Venue selection; one of the most tedious, stressful and time consuming parts of your wedding day. However despite this being one of the biggest decisions in the wedding planning process it can be made easy and fun if you know what you are looking for. There are several different types of wedding venues, all with their own characterisitcs of how it will be the perfect backdrop for your big day. Below I have compliled a list of the different types for you to consider. Afterall it is better to be prepared when entering into the venue search and you will be sure to find your dream venue much faster.
Hotel weddings used to be more the norm than they are now. The great thing about hotels is that they have everything there for you that you could possibly need and there is plenty of room for your guests to stay. Hotels tend to offer very competitive prices for weddings as people are opting for more alternate type weddings these days. The downside to hotel weddings is they all run the same course and can be a little tiring for guests who go to many of them. However, hotels can be in the form of castles or country estates and so that offers something a bit more unique. If you are having a large number of guests and are looking for a ballroom type wedding, hotels are for you!
Top wedding hotel: The Four Seasons, Dublin.
Having a castle as your wedding venue completes that princess of the castle fairy tale. Castles have a lot to offer, with their historic nature, beautiful surroundings and intriguing interior. Needless to say you wouldn’t forget a wedding in a castle which is deep in history with a unique décor that transports you into the past. Décor options are endless in this type of location with dungeons, tall ceilings and small cosy rooms aching to be decorated with candles. Most castles are also hotels, offering all the benefits of a hotel but taking a step away from your generic type hotel. Also, when you book your wedding most castle are yours and yours only for the entire event so you won’t be interrupted by any intruders!
Top castle venue: Kinnity Castle, Co. Offaly.
This type of wedding venue is quite abundant in Ireland. There are many large homes you can rent for your wedding which give a more intimate feel to the occasion. Usually they only provide enough accommodation for the bridal party so you would need to make sure that there are local hotels or bnb’s for your other guests. Catering in these type of houses can be in house or you can chose your own caterers which offers you more variety. There is also plenty of potential to make the place your own with decorating. Each country house or property offers something different, some act as hotels, some can be rented for the entire weekend. It is your decision what you would like to go for.
Top country house: Summerhill House Hotel
Marquee weddings can be so beautiful, set up in beautiful surroundings where you enter into a mystical world, a tent that has been transformed into an idyllic wedding location. You have the option to either add to the venue it is situated in or place it in the grounds somewhere. A lot of venues offer this option especially for parties that may be bigger than the desired venue. Always look for somewhere with plenty of grounds so that the marquee doesn’t look like it has been squashed into the side. With marquee weddings a lot of the work may be your own e.g. décor, catering etc. If you are up for that challenge then you are all set.
Top Marquee venue: Coolbawn Quay, Co. Tipperary
Period Property/Country Estates
Picture historic large mansions or manors on endless grounds of luscious greenery, lakes closeby with quaint bridges and small houses. This type of venue is very popular at the moment. It offers everything that you could possibly need. Most are hotels, but not the obvious type with in house catering. These buildings are laced in history and have interiors to die for as they once belonged to the lords and ladys of long ago. A definite one to check out, as majority of them have small rooms and large ones to cater for any size wedding. Once again, check for onsite accommodation.
Top Period Property: Roundwood House, Co. Laois
The options for making your wedding that bit different are significantly better than they used to be. Some couples are more suited to having a more unique type wedding than the norm. Here are a few suggestions for you to have a think about. A lot of inspiring ideas and querky additions to these venues make them truly romantic and a venue with a difference.
Top Alternate Venues: Mount Druid, Co. Westmeath
Kippure Estate, Co. Wicklow
The Japanese Gardens, Co. Kildare
The Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin City.
Ever think about having your wedding at home? If your parents house is on the larger size with a big garden there is something so romantic and warm about a wedding at home. Hire caterers and décor companies to assist you in the wedding and if the space allows you can even place a marquee in the garden.
If you are a city loving couple how about having a wedding in the likes of city hall or the cathedral and a reception in the city itself! The city makes a great backdrop for fantastic photos with the right photographer. If you love the hustle and bustle why not have this type of wedding! The idea is romantic and it makes it quite convenient if most of your wedding party are based in the city.
Top City Venue: The Westin, Dublin.
Fancy getting married on a beach on a balmy summers day with the gently breeze whisping through your hair? Destination weddings are becoming extremely popular and I can see the attraction. With the likelihood of fantastic weather and definitely cheaper prices in an extremely romantic setting why not research into it if it something you would like to do. Bear in mind your guest numbers and their circumstances as not everyone will travel for the occasion due to life commitments or financial issues. If you would like an intimate wedding in luxurious surroundings this is a must!
Top Destination wedding location: Lake Garda, Italy
Hopefully you now have a better idea of what you may be looking for. Some of the categories do overlap on occasion. Site visits are a must! Only pay visits to places you are really interested in otherwise you will confuse yourself even further!
Check out One Fab Day’s 100 top wedding venues in Ireland to make that choice even easier!
Photo Credits: Fourseasons.com, Kinnity Castle via Weddingclan.com, Coolbawn Quay via Confetti, Roundwood House via Roundwoodhouse.com, Smock Alley Theatre via OneFabDay, The Westin Hotel via Thewestinhotel.com, Lake Garda via italianlakesweddings.com.