5 Luxury Venues for a Small Wedding in Ireland

We often think of weddings as great big parties with lots of people, but more and more couples are now opting for a small wedding in Ireland instead. This is partly due to the Coronavirus pandemic making micro weddings the norm for the next while. But even before COVID-19, smaller weddings were on the rise. And why not? Bijoux celebrations create a lovely, intimate feeling and allow you to spend quality time with each of your guests. They also allow you to splash out on elements like the food, photography – and venue! And, while the Emerald Isle is home to huge castles and sprawling estates, you’ll also find many gorgeous options for a small wedding in Ireland. But that doesn’t mean giving up any of the beautiful spaces or five star service you’d expect from a large-scale event. Here are five luxurious Irish venues perfect for an intimate wedding.

Please note: Venue capacities quoted below may not reflect changes due to COVID-19 safety guidelines. Please contact individual venues for their most up-to-date information and guidance.

small wedding in Ireland Clonwilliam House

small wedding in Ireland Clonwilliam House

Clonwilliam House

Nestled atop the Vale of Avoca in County Wicklow – the ‘garden of Ireland’ – Clonwilliam House is a stunning Georgian property known for its exclusivity and impeccable style. The property combines boutique countryside charm with the amenities of a luxury hotel, including six sumptuous bedrooms, a personal butler, an underground swimming pool, and spa treatments. The house, which plays host to only a limited number of weddings each year, boasts a mix of classic and contemporary décor, with pastel hues, decorative plasterwork, open fires, and sparkling candelabras. With no guest minimum, the dining room is the perfect location for a chic small reception, although larger parties can be accommodated in the barn and stables.

small wedding in Ireland Waterford Castle

Waterford Castle

If you’re dreaming of a castle wedding in Ireland but want to make it an intimate affair, Waterford Castle is your venue. This fairytale 16th century castle is set on its own 310-acre island, accessible only by private ferry. Couples are able to book exclusive use of the castle and its 19 stately bedrooms and suites, making it the ultimate in privacy, security, and luxury. And yet it’s only 90 minutes away from either Dublin or Cork. With a variety of rooms, the award-winning resort caters to intimate elopements right up to events with 120 guests.

small wedding in Ireland No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place

No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place

For a micro wedding in Dublin, you won’t find a more stylish venue than the ultra chic No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place. Set in the heart of the city, along the Georgian mile, this beautifully-restored period venue specialises in smaller weddings, hosting up to 60 guests. The décor is gorgeous, the food is divine, and the views from the floor-to-ceiling sash windows make this a truly special city wedding venue.

small wedding in Ireland Virginia Park Lodge

Virginia Park Lodge

Foodies: this one’s for you! Virginia Park Lodge is a former 18th-century hunting estate that was taken over in 2014 by Michelin star chef, Richard Corrigan. Set in beautiful Cavan countryside, and decorated in a style best described as ‘homely luxury’, the venue unsurprisingly has a strong focus on food. All wedding menus are exclusively designed by Richard Corrigan, incorporating fine seasonal produce sourced from local suppliers and the Lodge’s own extensive gardens. While larger Virginia Park Lodge weddings take place in the glass-walled pavilion, the beautiful Marchioness banqueting room hosts smaller weddings for up to 90 guests.

small wedding in Ireland Bantry House

Bantry House

Bantry House in West Cork is a charming setting for an intimate destination wedding in Ireland, an exclusive space that offers complete privacy. The true country house experience! Built in the early 18th century, this fine historical home is set within lavish tiered gardens, overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay. The views are incredible, and the house itself is home to an impressive private collection of art and antique furniture. It has a maximum capacity of 100 guests (a marquee can be erected for larger weddings) and six carefully-restored bedrooms, with additional accommodation available nearby.

These are just a few of the amazing venues available for a small wedding in Ireland. I’m always happy to help guide my clients to find the perfect one for them, so if you’re considering a micro wedding, do get in touch!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Lisa O’Dwyer, Christina Brosnan, Clonwilliam House, Waterford Castle, No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place, Virginia Park Lodge, Lisa O’Dwyer

10 Irish Drinks for a Wedding Bar

Whether you’re planning a destination wedding in Ireland or want to give a nod to your Irish heritage from afar, having Irish drinks at your wedding is a great way to do it. After all, the Irish famously do like a tipple! Fortunately, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Irish drinks. Our beverages, from stout to whiskey, are distributed and enjoyed across the world. So whatever your taste, you’ll find something to tickle your fancy. Here are ten Irish drinks to consider adding to your wedding bar.

Irish Whiskey

First on the list has to be Irish whiskey, as we produce some of the world’s finest! The Gaelic term for whiskey is ‘uisce beatha’ (pronounced ish-ka bah-ha) which translates as ‘water of life’. Common types include single malt, single grain, and blended whiskey, and many of the most popular brands (such as Jameson, Bushmills, and Tullamore Dew) are household names. With so many to choose from, a special Irish whiskey bar is always popular with guests, but other options are having a whiskey toast, serving whiskey-based cocktails, or enjoying a whiskey tasting menu as part of your meal.

Irish whiskey bar


There are actually several delicious Irish stouts available (including Murphy’s and Beamish), but Guinness is certainly the most famous. It has been brewed at the Guinness Brewery in St, James’ Gate, Dublin, since 1759. Including Guinness on your bar menu is an easy way to add a touch of Irish flair to your wedding. Another option is to serve Black Velvet, a cocktail made of half Guinness, half champagne.

Irish Drinks for a wedding bar Guinness

Bailey’s Irish Cream

Another very famous Irish export is Bailey’s, an indulgent cream liqueur with a creamy, chocalatey taste. Bailey’s only uses cream from Irish cows in their product, adding an extra level of authenticity. Serve it as an after-dinner liqueur, either straight or chilled over ice. (If you’d like to try a different Irish cream, Coole Swan made in Co. Meath is a great option! It’s made with Belgian white chocolate and single malt whiskey.)

Irish Coffee

Another after-dinner favourite, Irish coffee is a delicious mix of hot coffee and Irish whiskey, and sugar, topped with freshly whipped cream. It makes a great dessert addition (or alternative, for some guests) but could also be served during cocktail hour to warm guests up on a chilly day.

Irish Drinks for a Wedding Bar

Apple Cider

There’s nothing quite like a cold Irish cider on a sunny afternoon. Bulmer’s/Magner’s is the most popular brand, and can also be found quite easily outside of Ireland. In winter, swap out cold cider for a hot spiced cider, which is also a great option for warming guests up after time outdoors.

Irish Drinks for a Wedding Bar

Irish Mist

Irish Mist is a whiskey liqueur made right here in Dublin. It’s warm, sweet, and aromatic, and is a good addition to cocktails as well as a stand-alone drink. Ingredients include aged Irish whiskey, honey, heather, and aromatic herbs.


Pronounced ‘put-cheen’, poitín is a drink distilled from malted grains or potatoes and milk whey. It’s essentially the Irish equivalent of America’s moonshine and was illegally produced for over 200 years, often in rural regions. It was legalised in 1997 and in 2008 was granted Geographical Indicative Status. It’s very potent (although not as potent as the original version!) but makes a great addition to a cocktail. A fun brand to include in your wedding bar would be Straw Boys Poitín, named for the boys who would crash weddings for a drink and a dance, bringing good luck with them.

Irish Wedding Bar Gin and Tonic

Dingle Gin

The Emerald Isle may be better known for whiskey than gin, but the gin market has seen a rapid expansion in the last few years. So if gin is your tipple, you’ll find plenty of options to include in your wedding bar! The best known is probably Dingle Gin, which is proudly produced in Co. Kerry, and uses botanicals from the local landscape like rowanberry, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn, and heather. It’s a wonderfully refreshing drink – perfect for a summer destination wedding in Ireland!

Irish Wedding Bar


Mead has a long association with weddings in Ireland. In fact, the term ‘honeymoon’ comes from the tradition of newlyweds sharing the malted honey beverage through the first month of their marriage. It can be served either warm or cold. And, while it’s too sweet to be to many guests’ tastes, it makes a meaningful traditional alternative to a champagne toast to the couple.

Irish Wedding Cocktails at the Westbury Hotel

Signature Cocktails

Of course, signature cocktails are always a great addition to any wedding bar menu! It’s especially fun when the cocktail names or ingredients have personal meaning to the couple or pay tribute to the wedding destination. Some appropriate Irish drinks for cocktail hour include the Irish Mule (a Moscow Mule with whiskey instead of vodka), the Wild Irish Rose (whiskey, grenadine, lemon juice, sugar, and soda), or the Irish Kiss (whiskey, peach schnapps, ginger ale, orange juice). Or why not create your own? The bar staff at the best Irish wedding venues are always happy to customise cocktails for couples.

Here’s to all our favourite Irish drinks. Sláinte!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Lisa O’Dwyer, Kieran Harnett, Doreen Kilfeather, Story of Eve