The ‘wow factor’ in a wedding venue can mean a lot of different things to different people. For some, a stunning authentic and majestic castle in the midst of sprawling countryside may do the trick while for others a modern, stylish set-up in the city could hold the key for others; perhaps a cosy, secluded and exclusive manor might be your cup of tea or maybe something with a higher quirk value floats your boat? Whatever your wedding style, your wedding venue should reflect what you feel is most important in a wedding. To help you on the hunt for your perfect venue, we’ve put together some very different venues which all have their own unique ‘wow factor’.
Be sure to check out Part 1 of our Irish Wedding Venues with the Wow Factor and even if these venues don’t tick all the boxes for you, be sure to check out our online directory of the best wedding venues in the country – or ask our resident expert and online wedding planner Sophie to give you an extra hand with Sophie’s Venue Finder!
Cabra Castle Hotel, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan
The striking and majestic Cabra Castle, sitting on over 100 acres of spectacular gardens and forestry is, put simply, breathtaking – from top to bottom. The Gothic style castle offers old-world elegance in the warmest atmosphere and a fabulous fairytale setting for your Big Day. Stunning hand-painted ceilings await inside, as does room after regal room dotted with Waterford Crystal chandeliers, five-tiered golden candelabras and the richest table linens. The picturesque backdrop of the exterior castle is ideal for family wedding photos, while the interior – with its haunting framed portraits, exquisite antiques and of course its impressive grand staircase – certainly demands a place in the wedding album too! This is a wedding venue that will impress even the most discerning of bride, groom or guest.
Abbey Hotel Roscommon
Abbey Hotel, Co. Roscommon
The intimate, quaint Abbey Hotel is a fabulous setting for a stylish, memorable wedding – big or small. The 18th century castle manor offers a host of ‘wow factors’ for a couple, from its perfect location in the heart of the Midlands to its professional service and its picturesque setting with views of the historic Abbey Ruins and private manicured gardens. Abbey Hotel Roscommon is a family run hotel with over 50 years experience in the wedding industry so you’ll always feel that your special day is in good hands.
Innishannon House Hotel, Innishannon, West Cork
Your very own ‘petit chateau’, Innishannon House in West Cork, built in 1720, is one of the most romantic wedding venues on the map and is perfect for a couple looking for something a little less ordinary for their wedding day. Innishannon is situated on 10 acres of land and beautifully manicured gardens with views along the banks of the River Bandon. It offers some of West Cork’s most spectacular scenery as the backdrop for those precious wedding photos. The venue itself has the ‘wow factor’, and the opportunity for a civil ceremony by the river is one of those features that offers a truly memorable moment for all. Inside, this charming manor has everything you need to create a warm, intimate atmosphere in a house fit for a modern-day princess.
Woodenbridge Hotel & Lodge
Woodenbridge Hotel & Lodge, Arklow, Co. Wicklow
The Woodenbridge Hotel & Lodge offers couples a unique and personal touch for their Big Day in a venue that’s full of history and character. As one of the oldest hotels in Ireland, the success of Woodenbridge Hotel lies in its unparalleled service which is both friendly and professional. This Wicklow Hotel overlooks the vale of Avoca and the fabulous Woodenbridge golf club and offers an abundance of photo opportunities for newlyweds.
Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon
Restored by the Hanly Group in 2006, the original Kilronan Castle was built on the shores of Lough Meelagh in the early 1800’s and belonged to Colonel King Tenison. The immense restoration resulted in a romantic, historic wedding venue, which seamlessly blends old-world elegance with contemporary luxuries. The estate spans over 49 acres of charming, natural Roscommon beauty, creating the picturesque setting many of the great Irish poets and musicians emerged from, including Kavanagh, Yeats, McGahern, O’Carolan and Percy French. Perfect for a grand affair, The Grand Ballroom in Kilronan Castle can cater for 320 people while providing exquisite décor that sets a tone of opulence underneath magnificent chandeliers. Kilronan Castle is luxury of the highest order.
Kippure Estate, Blessington, Co. Wicklow
Kippure Estate is privately set on 240 acres of secret valleys and ancient woodlands, hugged by purple heather soaked granite mountains and shaped by the meandering River Liffey. This tranquil, exquisite setting is the ideal setting for couples who wish to plan a personal and memorable celebration. For larger weddings, a marquee can be set up on the grounds alongside the main estate where guests can party into the night after enjoying a day of free reign over some of the most beautifully wild and unspoilt countryside in Ireland.
Lough Rea Hotel & Spa
Lough Rea Hotel & Spa, Loughrea, Co. Galway
The luxurious Lough Rea Hotel & Spa is the perfect venue for those searching for a chic, stylish setting in gorgeous Galway. The striking décor and plush furnishings make a real statement for couples who crave something unique for their contemporary wedding. Guests are welcomed in the lavish Piano Lounge – a private bar that perfectly sets the tone for an intimate, elegant evening – while full receptions are held in the De Dannan Suite. Lough Rea’s stunning Bridal Suite – with its open plan lounge and dining area, luxuriously large bed and stunning bathroom with free-standing tub and rain shower – represents the ultimate indulgence. You might not want the day to end but when you do, you’ll surely be ending it in style.
Main image courtesy of Kilronan Castle
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.