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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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