Ashford Castle Wedding Venue: A Complete Guide

About Ashford Castle

Voted the most romantic hotel in Europe, Ashford Castle is a fairy tale venue. Boasting suites tucked away in turrets, breathtaking views, and luxurious accommodations, it is unlikely anyone will forget a wedding event hosted at Ashford Castle. Before we get into the unbelievable details of this extravagant venue, let’s dive into the castle’s history.

Although Ashford Castle has a truly remarkable history, its greatest claim to fame is its standing as the former home of the Guinness family. This 800-year-old castle has played host to notables and royalty, including The Prince of Wales (later King George V), George Harrison, John Lennon, Rory McIlroy, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and President Ronald Reagan (to name a few). After a five-year restoration that included the talents of local experts and artisans, Ashford Castle remains an impeccable example of medieval and Victorian architecture. Although the walls may be ancient, the Red Carnation hotel inside is the picture of luxury.

After the castle re-opened in April 2015 following major refurbishment (820 windows were replaced, a new lead roof installed, and its stonework repointed), Ashford Castle has gone on to be awarded as a Forbes five-star hotel, as well as the Ashford Castle Spa, making them the first and only hotel in Ireland to hold two Forbes Five-Star awards. A few other awards of note include No. 1 in The 5 Best Hotel Resorts in the UK and Ireland (Travel + Leisure 2022),  5 Star Hotel Bar of the Year (Bar of the Year Awards 2022), and Winner of Sustainability Initiative Of The Year – Communities (The Travel Industry Awards 2022).

Why I Love Planning Weddings at Ashford Castle

Honestly, who wouldn’t love planning a wedding at Ashford Castle? It’s like coordinating a fairy tale! With its gorgeous acres of manicured gardens, lush forests and lively woodland, there is magic floating on the breeze and over the sparking waters of Lough Corrib. Additionally, working with the team of professionals at Ashford Castle is truly a rewarding experience in itself. It is nearly impossible to run out of things to do or options for entertainment. A wedding at Ashford Castle can be customized to fit the personalities of every couple that decides to say their ‘I Do’s’ at this enchanted place.

My other favorite detail? The accommodations at Ashford Castle are beyond compare. Each of the 83 rooms have been lovingly designed and individually restored, whilst taking every effort to incorporate the latest modern luxuries. The unique works of art and antique furniture are carefully and meticulously curated. Every one of the team’s efforts comes to fruition as you and your guests take in the sumptuous fabrics, custom designed carpets, exquisite towelling, feature lighting and drift off to dreamland on bespoke beds wrapped in Egyptian Cotton bed linens.


Ashford Castle Ceremony and Reception Spaces

No matter what you’re dream wedding looks like, Ashford Castle can make it come true. With the castle’s 83 bedrooms and suites, gatherings of all sizes can abide on the gorgeous property. From 16 to 160 guests, the sky is the limit.  You can even hire the entire estate and make the entire place your own, allowing you and your wedding party to enjoy the full castle experience without interruption.

When I think of an “unforgettable experience, I think of an “exclusive use” wedding at Ashford Castle. This means all estate activities are available for your and your guests to enjoy (this includes falconry, equestrian, golf, river cruising, fishing and spa treatments), exclusive use of all restaurants and bars including The George V Dining Room, and the underground Wine Cellars for a magical pre-wedding event. Sweets can be provided by the epic PaulaPastry. Soak in a ‘secret garden’ feel when we plan your ceremony in the Walled Garden. Retreat to the Maigue Suite, or to Oak Hall located at the heart of the castle, where your reception will have your guests reminiscing for years to come.

Need more options? Say no more. How about hosting your ceremony in the Castle’s Drawing Room? Were you imagining more of a church vibe? Saint Mary’s Church Cong is located in the village, just a three-minute drive from the Ashford Estate. Just 40 minutes further, you’ll find historic Ballintubber Abbey, a popular destination for many a bride and groom. When all is said and done, couples can retreat and recover at The Boathouse or the legendary Reagan Presidential Suite.

Let’s look into some of these options a little further.

The George V Dining Room

Produced exclusively for the Ashford Estate, creative Irish cuisine inspired by the first seasonal ingredients from the West of Ireland is presented by Executive Chef Liam Finnegan in The George V Dining Room. Along with fresh produce foraged from the estate itself, alongside an extensive wine cellar, it’s no wonder The George V Dining Room has hosted distinguished guests from almost 800 years. Your guests can dine where the Prince of Wales (also known as George V of England) dined in a special dining room built in honour of his visit in 1905.

Experiencing Chef Liam Finnegan’s culinary brilliance is not limited to just the Dining Room- there’s also casual dining in the beautiful setting of Cullen’s at the Cottage or the atmospheric Dungeon, or a delightful Afternoon Tea in the elegant Connaught Room. A note to all my couples who value sustainability and shopping local: Ashford Castle proudly shares the same beliefs. In the castle’s six restaurants and three bars, much of the produce is sourced locally or grown in their own gardens and polytunnels.


Here’s something I’m really excited about – PaulaPastry! Who better to provide your wedding day treats than award-winning chef, Paula Stakelum? Ashford Castle Estate has launched a new chocolate and patisserie concept, PaulaPastry, developed by by Chef Paula Stakelum herself. Crafted in small batches by Paula and her team, each delectable treat comes with meticulous attention to detail and the finest flavours possible. Your guests will write home about the signature chocolate shards, indulgent praline spreads, chocolate-covered nuts, and hot chocolates.

The Wine Cellar

Listen closely, my friends. If you want to impress, invite your guests to follow you into the secret tunnels of Ashford Castle. They will gasp in awe as they take in the historic passageways that were unearthed during the renovations and be taken aback even still when they experience a private dinner and wine pairing in these 16th-century tunnels. The cosy ambience and soft lighting is the perfect atmosphere for an intimate celebration. The knowledgeable Head Sommelier will educate your guests on his carefully curated wine list.  He may also inform you of the history of the cellar and its beginnings as the old servants’ entrance to the coal bunker where buckets were gathered and delivered to warm up each of the rooms of the castle.

The Walled Garden

If you’ve always imagined Ashford Castle as your wedding venue, but you’ve envisioned something more outdoor and garden-themed, they’ve got you covered. The gardens at Ashford Castle are something out of a ‘secret garden’ fantasy. Restored with loving attention to its original formation in the 1890s, the great formal Main Parterre, the beautiful Walled Garden full of perennial borders, fruit and vegetables, and the long Terraced Walk and Broad Walk are perfect for an open-air ceremony. Afterwards, you and your new spouse can spend time wandering and reflecting in the great woods, where the wildlife and great ancient trees add towering and unparalleled ambiance.

Connaught Room

Treat your guests and indulge in speciality teas, delicate finger sandwiches with traditional fillings, warm scones and handmade pastries in the Connaugt Room. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular views of the manicured gardens and Lough Corrib. Not to mention the captivating Donegal Crystal chandelier, panelled oak walls, and hand-carved fireplace. I think a Welcome Brunch would be fabulous in this space. It’s also available for Afternoon Tea or a private Wine Dinner.


Oak Hall

Everyone’s breath will be stolen by the incredible Oak Hall, one of the remaining features of the Guinness period. The crystal chandelier that hangs overhead looms largely, but not as largely as the castle’s 80kg (170lb) Irish wolfhounds (beautiful and docile dogs) who are often found relaxing here, among the fresh flowers. In Oak Hall, you’ll also find the castle’s guestbook, an enticing read full of names, both celebrity and royal. Above the hall, on the mezzanine is a library of over 800 antique books. It’s a spectacle to behold and a remarkable place to greet your guests for a cocktail hour!

The Boathouse

One of my favourite spaces at Ashford Castle is the restored boathouse, located a few minutes from the castle, on the shores of Lough Corrib. Constructed more than a century ago, The Boathouse is a hideaway for two, an intimate and private escape, a place to relax in isolation. Originally used by the Guinness’ to store Italian Riva boats, The Boathouse offers lake views that will fill your heart with peace and your ears with the soothing sounds of lapping lake waters.

When you’ve had your fill of the expansive views, you and your new spouse can retreat to the marble-lined bathroom and soak in the deluxe tub for two after dining à deux inside or al fresco on your private lakeside terrace. If you can ever get your fill of the incredible architectural and interior design detailing (including handmade timber parquet floors, original art, bespoke Murano glass chandelier, and king-sized bed), you’ll find two bicycles for jaunts around the property. Return home, enter through the gates, unlock your front door, and find your 24-hour butler ready to take your dessert order. Is this a dream? If it is, I promise to ask the incredible staff to not wake you two up!

The Reagan Presidential Suite

Located in the oldest wing of the castle, I always recommend The Reagan Presidential Suite. There is nothing more romantic for a bridal suite than an original wood fireplace, antique George III style four-poster bed, original portrait art, individually sourced antiques and spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of Lough Corrib. This split-level suite offers two bathrooms and can be combined with two adjacent rooms – the Kennedy Suite and Corrib Lake View Room – to complete a private three-bedroom wing of the castle.

This suite also includes a complimentary bar, complimentary viewing of “Quiet Man” (the movie filmed at Ashford Castle), 24-hour in-room dining, and many other exclusive amenities. Definitely the kind of perks all couples will want to take advantage of!

Additional Events and Activities

From Ireland’s first and finest falconry school, to horse-riding, golf, fishing, tennis, kayaking, archery, clay pigeon shooting and cosy movie nights in our stylish private cinema, Ashford Castle has a myriad of experiences and activities to keep your guests entertained. Here are just a few:

For hundreds of years, the grounds of Ashford Castle have been hailed as one of the finest sporting estates in all of Ireland, if not the world – which is proudly continues to this day. I am a confident fan of the dedicated Activity Coordinators, Michael and Fiona, who will guide each individual to the perfect past time. For example, those who love a day on the lake, experienced Lough Corrib guide, Frank, will take anyone out in the traditional wooden boats he hand-crafts himself. As a local marine and approved countryside guide by the Irish tourist board, Frank offers guided boat trips on Lough Corrib for up to three guests at a time, visiting its many beautiful islands.

Another option is falconry! An experience of a lifetime for those flower girls and ring bearers 7 years and older. Truly, the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland is an experience for those of all ages. Bond with a new hawk friend before sending them into the woodlands, gasping as they follow you from tree to tree, ready to return to your gloved hand when you call for them. Using their exceptional eyesight, speed, and training, the hawks will allow you to learn all their fascinating traits (via the Falconry School instructors, of course). What a unique and incredible memory to send your guests home with!

The Spa at Ashford Castle

Imagine spending time with your closest friends in this incredible place of relaxation. It is unlikely you’ll find a space that is more well known for its ability to rejuvenate and refresh in the entire country. This is why The Spa at Ashford Castle was awarded ‘Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa’ in 2021 for the 6th year in a row by World Spa Awards and we were also voted ‘Best in Sustainability’ in the 2019 Irish Tatler Awards.

If you’re going to spend time at Ashford Castle, I would highly recommend spending a significant amount of time at The Spa. The team is dedicated to restoring beauty and balance through treatments and spa journeys, personalised for each of their guests by exceptionally skilled therapists. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Your entire wedding party (and guests, as well) will leave feeling restored and renewed.

A Five Star Focus

Believe it or not, I am just scratching the surface of all the venue spaces and experiences Ashford Castle has to offer. If you’re interested in learning more, you can visit their website listed below. If you’re ready to take the leap and plan an incredible fairytale wedding at this magical castle in County Mayo, get in touch! Together, we can create something as marvelous as you absolutely deserve!

Ashford Castle Wedding Venue at a Glance

Address: Ashford Castle, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 CA48, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0) 94 954 6003



Slán go Fóill,


Images collected from The Ashford Castle website and Peter Carvill

Real Wedding: Emma and Lane’s Wedding at Adare Manor

On April 15th, 2023, a fairytale came to life at Adare Manor Hotel in Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Emma and Lane tied the knot amidst the verdant Irish countryside, orchestrating a wedding that was both incredibly personal and uniquely beautiful. Learn more about the day’s charming details, and the heartfelt journey that led Emma and Lane to say, “I do.”

Emma and Lane’s Adare Manor Wedding

Emma and Lane’s story began in Houston, where they were introduced to each other through mutual friends. After a blind date, they quickly found themselves in a long-distance relationship when Emma relocated to Chicago for a fellowship. Their love only grew stronger, and a year and four months after a picturesque Central Park proposal, they celebrated their wedding.

Emma’s wedding ensemble took centre stage with a carefully crafted floral design that adorned her dress, veil, and topper. This recurring motif subtly permeated the entire event, tying everything together in an elegant way. It was imprinted on wedding stationery and even the cake, thereby being an integral part of every aspect of the wedding, from beginning to end.

The couple’s personal touch was particularly evident in the wedding logo, which Emma had designed, inspired by the Rosewood Miramar Hotel’s logo. With a twist of creativity, two intertwined W’s were crafted to look like an old-world regal emblem, sitting atop a Celtic Knot.

Their choice of Adare Manor as the wedding venue was a sentimental tribute to Emma’s Irish grandparents, who had vacationed there several times. As a young girl, Emily’s grandmother often sent her articles about the hotel’s renovation, expressing hope that her granddaughter might consider it for her wedding. And indeed, it came to pass.

Emma’s design flair manifested again in the place cards. Guests found their names written in calligraphy on colourful purple and green envelopes. Inside, a card held a handwritten note from Emily or Lane, expressing their gratitude for the guests’ friendship—a gesture that left many attendees emotional.

The couple, with their eyes on details, did not let any aspect of the wedding preparation go unattended. A humorous incident during the week leading up to the wedding saw Emma suffer from food poisoning. She attended her doctor’s appointment all dolled up, ready to proceed to the welcome party right after!

The couple’s creativity also shone through in their DIY projects. Emma’s mother crafted unique party favours and explained the cultural significance of Ireland’s 99 ice cream through creative notes. She even included euros for everyone to experience this treat, a nod to their Irish roots.

The couple’s outfits were a showcase of sophistication. Emma’s stunning dress, a Carolina Herrera piece, featured a high neck and long sleeves inspired by Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton, and Pippa Middleton. Lane complemented her in a suave groom’s outfit that perfectly matched the elegance of the occasion.

When it came to their theme, Emma wanted to highlight traditional Irish elements. The colours of the Irish countryside, green and purple, were given a modern twist in the wedding’s décor. As for their favourite detail from the day, the couple had a hard time picking just one. From the tactile invitations that replicated Adare Manor’s window patterns to the breathtaking reception design and well-curated music, every aspect was meticulously planned and executed.

Emma and Lane's Real Adare Manor Wedding

Emma and Lane's Real Adare Manor Wedding

Looking back, Emma and Lane cherish their first dance the most. The intimate dance to “Yellow” was a joyous realization of their dream becoming a reality. Emma’s mother’s reaction to the ballroom design was another touching moment, her eyes welling up with tears of joy.

Adare Manor Wedding Reception

While planning a destination wedding amid a pandemic was a challenging feat, the couple found over-communication was key. By keeping their guests updated with timely emails, travel recommendations, and reminders, Emma and Lane ensured everyone felt comfortable and excited about the celebration.

All in all, Emma and Lane’s wedding was a heartfelt celebration that honoured their Irish heritage and personal love story, made all the more memorable by the majestic backdrop for their wedding. It was a testament to the power of love and the magic that can be woven when personal stories meet exceptional creativity.

Slán go Fóill,


Event Planner: Tara Fay | Venue: Adare Manor |  Photography: Story of Eve | Videography: Dream Catcher | Bridal dress: Carolina Herrera | Bridal shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Groomswear: Custom Mason & Sons | Stationary (Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations, Rehearsal Dinner, Invitations, Place Cards, Menus: Papellerie |  Welcome bags, Mass Books, Songbooks, & Itineraries: Judson Design | Linens Wedding Day: Total Event Rental | Band Wedding Day: Sway | Ceremony Music Singer: Carly Coonagh | Ceremony Music Instrumentals, Welcome Party Music: D Strings | DJ All Weekend: Gordon Johnson | Welcome Dinner Drummer: Hit Machine | Hair: David Cashman | Makeup: Michelle Kinsella| Cake: Clare Anne Taylor  | Staging and Lighting: Gorilla Design | Sound and AV production: KCLS | Rehearsal Dinner Dress: Custom David Peck | Rehearsal Dinner Suit: Custom Mason & Sons | Flowers: The Garden | Welcome Party Sweater: Lalo, Purchased/Styled at Katia | Welcome Party Skirt: Malene Birger, purchased/styled at Katia | Welcome Party Handbag: Gedebe, purchased/styled at Katia

Make Your Irish Destination Wedding Stand Out

Planning a destination wedding is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it requires quite a bit of heart (and a fantastic wedding planner) to pull it all together. If you want to make your Irish destination wedding stand out, it’s truly all in the details. You’ll want to focus on personalisation and infusing your unique story and personality into every aspect of your wedding.

Start with Personal Details

Every couple has a unique story to tell; include it in the story of your wedding day.

  • Maybe it’s a location that holds significance to your family or to you as a couple. Maybe it’s where your grandparents met, where you had a special date, or simply a place that resonates with you.
  • When the day arrives, you can set up a display with photographs of important moments in your relationship, from the time you met to your engagement. This visual timeline can be a touching way to share your journey with your guests.
  • Write vows that reflect your past, present and future. Share anecdotes, promises, and aspirations that are uniquely yours.
  • Incorporate family heirlooms into your wedding attire or décor. This could be jewelry, a veil, or even a piece of fabric from a family member’s wedding attire.
  • Create a playlist of songs that are meaningful to you as a couple. Include both Irish tunes and songs that hold significance to your relationship.
  • Create decorations that reflect your personalities. This could be through personalized signage, table centerpieces that represent your hobbies or interests, or mixing in your favourite colours.

Stand Out with Cultural Elements

If you’ve travelled all this way, Ireland must hold a special place in the hearts of you and your partner. For this reason, incorporating Irish cultural elements will truly make your wedding standout.

  • Include Irish wedding traditions, such as the Claddagh ring, which represents love, loyalty, and friendship. A handfasting ceremony, where your hands are bound together with ribbon or rope, is a beautiful symbol of unity.
  • Traditional Irish music and dance will create the perfect ambiance. Consider having a traditional Irish band or dancers perform.
  • Irish folklore, phrases or blessings in your vows are a memorable way to honour the culture and traditions of the country.
  • Showcase Irish cuisine in your wedding menu. Incorporate dishes like colcannon, soda bread, Irish stew, and seafood. To make it personal, share stories about why certain dishes are meaningful to you.

Great Details Make Great Memories

There are many ways to make your Irish destination wedding stand out. Start with memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Engage your guests with interactive elements that showcase Ireland. You could have a whiskey tasting station, Irish dancing lessons, or a DIY station where guests can learn how to make traditional Irish crafts.
  • Offer guests wedding favours that are tied to Ireland. This could be local chocolates, miniature bottles of Irish whiskey, or small trinkets representing Irish culture.
  • Instead of a traditional guest book, have guests sign a map of Ireland or a piece of artwork that can be displayed in your home as a lasting memory of your special day.

Remember, it’s all in the details! It’s the personal touches that really create a memorable experience for you and your guests. By incorporating the unique aspects of your love of each other and of Ireland, your wedding will truly be a reflection of your journey together.

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Brett Harkness Photography, Brosnan Photographic, Under The Veil Weddings, Fred Marigaux Photography

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