WEDDING planner Olivia Buckley is finding the latest exodus of young Irish professionals to Britain is bringing a new wave of custom to her door.
At 33, the Co. Kerry native already has 10 years of experience in the industry, but set out on her own in February.
And now, less than a year since she launched Olivia Buckley Events, the Listowel native is finding the Irish in Britain and in the US among her most frequent customers, who despite the distance are determined to marry back home.
“I gained a lot of experience and made some great contacts working within the wedding industry in Ireland with a national company for 10 years,” Olivia says.
“When I decided the time was right to start up something of my own I was reluctant to leave all that behind. My business is focused on creating very beautiful bespoke weddings and events, and I am well positioned to the international market, as well as the national market in Ireland.”
The businesswoman, who represented Kerry in the Rose of Tralee in 2002, timed the launch of the business with her own move back to her home county where she has set up her business in a ‘beautiful spot’ overlooking Killarney Cathedral.
And it’s there that her clientele — many who are Irish couples based in Britain — will take their first meeting when they commission the wedding planner to help them create their perfect day.
“The economy of Ireland has changed a lot in the last number of years,” Olivia says.
“With many young Irish professional needing to seek employment overseas a lot of enquiries for weddings in Ireland are coming in from Irish couples who are time-poor, living away and needing some support to come back home for their wedding.”
She adds: “The challenge for them while away is finding the support they need to get the wedding they are dreaming of and that’s where I get involved. I am now supporting couples based across London and across Britain and in the US.
“They come over for a weekend and we cover lots of the initial planning. I can offer my experience, contacts and insight to ensure they get the day of their dreams.”
But the delights to be had from Olivia’s bulging contact book does not stop at weddings, as she’s also a dab hand at creating corporate events and the all-important ‘Wow Weekends’ just launched on her website.
“These days nobody wants a tacky hen weekend with L-Plates and bits hanging off them,” she says. “But they do want a classy girly weekend away before the wedding.
“I wanted to change the whole tacky trend and turn it into a really beautiful, classy and elegant experience, so I launched Wow Weekends, where I work with a number of amazing hidden properties in Ireland to create luxury weekend packages for the bride and her girls.”
She added: “Whatever they want – whether to take over a Georgian house for the weekend or to stay at an amazing spa – I have amazing deals for all types of property and spaces.
“Then we package it up with lunches, champagne, private boats, shuttles from the airport, anything they want to make it something spectacular.”
For further information about Olivia Buckley Events visit www.oliviabuckley.com.