I wanted to do a post on wedding venues in Ireland today in honor of St Patrick’s Day. That got me thinking that it might be a good chance to talk a little about my own impending wedding. So… deep breath- here goes! In December 2011 myself and Gabe got engaged after a good few years together (ok a LOT of years, like almost 14). So, obviously not one to rush into things, I took my own advice and enjoyed the engagement for a good while before starting to plan. When we did start to consider what to do, our first thought was to have a destination wedding somewhere really nice with just immediate family. This didn’t get a fantastic reception with the actual immediate family so we changed the plan to a medium one (or as small as we could make it) at home in Ireland. We were hoping to keep the list down to about 100 guests or so. I spent a few weeks narrowing down the venues that I liked most, and then it was time to take a trip to see the list of 5 I had compiled. On a misty day Lindsay and I set out, along with my brother’s girlfriend Áine, and I’d like to share the venues that we saw with you today. The criteria for these venues were as follows:

✈ Within an hour’s drive from Dublin

✈ Able to hold 100 – 120 guests for reception

✈ With marquee tent on grounds, or facility to set one up

Wedding Venues Ireland

(Lisnavagh House)

Tankardstown House

The Orangery of Tankardstown is simply gorgeous, and a beautiful place to have a ceremony. Akin to a large conservatory, it is bright and airy- almost like being outside. But in Ireland, chances of it not raining for say, an hour at a time are slim so this is a really good option if you were hoping for something like an outdoor ceremony. But, in the rare instance that this golden hour of sunshine were to occur, this venue also has really pretty walled garden outside (Lindsay and I were very excited- several secret garden/festival ideas springing to mind!) and place for a marquee. We also fell in love with the decor of the rooms, which really are done to perfection.

Wedding Venues in Ireland: Tankardstown HouseWedding Venues in Ireland: Tankardstown House

Lisnavagh House

Our first impression at Lisnavagh was one of true Irish hospitality. This venue was third on our schedule that day and after driving around for nearly 5 hours, a good few wrong turns under our belt, we were famished. We were so delighted to be offered a cup of tea and biscuits by the housekeeper who met us and fell on it as if we hadn’t eaten in a week! A great start to a tour of a venue that really impressed us- not only the beautiful house but the grounds and permanent marquee as well. Lisnavagh is actually still owned by descendent of the people who built it, and there are lovely historical details like old photos in the rooms upstairs. The house is available for exclusive use only, which I really liked the idea of. Around 42 guests can be accommodated with beds between the main house, cottages and the stables. Up to 200 can be accommodated within 15 minutes drive of the estate itself. They also have a permanent marquee set up on the grounds which can host the reception, there is a large parlor in the house which would be able to host smaller ones too.

Wedding Venues in Ireland: Lisnavagh HouseWedding Venues in Ireland: Lisnavagh House

Huntington Castle

If you’re looking for the wow factor, the approach to Huntington Castle certainly has this in spades. It was definitely the most impressive looking venue of the day as we drove up the drive, even a bit mysterious in the mist that hung over it (as you can see!) Lindsay actually covered Huntington in her Irish Wedding Castles post last year with lots more photos and info. I did like this venue (I loved the tree lined avenue at the back of the garden, a great place for wedding photos) but decided after viewing it that a ‘castle wedding’ wasn’t really for us.

Wedding Venues in Ireland: Huntington CastleWedding Venues in Ireland: Huntington CastleWedding Venues in Ireland: Huntington Castle

Ballybeg

I liked the fact that Ballybeg as a venue seems really open to individual customisation for the weddings they host. The venue consists of a main house with three bedrooms, a very pretty chapel-style ceremony room, and a marquee already in situ. Also available to the wedding party is a gorgeous little cottage 10 minute’s drive from the main area, Grouse Lodge, which could be used by the bridal party the night before and the newlyweds the night after the wedding. There are pretty walled gardens on the grounds too, which you can see below.

Wedding Venues: Ballybeg HouseWedding Venues in Ireland: Ballybeg

Ballintubbert House

So I’ve saved my favourite for last. The gardens of Ballintubbert, the ivy-covered house, the beautiful pool and lovely interior decor stole the show for me. We got so excited when we reached this venue, it was our last one to view as well and we just knew we had found “the one”! In one of the gardens there is a round pool with steps at the top that would be perfect for a ceremony. There is a permanent big top in situ, with a pretty walk through an orchard from the main house to get there. The house itself only sleeps 6 people but from midnight Ballintubbert provides buses every half an hour to ferry guests back and forth to their lodgings nearby, of which there are a good selection. In the second photos below you can see the view looking out the front door, and beside it the view of the front steps (can you see the guest that entered the house while we were viewing the gardens?)

Wedding Venues in Ireland: BallintubbertWedding Venues in Ireland: BallintubbertWedding Venues in Ireland: BallintubbertWedding Venues in Ireland: BallintubbertWedding Venues in Ireland: Ballintubbert

The Wedding Plan Change

So why aren’t we getting married in Ballintubbert? Planning got a bit more complicated when Gabe’s job took him to the US in May of last year and we moved over to Atlanta, where we are at the moment. To be honest the more we thought about the large wedding at home, the less we wanted to do it. That plan just wasn’t us. Neither of us is a fan of the limelight and for me, the thought of being the centre of attention for a whole day was literally making me lose sleep. I’ll keep you updated on what we actually decide to do. I feel bad that Lindsay spent two whole days driving me round the Irish countryside though and want to say a big thanks to her. THE most patient and long-suffering maid of honor ever! And hey, at least we got to share these great venues with all of you?!

9 Responses

  1. Lisa O'Dwyer

    Those are really gorgeous venues! I’ve photographed at two of them. The outdoor ceremony at Ballybeg (in the rain!) was my favorite! I think Ireland has some really amazing venues and so many opportunities for gorgeous photos! Too many dark churches though….so I’d advise couples to go with the civil ceremonies at the venue and chance them outdoors :)

    Reply
  2. Amy

    Actually that was what Andrew who showed us around Ballintubbert said- to chance the ceremony outdoors in the garden, if it rained we could delay it a bit & we only needed about 20 minutes without rain which we’d hopefully get. On a good day there isn’t a more beautiful country in the world!

    Reply
  3. Lindsay

    I’m Maid of Honor? GO ON!! You forgot to tell me that ;) it was a fun day Amy. Ballintubbert was gorgeous, pity that they don’t seem to be doing weddings now..

    Reply
  4. Sinead Farrelly

    That was my lovely brother Andrew that showed you around Ballintubbert Gardens. We lost him to a brain tumour on the 19th May 2013, he is buried in the Gardens hear the Boundary wall with the church. I am so glad you got the Andrew tour of Ballintubbert. He loved it with all his heart.

    Reply
    • Amy

      I’m so sorry to hear that Sinead! Andrew was indeed a lovely man, a real character and he actually made the visit to Ballintubbert so much fun for us. He was a huge part in my decision to pick this venue as my favourite and I’m really glad I got to meet him. My deepest condolences!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.