Enchanting landscapes. Regal castles. Pristine beaches. Picturesque coastlines. If you’ve always envisioned your big day in an ethereal European setting, then consider Ireland’s history and charm for your destination wedding.
Dublin. Belfast. Galway. Cork. The list of cities with inviting attractions in Ireland goes on and on. Consider what type of wedding you’ll have – will it be formal or rustic? Consider what sort of activities your guests will enjoy doing – would they prefer horseback riding, fishing or bar hopping? This will help you focus on which areas in Ireland to visit.
It’s nearly impossible to plan a trip to Ireland and not make time to visit the nation’s capital. With energetic nightlife, vibrant food and welcoming people, Dublin is a must-see spot. If you and your guests enjoy a good pub-crawl, then consider a visit to Temple Bar, an area in central Dublin devoted to bars and bistros, quaint shops, live music and street entertainment. This would be a perfect spot for bachelor/ bachelorette parties too.
What could be more romantic than visiting St. Valentine days before your wedding? Brought from Rome by the Irish Carmelite, John Spratt, who received them as a gift from Pope Gregory XVI, today the remains and relics of St. Valentine are held in Whitefriar Street Church, where a shrine to the saint includes a notebook into which visitors write their hearts’ requests. On February 14, crowds gather for a mass blessing of rings, and couples have been known to propose in the shrine year-round.
Another place considered a lovers’ haven is the Lakes of Killarney in County Kerry. Pack a pre-wedding picnic for two and soak in the green landscapes and mountain views.
Now it’s time to choose a venue. Looking for a place that has something for everyone? There’s plenty for guests to see and do while visiting Mount Falcon Estates in County Mayo, just three hours outside Dublin. For the men, there’s golf or fishing to occupy their time with while the women enjoy a day at the spa with a full range of massages, mani/pedis and facial treatments. Another option? Everyone can partake in some archery. The views on these estate grounds are reason enough to consider hosting a countryside wedding.
One thing’s for sure – no matter where in Ireland you decide to host your wedding, you can be sure your photographs (set against the idyllic Irish scenery) will be breathtaking, and the envy of all your guests.
Air Canada and Aer Lingus (Ireland’s national airline) have regular non-stop flights to Dublin from Toronto. Depending on your venue location, you may need to consider renting a car, or providing group transportation for your guests to and from the ceremony/reception.
Places to Host Your Wedding:
- Mount Falcon Estates
- Castle Leslie Estate
- Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
- The Millhouse
- The Westbury Dublin
Originally published in Destination Wedding Magazine, Spring/Summer 2017.