To the manor born – weddings with a difference in some of Ireland’s finest venues.

In my last blog, I wrote about some of the finest castle venues around the country for your wedding.

This time, it’s the turn of the many fine manor houses and estates that are dotted right throughout the country.

Along with your choice of guests and your choice of wedding entertainment, probably the biggest contributor to a great day out is your choice of venue – and country manor houses have always been special in my own experience.

Again, there’s nothing scientific about this listing – they’re just some of my personal favourites based on performing there over the past couple of decades.

Palmerstown House Estate – Capacity 200

This gorgeous estate in County Kildare boasts 900 acres of parkland, and the Manor House is available for exclusive hire only. The gardens are wonderfully landscaped and are a beautiful setting for your photos.

The gorgeous lawns and the meandering lakes all add a sense of the historical, and there really is a vibe of something very special going on at Palmerstown.

It can cater for up to 120 guests in the Manor House and 220 guests in the Golf Lodge.

You can find more detail here

Tankardstown House – Capacity 230

You’ll find Tankardstown house in Slane, Cunty Meath. This exclusive venue accommodates bijou weddings of around 50 guests, but can also host more lavish affairs of up to 230 guests

The house is set on 80 acres of beautiful parkland that wraps around intimate courtyards and exquisite walled gardens.

The reception rooms are absolutely gorgeous, and the perfect place to host your pre-reception drinks as your guests arrive..

There’s also a magnificent orangery, a wonderful bright space adorned with chandeliers, gilt edged mirrors, crisp white linens and Chiavari chairs.

It’s a great location for mingling, and on a fine day, it offers a seamless link to the outdoor terrace and gardens.

You can find more details here

Carton House – Capacity 300

Carton House is located halfway between Dunboyne and Maynooth and is a really handy venue for a Dublin-centred wedding.

The grounds stretch to a whopping 1,100 acre of private parkland estate. It’s also got no less than two championship golf courses, in case your guests are staying over for a few days.

There’s a magnificent ballroom (the Fitzgerald Suite) that was refurbished in 2019. It’s a fabulous spot for weddings of up to 300 guests. If you get a sunny day, the garden terrace is a beautiful area for mingling – or simply popping out for a smoke and a chat.

You can find more details here

Marlfield House – Capacity 145

Just outside Gorey in Wexford, you’ll find this exquisite and exclusive setting for a most romantic and memorable country house wedding.

Your guests will love the reception rooms, the gorgeous bedrooms and the wonderful State rooms at Marlfield, and they really do provide an extraordinary setting for a very special day.

When the sun is not shining, the open fires are a real wow factor, along with the antiques, paintings and scented flower arrangements.

The wedding meal is normally served in the candle-lit, frescoed conservatory dining room overlooking the parterre garden and manicured lawns.

You can find more details here

Clonabreany House – Capacity 220

This is a venue that you’ll very definitely have to use Google Maps to find. It’s hidden away in the heart of the Meath countryside, in beautiful countryside that provides a gorgeous backdrop to your big day.

Bespoke weddings are the order of the day at Clonabreany, and the wonderful Orchard Room looks out directly to the mystical Loughcrew Cairns.

And for guests staying over, Clonabreany Courtyard sleeps up to 90 people, while the bride and groom get to enjoy the luxurious private honeymoon suite in the Main House.

You can find more details here

Ballymagarvey Viillage – Capacity 220

This is another gem in County Meath, set right in the heart of the historic Boyne Valley. It’s set in acres of beautiful unspoilt countryside that offers a great backdrop to your wedding photos – right throughout the year.

There’s a very homely feel at Ballymagarvey, and you’ll really feel that you are to the manor born when you hold your wedding here.

You can find more details here

The Johnstown Estate – Capacity 450

This is another gem that’s only about forty minutes from Dublin, yet seems to be a lifetime away from your day-to-day life.

The beautifully elegant ballroom is a gorgeous setting for your wedding dinner, while you can choose from two very different arrival areas – the character of the Georgian Atrium Lounge or the privacy of the Garden Foyer.

If you’re looking for a real sense of grandeur, you won’t have to look very hard to find it at Johnstown.

You can find more details here

In my next blog, I’ll be writing about venues in County Wicklow – perfect for couples who are from the Dublin region and don’t want their guests to have to travel too far. I’ve performed in them all as a wedding entertainer so you’ll be getting a review straight from the horse’s mouth!

Shane Black
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