Choosing where to get married can be a toughie – and in this case we don’t even mean the venue.
After all, there are feckloads of things to consider. Where are the bride and groom from? Where’s easiest for family and friends to get to? (Don’t forget your nanny has bad knees.) Where has the best choice of venues?
Often Dublin denizens from other counties go home for their wedding, or native Dubliners head off to some wild location to ‘get out of the city’ – but honestly, when you take all it has to offer into consideration is there a better place in Ireland to get married than Dublin?
1. Photo opportunities
Spoiled is not the word.
From the meandering cobbled streets of Temple Bar, to the quaint and lush city parks, to the unreal beaches and coastline, nowhere in Ireland offers such diversity of choice for your wedding snaps.
2. Civil ceremonies
Before I got engaged, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find a decent civil ceremony venue outside the capital. While they did exist to some degree, venues that were worthy of the occasion were few and far between. Churches are beautiful, so couples who aren’t particularly religious shouldn’t have to make do with a room in a hotel or a registry office.
3. Unreal venues
Dublin wins for the sheer choice of amazing venues.
With its chic boutique city hotels, castles as grand as anything you’d find ‘up the counthry’ and deadly manor houses like Finnstown in Lucan for that country pile house party vibe, you're covered whatever you're into
Your cousin has just flown in from Australia... and you're really going to make them traipse all the way up to Donegal just because "it looks nice"? Well aren't you just lovely.
Here, we’ve got the airport for all the guests flying in from abroad, any number of handy public transport options to get to the city AND a decent motorway. On top of that, out-of-towners can extend their trip after the wedding into a cheeky city break.
5. Amazing restaurants for the reception
Throwing your wedding reception in a restaurant is a relatively new thing – and when done right it can be a stylish, quirky and relatively inexpensive alternative to the hotel ballroom, as we described here.
Oh, and you know your meal is going to be the business.
Dublin city is jammers with world-class restaurants that cater for weddings. Think Suesey Street with its fab terrace, the shit-cool Drury Buildings, Locks overlooking the canal and The Cliff Townhouse beside Stephen’s Green.
6. The Unitarian Church
If you’ve always fancied getting married in a church but can’t help thinking all that stuff about marrying Jesus and having three people in your marriage (you two and God) just isn’t your cup of tea, then the Unitarian Church overlooking Stephen’s Green is the answer to all your… non-religious readings.
It looks like a church and has a minister, but as non-credal church it “welcomes all who wish to worship in a spirit of freedom, reason, and tolerance without a test of beliefs or faith nor any ceremony of admittance”.
Which, ironically enough, sounds like the very sort of thing Jesus used to preach. How about that, eh?
7. Class wedding transport
From the guests' point of view also – much as we love to bitch about it – public transport here won't be rivalled anywhere else in the country.
While not approved by the HSE as they’re outdoor, if you sign the legal stuff beforehand you can have your ceremony in any number of Dublin’s stunning parks like Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square Park, Bushy Park, Iveagh Gardens or Phoenix Park.