After being crowned Ireland’s Wedding Coordinator of the Year 2019, Georgina Howley from the Silver Tassie sits down with DonegalWoman.ie to tell us how she makes couples' dreams come true.
There’s a lot of work involved in being a wedding coordinator, but there’s so much to love about the job too.
Georgina Howley has spent the last three years as wedding coordinator at the Silver Tassie Hotel outside Letterkenny. She has guided countless couples through the biggest days of their lives, but there is one special moment of the experience that always stands out to her.
“The main thing I love to see is when the couple arrives at the hotel on the day of their wedding, to see their smiles and to know I’ve been a major part of their dream day is an amazing feeling,” Georgina tells Donegal Woman.
Georgina won the prestigious title of Irish Wedding Coordinator of the Year 2019 in January at the Irish Wedding Awards. She’s still beaming with pride at the accolade and counts the ceremony as a career highlight for herself and her colleagues.
“We were up against some of the very best in the business. There was so much competition. When they called my name I was totally shocked I could barely move off the chair.”
‘It’s great for the hotel. My name is on the award but it’s down to everyone on the team’
Dedication to the role seems to be what sets Georgina apart from the rest. On the day of a wedding, she will be in the Silver Tassie from 9am ensuring everything runs smoothly right up to the evening buffet when hotel Manager John Brown takes over.
Georgina explains: “Many wedding coordinators work 9-5, Monday to Friday, and are not always there on the day to see everything through to the very end.
“I think we are a very rare hotel in that the coordinator is here for your initial enquiry, when you book your wedding, finalising your details and then to greet you at the door and look after you all through your big day; And that’s what I do love.”
Joining the Silver Tassie family
Georgina, who is originally from Sligo, has worked in the hotel industry from the age of 15. She has a degree in Hotel Management and ten years of experience in events and weddings at the Sligo Park Hotel.
A love of weddings inspired her to branch out into her full-time coordinator role at the Silver Tassie. She continues to enjoy every day, she says.
‘It’s been the best move ever. I absolutely love it.’
Georgina has adopted the family-run hotel values of Silver Tassie owners Ciaran and Rose Blaney, which enhances the service and care that she gives each couple.
She says: “What’s nice about here is that it is a family-run hotel and we treat every couple as our family. We have such a good relationship with them the whole way up from the booking right through to the day of the wedding.”
Georgina also sees her fellow staff like family, which means they can work together to be a reassuring presence for wedding couples.
‘We build a trust so that each couple knows that myself or John will always be there to help in any situation.’
Above and Beyond
Sometimes wedding emergencies require the team to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Things don’t always go to plan, but Georgina believes there is no problem that can’t be solved on the day, right down to secretly replacing replica cakes at the last minute!
She recalls: “A day when a cake collapsed on the morning of the wedding. I contacted a girl I know in Ramelton and got her to make and decorate a fake cake to put on display”
“Nobody even noticed. That evening when I quietly told the couple – they just couldn’t believe it. They were so thankful that we had dealt with the problem without causing them any unnecessary stress.”
‘They were so thankful that we had dealt with the problem without causing them any unnecessary stress.’
The joy of arranging a great wedding reception is all well and good, but Georgina admits she enjoys the morning after just as much.
“I love chatting to wedding couples the day after their wedding and hearing how much they enjoyed it. When they thank me and are genuinely so happy, it makes me very proud to have been part of their big day.”
Top wedding planning tips
From her years of experience, Georgina knows exactly what couples should prioritise when planning a wedding and The Silver Tassie ticks all the boxes. She says:
‘Everyone remembers the food and the entertainment from a wedding. Our food is top class and our service and attention to detail is what makes us Wedding Venue of the Year’
The Silver Tassie Hotel also has a strict policy of having just one wedding per day, ensuring parties get their full attention.
Quality and tradition is at the heart of what they do, but Georgina says there’s always room for modern twists in their popular wedding packages.
“We always try every year to come up with a quirky new option for couples. We are the first wedding hotel to create our own handmade donut wall and it has taken off massively,” she says.
“The drinks reception is also a huge trend, we’re seeing more gin bars, pimping your prosecco, cocktails and beer instead of the traditional sparkling wine.
“Vintage and fairytale trends have been around for so long too and they don’t seem to be going anywhere.”
Georgina is also seeing a rise in popularity for civil ceremonies and humanist weddings. The Silver Tassie Hawthorn suite offers an intimate setting for celebrations, while the Woodlands Suite serves as the largest function room with its own private arrivals area set apart from the main hotel.
Georgina is already planning and looking forward to Silver Tassie weddings booked right up to the year 2022. If you would like to arrange a show around with Ireland’s Number 1 Wedding Coordinator then contact Georgina on 074-9125619 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.