Your wedding day will be special no matter what – all that stressing about flowers and who’s sitting beside who and what particular shade of ivory your veil is really won’t matter once you say “I do”, but you’ll obviously remember the day forever.
And don’t you want to look back twenty years from the big day and still think “wow, I really, really loved where we got married”?
We thought so.
Church weddings are all well and good if you’re into that sort of thing, but with a lot of people shunning the traditional ceremony and opting for a more modern civil ceremony or humanist style, venues have had to up their game.
Ireland is home to some of the most beautiful ceremony venues you could ever find, from secret gardens to rustic barns and Georgian houses.
Here’s 11 of the most unique places in the country to marry the love of your life:
1. Larchfield Estate, Antrim
This countryside haven can cater for smaller parties (up to 150 guests) in The Stables area or larger groups in The Barn.
Nice weather? You have to go with their greenhouse or walled garden option.
2. Killruddery House, Wicklow
This breathtaking old house and gardens has an Orangery space that can be used for a ceremony, or a short walk through their 17th century garden will lead guests to the Grain Store which is a 19th century barn conversion facing onto a charming courtyard.
Like something from a movie.
3. Ballymagarvey Village, Meath
Set in the heart of the Boyne Valley, Ballymagarvey Village can cater for up to 170 guests in their restored Mill Loft.
Outdoor ceremonies can also be catered for in Princess Gwenllian’s garden – it’s super dreamy.
4. Inis Beg Estate, Cork
This is a private island estate that can arrange ceremonies in plenty of scenic locations on site, including the Boat House, the Walled Garden, the Sunken Gardens, the Woodlands and Landscaped Gardens.
Best bit? If you have your reception here too there’s no corkage charge!
5. Borris House, Carlow
This historic house has a gorge double height barn with its beautiful oak beams and rough stone walls that lends itself so well to ceremonies, barbeques and wedding photographs.
6. Cliff at Lyons, Kildare
This rural retreat provides plenty of Instagram worthy ceremony options, including an Orangery or the stunning Mill as your backdrop.
The courtyard is even home to four white doves which can be set free to fly once you say your vows.
7. St Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Meath
This is a really unique venue (yes, yes it’s technically a church but not really) that’s on the grounds of the lovely Loughcrew House.
Imagine how amazing this would look covered in babies breath florals?
8. Riverdale Barn, Armagh
Want a cosy, candlelit rustic vibe? This spot has you sorted.
Get married in The Arches, a barn where you can look out on the pond through the glassed in ‘airing holes’ or wander through the double doors onto the large over-the-water deck and enjoy the calm of the pond.
9. Mussenden Temple, Derry
Based on the Temple of Vesta in Italy, Mussenden Temple is a showstopper location on a cliff with sea views and ancient history.
It can fit up to 100 chairs inside (it’s surprisingly big inside!) and you can even arrange for a drinks reception on site for after the ceremony.
10. Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin
This restored 17th century theatre has church style pew seating for up to 100 guests in its Banquet Hall, and can also accommodate ceremonies in its old theatre space.
Perfect for when you want the city centre location and something cool.
11. Drenagh Estate, Derry
Drenagh Estate is a hidden treasure, and you can have the use of a marquee in Secret Garden for between 100 and 200 guests, the Moon Garden with old stones and hanging plants, or the dramatic indoor house.
Which venue are you eying up?
Header image: Drenagh Estate