One of my favourite things about being a Wedding Planner is helping couples find their perfect Wedding Venue in Ireland. Seeing their wedding guests experience the Venue, and the Food and Culture that we have to offer is truly amazing. Searching for the perfect Wedding Venue can be so daunting, and even more so if you are not in the country. Sometimes I see couples visit too many venues and get overwhelmed with the options. The key is to work out your list of non-negotiables, and the things you are willing to compromise on.
I hope the below tips will help, and my Top 5 Wedding Venues in Ireland are also listed.
Image Credit: White Cat Studio
Wedding Venue in Ireland: Considerations when searching
Your Wedding Budget
Firstly, your budget will play a huge factor in your decision making process because your venue, food and beverage will be the largest cost associated with your wedding day. And, the answer to this will drive many of the following considerations.
Number of Guests
How many people are you expecting to invite? Assume that 10 – 15% of people will decline the invitation, this will give you a number to strive for and it is important to check the maximum capacity of the venues that you are looking at.
Exclusive Wedding Venues
Do you want an exclusive wedding venue in Ireland just for you and your guests only, or would you be happy to have other people around on the day? Venues that offer exclusivity can be very special and can often come with a fee for exclusivity and a commitment to take all of the bedrooms. Another thing to look out for is that they may not be able to accommodate all guests onsite, so you will need to think about accommodation nearby.
Do you want your wedding venue to sleep all of your guests onsite? Is there an obligation to take a certain number of rooms? Consider the type of accommodation available to your guests also.
DIY / Styling and Decor
How much work are you willing to put into the venue? And, would you prefer a wedding venue that you can just walk into and not do anything with, or are you willing to do a little bit of extra organizing e.g. styling and décor, hiring items etc? Don’t forget, there is also the option to hire a Wedding Planner!
What style of day are you striving for? What is your vision? Fun and Relaxed, Elegant, Boho, Rustic, Castle, Barn, Historic Country House, Hotel Wedding, Restaurant Casual Style – the list is really endless.
Does your wedding venue in Ireland need to be within close proximity to an international airport? How will your guests access the venue? What else is around the venue in terms of areas you might want to explore the day after?
How can the different spaces in the wedding venue be used? To give an example, can you have your ceremony onsite, will dinner and dancing need to be in the same room and will tables need to be moved? Take into consideration the ‘wet weather’ contingency – hello Ireland!
Is there a sound system in the room so that you can play music during dinner, and a PA and Microphone for speeches? Are there any restrictions on items you can bring in, or any other payments that you need to consider (an example of an extra payment could be the bar extension)?
To conclude, once you have made your list of what you really need to have, and what you can negotiate on, you can start searching for your perfect wedding venue in Ireland. If you are really struggling to find one, it could be the case that you need to look at your priority list again. It doesn’t need to tick every single box, just the key ones for you both.
I also work with couples to help them find their dream wedding venue. Firstly, we would begin with an initial consultation to work through the list of what you would like. Following this, I commence my research and start to narrow down the choices. I usually narrow it down to three wedding venues, and present back the details of these venues, with full costings. If you would like some assistance sourcing your perfect wedding venue, please contact me today. I would love to help!
And last but not least, my Top 5 Wedding Venues in Ireland.
Image Credit: White Cat Studio
A luxury castle in beautiful County Sligo, close to the Wild Atlantic Way. An exclusive wedding venue just for you and your guests with beautifully manicured grounds, and plenty of stunning features from the welcoming staircase, the onsite Chapel, the Grand Hall to the elegant dining rooms. With 31 Bedrooms onsite, it is a must see and the food is simply superb. Markree Castle can cater for up to 210 wedding guests.
Image Credit: Studio Lordan
This exclusive wedding venue is filled with history and charm. Borris House is located within this walled estate with views of the vast green landscape and countryside of Co. Carlow. With beautiful gardens, stunning scenery and a very unique ceremony space, they have 11 bedrooms in the house, and cottages, some that are a new addition to the estate. One of the highlights is the exposed stone walls and high ceilings of the grand reception room where your guests will dine. Borris House accommodates maximum of 160 guests for a wedding.
Image Credit: Livia Figueiredo
A luxurious stay for you and your guests at one of Ireland’s oldest castles. The drive into Kilkea Castle certainly doesn’t disappoint and neither does the fabulous team on hand for you and your guests throughout the wedding few days. There are several options at Kilkea Castle for your Wedding Day from the more intimate castle wedding to the use of the Baronial hall that can seat up to 270 guests. With the added bonus of the golf course, and spa, it does not disappoint!
Image Credit: Annie Kheffache
Virginia Park Lodge in real life is undoubtedly as impressive as all those photos you have seen online. No detail has been missed when it comes to this Wedding Venue. So many beautifully unique elements from the ceremony gardens, and the water views, to the Shepherd’s Huts. The food of course cannot go without mention as this exclusive wedding venue is spearheaded by Michelin starred chef, Richard Corrigan and it will be a memorable meal for you and your guests. Onsite they can house approx. 125 people for accommodation, and the pavilion seats up to 300 for dinner.
Image Credit: Elaine Barker
Totally different from the above 4 venues, and as a lover of a city wedding, I had to put this in the top 5. Stunning décor, a gorgeous Georgian House in the middle of Dublin City Centre. Perfect for a smaller wedding where you want to embrace the city vibes. This will be exclusive for you and your guests. There is no accommodation onsite, but this doesn’t matter of course when you are in the centre of Dublin and have so many accommodation options around you (check out my favourite boutique hotel – The Wilder Townhouse). No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place caters for up to 60 for dinner.
And if you still have the appetite to hear about some more Wedding Venues in Ireland - check out this related blog discussing 'Alternative Wedding Venues in Ireland'.