Ireland boasts some of the most romantic wedding venues in the world. Dotted around the countryside are ancient castles and beautifully restored manors, many set on sprawling acres of stunning greens and forests, with lakes and rivers, private walkways and secret gardens all in their domain… No matter what the weather, these enchanting venues will provide the perfect setting for your Big Day, but when it comes to winter wedding venues, there are some especially ideal places to create your wonderland wedding.
From a beautiful tree-lined driveway to a mulled wine drinks reception by the fire, your winter wedding venue should have that something special that makes guests feel all warm and fuzzy, even if they couldn’t fit their thermals under their tight attire. Don’t be afraid of too much space when it comes to your venue, remember that most of these venues will have rich wooden interiors to give the sense of an intimate space, no matter what size the room is. Having your ceremony in your reception venue is a great idea for winter weddings in Ireland – often the less time guests have standing outdoors the better!
Of course you’re not just looking for something with a picture perfect exterior, in the case that you’re blessed with a truly white wedding (depending how you feel about snow, of course) what you also should keep in mind is if you’ve found a wedding team that can handle the all-too-often erratic weather Ireland exhibits on an hourly basis. Ask your co-ordinator for pictures of winter weddings that have taken place before, or what they do if it snows!
Finnstown Castle Hotel, Lucan, Co. Dublin
If you’re planning a fabulous winter wedding near the capital, the romantic Finnstown Castle Hotel – just 25 minutes away from the city centre – is a great choice. Guests enter through a majestic tree-lined driveway to find a welcoming house to relax and be pampered in for their memorable stay. The mature grounds surrounding the house are dotted with ancient trees, pretty gazebos and ornamental three-tier fountains, making for a beautiful backdrop to your wedding photos. Inside, the warm Library Suite (which features a grand piano) provides a beautiful setting for your meal where guests will dine on exquisite food under crystal chandeliers before they heat up the dancefloor.
Palmerstown House Estate, Johnstown, Kildare
Twenty minutes from Dublin City Centre lies the private manor of Palmerstown House Estate. The 18th Century Palmerstown House sits among 700 acres of beautifully manicured gardens with peaceful rivers and lakes, making it an idyllic setting for beautiful wedding photos. A rooftop garden makes for a stunning backdrop for a drinks reception, while the traditionally appointed Biddle’s Bar provides all the comfort of a local, making it a great spot to round out a winter wedding night with your guests. Palmerstown interiors are especially beautiful around winter time, with deep red walls and huge chandeliers, it makes for a magical winter wedding setting. [Photos by Massafelli Photography]
Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Roscommon
The breathtaking Kilronan Castle on the shores of Lough Meelagh lends itself to the perfect winter wonderland wedding with its sprawling 49-acre estate and of course, the historic 19th Century building itself. Kilronan Castle was restored in 2006 to create a venue which seamlessly blends old-world elegance with contemporary luxuries. The Grand Ballroom hosts some of the most exquisite larger weddings, giving guests a regal experience whilst dining underneath magnificent chandeliers.
Lough Rynn Castle Hotel, Mohill, Leitrim
Surrounded by over 300 acres of magnificent grounds, Lough Rynn Castle in Leitrim offers a sublime setting for your winter wedding. If it’s luxury you’re after on your Big Day, Lough Rynn Castle is the venue for you. Give your bridal party a room with a view in one of the stunning suites, for guests looking for a real treat, they can stay the night in one of the hotel’s beautiful, private courtyard rooms. Like its sister castle hotel Kilronan Castle, Lough Rynn has been renovated beautifully to blend old and new, history and luxury, to provide a comfortable, atmospheric setting that makes for seriously special memories for all.
Bellingham Castle, Castlebellingham, Louth
The exclusive Bellingham Castle is nothing short of a dream wedding venue for winter brides and grooms – and their guests too! The impressive period drawing rooms provide an authentic backdrop for drinks receptions, while other areas such as the library and bars add a little privacy for guests looking to relax while the couple are enjoying their wedding photoshoot in the stunning surroundings. Bellingham Castle prides itself on its fresh, innovative wedding meal, created using seasonal, local ingredients – served in the spectacular grand ballroom, it’s sure to be a highlight of the day! [Photo by David Maury Photography]
Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny
The elegant Lyrath Estate Hotel on the doorstep of Kilkenny city is a seamless blend of old world charm and modern luxury. The romantic 17th Century house sits at the heart of the estate, surrounded by acres of lush green parkland and historic gardens that provide the perfect backdrop to the most beautiful of wedding albums. It is everything a winter wedding should be – elegant and warm, grand and intimate, and overflowing with atmosphere and charm.
Castle Durrow, Durrow, Laois
The captivating Castle Durrow provides the most enchanting backdrop for magical winter weddings. Beautifully appointed, the grand yet warm interiors offer some of the most magnificent rooms and elegant staircases where the happy couple can be naturally captured enjoying their day surrounded by their guests. Should winter weather permit, the stunning surroundings of the castle – including a charming closed courtyard – deliver an idyllic backdrop for outdoor photos, while the selection of menus on offer is sure to delight even the most discerning of wedding guests! [Photos by Weddings by KARA]
Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan
Dotted with ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie is a magical private escape for your winter wedding. Brimming with character and charm, the estate is one of the most renowned hotels for luxurious weddings in Ireland. The interior of Castle Leslie is decorated with the warmest furnishings and finished with authentic features which give the whole house its intimate, old world atmosphere. Your entire day will be like a picture perfect story book, from the moment you begin getting ready in the stunningly appointed bridal suite. For larger wedding parties, The Pavilion at Castle Leslie Estate is a delightful space overlooking Glaslough Lake, which can accommodate up to 260 guests.
Powerscourt House & Gardens, Bray, Co. Wicklow
When it comes to winter wedding venues, Powerscourt House & Gardens is truly one that ticks all the ‘wow factor’ boxes. A private wedding venue, Powerscourt’s magnificent Palladian Mansion is exclusively yours to enjoy with your guests, as is the entirety of the sprawling formal gardens that make up this full and formidable estate. Powerscourt House offers a truly special setting for winter weddings, from the mile long driveway to the grand and luxurious foyer and Georgian ballroom, both splendidly appointed with authentic exposed brickwork and stately columns. The Garden Rooms overlook the vista of the formal gardens and the panoramic views of the Wicklow Mountains.
The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare
Originally modeled in the style of a French chateau, The K Club is a winter-perfect venue wedding dreams are made of. Endless photo opportunities await on the gorgeous grounds – from an intimate bride and groom boat trip along the Liffey to the stunning white walkway and water fountain within the perfectly manicured gardens and majestic woodlands. If your day doesn’t lend itself particularly well to outdoor shots you needn’t fret – the interior of The K Club is just as impressive as the grounds outside. The Yates Room & Old Entrance Hall are also available for winter-themed photographs with lantern, candlelight and open fireplaces burning throughout the day.
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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.