Honeymoon tips for a destination that suits you both

By Catherine MaGuire

Your honeymoon should be the most magical holiday of your life, giving you time to unwind and enjoy each other’s company after all the excitement of your wedding day.

And just as your choice of venue for your wedding day reflects your own personalities, you’ll want a honeymoon destination that suits you both. Remember – there is no obligation to lie on a beach for two weeks!

‘A quiet, relaxing time together – anywhere would do’

If all you want is time together and the stress of long-haul flights isn’t your scene, then a beautiful cottage in Tuscany may serve you just as well as an all-inclusive Far Eastern beach holiday.

‘A little bit of luxury and privacy’

If you want something glam and gorgeous, then saving on travel in favour of a top-class location may be the best bet. You could fly to France, but then stay in a succession of luxurious chateaux and hotels.

‘A taste of adventure’

Perhaps you’ve both always wanted to do something a little bit different and adventurous. Whether it’s an African safari, white-water rafting, snorkelling and diving or trekking, make sure, that you both have the same idea of what you’re letting yourself in for. Your Honeymoon is not the time to try somewhere unusual that you’re not going to like.

‘To see the sights’

Perhaps you can think of nothing more romantic than sitting together in a cafe in St. Mark’s Square, Venice or wandering through the ancient temples of Luxor. Make sure you do your research – there’s nothing worse than getting home and finding that the museum/gallery you’ve always meant to visit was literally just around the corner from your hotel!

‘Sun, sea and sand’

Walking hand-in-hand through the surf on a white sandy beach is surely the definitive honeymoon scene. Just be sure – especially if you are active types – that you really do want to be lazing around for all that time. You might consider combining the tropical beach with a week of…


An activity element – perhaps walking, skiing or cycling – can be perfect if you both love the activity involved. After all the stress of the wedding – and all that food and drink – some exercise can be invigorating and restorative. But avoid forcing your favourite activity on your less-than-enthusiastic new spouse.

‘Best of both worlds’

Honeymoons are supposed to be romantic – but even the most intense lovebirds need a break! The most popular choice nowadays is a ‘dual centre’ break, combining a week of beach-based relaxation with a more active or city-based week.

For more information and advice please contact: Catherine Maguire

Telephone0504 33333


bordgáisenergybookclub.ie Reveals Book Lovers Favourite Love Stories

Key findings:


  • o It’s all about the breeches! Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy sends hearts aflutter as 55% of those surveyed think he is literature’s most romantic leading man
  • o Almost half (49%) of Irish booklovers say that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is their all-time favourite classic love story
  • o One Day by David Nicholls and Atonement by Ian McEwan polled equally as the number one modern day love story
  • o Tissues at the ready! A third of Irish people surveyed bybordgaisenergybookclub.ie think The Notebook is the best movie based on a romance novel, followed by Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind, with 17% and 13% of the votes

Mr. Darcy is the ‘ideal man’ according to a new survey conducted by Ireland’s biggest book club bordgaisenergybookclub.ie.  To mark Valentine’s Day, the survey sought to reveal the favourite love stories and characters of all time among Irish booklovers.  Over half of those polled (55%) voted Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice as their favourite male character in a romance novel, Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights came in second (15%) and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind followed as a close third (14%).


Pride and Prejudice was voted as the all-time favourite classic love story with a whopping 49% of respondents’ number one votes. However, only 17% of respondents chose it as their favourite movie so it appears the love for the book outweighed the love for the movie – despite that famous lake scene portrayed by Colin Firth. Gone with the Wind and Wuthering Heights were voted as the second and third favourite classic love stories with 20% and 19% of Irish readers’ votes.


When asked to choose their favourite female character in a romance novel, Irish literary lovers chose Jane Eyre with 28% of the vote.  Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind and Emma from One Day were also among the favourites with 27% and 24% of the votes respectively.


The results for modern love stories are not quite as unanimous, both One Day by David Nicholls and Atonement by Ian McEwan were voted joint favourites with each receiving 24% of respondents’ votes. These were followed by The Bridges of Madison County (20%), Twilight (18%) and Irish best-seller, PS I Love You (17%).


People love a good tearjerker and when asked to pick their favourite movie based on a romance novel the results were as follows: The Notebook (28%), Pride and Prejudice (16%), Gone with the Wind (15%), Dr. Zhivago (10%), Atonement (9%), Twilight (7%), Wuthering Heights (7%), One Day (8%), Jane Eyre (3%), P.S. I Love You (1.9%).



*This survey was carried out amongst 105 adults


How about an Underwater Marriage Proposal this Valentine’s

Here’s a lovely opportunity highlighted by our friends at De-Stress 4 Life

You can try a scuba dive with  Atlantic Diving School based in Co. Clare, under the watchful eye of Chris Healy who recently broke a World Record

Discover Scuba diving is an experience designed for those who want to test the waters and who have a little adventure in their blood.

You will be shown the basic safety procedures for an enjoyable scuba dive under the watchful eye of a Qualified PADI instructor.

Please be aware that PADI Discover Scuba diving is not a diving certification but an introduction to diving in a safe environment.

If you’re feeling confident enough why not propose marriage underwater? Bring a little sign with you or have the instructor carry it saying ‘Will You Marry Me?’. You could even bring the ring if you’re feeling brave enough. Tie a piece of string to it to ensure it’s not lost in the seaweed or sand though! You could also use a temporary ring, especially if wearing dive gloves. You could also ask Chris (or whatever dive instructor is going to be with you) to hide the ring in the box in spot where you can ‘find’ it on the dive. Most dive spots have well recognised landmarks by those who frequently dive them, so ‘finding’ the box shouldn’t be any trouble.

What You Need
A Bathing Suit
A Large Towel
A Sense of Adventure
All other equipment is provided
80€ Per Couple
Contact Chris Healy at 086 0570544
or chris@atlanticdivingschool

To make your reservation

Visit Atlantic Diving School on Facebook

Romantic Valentines Moonlight Walk Marriage Proposal

For anyone planning to propose marriage this coming Valentines Weekend or maybe just would like a nice romantic walk in the open countryside under the light of the moon but with the safety of group of other walkers, a nice service is available through www.wildernessfitness.ie

This is from their website:

We can’t bring you to Paris, but we can definitely bring the romance to you.
Picture this, your partner and you on a romantic moonlight stroll through the beautiful Valley of Glenmalure in the heart of Co. Wicklow.
This Valentines weekend, strike all the right cords with your lover in the beautiful garden of Ireland. You both can relax while the team of cupids at Wilderness Fitness take care of the romance for you. Just show up with your loved one and we will do the rest.

The emphasis will be on enjoyment for you, and as such the walking route chosen is a moderate to easy in exertion levels.
It will take about 2 or 3 hours to complete and we promise to have you back in time to enjoy a drink by the fire!

Valentines Moonlight Walks are also available in Cork, Galway and Tollymore Forest Park, Belfast
Departure time for walks is 7.30pm on Fri 10th Feb 2012
Advanced booking is essential by calling (01) 6606 442 or (087) 095 8280
Price is only €60 per couple

So what are you waiting for?
Glenmalure is waiting to seduce!

Leap Year Proposals! Ladies what are you waiting for?

Ladies this is your year to propose marriage! If your man is a bit slow to pop the question, why not take advantage of an old tradition which actually dates back to 5th century Ireland. The story goes that St. Bridget persuaded St. Patrick to allow women to ask their men to marry them. he was in favour of every seven years, but she persuaded him that every four years would be better. Hence the leap year marriage proposal was born.

In medieval times if the man proposed to turned down the offer he had to pay a forfeit of one pound and a pair of gloves or a silk gown. So if you are turned down perhaps you can invoke the old custom and end up (after inflation taken into account) with a tidy sum and a new wardrobe!

Of course in this modern age ladies can and do propose marriage whenever they want. But why not take advantage of this romantic tradition and choose 29th February 2012 to ask your man to marry you?

This year the 29th of February falls on a Wednesday so you can plan a weekend away afterwards, or book a hotel for the night, book a romantic meal in a nice restaurant or arrange a surprise at home for him.

There are many ways you can surprise him. It depends on your own personality types whether you go for something public and extravagant or something a little more private and low key. If he’s a sporty type check if there’s any matches on that he may be interested in. You may be able to contact whoever looks after the scoreboard to organise a pre-prepared banner to be draped over it at half time. Maybe he plays indoor sports, likewise you could organise a surprise for him in the squash court/indoor soccer hall etc. Even just go for a walk, weather permitting, through a local woods. You could organise a kind of treasure trail. Behind one tree place a bottle of his favourite beer, behind another tree place a ticket to a concert or match. You could even just post little love notes if money is tight. Eventually you end up at a nice spot where you may have a sign with the words ‘will you marry me?’ on it. To ensure things go smoothly you may need to enlist some help to place the items in the various prearranged locations.
Anyhow the possibilities are endless, the only limit is your imagination. You could have great fun planning and organising it.
Go on! Take the chance, he might be just waiting for it. Be romantic and creative and come back and tell us all about it. If he says yes make sure to revisit to plan your wedding. Good Luck!

Amazing marriage proposal that really raises the bar!

This video has really raised the bar when it comes to marriage proposals. Watch and enjoy

Win a Free Wedding Photography Package worth over €2000!

With the recent downturn many couples are struggling to find the wedding they really want and truly deserve. Selina O Meara Photography is offering one lucky couple the chance to win a full days photography covering all aspects of your special day.

So, even if the spuds are cold or the band’s out of tune, you will be guaranteed to have a beautiful timeless album, with award winning photographer Selina having captured your special day for you in her unique way.

So if you have a story to tell, or know of someone who you think deserves a break, enter the competition now by emailing: selinaomeara@eircom.net and tell your story. Winner will be announced in July 2011. Winning story may be published.

Couples wanted for Francs DIY Brides

Wedding planner extraordinaire “Franc” is back!
This time in the role of “Mentor” to brides on a budget.

The series will follow brides and their fiancés as they prepare for their wedding day while being closely mentored by Ireland’s leading wedding expert, “Franc”.

The happiest day of your life can actually be an expensive experience. Franc has come up with a host of ingenious ideas to help brides on a budget feel that they aren’t budget brides. He is going to share his tips and flair with 6 lucky couples to help them create their very own cost effective wedding!

But Do It Yourself, means Do it Yourself!
In his new series, Franc is not the wedding planner but he is going to teach six Brides and Grooms all his “tricks of the trade”, so that they can produce their own unique wedding by doing the work themselves. By rolling up their sleeves and taking Franc’s creative tips on board, the couples will not only get their own unique wedding but will also be able to make a limited budget go further than they could have imagined all because they are going to do it themselves with Franc by their side.

For couples who have been putting off their wedding because of financial constraints or for those couples who haven’t a clue how to create that ‘wow’ factor for their wedding – Franc will dip into his box of wedding tricks to show these couples how by using their imagination, creativity and by enlisting the help of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, they will be able to make the most of their money to create their own couture wedding.

From stunning second hand wedding dresses to home made cakes to smelted heirloom rings and décor that will blow you away, Franc has the ideas and ‘know how’ that every bride wants and needs, to turn a wedding on a limited budget into an exclusive, stylised ‘dream come true’ event.

As Franc says “you don’t have to look like a budget bride just because you are a bride on a budget”

If couples would like to participate in this new RTÉ series, they must be getting married between July and December 2011.

Download application form here

Summer ‘Wedding Special’ Issue of De-Stress is now available online

Planning a wedding can be quite stressful. To help alleviate the stress it is worth any bride and grooms time to have a look at the Summer ‘Wedding Special’ Issue of De-Stress, published by Stress-Solutions 4 Life, now available online. Just click on the image below. Best viewed in Fullscreen mode.

Alternative Hen Weekends with Just Cooking.ie in Co Kerry

Kerry based Cookery School ‘Just Cooking’ located in Firies, County Kerry have launched details of their Alternative Hens Packages for the Irish wedding market on their website www.justcooking.ie. The Cookery school, which is conveniently located just twenty minutes from Killarney and ten minutes from Tralee, have put together courses and linked up with local hotels and Spa’s to offer Hen groups a very different experience to the usual Hen activities available in Kerry. From Asian Cuisine Courses, a Spanish Tapas Course to a Beginners Course there is something to suit everyone. The group will be greeted on arrival with Champagne and Canapés. They will then be treated to a meal prepared for you, with tips and tricks on how to achieve it yourself, by award winning chef Mark Doe. Wine will be served throughout and parties can also bring there own wine if they wish to have something more specific. Once the course has ended arrangements can be made by Bernie Doe to get the group to their next destination.

Both Killarney and Tralee are very popular Hen destinations and Mark and Bernie Doe, proprietors of Just Cooking Cookery School, feel that what they have to offer adds to the charm of having your weekend break or evening out in Kerry. They are also delighted to announce that they are now running their Just Cooking Alternative Hen Party Packages in the Kenmare area, another extremely popular Hen weekend destination. Mark and Bernie feel that there is a huge market for what they have to offer; “We have had Hen parties on our courses in the past and they have been delighted and surprised with what we have on offer here at Just Cooking so we decided to expand on this and give them something more and cater to the Hen parties that want to do something different. We can cater for a variety of needs and groups and I must say the craic is always great on our courses! Many brides these days want to do something other than go straight to the pub and our courses provide a great fun evening or day with a difference”.

Just Cooking can cater for day courses and evening courses as well as self catering groups in the Tralee, Killarney and Kenmare area. Just Cooking can come to your self catering accommodation and cook for your group offering the same high standard courses at your convenience. Please contact Mark or Bernie Doe on 066 979 3660/
0866095318 or email info@justcooking.ie. You can also log onto www.justcooking.ie for more detail on the amazing Hotels, Spas and activities that are part of the Just Cooking Hen Weekends to see what best suits your group.