The one website that will be a lifesaver for all brides-to-be
Be warned, it gets very addictive.
Planning a wedding can take a lot of time and energy, and, let's face it, a lot of money too. While borrowing things from previous brides or friends can reduce the cost, it's still very handy when you stumble upon a source with the bits and pieces you want for a fraction of the price.
For me, that was Ali Express.
If you've never used it before then the only way to describe it is that it's the Chinese version of eBay, but with lots of shops selling goods for very little. They're not specifically for weddings, but a lot of brides find them very handy.
They have everything from accessories, to veils and even dresses. I never ventured too far down the rabbit hole in terms of buying anything too big, but I found it very handy for buying the smaller items that could cost a lot in Ireland.
I got place cards for the tables, lanterns for the ceiling and even managed to source a rose gold 'love' balloon that I had been looking for in Ireland.
Once you begin to search through Ali Express you won't be able to stop. There are some things to consider though. It can take up to six weeks for the items to be delivered to Ireland with very little traceability.
As you've bought items outside of the European Union, if their value is over €22 then you have to pay Customs Duty and Tax, which means that some of your items may be held with the delivery company until you pay it.
Another minor consideration is that you might not receive exactly what you thought you were buying, so be careful when purchasing more expensive items.
For instance, I ordered 1,000 costume pearls and they arrived in a tiny package. While I did receive a batch of pearls, there didn't appear to be 1,000 and they were also the size of seeds. I could fit all '1,000' of them in one hand.
I ordered once again, and this time they still filled one hand, but were slightly bigger. And once again, there didn't doesn't appear to be 1,000.
Use Ali Express cautiously and it will be your best friend in the run-up to your wedding.