8 Ridiculously Gorgeous Irish Castles For A Full On Fairytale Wedding
The stuff dream weddings are made of...
With such a huge choice of incredible castles all around the country available for weddings, it's easy to take them from granted.
But make no mistake, we are very lucky indeed to have the option to throw the biggest party of our lives in a venue fit for royalty.
Don't believe us? Check out these ridiculously gorgeous dreamboats:
1. Cloghan Castle – Galway
Wedding goals or wha? A tiny but perfectly-formed castle in the Wesht that’s exclusively yours for your big day. The interior is pure medieval fairy tale – stone walls, four-poster beds and a huge open fireplace – while the lush grounds and rolling hills look like something out of Braveheart.
It’s self-catering, so a bit of extra work would have to go into this one, but by God, it will be well worth it.
However, to make your life a little easier, civil ceremonies and blessings can be held on-site in the castle. And brides, there’s a pretty impressive set of stairs too for your grand entrance.
2. Waterford Castle – Waterford
What’s special about Waterford Castle is the fact it’s on its very own island, only reachable via a car ferry. Now that’s fairy-tale stuff. Okay, the ferry ride probably takes about seven minutes, but it’s enough to make you feel you’re cut off from the rest of the world.
Known as an 'island resort', the 16th century castle is surrounded by 310 acres of parkland, a golf course and self-catering lodges for pre and post wedding fun.
Inside the castle is a reception room with huge fireplace, a separate bar and a gorgeous banqueting hall – while accommodation is a royal experience it itself, with claw-footed baths and four posters to beat the band.
3. Kinnitty Castle – Mayo
Gorgeous drawing rooms, wood panelling, period furniture. If you’re after the full-blown castle experience, the 13th century Kinnitty Castle delivers on all counts. The interior is a riot of medieval lavishness, while the situation in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains (650 acres of parkland) will make you feel like you’re in another world.
And what we love about this one is the range of options they have for the days before and after the wedding, like BBQs, clay-pigeon shooting and horse riding. Because who wants to go home?
4. Ashford Castle – Galway
We’re pretty sure the phrase ‘Jaysis tonight’ was created especially for this absolute beauty of a castle. Superlatives are allowed when it comes to describing Ashford Castle – it’s that amazing. In fact, the snazzy joint has been voted best hotel in the world numerous times, so that's what you’re dealing with.
The five-star castle, nestled idyllically on Lough Corrib, isn’t cheap. Or even 'mid-range and doable at a push'. Nope, it’s eye-wateringly expensive, but if you’ve got the cash we doubt you could find a more magical venue.
5. Ballynahinch Castle – Galway
Aside from being a beautifully restored castle, Ballynahinch wins extra points for its unbelievable location. Reminding us why Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world are the 450 acres of Connemara woodland, the proud 12 Bens mountain range and the salmon-swollen river, all of which surround the castle.
They say: “To celebrate your wedding at Ballynahinch Castle is to make a statement. You are having a House Party. This is not your average wedding reception; it is a celebration with friends in an exclusive yet unpretentious castle.” Ahm, sold!
6. Crom Castle – Fermanagh
Crom Castle in Ireland’s Lake District really evokes the splendour of a time of fowl, Viscounts and all sorts of other posh upper crust stuff from back in the day.
Available for your wedding is the Castle’s West Wing, where you can have your ceremony and reception in the Victorian Conservatory. Filled with light from the massive windows, the stunning space really is something else; its pillars, greenery and Grecian water urn are all so stylish and classy, you’ll only need the bare minimum of décor.
7. Luttrellstown Castle – Dublin
Luttrellstown Castle looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s actually in Dublin 15 – brilliant if you want a proper castle wedding without fecking off up the country.
There are two impressive ballrooms to choose from for your reception: the Van Stry ballroom, which fits up to 120 guests, and the Kentian, which accommodates 60. And for class wedding photos, there’s a massive library and gorgeous walled gardens.
The castle is hired on an exclusive basis so it’s yours for the day and night, which means your wedding will basically be a house party, but in a castle. Livin' the dream.
8. Bellingham Castle – Louth
Less than an hour's drive from Dublin is beautiful Bellingham, which couldn’t feel more fairytale if it tried. Everything about it has been perfectly considered, from the sumptuous furniture, to the library, to the formal drawing rooms.
The magic starts the second you make your way up the private tree-lined drive, and continues with views of the River Glyde and a man-made ‘river island’ of trees, lawns, gardens and footbridges. Yes, footbridges.