For couples tying the knot, it’s all here in Kilkenny

Searching the web for wedding venues, photographers, flowers, etc can lead you all over the country. But what if you just want a purely Kilkenny wedding?

Searching the web for wedding venues, photographers, flowers, etc can lead you all over the country. But what if you just want a purely Kilkenny wedding?

Enter nearlyweds.ie, a new business owned by local wedding photographer Nick O’Keeffe and created by local graphic designer Rachel Morgensen of Made By Firefly.

The website, which was launched in May, includes information on everything from dance lessons and hen nights to hair and makeup, wedding rings, reception and photography venues, bands, transportation and honeymoons.

The idea is to provide the directory both to couples living locally and to those travelling from abroad and elsewhere in Ireland to have their weddings in Kilkenny.

“If you go to other websites and type in ‘photographers, Kilkenny,’ you have every Tom, Dick and Harry from the entire country,” Mr O’Keeffe says. But with such high-quality professionals available in Kilkenny, such as “the likes of Flowers By Lucy – a multi-Chelsea award-winning florist – why do you need someone from Dublin?” he asks.

“What triggered it for me is that I am doing a lot of wedding photography, and for example last week four people came to me and said that they are coming to Kilkenny from Dublin or abroad and they can’t book the church more than a year in advance if they are not from Kilkenny,” Mr O’Keeffe says. “So I had four or five people ask me, ‘Do you have any suggestions of churches close to the hotel?’”

The website also features a blog written by Ms Morgensen about wedding-related topics.

This includes matters such as non-white wedding dresses (“The traditional wedding gown we know and love today hasn’t always been white. In 1840, Queen Victoria walked down the aisle in a white wedding dress and a trend was born,” the blog informs us) and the inspirational colours of springtime.

They also intend to add information about wedding planning, covering issues such as insurance, calculating the total cost of a wedding, pre-marriage courses and other things couples might not be aware of.

There is potential to create pages for other areas too, but for now the plan is to stay local.

“I think it could go national, but for the next couple of years it will be only Kilkenny,” Mr O’Keeffe says. “If I expand on the idea, I will always keep the local element.”

Overall, he says, “I would just like more people that are coming to Kilkenny to get married to use Kilkenny-based suppliers.”

And that includes listing others who are in competition with his main business, he says. “I have no problem recommending 10 photographers if they are from the area.”

“There are fabulous people up and down the country doing an excellent job, but I think there are equally fabulous people in Kilkenny doing the same thing,” he says.