Many brides dream of the ultimate fairy tale wedding day and luckily as Ireland boasts some truly magical castles and estates, finding the perfect setting for your wedding is easier than you might think. As a wedding photographer I’m lucky to have visited some stunning locations and so here I round up my five favourite venues in Ireland, fit for a princess!
I’m a sucker for anywhere with gorgeous gardens and Bellingham Castle boasts just that. Located in County Louth, couples are drawn to this 17th century Irish castle for its grandeur. Couples love the fact that from the moment you arrive, you are transported into another world. As you approach via a private, tree-flanked driveway, Bellingham Castle is the centrepiece of a 17 acre estate. The photo opportunities are endless! Outside, the river, mature trees and formal lawns and gardens offer a stunning backdrop, while indoors, the castle’s original features add something a little bit different to photos.
Also a little south, Farnham Estate offers the perfect romantic setting for weddings. With a red carpet welcome and champagne on arrival, the estate aligns with brides’ visions for a fairy tale day. Rural charm is at the heart of this venue and so I love to take advantage of the stunning grounds when the weather allows. When it isn’t on our side, I never worry as inside is just as spectacular. Gorgeous staircases and feature archways always offer the perfect setting for memorable additions to wedding albums.
For couples who love tradition with the perfect balance of modern style, Dundalk’s Darver Castle is top of their list. What fascinates me about the castle is its unique layout. The warm comfort of kitchen style rooms, large drawing room and glass topped conservatory style foyer, complete with private bar creates an instant atmosphere and the perfect way to start your reception. A common theme with the aforementioned venues, the grounds here are equally as beautiful. The high ceilings in the banquet hall display a fine example of hand-crafted timber and stone, offering a unique setting for your reception.
In the north, Larchfield Estate is one of the most highly sought wedding venues, particularly with couples who wish to put their own unique stamp on their day. Built in the 1750s, the privacy of Larchfield Estate will give your wedding that true royal touch. For larger weddings, the 1860’s barn is perfect, while the intimacy of the newly built Orangery is perfect for smaller weddings. Or, if weather allows, you even have the option of holding your wedding outside, safe in the knowledge that you have privacy. Walled gardens, cobbled courtyards and old stone buildings full of character and charm are what make this venue so unique and definitely worthy in my list of favourite venues.
Located in the north west, the gardens at Ballyscullion Park are out of this world, and so offers the perfect romantic setting. The estate offers guests great flexibility and a wealth of options for the ceremony and reception means it’s ideal for weddings of all sizes. The lawns are perfect for an outdoor wedding, or mingling with guests post-ceremony. There’s just something so special about Ballyscullion Park.
So there you have it… my favourite wedding venues fit for all you princess brides.