Since the change in the Irish Marriage Licensing Law in 2007, couples have the option to hold their wedding ceremony in venues other than registry offices or churches. And now with a recent update to the law and clarification that couples can hold civil and humanist ceremonies outdoors ‘in a place that is open to the public’ there is even more scope to have a beautiful backdrop to exchange your vows. This has opened up a whole world of new possibilities for wedding venues throughout the country and made planning much less stressful for couples by being able to hold both their ceremony and reception all in the one place. Many venues have created beautiful spaces to hold these special ceremonies, both inside and outside, transforming rooms into chic lofty style areas where you’re free to decorate as you please, or using a beautifully appointed room to create a warm, intimate cocoon in which to take your vows. Today we take a look back at some of the most beautiful civil ceremony rooms from our real weddings to give you an idea of the prettiest places you can tie the knot. [Main image by Ebony & Pearl]
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Bellinter House Hotel, Navan, Co Meath
We have been obsessed by this beautiful boho style wedding ever since publishing it back in February 2013 and one of our favourite aspects of the day was the outdoor ceremony. Bellinter House created the most beautiful open space for Maggie and Neil to exchange vows and it made for some really stunning shots from photographer Karina Finegan. The couple were married by the bride’s uncle, a retired Episcopalian minister, and walked down the aisle to the sounds of a bluegrass band! See full real wedding here.
www.bellinterhouse.com | Photo by Karina Finegan, Weddings by Kara
Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen, Co. Cork
Another incredible outdoor ceremony was Isobelle and Edward’s beautiful, and what looked to be incredibly fun, day in Liss Ard. The couple exchanged vows in a humanist ceremony under a giant Cedar tree on the perfectly manicured lawns and were simply blessed with the weather to do so! In fact, they held their entire Gatsby-inspired wedding day outdoors and it looked phenomenal. See the full day here.
Photo by DKPHOTO
Private Villa, Tuscany
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Tuscany, have your wedding ceremony surrounded by the breathtaking Tuscan countryside. There is probably a no more perfect place to hold an outdoor wedding than on the grounds of your own private villa amongst the rolling hills of Toscana – if you’re not convinced, see Jill and Kian’s real wedding report here, and then get back to us.
Photo by Domenico Costabile | Wedding planner: Infinity Weddings
The Millhouse, Slane, Co. Meath
Another of our all time favourite real weddings was Ann and Ed’s incredibly chic and dangerously cool wedding in The Millhouse. The Old Mill at the Millhouse is one of the most beautifully rustic spots we’ve seen in which to create a warm, intimate and relaxed ceremony that will no doubt be the highlight of the day for a lot of people (in fact it was Ann and Ed’s favourite part!)
www.themillhouse.ie | Photo by Studio33Weddings
Mount Druid, Co. Westmeath
Mount Druid’s custom made chapel has played host to hundreds of weddings since Annelie and Dave’s 2012 wedding at the quirky venue (the very first one the venue held!). The unconsecrated chapel is a wonderfully quaint space which allows for a traditional feel without the ceremony of a church wedding. The red tin chapel is a brilliant alternative for couples who like the idea of a chapel space in a more informal and relaxed space.
www.alternativeweddings.ie | Photo by Leon Farrell – Photocall Ireland
Ballymagarvey Village, Boyne Valley, Co. Meath
Ciara and Mark’s winter 2013 wedding at Ballmagarvey Village was a masterclass in how to pull off the prettiest purple theme. Of course, having your wedding in the beautiful Ballymagarvey helps to make everything look picture perfect on the day no matter how much thought you put into your colour scheme! The couple tied the knot in the venue’s old world style Mill Loft, a restored corn and flax mill, which establishes its unique and warm character with exposed beams and cut stone walls. Find out how Ciara and Mark created their super happy and relaxed wedding day at Ballymagarvey here.
www.ballymagarvey.ie | Photo by Brenda McGuire
Brooklodge & MacCreddin Village
Weddings at Brooklodge are always a delight for us to see and one with a lovely couple like Nicola and Maurice is even better. Nicola and Maurice tied the knot in a beautifully tender hand tying ceremony, officiated by the groom’s father. The warm and intimate ceremony took place in the Brooklodge chapel, the perfect place for a simple blessing surrounded by friends and family. See how the rest of Nicola and Maurice’s day unfolded here.
www.brooklodge.com | Photo by Konrad Kubic Photography
Thomas Prior Hall, Dublin
Thomas Prior Hall is simply a gem of a wedding venue located right in the heart of Dublin City. Civil ceremonies can be held on the beautiful surrounding lawns with the majestic hall as a backdrop or within the hall itself which can then be transferred into a banqueting hall for the reception. The high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, impressive stain glass window and secret staircase to the choir balcony make this space the perfect one for a memorable wedding blessing. Stay tuned to the weddingsonline blog to see Renate and Gavin’s real wedding feature – coming soon!
www.thomaspriorhall.com | Photo by Couple Photography
Castle Leslie Estate, Co. Monaghan
Richard and Marianne’s magical winter wedding at Castle Leslie was like something from a postcard and their civil ceremony was simply full of charm. The couple chose a traditional Irish harpist to provide the music for their ceremony – a perfect choice for a formal yet warm affair. The authentic antiques dotted around the room add to the unique character of the space, and the exposed beams and soft lighting create a romantic feel. Find out how the rest of this magical wedding day went here.
www.castleleslie.com | Photo by Brenda McGuire
Kilshane House, Tipperary
For couples who love the idea of having their ceremony outdoors but simply don’t want to put their eggs into one Irish weather channel’s basket, Kilshane House offers a way to bring the outdoors in with their huge conservatory. The space is appointed with palm trees and a water feature, creating a magical outdoor feel with all the comforts (and safety!) of being inside. If the weather goes your way however, Kilshane House offers a beautiful walled rose garden as an alternative. Check out Adam and Adrianne’s stunning and solemn civil ceremony in their Kilshane House real wedding here.
www.kilshanehouse.ie | Photo by Insight Photography
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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.