First Ireland Financial Services takes equity in Dragons Den Reject

Runaway Bride and Groom secures investment

L-R: Rosemarie Meleady, The Wedding Planner; Jillian Godsil, Practice PR, and Zara Stassin, Zara’s Planet

L-R: Rosemarie Meleady, The Wedding Planner; Jillian Godsil, Practice PR, and Zara Stassin, Zara’s Planet

Despite the reticence of the Dragons to invest their money in www.RunawayBrideandGroom.com, the new destination wedding and honeymoon branch of established travel agency Zara’s Planet, secured the required investment just three days after filming the program, aired on Thursday 18th March on RTE.

“Being rejected by the Dragons didn’t affect our enthusiasm. We believed we had a great project in the making and we immediately embarked on a fund raising road show that secured the company’s required investment,” says Zara Stassin from www.runawaybrideandgroom.com. The private investment was put in place by First Ireland, one of Ireland’s largest Insurance and Financial Service Providers.

“Runaway Bride and Groom offers a very unique service that we believe is in great demand not only in Ireland but also abroad. The potential for growth, at a national and international level, is tremendous. We also felt the Ultimate Job campaign to launch the site would be a great success and attract interest in Ireland as a wedding destination across the globe, as it has indeed happened,” says Ciaran Rooney, director First Ireland.

Runaway Bride and Groom is planning to be responsible for 3percent of all visitors from the US to Ireland over the next five years for its Celtic weddings and traditional Irish wedding packages.

“We did get some criticism on Dragons’ Den for sending people out of Ireland, but that particular Dragon missed the point completely. We are currently the biggest promoter of Ireland as destination wedding location in the world. And if a couple wish to get married in a vineyard in Italy or on safari in Africa or on a beach in Mauritus – let them! It is their right to choose!” says Rosemarie Meleady, managing director of Runaway Bride and Groom.

“Our main aim is to offer top quality destination wedding packages both abroad and in Ireland. A huge focus for us is to promote Ireland as a good value and one of the most romantic wedding destinations in the world and we are succeeding to do this through our hugely successful Ultimate Job in Ireland (and probably the world!) campaign. This week alone we have been in newspapers in China, Croatia, Brazil, USA, Australia, UK and Korea to name a few. We have also been interviewed by radio stations in Canada, Chicago, Melbourne and Adelaide.”

The Ultimate Job in Ireland (and probably the world!) campaign was launched on 19th February and has directed 100,000 visitors to www.runawaybrideandgroom.com within weeks.

“We have people talking about and thinking about how great Ireland is as a wedding destination right across the world. It has been a phenomenal marketing success thanks to our PR company, Practice PR & Events,” adds Meleady.

To apply for the  Ultimate Job in Ireland (and probably the world!), applicants need to submit an 80 second video application highlighting why Ireland is a great destination wedding location, as well as write 200 words  telling the world about their favourite location in Ireland.

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