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What to expect at a post-lockdown wedding, according to a hotel manager

The thoughts of attending a wedding feels like a complete dream at the moment, but the team at Hotel Doolin are already preparing for their first post-lockdown nuptials in mid-August! We are all eager to find out how things will shape out as social distancing becomes part of our daily lives, so we chatted to Hotel Doolin’s Donal Minihane about what weddings will look like over the coming months. 

Co. Clare’s Hotel Doolin is one hotel preparing to re-open and the team there is currently rallying to make the necessary changes. General manager, Donal Minihane, is confident the team can alter the premises and work with most of the guidelines, while complying with the minimum two-metre rule.

Minihane said: “The safety of our team and our customers is paramount, so we welcome the measures Failte Ireland has put forward. Of course, they’re not ideal but they are necessary for the time being and as we are North Clare’s largest employer, we’re powering on and making the best of it so we can get our full team, both full-timers and part-timers, back to work. 

“There is a lot of work to do but we consider ourselves to be a small but mighty team. We are Ireland’s only carbon neutral hotel – an accolade we never would have won had it not been for creativity and focus, so we’re confident we can work the new measures to create the lively, entertaining and charming atmosphere we’ve always been known for, while also keeping everyone safe and comfortable. 

“When it comes to weddings, which are all hosted in our large eco-barn, we’re not badly off at all. We’ve been hosting our wedding meeting on Zoom with virtual tours of the venue up to this point. 

“Our first wedding is scheduled for mid-August and lots of the recommended changes are things we were doing for all weddings anyway, like serving only plated-food opposed to buffet style, pouring wine and water for guests, afters food in single portions. 

“There will of course be some changes. We are looking at painting a gorgeous mural on one of our walls to display the menu for each wedding. We’ll be spacing our tables to two-metres apart. We’ve plenty of space in our eco-barn so this shouldn’t affect guest list numbers too much, although of course we are still awaiting an update from Government on this. 

“For the moment, we’re recommending to our couples that they keep families together on their table plan and it’s a max of six people per table. We’ve plenty of space for arrival receptions and with four separate bars, indoor and outdoor, available for weddings, reception guests won’t have to worry about any long wait times for a drink, while also social distancing. Our outdoor spaces can be covered if the weather isn’t on-side. Our white stretch tent gives an authentic festival vibe so if there’s a need to use outdoor areas, it will still be impressive.” 

Nestled along the breath-taking Wild Atlantic Way, Hotel Doolin is a haven from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

“We’re quite lucky in that we are a huge hub here in the local community and we thank our loyal customers for their continued support and concern over the last few months. We’re very excited about the prospect of welcoming guests that may not have been with us before and we’ve got lots of value and unique experiences on offer.

For more information or to make a booking, visit hoteldoolin.ie 

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