attentive, relaxed and welcoming. Above all else though my favourite thing is the Orangery. That ceremony space is among the nicest in the country, and I have seen a lot! There is something so magical about it – it really is breathtaking. And even if the sun is belting down and your ceremony is indoors, you’re overlooking the most amazing, luscious gardens. There is a connection to the grounds and to light at any time of year and it really is a hidden gem.


What is your most memorable Maryborough moment?

For me, it was the hand-tying ceremony during Jennifer and Dan’s December wedding. Watching those two literally tie the knot with such joy and enthusiasm was a real moment. And Shane from Sosac Photography captured it so perfectly as well (see photo on the left)! They are such a beautiful couple, and their ceremony was absolutely stunning. From the moment Jennifer walked in to Stand by Me with that beaming smile I knew it was going to be a gorgeous day.


What are some top tips you have for couples who choose to hold their ceremony at our luxury hotel in Cork?

Have your ceremony on site! Honestly, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough, it is so lovely to be able to flow through your day all in one place. Think about your music and where you are going to put the musician/speaker. It’s important that whoever is looking after this knows when to play etc. as music really compliments a ceremony so much. The Maryborough is always immaculately decorated and particularly the Orangery with the hanging wisteria. Don’t get caught up on adding lots of décor as the space really speaks for itself. Its beauty is understated elegance and really shines. Don’t get caught up on outdoor photos. This is Ireland after all! Of course, the grounds are amazing and weather permitting absolutely soak it up, but if the weather doesn’t go your way, the indoor spaces are so gorgeous for photos!


Based on your experience, what makes the Maryborough an ideal venue for civil ceremonies in Cork?

As mentioned above, the Orangery is a huge draw for couples to the Maryborough. It’s not often you find such an amazing ceremony space, so you are really lucky you have this available at the Maryborough. The space is comfortable, light and airy and does not require extra décor or fuss. Many couples I have spoken to have booked the Maryborough for the Orangery. The Maryborough is also a legally registered venue, meaning you can legally marry there 7 days a week! It is a luxury hotel with a relaxed feel in my opinion, which is because the staff are so excellent at what they do. It is always smooth sailing at the Maryborough.


What advice do you have for those booking a celebrant led wedding ceremony?

Please do some research first on some options. You will be putting so much trust and time in this person it is so important that you click! Also, check their affiliations and see if there are any restrictions imposed on you by their governing body when it comes to the content of your ceremony. Find someone who you gel with, and you would gladly walk up the aisle to meet. Personally, I create a ceremony in collaboration with my couples. There is nothing in it that isn’t “them”. It is your day, and I am there to make special, relaxed and personal.

When you have found your Celebrant get cracking on your paperwork if you are legally marrying. There is a huge backlog at the moment and everywhere is busy. It is one of the essential things you have to do so there is no point delaying it. It isn’t too complicated, but it does require some paperwork and planning. If you choose to work with me, I will gladly guide you through this.

Also, it is never too early to start thinking about finer details. I always encourage my couples to keep notes of readings, quotes, ideas etc. of things they like, and definitely don’t like, in advance of their wedding so that when it comes to the ceremony planning you have some ideas yourself.