When you get engaged you are so excited and there are so many thoughts and ideas running through your head that its so hard to know where to start.
A good place to start is your wedding venue but with so many options and venues to choose from, where do you begin?
Take it from someone who had no clue where she wanted to get married, it can be a very enjoyable yet frustrating experience when you think you are never going to find your dream wedding venue.
So after a lot of research I decided to help my fellow brides to be out there with my top tips when choosing a venue and also my top wedding venues picks in Ireland.
Top Tips when choosing a wedding venue
1. Decide on your budget – deciding on a budget will help you eliminate and narrow down your venue choices.
2. Consider what size your wedding is going to be as some venues have a limit on the numbers they can accommodate
3. Decide on what type of venue you like i.e a hotel, an exclusive venue, a marquee, a castle, a quirky venue etc
4. Consider the distance from your church/service to the venue – Having to travel a long way from your church/service will really eat into your wedding day and can be unfair on your guests – try and keep travelling time to a minimum on the day.
5. Check does your venue have enough accommodation for all your guests. If not is there alternative accommodation nearby?
6. Visit a few different venues before you decide – It can help you work out what you like and what you don’t like and also you may pick up some good ideas from different venues.
7. See what packages the venues have to offer and whats included in each – Some packages include everything i.e wine, choice of main course, evening food, chair covers, decorations etc and some do not. Investigate the packages and be sure you know whats included and whats not as otherwise you will have additional costs that you may not have budgeted for.
8. Have you considered a wedding abroad? Its not for everyone but for others it becomes a trip of a lifetime.
9. What time does the bar close? Is there a cost for a bar extension or is it included? For most Irish weddings this is very important as there is nothing worse then the bar closing just as the party is getting into full swing.
10. Check the venues reputation and reviews – make sure your venue has a good reputation and that previous brides and grooms were happy with their big day
Top wedding venues picks in Ireland.
Moyvalley Hotel & Gold Resort – Co Kildare
I literally fell in love with Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort when we went to visit it and ended up booking it there and then. It ticked all the boxes for us, enough accommodation, an exclusive house on the grounds ‘Balyna House’, day two options, a golf course etc.
The venue and the grounds are absolutely beautiful, perfect for a summer or winter wedding. The house offers a unique a quirky element to the day while the modern hotel offers a traditional wedding option and elegant accommodation, the best of both worlds.
I knew this venue was the one for us as I got butterflies as we discussed how the day would plan out in the venue. Both myself and my fiance as well as my parents fell head over heels with the place instantly.
A very big plus for us and one of the main reasons we signed on the dotted line there and then was the wedding planner, Orla. When we met with Orla she was fantastic and put us totally at ease assuring us our day would be everything we wanted it to be and more. She is so approachable and happy to help with any queries we have, I cannot recommend her enough and having someone you trust and get along with in the venue is a very big plus in my opinion.
We know a couple who got married here last year and they were raving about the place which is great. We are hoping to have a few days of celebrations here in the lead up to and after the wedding and are really looking forward to it 🙂
Lyrath Estate – Co Kilkenny
Lyrath Estate is beautiful and a great combination of a country house and large hotel. The house itself is exclusive to the wedding on the day followed by the reception in the hotel if your having a large wedding.
The hotel itself is a cut above the rest and your guests will absolutely love it, not to mention the fabulous spa.
The accommodation and venue itself can be quite pricey but well worth it if your budget will stretch.
Ballymagarvey Village – Co Meath
I recently attended a wedding here and fell in love. The venue is absolutely stunning.
The village is exclusive to the wedding and the many different rooms and gardens means that at every turn there is another charming area to be discovered.
The food is delicious and staff are extremely helpful and friendly. We had a ball at the wedding we attended and I have been raving about the place ever since.
Parknasilla Resort & Spa – Co Kerry
Parknasilla Resort & Spa is absolute luxury and the ideal setting for a summer wedding. The surrounds are absolutely beautiful and hotel itself is out of this world.
It has 85 bedrooms and suites as well as 24 two bedroom self catering lodges and 38 three bedroom self catering villas so plenty of accommodation for a large wedding. It also has a great golf course which is a must have for many grooms.
Bellingham Castle – Co Louth
Bellingham castle is one of the most striking and impressive wedding venues I have ever been too. It is an exclusive castle venue that oozes elegance and class.
The grounds are exquisite and perfect for photos for a summer wedding. It is also a perfect venue for a winter wedding as the inside of the castle is just as fabulous as the outside.
A definite must see if you are looking for a wedding venue, it will not disappoint.
Powerscourt Hotel – Co Wicklow
This is one of my favourite hotels in Ireland, and is perfect for a wedding no matter what the size.
No doubt you have heard of this fantastic 5 star hotel and if not then I’m glad to put it on your radar as you won’t be disappointed.
Surrounded by some of the most magnificent gardens and located near the Great Sugar Loaf mountain the venue is as romantic as it gets.
Springfort Hall – Co Cork
A unique and beautiful country house that will knock your socks off. I have heard great reviews about this venue and its gorgeous gardens, perfect for a summer wedding.
The country house is ideal for an intimate wedding but can also accommodate weddings as big as 300+.
The venue is family run meaning there is a personal touch applied to every wedding and no stone is left unturned.
Cabra Castle – Co Cavan
A sister hotel to Castle Bellingham, Cabra Castle is just as exquisite and from the moment you arrive their promise is that you will be treated as royalty.
The castle is family owned and run and strictly caters for one wedding a day meaning you will get their full attention on the day.
The venue itself can cater up to 350 people and won castle venue of the year 2016 on weddingsonline.ie
Clonabreany House – Co Meath
A beautiful exclusive venue that can accommodate up to 220 guests in a hard walled structured marquee.
The venue has 37 bedrooms on site and also have a cozy private restaurant and bar. I know a couple who got married here recently and they highly recommend it.
Definitely worth a visit if you are looking for an exclusive venue.
Solis Lough Eske Castle – Co Donegal
This five star castle venue is located on the excluded lakeside estate just outside Donegal town. It has 96 luxurious five star rooms and suites to accommodate guests and offers a one wedding per day policy.
The castle itself is beautiful and the surrounds are even better, you are sure to get an amazing backdrop for your wedding photos no matter what the weather.
Hope these tips and top picks help 🙂