There are a variety of reasons why couples shortlist certain venues for their big day – maybe it’s down to its proximity to home, or because they’ve been to a great wedding there before? Maybe the deal was sealed with countless sparkling reviews on weddingsonline, or perhaps it’s because the head chef makes the best desserts in the country. Whatever the reason behind your wedding venue shortlist, one major aspect to consider when choosing ‘the one’ is if it lends itself to great photographs of the day. Your wedding album will hold the memories of one of the most important days of your life and will become priceless piece of family history for generations to come. Luckily with a professional photographer on your side you can’t really go wrong when it comes to documenting your day (and we’re pretty sure the amazing photographers listed on weddingsonline will already be very familiar with our pick of the best photo ops below!) but if you need a further reason to fall in love with your venue, imagine yourself in these stunning photos and prepare to get excited about your own!Castle Leslie EstateYou are completely spoiled for choice when it comes to stunning photo opportunities in the elegant setting of Castle Leslie Estate. Some of our favourite photos are featured above; a fabulous portrait of the bride and groom on the lawn with the majestic castle in the background (Weddings by Kara – see full real wedding here); a bride getting ready, perfectly complemented by the pretty powder blue walls and paisley curtains in the bridal suite (Shane O’Neill, Aspect Photography – see full real wedding here); an unusually framed photo of guests arriving with the lake as a backdrop (Shane O’Neill, Aspect Photography); and guests relaxing on the couches within the warm and beautifully antiqued drawing room (Shane O’Neill, Aspect Photography).Bellinter House HotelOne of the most striking settings for photos in the pretty Bellinter House is the bathroom in the bridal suite – yes, it sounds like a very unusual way to kick off your wedding album but trust us, you’ll love the photos of you and your girls getting ready when you see them! Bold teal walls, wooden floors and an animal print fur rug provide a great contrast to a delicate white dress and photograph so well. We also love the photo of the bride and groom perched on a bench below a huge tree, which we think would be ideally placed as a double page spread in a wedding story book. There is also a fabulous red walled games room downstairs – a photo of the bride and groom playing pool together here is a must! Both of the photos above are by Laura Faherty Photography and you can see the full wedding here!Glasson Lakehouse, WestmeathGlasson Hotel is perched on the edge of the incredibly picturesque Lough Ree and the entire setup of the former manor house is designed with these spectacular views in mind. Not only is it a must to take advantage of the sprawling countryside by being photographed outside with the lake pooling in the background (bella&bold Photography – see full real wedding here) – you should also get your contemporary photo quota up with some fabulous naturally lit photos on the gorgeous glass staircase which leads to the main banqueting suite (Couple Photography – see real wedding here).Maryborough Hotel & Spa, CorkThe Maryborough Hotel‘s distinctive interiors provide the perfect backdrop for cool, contemporary wedding photographs. We love the lush green couch in the drawing room which has proved to be quite the understated throne for many couple’s wedding photos. Another great spot for a documentary style image is the magnificent marble staircase with its fabulous deep red walls – to see just how beautiful the shots can be check out this stunning real wedding by Rory O’Toole.K Club, KildareThis beautiful real wedding by Michelle Prunty Photography is possibly one of our favourite ever on weddingsonline, and it’s possible that just about anywhere the immensely talented Michelle points her camera is the perfect photo op but these three images really stand out! We’re obsessed with the photo of the bride and groom on front of the striking red Georgian door which makes for a most powerful image. Of course the perfectly manicured lawns of the K Club are going to feature heavily in any good photographer’s wedding day schedule but we think this gorgeous photo of the bride and groom walking off down the pathway is a particularly special way to showcase the beauty this venue has to offer.Lough Rynn Castle HotelLough Rynn Castle Hotel is a most sublime setting for a classically beautiful wedding album of photos – as these images by Peter Rowen Photography perfectly demonstrate. The meticulously manicure lawns that surround the castle lend themselves to some fabulous outdoor shots, with the historic castle looming in the background. Many couples fall in love with Lough Rynn as soon as they find themselves on the warm and winding tree-lined driveway, with the shimmering lake on one side and the sun streaming through the leaves – it makes for an atmospheric photo on the big day and a great image to look back on to give you the same butterflies you felt at the time! Find even more beautiful photos and inspiration in the full version of this real wedding here.Clonabreany HouseThe contemporary, chic Clonabreany House in Meath is one of the most picturesque venues around and its seclusion and exclusivity mean you have the whole place to yourself to capture beautiful photos in comfort. The beautiful stone exterior of the house makes for a beautiful backdrop for the bride and groom, while internally the charcoal grey walls, lavish crystal chandeliers and sleek staircase offer a beautiful contrast for the bride in white. Photos of the marquee are also a must – we particularly love images of the black and white square dancefloor where couples, enjoying the first dance often appear the most relaxed and content. View more beautiful photos by Paul Andrews Photography and get some great inspiration for your own Clonabreany House wedding here.Rathsallagh HouseThe romantic Rathsallagh House is wall to wall photo ops, and our favourite are those found in the beautifully appointed walkway to the banqueting suite. The soft furnishings and lantern-lined floor creates the perfect frame for a pretty photo of the bride and groom as they stroll hand-in-hand into their wedding reception for the first time. The full feature of this real wedding by Eden Photography showcases just how beautiful a wedding album from Rathsallagh could truly be – see it here.The Village at LyonsThe grounds of the Village at Lyons are simply breathtaking and make for the most magnificent, romantic wedding photos, as these photos by Michelle Prunty prove so well. Everything about Lyons comes together so perfectly – from the beautifully rustic stone walls to the meticulously manicured lawns and ancient, majestic trees that surround them. One of the most essential photos is the bride and groom on the bridge over the fabulous waterfall. Another essential is the walkway around the estate – maybe with a little pit stop on the patio furniture spotted around the garden. For more ideas, check out the full version of this magical real wedding here.
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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.