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Real Couples Reveal Why they Chose their Dream Wedding Venue

Your wedding venue is a big decision on the planning front and sets the scene for your whole day! Here in Ireland, we’ve so many stunning venue options at our fingertips from romantic castles to quirky barns and charming country houses to luxurious hotels. Wondering how to make the all important decision? See how our real wedding couples chose ‘the one’ below…

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Paula & James at Mount Druid, Co. Westmeath

“We heard about the venue through a friend. We had been in a lot of venues and we just didn’t seem to find the one that suited what we wanted. Until we found Mount Druid. I fell in love with it immediately and my husband loved it too. It was just so quirky and nothing I had ever seen before. We also love festivals and wanted something so laid back too. Plus everything was onsite.”

Photo by Syona Photography | See Paula & James real wedding!

Donal & Kerry at Kinnitty Castle, Co. Offaly

“As we both live abroad it was important to have both of our families and loved ones feel at home so it was always going to be in Ireland. We miss Ireland so much so the venue had to encompass everything that resembles Ireland. Great food, drink, scenery and quaint villages. Kinnitty Castle was perfect. The surrounding grounds are beautiful, the hospitality and food is always exceptional. And of course it’s a castle so I got my Disney theme ticked off there!. We were lucky to have the whole castle booked out to ourselves for the weekend.”

Photo by Oliver J Walker | See Donal & Kerry’s wedding!

Lisa & Alan at Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath

“Alan chose our venue after doing some research online. I always said I wanted to walk into a hotel and feel the WOW factor. As soon as we drove into Dunboyne Castle, I knew we’d found our venue. The driveway is very impressive. The old house is fab and the garden areas are magic for photos. And the Tara Suite where we had our wedding was the perfect size and layout. The room catered perfectly for our 169 guests.  The dance floor wasn’t disturbed as the room fitted all tables with plenty of room. The hotel has a spa and swimming pool which we knew we would use the day after the wedding to chill out.”

Photo by Stargaze Photography | See Lisa & Alan’s wedding!

Mairéad and Jonathan at Palmerstown House Estate, Kildare

“Its pure elegance from the beautiful Manor House and the surrounding gardens. We also knew there would be very little for us to do as the venue speaks for itself. We didn’t want a large wedding and the numbers involved meant we could have the entire day in the Manor house. People were able to enjoy the outside, because we had great weather. But we knew the drawing rooms would make a perfect reception area even if it had rained.”

Photo by Emma Russell | See Mairéad and Jonathan’s wedding!

Emma & Tommy at Lyrath Estate, Co. Kilkenny

“We initially looked passed The Lyrath as it was literally too close to home being on our doorstep, but in the end we just couldn’t find where that came close by comparison. We looked farther afield for something a little different but on all levels kept coming back to Kilkenny and to The Lyrath.

Firstly, the setting is Magic!! On driving up – the countryside views and landscapes stretching for miles really creates a breath-taking feel that not many of the larger venues who can cater for numbers of 250+ can coffer. Living away from Ireland, the setting was so important for us as we wanted to feel like we were really at Home, surrounded by Green.

The House and Estate are pristinely kept and even though it has that beautiful Old Estate feel, the Lyrath offers superiorly modern amenities and décor and their 5 * customer service on all levels left anyone else we had dealt with in the blocks.”

Photo by DKPHOTO | See Emma & Tommy’s wedding!

Stacey & Diarmuid at Bridge House Hotel, Co. Offaly

“We chose the Bridge House Hotel as Diarmuid had a really good relationship with Danny Corbett and he use to do a few DJ sets for weddings/parties in the hotel. As I was from Kildare and Diarmuid was from Tipperary, Tullamore was the most central point for all families. I was also getting married in Edenderry church and I didn’t want people travelling over a half hour to the venue.

When we went for our first visit to the hotel I was blown away by the staircase and the homely feel of the venue. The food was amazing and the choices we were offered were outstanding for the price we paid. The package was excellent value for money and to this day people still comment on how fab the day was put in particular the food and hospitality, especially the dessert buffet.”

Photo by Darren Byrne Photography & Film | See Stacey & Diarmuid’s wedding!

Sarah & Shane at Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath

We chose our venue, Ballymagarvey Village, because… When we arrived on the opening night the grounds were so beautiful and once we knocked on the front door they made us feel so welcome. As we walked around and viewed the main house and courtyard and banquet room we were overwhelmed with how beautifully decorated everywhere was it has the ultimate wow factor. It’s one thing having a stunning venue but the staff make it that much more special. Veronica our wedding coordinator was exceptional.

Was so helpful and friendly and we couldn’t have asked for someone so nice to help us with our wedding. As soon as I arrived the morning of the wedding Alan stopped me to tell me that I don’t need to worry about a thing and to enjoy my day as they had everything under control. We can’t recommend this venue enough anyone who is looking for the most romantic, beautiful setting and not having worry about a thing on their day. Ballymagarvey is that place.

Photo by The Fennells | See Sarah & Shane’s wedding!

Katie & Gerard at Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, Co. Galway

“We had originally booked a church in Rome to get married there. One day we just decided to look into venues in Galway. The Glenlo Abbey was the first one that came to mind. I always thought it was a gorgeous hotel. We always said we wanted something a little different and we really liked how it was a bit outside the city. That weekend we decided to take a trip out to see it. We loved it from the get-go! It’s so classic and timeless. We loved the surroundings and the scenic view of the Corrib River. We also thought it was a very intimate hotel. Gerard and I met with Cathy the wedding coordinator and she showed us around and talked us through everything- so we booked it the following day!”

Photo by Paul Duane Photography | See Katie & Gerard’s wedding!

Michelle & Liam at Westport Woods Hotel, Mayo

“You just have to see it once, it is absolutely stunning. We had a Summer wedding and to have the grounds outside almost as part of the inside of your wedding reception is amazing. There was so much light with fantastic views to the forest with outdoor seating and lighting around the trees, the gazebos outside with beautiful outdoor fires, candles and giant bean bags it was just fab to look at.

We had a fairy light backdrop with a private bar and from the minute we set foot into this hotel we were met with a friendly service from the owner right through to the bar staff and to us that was a sign of really well ran hotel. We were also able to take pictures in a beautifully light area of the woods as the sun went down and to know that we were able to let the kids run around in the privacy of the grounds knowing they were safe was also a huge bonus. Liam and I are very thankful to have had Joanne, Caroline, Seamus and all the staff of the Westport Woods Hotel take such good care of us and not just on our wedding day but throughout the build up to it also.”

Photo by David Duignan Photography | See Michelle & Liam’s wedding!

Thomas & Jessie at Wells House & Garden, Co. Wexford

“Initially we went out to Wells House & Gardens just to see if it was possible to do a wedding there, I knew Niamh and thought it might be nice. I had never actually been to Wells before the initial meeting with Niamh though and as soon as we started the drive up the long driveway and I spotted the house, I knew that no matter what I had to get married here. It was my dream venue without me consciously realising it until that moment. I cannot explain the magic that resides in Wells for me, it was absolutely perfect. We chose to do a small ceremony and meal in Wells for the day and then we invited loads of people to a big after party in The Talbot Hotel Wexford. We chose The Talbot because they were so helpful and their function room and bridal suite are beautiful. We had a few bands play, including Tom’s band that hadn’t played together in 7 years, and it was amazing to see them back together again.”

Photo by Sineád Firman | See Thomas & Jessie’s wedding!

Paul & Aoife at The Johnstown Estate, Meath

“From the moment we stepped in the door it was perfect. Johnstown Estate know how to do a wedding! We love the old school luxury coupled with the modern style of Johnstown. The food is also amazing. Tamara and her team were so helpful and accommodating to us. The venue is also half way between our two homes and we will pass it every time we travel up and down to our parents so this will be very special for us.”

Photo by Briar Lane Photography | See Paul & Aoife’s wedding!

Leah & Joe at Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan

“Cabra Castle was the first and only place we viewed. It ticked all the boxes and it was free on the date we wanted. We got such a good feeling from the venue from the drive up to the castle, the function room, the whole castle and the grounds. The staff in particular Laura, Rose, Lorraine and Denise were so helpful and made sure the day ran without a single hitch.”

Photo by The Fennells | See Leah & Joe’s wedding!

Maura & Douglas at Muckross Park Hotel & Spa, Kerry

“We chose our venue because of its location and reputation. It is located in Killarney National Park which is not far from Killarney town. Muckross Park Hotel has an excellent reputation as a luxury hotel, spa and wedding venue which was important as we had so many guests attending from overseas. Also, as we were organising everything from Australia we did not want to have any additional stress and we knew everything would be well organised by our wedding coordinator.”

Photo by Golden Moments Wedding Photography & Film | See Douglas & Maura’s real wedding!

Christine & James at Springfort Hall Hotel & Country House, Co. Cork

“It is the most stunning venue we had (and still have) seen. Originally we had decided we didn’t want to get married in Cork as we have been to so many weddings around the place that we wanted something different. We had decided on a venue in another county, and were due to put a deposit down after agreeing with the coordinator and off we went back to Cork happy that a decision was made. JP wasn’t fully convinced (not that I knew) so he stayed up late one night researching more venues and the following morning had booked a viewing of Springfort Hall for New Year’s Day. Reluctantly (from me) we went down and met with Marcella. The place was beautiful. It ticked boxes we didn’t even know we were looking for. Every room we walked into took my breath away but the final moment was the ball room. Even in broad daylight, after 4 weddings in a row, it was everything we were looking for. The decor and finishing touches make this hotel a cut above the rest.”

Photo by Sean Jefferies Photography | See Christine & James’ wedding!

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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