Image from Feena & Claude-Alain’s real wedding at Thomas Prior Hall | Photography by Kevin Morris
Country houses, golf courses, and castles will always and forever be a staple of wedding locations. But, what if you’re a downtown girl/guy, through and through? What if the hustle and bustle, the bright lights, the big city, the urban style – is actually more you, what you prefer? You’re in luck – there are many places that offer style, convenience, fantastic service, and even a touch of the unusual, if that’s what you fancy.
When it comes to your wedding day, you shouldn’t feel like you have to do anything – and this also means you don’t have to get married somewhere you don’t want to. If “find venue” is the next box to tick on your wedding checklist, and you want a city wedding, there are some great options to explore.
There are many pros to getting wed at an urban location. There’s the convenience for yourself and for all the guests too – everyone will appreciate the abundance of transport options. If you think hiring a bus to transport your guests around is a great idea, it goes perfectly with a quick sightseeing tour of the city, especially for the visitors. Your wedding photos will benefit from some fantastic locations – everything from famous landmarks and historic locations to graffiti walls and open brickwork. Every city has an area that lends itself wonderfully to wedding photos – just ask your photographers.
You may be greeted by unusual architecture in some city venues, intriguing menus and drinks, and great ambiance ideally suited for a party atmosphere. Also, consider the costs – some suppliers will charge less for a city wedding, due to reduced travel costs. The variety of venues is quite astounding too, it’s not just about the hotels. Look a little deeper and you’ll find that many unexpected places – especially in Dublin – are also wedding venues. Truly, a city wedding is a delightful option.
If there’s a single thing that gets mentioned quite a lot, it’s the city walk the happy couple can take after the ceremony. Setting out on foot towards your reception venue, it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettably romantic walk – your first walk as a married couple. Photographers say that this is often their favourite part of the day, as they get to capture the delightful reactions of the passers-by. There may be congratulations and thumbs-up. There may be interesting stops along the way for totally unique wedding photos. And this could be the part of your day you could just slow down and enjoy the stroll. We love it!
Image courtesy of Peperina Garden Bistro
Top tips for booking a city wedding
Consider your ceremony location – the churches, the registrar’s office, or check if your venue is licenced. Then consider the transport, if need be.
Check out accessibility, cost of fares from the airport or from the nearest train station, parking for guests arriving by car. That funky bus may be your best option after all.
Be sure to check the capacity of the venue to ensure it can accommodate all your guests – or if you’re going for an intimate celebration, be sure to ask for the minimum number of guests too.
Think about your accommodations – if you’re going for a hotel you won’t have any trouble with bedrooms or the bridal suite. But if you’re celebrating at a restaurant or a museum, check the hotels nearby to see what’s available. Don’t forget to ask the venue whether they’re affiliated with any of the hotels – you may find you can get a nice discount on the rooms!
Make sure to book outside any major dates, and in the city this includes more than just the usual holidays and mid-summer. There are annual conferences, sporting events, film festivals, major rock concerts – all kinds of things that make the city great, but also cause an influx of visitors, causing rooms and venues to get booked up double-fast. The venue will know all about these events well in advance, so they’ll be able to tell you.
Ask about any noise or alcohol curfews you may have to adhere to.
The city is perfect for continuing the celebration next day – everything is on your doorstep, including breakfast and lunchtime buffets, pubs, sushi, anything you fancy really… or you can ask your venue if there’s an option for the next day. You can even take your guests for a sightseeing tour of the city with a guide to add another unforgettable day. If you’re not leaving for your honeymoon right away, this is a fun option to explore.
When booking your photographer, make sure to ask to see complete albums of weddings they have shot in the city, and talk about some of the locations – they’ll suggest something fantastic you haven’t considered before, guaranteed.
Image courtesy of the Silver Springs Moran Hotel
Best Irish city wedding venues
Conrad Dublin – equally romantic whether you want an intimate affair or a celebration for up to 270, this city hotel has won the 2014 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award.
The Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club – close to Dublin’s landmark St Stephen’s Green park, and just steps away from several churches, this sophisticated location features stunning architecture and completely personalised service with a famous wine list.
Thomas Prior Hall at Bewley’s Hotel Ballsbridge – tucked behind an iconic water fountain, this venue used to be a masonic school. A breathtaking jewel of architecture, it’s ambience alone will make your wedding unforgettable. Accommodates up to 180 guests.
Bang Restaurant – this fantastic alternative to traditional options can be exclusively hired for your celebration, and takes up to 50 guests for a deliciously delightful dining experience – including free champagne for your reception!
Peperina Garden Bistro – 70 of your closest family and friends will be lucky to join you at this fabulous eatery! Inside, it’s all comfort and ease, outside it’s all about the terrace and herb garden. Be sure to check out the menu on their website – it’s fantastic!
Silver Springs Moran Hotel – this well-known Cork landmark has not just one ballroom, but two! And, you can celebrate in their choice of suites, or the restaurant, or even the bar for something completely different. Ideal for large weddings, this venue takes up to 450 guests.
The g Hotel – remarkable, charming, inspiring… these are just some of the words often used to describe this Galway wedding venue. It was designed by Philip Treacy himself – milliner to the stars! With such pedigree, it’s no wonder it makes such an impact. Up to 200 of your guests will be duly impressed!
Limerick Strand Hotel – it’s the views, it’s the ceilings, it’s the terrace… it’s also the very personalised service from the Wedding Coordinator, who goes to great lengths to ensure everything is more than perfect. An intimate celebration – or a large one for up to 420 guests – is guaranteed to be an absolute delight.
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.