Romance & The Irish, Valentine’s Day

Romance and The Irish

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day we have a nice little infographic which provides some conversation pieces that you can bring up during a romantic Valentine’s meal.

Did you know…
•       The remains of St. Valentine are enshrined in the Carmelite Church, Whitefriar Street in Dublin, Ireland.
•       One of the older romantic Irish traditions was to exchange Claddagh rings as a symbol of love, loyalty and friendship.
•       In modern Ireland today a little under 1 in 3 people say they are looking for marriage to come out of their next relationship.

Infographic courtesy of

Romance & The Irish, Valentine’s Day

Wedding Engagements in Ireland

Wedding Engagements in Ireland – Who Spends The Most?

All you need to know about ‘Wedding Engagements in Ireland’ especially in the lead up to World Marriage Day on February 14th which is an ideal day to celebrate marriage, or to propose. Coincidentally, it is also Valentine’s Day!

For instance:-
·         Cork men spend the most on engagement rings spending €3,500 on average.
·         €50 is the average spend on an engagement gift.
·         The average engagement for an Irish couple is now between 13 and 18 months.

Infographic courtesy of The Wedding Band Shop

Wedding Engagements in Ireland

The Worst Valentine’s Day Dates

Love it or hate it, it’s almost Valentine’s day and according to a new survey conducted by leading online takeaway ordering service JUST EAT, there are plenty of things that irritate us on this romantic occasion. According to the survey, one of the worst things about going out for a date on Valentine’s day is getting stuck beside a “Couple from Hell” with 30% citing couples who indulge in too much PDA (Public Displays of Affection) as their worst nightmare and 28% stating that those couples, that feed each other across the table as the worst offenders. In addition to this, respondents cited that their date being rude to waiting staff (33%) or talking on their mobile phone for the duration of their date (29.5%) as two of their worst nightmare Valentine’s dates. While Donald Trump 26.5%, Enda Kenny 24% and Katie Hopkins 21% topped the poll as those that Irish people would least like to go on a date with this Valentine’s Day.

When it came to the couple most people would like to share a takeaway with on a Valentine’s double date, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi topped the poll at 38.5%, followed by our very own favourite Irish couple Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman at 26%. According to the survey, one of the best things about being single on Valentine’s night is being able to choose your own takeaway without having to consult anyone else at 42.5%. Singletons also chose Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as their dream celebrity date this Valentine’s Day.

Marketing Director for JUST EAT Edel Kinane said: “Valentine’s is one of the most popular nights of the year for staying in and ordering a takeaway on JUST EAT. Whether you’re young free and single or in a relationship, nobody wants to risk going to a restaurant on Valentine’s night and finding themselves stuck beside a ‘couple from hell’, trying to show the world how in love they are! Our survey shows that people would much rather enjoy their favourite takeaway dish in the comfort of their own home on Valentine’s night, whether with friends or with their significant other.”

Some of the other findings from the survey highlighted that:

    • 45% considered Sushi as one of the worst takeaway cuisines to order in on a Valentine’s date night in.
    • 42% voted Chinese as the best takeaway cuisine to order in on Valentine’s date night in.

Connect with JUST EAT on Twitter @JustEatIE, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest orSnapchat on justeatie.

#shhhthehunger this Valentine’s Night, JUST EAT!

Ireland’s first ever DIY Wedding Roadshow

Oh Me, Oh My DIY! Wedding Workshop. Image Credit - Egle Laukyte of White Cat Weddings

Oh Me, Oh My DIY! Wedding Workshop. Image Credit – Egle Laukyte of White Cat Weddings

TWO Cork businesses are joining forces to launch Ireland’s first ever DIY Wedding Roadshow.

Oh Me, Oh My DIY! and will tour the country bringing their DIY workshops to brides at a series of top secret locations during 2016.

Full of fun and creativity, each day-long event will be jam-packed with demos on how to put your own stamp on your wedding. Plus tips on keeping that all-important budget down.

From floristry to bespoke invites, beauty tips to wedding styling – this is a bride-to-be’s dream day!

Each intimate workshop will be styled to a unique theme, with step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the look for your own big day.

A delicious lunch, sweet treats and refreshments will be provided – and a celebratory cocktail will toast your craftiness at the end of the day. Each attendee will leave laden down with goodies and their completed DIY projects.

Cathy O’Donoghue said “Since the recession a few years ago, I think people began getting a bit more creative when it came to home decor, weddings and parties. It’s really rewarding and boosts the old self-esteem to see your ideas take shape!”
“Brides are going to love the workshops for so many reasons! Besides going home with their own DIY projects from the day, they will have a notebook full of tips, tricks, contacts and new ideas.”

The first DIY Wedding Workshop takes place on Sunday 21st February from 11-5pm at the beautiful Flemings Restaurant in Cork City. Tickets priced €140 each. Limited capacity.

To purchase a ticket, go to and for more details email

Oh Me, Oh My DIY! Workshop. Image Credit - Naomi Kamat Photography

Oh Me, Oh My DIY! Workshop. Image Credit – Naomi Kamat Photography

Durex Ireland reveals what we really want this Valentine’s Day

Staying in is sexier than going out on Valentine’s Day. That’s according to new research* by Durex Ireland. The survey finds that although two thirds of Irish couples plan to mark 14thFebruary in some way, over half (47%) would rather stay in and watch a film with their partner.


While a ‘movie night’ is the desire of over half of the couples surveyed, 19% of those in a relationship would like to go out for the standard romantic dinner on Valentine’s and a further 18% would like a night away in a hotel.

The national poll, which surveyed 1,000 Irish adults, was carried out by Durex Ireland to launch its new ‘Cut the Clichés’ campaign promoting the brand’s ‘RealFeel’ range of condoms and lubricants. The ‘RealFeel’ range delivers natural skin-on-skin feeling putting real feeling back into sex. As part of this campaign, Durex Ireland is calling on couples across Ireland to do away with tired old romantic clichés this Valentine’s Day and reignite the intimacy with their partner.


According to the Durex Ireland survey, a loved-up 24% of couples are looking forward to Valentine’s Day and a further 26% of those would hate it if the day was not marked in some way. However, almost a third of those in a relationship (32%) say that the most romantic day of the year is not significant and a cynical 17% think it’s overly commercial.


When it comes to Valentine’s gifts, typically cliché presents are a big no-no among both sexes. The survey found the worst gifts to receive as voted by men and women are:


Male                                                                                     Female

  1. A teddy bear (29%)                          1. A teddy bear (32%)
  2. Flowers (27%)                          2. Sexy underwear (29%)
  3. Sexy underwear (19%)                          3.  Chocolates (12%)


Specifically, an ‘I Love You’ teddy bear was named the worst Valentine’s cliché overall with 42% of Irish people saying it gave them the ‘ick factor’. Over a quarter (28%) say the traditional dozen red roses is overly clichéd and is a turn off. Popping the question also rates high on the schmaltz radar with 9 out of 10 saying that getting engaged or married on the 14th February is the ultimate cliché.

The Durex survey also finds that when it comes to PDA’s, we’re tolerant to a point with 53% saying they think they are lovely. However, a prudish third (32%) say a PDA is fine as long as it’s just holding hands but kissing in public is not ok.

To celebrate this new campaign, Durex Ireland has enlisted the help of sexologist Emily Power Smith to help couples keep from simply going through the motions this Valentine’s Day and to put some real feeling back into their sex lives.

Commenting on the research Irish sexologist Emily Power Smith says:

“When it comes to gifts or ways to spend Valentine’s Day the clichés exist because they were at one point the most popular way to express love. “I love you” teddy bears were once novel and replaced flowers and chocolates as the currency of love. Now they are deemed passé and are often replaced with staying in and watching a movie. Sure, it’s free, no effort is required and watching a good movie will quash any chance of a meaningful conversation for those of us who might be exhausted, broke or not wanting to take any romantic risks. But is that really any better when real connection is required?

Judging by the Durex Ireland research we are in need of a shake-up and a rethink about how we approach romance and our relationships. There is nothing wrong with clichés if they are meaningful to you. But if you’re trying to repair an intimacy chasm by using the cliché as a Band-Aid, it’s time to consider your options for creating a deeper, more authentic connection (which inevitably leads to better sex!). This is what the Durex Ireland campaign is all about. So on the 14th February instead of going through the same tired old clichés, why not try something new with your partner.”

 Emily Power Smith’s top tips on how to reignite intimacy in your relationship this Valentine’s Day

  1. The foundation of good sex is feeling connected. This can happen differently for different people. Some people (often female) need to feel a non-sexual connection before they can feel sexual, and others (usually male) find that they feel connected as a result of being sexual. Rather than blaming each other if you need different things to feel connected, start a conversation where you can share your personal views and needs around connection and try to learn about each other. This is best done outside the bedroom over a cuppa or glass of wine.


  1. Get yourself a really nice lubricant. It’s a good rule to always have lube by the bed for self-loving, stimulating your partner, and for penetration as it provides a sexy slide. If you worry about hurting the penis when giving a hand-job, introduce lube. Suddenly you have the freedom to try different strokes, pressure and speeds. It has been known to turn novices into sexperts! However it’s important to remember that lube is not a replacement for a proper warm-up for those about to be penetrated!


  1. Learn to communicate about your sexual needs/desires/wants. If this seems difficult start practicing alone by describing what you’re doing while self-loving to get used to hearing the words coming out of your mouth before trying with a partner. Talking about what you like can be easier when outside the bedroom. Give your partner a head’s up before the conversation so they know what’s coming and remember to keep it light and focussed on what you’d like rather than what they do wrong


  1. If penetrative sex has always been your main course, it’s time to re-assess your menu. Penetrative sex will not always be possible for a variety of reasons such intimate discomfort (often remedied by a good lubricant). If that’s what you rely on for satisfaction it can leave you bereft, frustrated and angry if it isn’t possible. Think of your sexual menu more as a table of Tapas with penetration being one of many dishes. It may be your favourite, but if it’s off the menu there’s loads more you can try. It gives you choice and freedom to express your sexuality no matter what happens.


  1. Get your kit off! Once you’re in bed and warmed up get naked. Choose skin-on-skin over snugly PJs and see what happens. If you can’t fall asleep in an embrace then give yourselves a good ten minutes naked before rolling away from each other. But give yourselves that time every night for two weeks. Being naked together in an embrace may be all you have energy for so don’t expect fireworks every time. Just enjoy the touch, smell and warmth of your partner and relax into a loving state.


The Durex RealFeel range is available nationwide and has a RRSP of RealFeel 6’s €12.99, RealFeel 12s €18.99 and RealFeel Lube 50ml €12.49. For more information on great sex, visit:

Models Baiba and Mathew at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin to launch this years Honeymoony Pavillion at Holiday World Show 2015 at the RDS which opens it's doors to the public from 2pm on Friday Janurary 23rd until Sunday 25th, with over 1,000 travel experts from 50 different countries. Picture:Arthur Carron

Exclusive honeymoon deals only at Holiday World Show Dublin

December is the most popular time of the year to get engaged, thanks to festive decorations, champagne and lots of gatherings with family and friends. Start planning your special day at the Holiday World Show Dublin, taking place from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th January 2016, to get the inside track on where to go and how to pay less for your honeymoon or wedding abroad.

The annual Holiday World Show allows newlyweds and loved up couples the opportunity to plan their honeymoon or wedding abroad with confidence, offering a huge range of options. The Holiday World Show Dublin 2016 at the RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin is ‘the’ travel show to learn of new trends and ideas.  With numerous ‘show only’ deals available, this is the ideal opportunity to book a honeymoon and see the world without breaking the bank.


Models Baiba and Mathew  at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin to launch this years Honeymoony Pavillion at Holiday World Show 2015 at the RDS which opens it's doors to the public from 2pm on Friday Janurary 23rd until Sunday 25th, with over 1,000 travel experts from 50 different countries.  Picture:Arthur Carron

Models Baiba and Mathew at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin to launch this years Honeymoony Pavillion at Holiday World Show 2015 at the RDS which opens it’s doors to the public from 2pm on Friday Janurary 23rd until Sunday 25th, with over 1,000 travel experts from 50 different countries.
Picture:Arthur Carron

From romantic trips to Rome to scenic home holidays, safaris in Africa to surfing in Bali, the experts are on hand to recommend the best honeymoon for you. The popular honeymoon destinations of Mexico and Jamaica will be present, as well as a host of top cruise companies! Or why not plan a truly romantic wedding by jetting off and marrying abroad in sunny Spain, on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean or up close with Africa’s wildlife.

With over 50 countries represented, almost 1,000 travel and tourism professionals will be ready to give advice and detailed, expert information on how to make the most of a honeymoon and how to get the best value. Instead of trawling through endless confusing websites, the experts on hand at the show will be able to give one-to-one guidance and the information that visitors need to ensure a terrific and unforgettable honeymoon that’s best suited to them.

Holiday World Show 2016 will again host the free Eoghan Corry Travel Summit in association with Dublin Airport facilitated by renowned travel journalist Eoghan Corry where leading industry experts will give talks and answer visitors’ questions on topics such as Cruises, Weddings Abroad, Safaris and Exotic Destinations, as well as Home Holidays.  These informative and enjoyable seminars prove hugely popular with visitors every year.

For up to date information on Holiday World Show 2016 see .

Three of the Best Long Haul Honeymoons for 2014 from the ITAA

This week the ITAA have compiled three of the best long haul Honeymoon offers available now on

5* Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali, 9 nights, August 2014, from €1740pp  

This August Bowe Travel Thurles have the ultimate in luxury travel with a 5* honeymoon package in beautiful Bali. If you’re looking for paradise on your honeymoon the Nusa Dua Beach hotel promises to deliver. The hotel has five a la carte restaurants, four bars, a private beach, a gym and spa, expansive gardens and four luxurious pools.

Price includes flights, 9 nights B&B in a Deluxe room the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, taxes and private return transfers. Offer available for travel in August 2014.

For just €315pp guests can upgrade to a Palace Club Room which grants guests numerous special entitlements including access to the Palace Club Lounge, complimentary high tea every day, free wine and a butler!

For more information on this offer from Bowe Travel visit:

4* Medhufushi Island Resort, Maldives, 7 nights, May & June 2014, from €1569pp


For any brides or grooms who are running a little behind with their honeymoon plans – Classic Resorts have the holiday for you. Available from 1st May – 22nd June this four star Maldives adventure with half board accommodation in a Beach Villa is the perfect start to your ‘happily ever after’. Following an unforgettable airport transfer via seaplane, all honeymooners will receive a complimentary fruit basket and bottle of wine on arrival.


Optional upgrades include accommodation in a water villa for €165pp, or full board for €265pp.

For more information on this offer from Classic Resorts visit:


Discover South Africa Safari, 11 nights, May – August 2014, from €1695pp

Newly wedded curious explorers will love this South African safari adventure from Travel Focus. The journey begins with flights from Ireland to South Africa, where, upon arrival, they will be transferred to their hotel in Cape Town for a four night B&B stay.  When checking out of their Cape Town hotel guests will be given a complimentary car rental which they will use for the rest of their trip encompassing two nights B&B in the Winelands, two nights B&B on the Garden Route, and finally two nights full board accommodation at Eastern Cape Safari. At Eastern Cape Safari guests will be treated to a safari excursion in both the morning and the evening on both days of their stay.


There are numerous additional activities which can be booked with Travel Focus ahead of the trip to customise your own bespoke dream honeymoon; additional activities will be at extra cost.

For more information on this offer from Travel Focus visit:

Fantastic surprise by Priest at Wedding Mass

priest Ray Kelly sings at wedding

A Priest, Fr Ray Kelly, has surprised a whole Church full of people at the wedding ceremony of Chris and Leah O’Kane. That’s all I’ll say, as I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Watch the video below!


New TV show “I Do… Take Two”, to give couples a chance to right all the wrongs that occurred on their wedding day

Your wedding day – it’s supposed to be the biggest day of your life.  But maybe it didn’t quite go to plan and instead went more down the pan.


Did a storm scupper your marquee reception or a rogue page-boy create a ruckus in the church? Maybe the best man’s speech revealed too much detail about the ladsy stag. Did a key family member not make it to the ceremony, the rings go missing or the groom’s fly was down? Or perhaps your honeymoon turned into a five star disaster.


Whatever your wedding day catastrophe, Tyrone Productions want to hear from you. They’re currently looking for married couples for a new show – ‘I Do…Take Two’ – in which married couples get to renew their wedding vows and right the wrongs from Big Day number one by doing it all again – but this time just how you dreamed it would be.



No matter how long you’ve been married – be it one year or 50 years – make a big romantic gesture by getting in touch with them now. Email Robert with your wedding day disasters at with your name, phone number, where you’re from and how long you’ve been married.

Ultimate Weddings Live in Association with FRANC comes to Kilkenny this October!

The wedding show that should not be missed will be happening at The Hub, Kilkenny on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th October!  Meet FRANC, the name that is synonymous with everything stylish and individual in the wedding industry who will share his expertise and vision and help you make your day unique.


Ultimate Weddings Live have also have brought together a host of local exhibitors who will professionally advise and assist you in planning and booking your entire wedding easily and stress free.


With everything from reception venues and dresses to cars and favours, they have assembled all you could need under one roof to help you make your big day extra special.


Ultimate Weddings Live events are action-packed days out with so much to interest a bride-and groom-to-be. Venues to menus, flowers, cakes, video and photographers – in just a few hours at Ultimate Weddings Live it is possible for you to book your whole wedding thanks to the fantastic selection of professional, affordable wedding vendors. Meet the people who’ll be supplying your wedding services face-to-face on the day, check out discounts and offers and quickly work out what the competition has to offer. For the busy couple, it’s stress-free, fun and a great day out.


Relax and enjoy the Catwalk shows, starring models from the Andrea Roche Model Agency, which will be staged at 1.30 and 5.00 each day. All gowns and groomswear will be available from stockists exhibiting at the event.


Be entertained and informed by “An Audience with Franc” from the main stage at 3.00 each day.


Presale tickets can be booked on for just €5 or you can pay €7 at the door.


For more information please contact Joanne Maloney on 0878346147