Planning an epic party to mark your impending nuptials? Wedding trends come and go but Ireland is blessed with some of the most timeless wedding venues in the world. Whether you’re from just up the road or further afield and on the hunt for a destination wedding venue, this is your definitive list of exclusive use, private wedding venues in Ireland.
10. Kilshane House
Family run Kilshane House in County Tipperary offers all of the amenities of a bigger wedding venue without compromising on exclusivity. The double height ballroom is draped in white and offers plenty of room for dancing. The venue also arranges the excellent in-house catering meaning one less thing for you to worry about.
The house and gardens are entirely yours for the day, including the Orangery (a very fancy way of saying conservatory) which houses an indoor fountain. It’s a beautiful setting for a civil ceremony or drinks reception. Just imagine it, a jazz quartet in the Orangery as the Champagne flows and your guests happily mingle.
9. Trudder Lodge
Another family run venue, this time in County Wicklow. Trudder Lodge’s humble name belies its Georgian Palladian grandeur. If you and your beloved fancy yourselves as Lord and Lady of the Manor, then this is the venue for you. The house and grounds (including a walled garden) are rented exclusively, giving you the use of the whole house.
But this is no staid country pile. It has a reputation for attracting some of the coolest weddings around (including some celebrity bashes but I couldn’t possibly name names…). The party happens in the sturdy marquee where your guests dance until dawn (or until the midnight feast in the woods!) and continues in the cozy cellar bar.
8. Number 25 Fitzwilliam Square
Something a little different in the heart of Georgian Dublin. Number 25 would suit an intimate gathering of up to 60 guests. It’s a unique but fuss-free option. Catering and a full bar can be supplied on-site by the owners and its opulent, lovingly restored period features require minimal additional decoration. The building and its high ceilinged reception rooms speak for themselves. An elegant and grown-up option for a chic city wedding.
7. Ashford Castle
Let’s be frank. Ashford is not an option for everybody. A certain golfing superstar’s second fiancée managed to seal the deal there recently. But if you are one of the privileged few who could consider exclusive use of the castle, then it would be remiss of us not to include it.
Anyway, a gal can dream! Exclusive use of the magnificent castle and its extensive estate includes 83 bedrooms, exclusive use of all restaurants and bars including the regal George V Dining Room. For you reception, consider the impressive Oak Hall for a show stopping olde-worlde reception in the heart of the castle.
The following day, your guests can enjoy a cruise on Lough Corrib, falconry, fishing and spa treatments. Didn’t we mention? Ashford’s recent €60 million upgrades included the installation of a discreet spa and pool. Perfect for shaking off the cobwebs the morning after.
6. Ballyvolane House
There is an award-winning on-site gin distillery. Need we say more? In case that hasn’t convinced you, Ballyvolane House is a private venue on 80 acres in Cork. The vibe here is distinctly vintage chic. They even offer old-timey lawn games for your guests! Originally built in 1728, it was remodelled in Victorian times giving it a classically Italianate look.
The owners have international hospitality experience so they bring meticulous five-star hotel quality wedding planning to a party house venue. A fantastic combination. The food is farm to fork pedigree and the on-site accommodation includes luxurious bell-tent glamping. It’s definitely one for the boho-brides. Did we mention they make gin?!
5. Virginia Park Lodge
Foodie alert. This 18th-century hunting lodge in County Cavan was once the love-nest of the 4th Marquess of Headfort and his wife, actress Rosie Boote but these days it belongs to renowned chef Richard Corrigan.
Situated on 100 acres of private lands on the banks of Lough Ramor, the scenery is almost as good as the food, much of which is grown organically on site in the romantic sounding Gooseberry Garden Farm. This venue marries the exclusivity of a country house with a fabulous food offering and offers high-end hotel quality accommodation for 100 guests.
4. Tankardstown House
Although Tankardstown House is technically a boutique hotel, it’s evolved into a dedicated wedding venue. The seven opulent bedrooms in the main house are yours on the night of your wedding and courtyard cottage accommodation is available for 36 people. It’s the best of both worlds.
Experienced staff used to large weddings (it can accommodate large parties up to 250 guests) but still with an eye for detail and a well-oiled kitchen in a venue that offers exclusive use of the house and grounds.
But Tankardstown House’s real selling point is the understated classic elegance of the venue. It even offers chiavari chairs as standard in the Orangery, lending your wedding a Pinterest-worthy sheen (if you had to Google chiavari chairs then are you even planning a wedding at all…?)
3. Clonwilliam House
Clonwilliam House is a little younger than other period home wedding venues, having been built in the 19th century and recently renovated. It offers a glamorous fusion of period charm and 21st-century luxury, including a private swimming pool and the six stunning bedrooms, feature cast-iron roll top baths. Large weddings are accommodated in a marquee on the grounds and the venue can assist with catering and all other wedding suppliers for seamless wedding planning.
It’s one of the most exclusive wedding venues in the country as it only accepts a limited number of wedding parties each year. Ireland’s answer to Pemberly; all this venue is missing is Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
2. Luttrellstown Castle
Nestled in over 500 acres, this private castle resort is ideally situated for destination weddings as it’s a short drive (or chopper ride if that’s your style) from Dublin airport. You may recall that Spice Girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham wed her footballer husband here some years ago.
The castle, its 12 fabulously decorated bedrooms and the immediately surrounding grounds are available for exclusive use. You will dine under the vaulted ceilings of the Van Stry ballroom, which can accommodate up to 120 guests. The staff are happy to accommodate any outrageous celebrity style request and the castle has been included in Conde Nast’s roundup of ‘Outrageous Wedding Venues.’ If it’s good enough for Victoria Beckham…
Maybe give the matching thrones a miss though.
1. Gloster House
When you’re in the throes of the wedding years it can feel like you’re intimately acquainted with every wedding venue in the country, as all of your gal pals tie the knot.
It’s understandable to want something totally new for your own big day. Enter Gloster House. This 300-year-old year stately home underwent an extensive yet sensitive restoration to its former glory and was recently launched as a private wedding venue. The light-filled banqueting room features a large conservatory overlooking the walled gardens.
Gloster House could be ideal if you’re planning a short engagement. It’s a new wedding venue so popular dates haven’t yet been snapped up and it’s sure to be most of your guests’ first visit.