Hello guys, I am a recently engaged and while sailing lovely on cloud 9, I am absolutely bamboozled by the sheer detail required in planning a wedding!! My question is, neither me nor my husband-to-be want a Catholic Church wedding (even though we were both brought up as Catholics) and we are really interested in having a spiritual/humanist wedding, my only problem is I cannot find a suitable venue that isn't a hotel room. Ideally we would love an old deconsecrated church or chapel who are licenced for these types of ceremony. We are planning to get married in Kerry and I live in Cork so hopefully somewhere on the way to Kerry.
Any help would be so much appreciated.
Congratulations on your engagement!!
As far as I know, a humanist ceremony can take place anywhere at all, it doesn't have to have any particular licence or anything like that; it's just the HSE ones that have to be held in an approved venue (they basically need to be fairly safe with access, toilets, other rooms available in case of emergency etc) so if you think you definitely want a humanist ceremony, it might be worth getting in touch with your local humanist celebrant to see if they have any suggestions for you - they may have already performed weddings in the type of place you'd like.
I don't have any suggestions for you as I'm not in your locality but I had a HSE ceremony and it was an option for us to have the ceremony in the garden of the hotel, but the weather went against us so we did have it indoors, but just if you're finding it difficult to get a venue, don't rule out hotels completely - one with beautiful grounds might surprise you!
Many congratulations on your engagement - I know its a lovely time but the planning can be stressful especially if you are looking to do something different! I conducted a ceremony on Sherkin Island in the ruins of The Abbey and it was wonderful. We were lucky with the weather as with most old churches there was no roof. Also, it was an intimate ceremony (20 people) but I think it may be worth your while just going over to check it out. You can catch the ferry from Baltimore harbour and theres a lovely hotel nearby called The Islanders Rest. Pop into Caseys in Baltimore also. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance. As for County Kerry there is Kilmalkedar Church near Dingle and there are two ruins in Ardfert - Ardfert Cathedral (restored) in the village or Ardfert Friary (may have to contact OPW) where you have to park your car at Ardfert graveyard and take a 5 minute walk.
Hope this helps