Choosing your wedding venue is such a big decision and with so many incredible wedding venues dotted around the country, it’s not an easy choice. Couples are truly spoilt for choice with everything from fairy tale castles, charming country houses, stylish hotels and eclectic offerings likes barns available for their Big Day. So just how do couples choose ‘the one’? We looked to our real wedding couples for inspo – find out how they decided on their dream venue below!
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“Being from a coastal city in Texas, Brett and I knew we had to be married by the water, so what better place than Ireland! Our planner Annie showed us Ballycotton and instantly we knew it was the spot for us. A beautiful church looking over the bay with the cosy Bayview Hotel placed along the cliffs nearby. It was the most intimate setting.”
Photo by DKPHOTO | See Christine & Brett’s Big Day here!
2. Ross & Antonia at the Bridge House Hotel, Co. Offaly
“There is no wedding like a Bridge House wedding! Really and truly, I couldn’t have imagined getting married anywhere else. We looked at one other venue when we got engaged really just for the sake of it and it didn’t come close to what the Bridge House do! It was such a fantastic feeling walking into the hotel to a guard of honour and everyone I work with there to welcome us. The atmosphere in the Bridge House for a wedding is like no other – honestly you can’t describe it, and you just can’t buy atmosphere. We knew everyone was going to have an amazing day, and of course the food is amazing. Ross was more than happy to go with the Bridge House too and we are so delighted we did.”
Photo by Finn Mooney Photography | See Ross & Antonia’s fab day here!
“We had been to BrookLodge several times for breaks and we love it there. The setting is beautiful but more importantly for us, the food is always top class. This was the main reason we chose this venue and we were not disappointed on the day.”
Photo by Konrad Kubic Photography | See Caroline & Michael’s foodie wedding here!
“Mount Wolseley was first on our list and as soon as we walked in and looked around, we were in love with it. We visited other hotels in the area but our mind kept being drawn back to Mount Wolseley. We loved the grounds, the private drinks reception area for your wedding guests and the beautiful ballroom. Mount Wolseley has various different packages and we tweaked a few elements between packages to suit us. Gill Long was amazing in helping us achieve everything we had pictured. On the day Mount Wolseley went above and beyond the call of duty and pulled out all the stops for us.”
Photo by Denlo Photography | See Anne & Julian’s amazing day here!
5. Shane & Caroline at Cliff at Lyons, Co. Kildare
“Many years ago I visited Cliff at Lyons and the beautiful surroundings and elegance enchanted me. I knew if ever I was planning a wedding, this was going to be my dream location. When we got engaged in March 2016, it was my first wedding related call – 3 weeks into our engagement it was booked.”
Photo by M&M Photography | See Caroline & Shane’s dreamy day here!
“Fiona fell in love with Ballyseede Castle when she went to view it with her chief bridesmaid Elaine. It had such character and a beautiful intimate feeling. We also chose it because we could exclusively book it out and I loved the idea of having a castle to ourselves for a night!! They had an extension by the time our wedding rolled around which made our drinks reception perfect! The staff were unbelievable and made our weekend so special.”
Photo by Tara Donoghue Photography | See Fiona & Gary’s charming castle wedding here!
7. Ann Marie & Risteard at Summerhill House, Co. Wicklow
“We had originally planned to go to Avoca the day we booked our venue, Summerhill House Hotel in Enniskerry. Avoca was closed and we wanted coffee and a scone and by accident arrived at Summerhill House. It was everything we hoped for and more on the day. It has a beautiful garden to the front and the vintage country house itself is beautiful. Everyone was so friendly and from the moment we stepped inside that first day, we knew it was the perfect place for us.”
Photo by Couple Photography | See Ann Marie & Risteard’s chic celebrations here!
8. Blathnat & Alan at Carton House, Co. Kildare
“Carton House, The Old House, blew us away when we first saw it. An exceptional setting steeped in culture and art that rivals the National Gallery. The grounds are magnificent. Fionnuala is the wedding coordinator in Carton House. She was a great help in the run up to our big day. She was always on hand to answer every single question and query and helped us to relax knowing that we were in her capable hands. Fionnuala ensured everything ran seamlessly on the day.”
Photo by Ebony & Pearl Photography | See Blathnat & Alan’s chic Carton House wedding here!
9. Mairead & Oliver at Kilronan Castle, Co. Roscommon
“Kilronan Castle just ticked all the boxes for us. We wanted somewhere where all our guests could stay over for a few days. The castle is such a beautiful venue in a gorgeous setting. The staff were just so helpful and made Ollie and I feel very special on every occasion when visiting the castle before the wedding and on the day of the wedding. I guess the selling point for me was that special walkway down to the ballroom which is just lit by tea lights. It’s just so so beautiful!”
Photo by Memories Photography by Magda | See Mairead & Oliver’s magical day here!
“We chose our venue because Tinakilly Country House was convenient for our guests to get to and it had everything we wanted – a lovely old house for the drinks reception, a bright spacious marquee for the main reception and gorgeous surroundings which would look great in any weather.”
Photo by David Maury Photography | See Aimee & Joseph’s charming day here!
“Barberstown Castle suited us perfectly. From the minute we drove up the long drive and stepped foot in the hotel, we couldn’t imagine having our wedding anywhere else. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and truly makes you feel as if you have been transported to a different time. Each room is uniquely beautiful and we loved the fact that our guests only had to walk across the lawn to the banquet hall to attend our reception. The banquet hall was a stunning space with a very medieval feel that was breathtaking and really sealed the deal for us.”
Photo by Memories Photography by Magda | See Sarah & Dom’s magical castle wedding here!
“Ballymagarvey Village is a stunning location, I was at a wedding there before and the food and service was excellent. They really treated us like royalty. The banqueting hall is stunning. All our guests were raving about it! You have the whole place to yourselves and there are so many rooms and gardens to explore, it really is magical. It is only 10 minutes from the bride’s home and from the church so it was an ideal location and fitted our theme perfectly.”
Photo by Couple Photography | See Heather & Richard’s beautiful Big Day here!
13. Michelle & Conor at Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan
“Cabra Castle was the first venue we looked at and we chose it because it was magical. It was everything we wanted in a venue and it fit in perfectly with our theme. We wanted timeless class and this was what Cabra Castle has in every way. Also, the staff and wedding coordinator Paul and Johnny made it so easy and nothing was ever an issue. They made us feel so welcome from booking right the way up to the day and afterwards. They accommodated our every need. We are very happy we chose the venue and couldn’t recommend them enough.”
Photo by Colin Colleran Photography | See Michelle & Conor’s stunning bash here!
“We wanted somewhere local that could cater for our large numbers. No better venue than the Hodson Bay overlooking the lake. The fabulous lake view is an ideal backdrop for photos and thankfully the weather was perfect on the day. The Hodson Bay is used to hosting weddings all of the time. The staff could do it in their sleep. That is what you want!”
Photo by Kevin Morris Photography | See Thomas & Aimee’s fun festivities here!
15. Louise & Brendan at The Millhouse, Co. Meath
“I had always loved The Millhouse and when we went to see it, we knew it would be perfect for us. From the ceremony in the old mill to the dinner in the pavilion, it has so much to offer. The Millhouse did a fantastic job for us. On the day Aidan and Tina look after you so well, you don’t have to worry about a thing.”
Photo by Jialin Long photography | See Louise & Brendan’s romantic day here!
16. Bronwyn & Padraig at Clonabreany House, Co. Meath
“We wanted to have our wedding ceremony and reception in one place and we also wanted somewhere private, just for us for the weekend, which could accommodate a large number of guests. Very specific requests, but Clonabreany House had all of it and is such a beautiful venue in a gorgeous setting! On top of that, their staff were so friendly and incredibly professional, they were so kind and contributed hugely to the success of our wedding.”
Photo by Louise Scott Photography | See Bronwyn & Padraig’s quirky celebrations here!
17. Laura & Patrick at Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill
“We chose our venue because of the beach location in Salthill and how easy it was to get to the Galway Bay Hotel from Claremorris. I had liked the idea of having wedding photos on the beach! However, we were blessed with a heatwave that week so the beach was packed with people!”
Photo by Deirdre Langan Photography | See Patrick & Laura’s gorgeous Galway wedding here!
“Radisson Blu St. Helen’s is a stunning venue and just perfect for a Dublin wedding. When it came to viewing potential venues, this was always a front-runner for us. With the beautifully manicured gardens and great selection of reception rooms, it was just perfect. Zuzana, our wedding planner was fantastic and looked after us so well the whole way through. She listened to what we wanted and delivered that and so much more. On the day, itself everything was arranged exactly as we had imagined and the room looked stunning. The staff in the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s were just fantastic on the day and throughout. I cannot say enough good things about them and all our guests were talking about how good the food was.”
Photo by The Fennells | See Terence & Louise’s beautiful Radisson Blu wedding here!
“Firstly we wanted somewhere local that our guests did not have to travel too far to. And secondly a venue with a wow factor and from walking through the doors of The Heritage Killenard on our first visit, we knew we had found both. The rest we left up to the amazing staff at the Heritage and the day came together perfectly.”
Photo by Eric Molimard Photography | See Laura & David’s gorgeous wedding here!
“Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort was actually the first and only wedding venue we went to view. We knew from the moment we saw it that this was our venue. It was the perfect mix of vintage and modern and we loved that they had a separate building for the ceremony itself instead of just a room in the hotel. Our ceremony was in the Stone House, our drinks reception was in Balyna House and then the meal and reception was in the main hotel. Orla and all the staff went above and beyond for us to make sure the whole day was perfect.”
Photo by Konrad Kubic Photography | See Sharon & Jamie’s charming day here!
Use our Venue Finder to Find your Dream Wedding Venue!
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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.