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Monday, September 11, 2017

Ireland Venues and Itineraries

Words by Tara Fay


Tara Fay with Xena Productions offers the perfect advice for Ireland weddings venues and iteneraries. They focus on taking a different approach to weddings and events and cater their services to each individual. With the Xena Productions team's expert knowledge, innovation and design, couples are bound to have their perfect W-Day in Ireland. 

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Venues in Ireland for Spectacular Weddings 

Failte Ireland, which is our national tourism agency, classifies Ireland into three distinct areas for tourism – Dublin: A Different Perspective, Ireland Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way.

However, we also have so many other beautiful undiscovered areas that don’t fall into these specific geographical zones.

I know I am biased, but in Ireland we have so many beautiful areas and venues for weddings, from spectacular cliffs and sea side to mountains (Irish Style – as they are not that big) to ancient castles and green fields that stretch for miles and miles.

Starting in Dublin and heading south, some of my favourites for weddings are Luttrellstown Castle and Powerscourt House and Gardens. Both were once owned by the Guinness family and have magnificent views and sumptuous rooms. Luttrellstown Castle is based on the outskirts of Dublin and is available for private rental. It was made famous for having hosted the wedding of David and Victoria Beckham. Powerscourt House, based in Wicklow has, in my opinion, the best view in Ireland. Its available for weddings and events.

Head inland to Co. Laois to Ballyfin, a privately owned estate with 20 bedrooms available for weddings and events.

Head on the M7 road to Limerick and stop at the newly renovated Adare Manor hotel. Undoubtedly one of the most stunning new (old) venues in Ireland. No detail has been left to chance here and I cant wait to work in this venue when it re-opens in November. 

Secret Ireland (based in Limerick) have such a wealth of experience and hidden venues and experiences that even a jaded event planner has had her eyes opened by them. They create bespoke experiences and trips for couples and groups alike, such as water colour art classes in a private home overlooking the spectacular Lough Derg on the river Shannon.

Leaving Limerick and heading west to Co. Clare you pass the beautiful Dromoland Castle a stop for most U.S. presidents on their visits to Ireland.  Keep heading west to the Atlantic Ocean and the golf lovers will adore all the amazing courses along the Atlantic coast in Co. Clare. 

Drive north along the Wild Atlantic Way to Ashford Castle, always at the top of any hotel award lists. Keep travelling north into Sligo and onto Donegal and you have the sweet Harvey’s Point and Lough Eske venues.

You can keep travelling into Northern Ireland where there any many beautiful private venues available to rent. We have great resources in Hidden Ireland and Irelands Blue Book to name but a few.

Heading north from Dublin or south from Northern Ireland, you cross into the Royal county of Meath where Newgrange is located. A medieval burial site, reputedly older than Stonehenge, Meath is also home to Slane Castle, a famous Rock venue but also a castle available for weddings.

Going further north or south depending on where you have started, you travel into Co. Cavan. We love Virginia Park run by London based Celebrity Chef Richard Corrigan where he also runs a small farm to supply not just Virginia Park, but also his famous restaurants in London with fresh produce

Sample Itineraries and Places to Stay

Spend 2-3 days in Dublin.

Stay in The Merrion, The Marker, The Shelbourne or The Westbury.

Eat at Etto, Suesey Street, Robertas, Sophies, Fumbally, Luna, L’Ecrivain and Chapter One (both one Michelin Star)and for a real treat two star Michelin restaurant Patrick Guilbaud.

Head south along the east Coast.

Head out of Dublin and stay in Ballyfin – there are no words to describe how beautiful and peaceful this is.

Heading down the coast towards Wexford stop at Dunbrody House in Wexford run by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon.

Head further south and stay in The Cliff in Ardmore in Waterford. Set on the cliffs overlooking the sea, they have a Michelin starred restaurant as well.

Cork is your next stop, stay at Ballyvolane Country House, home to Big Berthas Revenge Gin, explore the English food market in Cork which was visited by Queen Elizabeth on her historic visit to Ireland.

Going towards West Cork travel on the coast road towards Bantry Bay and stay in the guest house in Bantry Bay house and gardens.  This is like stepping into a painting from the 19th Century.

Head to Kerry (known as the Kingdom) and your life will not be complete without a stay in the hotel Europe.  Go for a walk through the Gap of Dunloe, learn some Irish dancing and go fishing on the lake with a gilly.

You have to visit the village of Adare in Co. Limerick and stay in one of the cutest guest houses, like Echo Lodge (eat at their restaurant the Mustard Seed) or stay in the newly renovated Adare Manor.

The Doonbeg Golf Resort is worth a visit for its stunning views of the Atlantic ocean and use it as a base to discover Co. Clare and the Cliffs of Moher. If you don’t want a big hotel, stay in the local pub and restaurant Morrisey’s.

If you happen to be in Ireland between the months of April and October and have planned well in advance, you simply must try and stay in Inis Meain Suites. It is simply one of the most stunning locations in Ireland. It is only open for the calmer months of the year as its based on the Aran Islands and has to be accessed either by plane or boat. The food is simple and delicious and the island as untouched as it was 50 years ago.  

Planning a Destination Wedding in Ireland

Having worked on destination weddings all over the world. In my opinion vendors in Ireland are unique in that they take an interest in every client they work with and will always go the extra mile to ensure you have your perfect day.

That is not to say they will always reply to you immediately, in fact one of the negative points that is often spoken about in relation to Irish suppliers is their leisurely reply to your harried emails. However, I have found that once a client and supplier establish exactly what is required of each other, there is never an issue.

Wifi connections in Ireland sometimes are slightly slow, therefore it may not always be possible to schedule a skype call or whats app call. So bear this in mind. As with any service, there are varying degrees of competency and once you do your research and find the person suitable to you. Your wedding in Ireland will be unforgettable.

No one comes to Ireland for the weather and we famously can have 4 seasons in one day. In fact I’m sure Vivaldi must have visited Ireland before composing his overture. Failte Ireland recently conducted a survey of 100 couples who chose Ireland for their destination wedding. Each and everyone of them said that not only was weather not as issue, it was never even a factor. They all remarked on the experience and the overwhelming outpouring of love and friendship they experienced in Ireland.

Contact Resources for Marriage Registration

In November 2007, the Irish government changed the legal requirements for getting married in Ireland.

Any person wishing to hold their legal ceremony in Ireland, must give a minimum of 3 moths notice to the civil register in the area in which they wish to marry. They must also meet in person with the registrar before the wedding date.

Following the wedding the legal certificate must be lodged with the registrar within a month of the wedding date.

These rules apply to both religious and civil ceremonies. The person who conducts the ceremony is called a solemniser and regardless of the type of ceremony, the celebrant must be listed on the register of solemnisers to conduct a legal ceremony.

Solemnisers can be members of a religious order or civil celebrants.

List of registered solemnisers can be found in link below:

https://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/RegisterOfSolemnisers.pdf

Some couples choose an option of having their legal ceremony in their own country and then have a “recreation” of ceremony in Ireland using a celebrant based here.

 For more details these links can also be useful:

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/birth_family_relationships/getting_married/getting_married.html

https://hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/bdm/marriagesinireland/

http://www.crsappointments.ie/CeremonyPlanner.Ireland/


Photos Courtesy of: Christina Brosnan (fifth), Barry Moore (first, sixth, seventh, eighth), Mark Nixon (second, third, fourth, ninth, tenth), Fred Marigaux (eleventh), John Ryan (twelfth)

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