With all the romance of winter holidays, and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the season for wedding proposals and with it the beginning of wedding planning. Across Ireland, there are beautiful venues prepared to work with you to ensure that your day is everything you hope for.
Whether you hope to say “I do” surrounded by flowers or surrounded by Irish history, each unique venue has something that may make it the ideal location for one of the most important days of your life.
We’ve put together a list of some of Ireland’s best wedding destinations to get you started on planning your special day (even if you haven’t quite got the ring yet).
The Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford
This hotel’s location on the River Slaney means that your guests will be able to enjoy beautiful water views throughout your special day, even during the ceremony. The venue is licensed for civil services and can accommodate up to 250 guests in the Waterfront Suite.
The floor to ceiling windows, patio doors, and private deck off the suite make it the perfect spot to enjoy the natural beauty for the duration of the celebration. A private entrance will make your celebration more special, while 102 guest rooms ensure that any guests looking to stay will have that option.
More information: ferrycarrighotel.ie
The Brehon, Killarney
Your wedding will be in good hands at the Brehon, where each celebration is given a designated wedding planner to ensure personalized and consistent attention. Options for different types of celebrations include space for up to 220 guests in their Wedding Suite or choose a private dining room for a more intimate celebration.
For guests coming from out of town, the hotel can organize other events and excursions on the days surrounding the actual ceremony. The day of, the hotel’s resident pianist can set the tone while centrepieces of fresh flowers and custom menus provided as a part of wedding packages ensure that no detail goes unnoticed.
More information: thebrehon.com
Barberstown Castle, Kildare
This historic 13th-century castle in Kildare sits on 20 acres of surrounding gardens, giving summer weddings a choice to say “I do” surrounded by a beautifully landscaped garden, under twinkling lights strung between the old trees of the estate, or in the intimate interior of the 700-year-old building.
The fifty-five guest’s rooms at the hotel are made accessible to your guests via a special code, unique to your celebration, which unlocks a special wedding rate. For the celebration, you’ll work with a designated wedding planner to create your own individualized celebration.
More information: barberstowncastle.ie
Ice House, Mayo
Once again, water views dominate throughout this venue, perched on the Moy River along the Wild Atlantic Way. Their wedding packages make planning a breeze and include everything from small things like complimentary parking to a champagne breakfast for the couple.
Your experience at Ice House wouldn’t be limited to the wedding celebration. The couple is invited to stay the night before, and the night after the hotel will place you in one of their Heritage Suites free of charge. All this on top of personalized menus, table plans, and flour arrangements means there will be very little for you to worry about.
More information: icehousehotel.ie
Faithlegg Hotel, Waterford
The Faithlegg Hotel is located on a historic estate near Waterford Harbor, and the manor houses’ Georgian ballroom can accommodate anything from the most intimate of weddings to up to 220 people. Ceremonies may be held in the house, or just down the road at St. Nicholas Church.
Summer months see the grounds open to celebrations, but even in the winter the ballroom’s location just next to the houses’ glass conservatory provides natural light. If it is an outdoor wedding you’re after, they have a designated wedding marquee on the grounds.
More information: faithlegg.com
Sheen Falls Lodge, Kerry
This country house’s location just above Kenmare Bay, with sweeping views out to the sea and up to the waterfalls of the Caha Mountains, sets the tone for your wedding celebration. Parties as small as 14 guests and as large as 200 guests can be accommodated from the ceremony to reception.
For those larger parties, the entire venue can be hired for your exclusive use, with seating for your guests’ in the hotel restaurant and exclusive rates for those who stay overnight. Smaller parties can take advantage of private celebration spaces like the Drawing Room or the Library, depending on the size of your celebration. Weddings are planned individually with the couple, making sure that your day is exactly as imagined.
More information: sheenfallslodge.ie
Ashford Castle, Mayo
Ashford Castle has an international reputation, both thanks to its part in the iconic film, The Quiet Man and its success as a five-star hotel. The 800-year-old estate and it’s gorgeous surrounding grounds make the perfect backdrop for a romantic day.
The service itself can be held in Saint Mary’s Church, only a three minute drive away in town, or at the castle itself. While the Drawing Room is the host for indoor ceremonies, in fair weather the castle gardens are open to celebrations. Full hiring of the castle provides you and your guests with exclusive use of all of the castle’s resources, including restaurants and activities such as golf, horse riding, and falconry — truly an inclusive experience beyond the wedding itself.
More information: ashfordcastle.com
Eccles Hotel, Cork
For over 250 years there has been some form of accommodation where Eccles Hotel is today, and it was first called Eccles since the early nineteenth century when it was purchased by one Thomas Eccles. They go as far as to claim the title of “Ireland’s oldest purpose-built hotel.”
The seafront venue has hosted weddings throughout the centuries, and today the couple works with the hotel’s wedding coordinator to plan their affair. Up to 250 people can join you to celebrate in the Ilnacullin suite. For smaller parties, individual arrangements can be made, but regardless the hotel is prepared to provide everything from locally sourced food to custom cocktails.
In addition, the newly renovated bridal “Yeats Suite” is automatically reserved for the couple on the wedding night, with breakfast arranged for the following morning.
More information: eccleshotel.com
Cliff at Lyons, Kildare
The collection of historic buildings that make up the Cliff at Lyons surround a beautiful canal with a backdrop of a dramatic waterfall, altogether creating an idyllic setting for an Irish wedding. Each wedding is custom planned with the couple, though there are packages set to start the planning process.
There is a private chapel on the grounds with seating for twenty, and for larger parties, the Mill is arranged with a dedicated wedding suite. A combination of natural beauty and old stone buildings create a fairytale sort of elegance, and everything from food and drink to accommodation can be managed by the hotel.
More information: cliffatlyons.ie
Marlfield House, Wexford
An entire 36 acres of gardens and woodlands surround Marlfield House, which has been acting as a hotel since 1978. Weddings of up to 145 guests are welcome at this country house hotel, with exclusive use available for larger parties. Accommodation is available for up to 42 of your guests, and the location just an hour south of the capital will hopefully make that enough even for the largest weddings.
Ceremonies can be performed on sight in the Print Room or Conservatory, but with 12 acres of gardens, available summer weddings can be performed outdoors as well. Inclusive packages are available but can be tailored to your individual specifications. Packages include everything from floral arrangements to a red carpet for arrivals.
More Information: marlfieldhouse.com
Hotel Kilkenny, Kilkenny
Though it is a more modern venue, Hotel Kilkenny is located only a five-minute walk from the heart of Medieval Kilkenny. They have three options for wedding suites: The Orchard, The Skyline, and Rosehill, each with its own unique atmosphere. Wedding packages include an arrivals reception and two complimentary rooms for the wedding party, plus a complimentary stay when your anniversary rolls around.
For warmer months, Orchard weddings have access to a private walled garden and a private entrance for the day, while the Skyline suite takes advantage of the location to provide views of the city and cathedral. Rosehill can play host to intimate ceremonies of up to 50 people, and the 18th-century old world charm echoes the history of the medieval city.
More information: hotelkilkenny.ie
Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow
Each wedding at Powerscourt is unique – with so many options available, it’d be hard for any two to be the same. Wedding ceremonies and celebrations can all be accommodated and can be hosted at the hotel or at the historic Powerscourt House and its famous gardens. Georgian ballrooms, garden view rooms, and a secret garden could all play host to your special day.
While there are preset packages available, custom celebrations can be planned with the venue and no matter what each celebration has a dedicated wedding planner. This popular venue does set a minimum of 120 guests during the low season, and 140 during the busy wedding season, but for couples planning on larger celebration options abound at Powerscourt. All packages include special rates for guests and a complimentary bridal suite with twenty room bookings.
More information: powerscourthotel.com
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Antrim
Weddings at Galgorm will benefit from a surplus of package and wedding suite options, catering to any size celebration. This Northern venue can handle everything, from the ceremony all the way down to the wedding cars (choose from a black or silver Rolls Royce for your day). Ceremony rooms are prepared to host a variety of services, and from here your guests can move into the opulent Great Hall or the more modern Four Seasons and Renaissance suites.
Want to have a remarkable wedding, but don’t want to wait? Galgorm has a package designed specifically for those couples, along with other packages for those who want to make the process as simple as possible. But if you choose, you can also plan your entire day as you like.
More information: galgorm.com
Dromoland Castle, Clare
Claiming roots all the way back to 1014 and Brian Boru, this castle is steeped in Irish history. The current building is a 16th-century structure, which was significantly remodelled in the 17th century and then nearly destroyed in the early 20th century. It was converted to a hotel in the 1960s and since then has developed a reputation for excellence.
Host your guests in the gothic Brian Boru Hall for the ceremony and celebration, or say I do in the castle’s Walled Garden in warmer months. Smaller venues include The Drawing Room and The Terrace Room, the latter allowing views of the grounds through two full walls of windows while the Drawing Room more prominently features the architecture of the castle. A dedicated wedding team will help you plan your celebration, which will end with a stay in a complimentary bridal suite.
More information: dromoland.ie
Druids Glen, Wicklow
Only 35 minutes from Dublin, this venue is perfect for those wanting to celebrate outside the city, but not so far outside your friends and family have to stay overnight. With a wedding package arranged to make your planning a breeze, you can sit back and enjoy your special day with family and friends.
They are fully licensed to host civil ceremonies and civil partnerships and can accommodate lavish celebrations or more intimate affairs. You’ll have the hotel’s undivided attention as they only host one wedding per day in the stunning chandelier lit James Joyce Ballroom.
In addition to the wedding, they offer a complimentary round of golf and accommodation and health club membership for the couple at the hotel. Guests will be spoilt with picturesque scenery as the perfect backdrop to wedding photos, delicious menus and friendly and professional staff on hand to make your big day perfect. Getting married this year? Druids Glen has a number of 2019 dates available from October – December. Wedding Packages available from €99.
More information: druidsglenresort.com