10 Castle Wedding Venues in Ireland Perfect for a Fairytale Fête

Feel like royalty on your big day at these crown jewel wedding venues.
Sunset at Dunguaire Castle in County Galway, Ireland
Photo: Andrea Innocenti / REDA&CO / Universal Images Group / Getty Images
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
The Knot Contributor
  • Beth Ann writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, including venues, honeymoons and planning advice.
  • Beth Ann is a lifestyle freelance writer, with bylines on healthline.com and parents.com.
  • Prior to freelancing, Beth Ann was a writer and editor for Long Island Pulse Magazine.
Updated Apr 17, 2024

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A destination wedding in Ireland can be personal to couples with family ties to the Emerald Isle. However, even pairs who are only Irish on March 17th will also adore the fairytale-like landscape full of rolling hills, a rugged coastline and quaint B&Bs. Castle wedding venues in Ireland take the fairytale motif a step further, giving couples a chance to tie the knot in digs dripping with charm that's equally royal and romantic.

An Ireland castle wedding can be a lavish affair with a triple-digit guest count. However, small castle wedding venues in Ireland offer pairs opportunities for quiet, intimate affairs that still feel opulent. Getting married in Europe will involve a flight for US couples and guests, who may want to avoid navigating additional travel from venues to hotels. The good news? Some Ireland castle wedding venues are also hotels, offering couples and their guests the chance to spend the night in royal digs (and not have to worry about travel).

From castle wedding venues in Northern Ireland to those in Clare, these stunning spots are worth consideration as the spot to start your happily ever after.

Pro tip: Invite a destination wedding planner to join your vendor team. Browse travel specialists near you on The Knot Vendor Marketplace for reviews, testimonials and more.

Dromoland Castle Hotel, Clare

Dromoland Castle Hotel in County Clare, Ireland
Photo: Glowimages / Getty Images

Dromoland Castle Hotel's refined setting and far-as-the-eye-can-see views of the countryside have made it a draw for guests since the 16th century. It was once the home of members of the O'Brien dynasty. These days, it's one of the best wedding venues Ireland offers for pairs who want to write their own fairytale beginnings. Dromoland leaves a blank page for couples with bespoke. Couples can enter via horse-drawn carriage if they fancy. Indoor and outdoor venues include a charming walled garden, elegant Brian Boru Hall and a spacious lawn. An intimate wedding package hosts up to 45 guests. On-site wedding planners help couples plan a day full of their kind of grandeur. A luxe spa, golf course, tennis courts, fishing and clay shooting offer plenty for guests and couples to do between parties.

Wedding Capacity: 400 guests

Guest Activities: Cliffs of Moher, a day trip to Shannon and Bunratty Castle. Hiking, cycling, stand-up paddleboarding and history tours are offered on-site.

Accommodations: Rooms available on-site.

Ashford Castle, Mayo

Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland
Photo: Glowimages / Getty Images

Weddings are truly magical at Ashford Castle, long considered one of the best wedding venues in Ireland. The 13th-century structure with parkland and lakeside vistas sets the stage for a simply gorgeous affair. Weddings can be small affairs in stately rooms like Connaught and Inglenook rooms, which can hold up to 40 guests, or pairs can buy out the estate for exclusive use for 160 guests. On-site ceremonies can take place in the charming castle gardens overlooking Lough Corrib. Couples will work with a seasoned wedding planner ready to help them make their Ireland castle wedding a dreamy event. Rooms with antique furniture like four-poster beds add to the yesteryear charm.

Wedding Capacity: 160 guests

Guest Activities: Lough Corrib Lake, Gothic Cong Abbey. Ballintubber Abbey, The Coffin Ship, Moyne Abbey, Achin Island, Famine Valley, Keel Beach, Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick and Keem Bay.

Accommodations: Rooms and suites available on-site.

Belfast Castle, Belfast

Belfast Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Photo: jose1983 / Getty Images

Looking for wedding venues in Northern Ireland? Consider this iconic spot in the capital. Perched 400 feet above sea level, Belfast Castle offers unparalleled views of the City of Belfast and Belfast Lough. Stately indoor venues like the main ballroom, dubbed the Chichester Room, have windows that give way to these vistas. Pairs can also tie the knot in a first-floor room overlooking a cat garden. Wedding packages include AV equipment, matching menu and table cards, and 10-hour use of the grounds.

Wedding Capacity: 160 guests for dinner

Guest Activities: Titanic Belfast, Belfast Botanic Gardens, Belfast Cathedral, St. George's Market and walking tours of the city.

Accommodations: The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, Culloden Estate and Spa and Titanic Hotel Belfast.

Find your kind of venue

From barns to ballrooms, discover reception venues that feel like you.

Cabra Castle Hotel, Cavan

Cabra Castle Hotel in County Cavan, Ireland
Photo: Cabra Castle Hotel

If you're searching for Irish wedding locations in secluded settings, consider saying "I do" in this 19th-century castle in County Cavan. Cabra Castle Hotel is found on a 100-acre estate on the edge of Dún a Rí Forest Park. Its lush parkland and garden surroundings add to the natural beauty and serenity. Indoor ceremonies can take place in the Granary, a room with floor-to-ceiling windows that give way to woodland views. Outdoor locations, including one underneath an oak tree, are also available. Tiered packages offer the use of the castle, some decor and a stay in the honeymoon suite with a private terrace, hot tub, fireplace and canopy.

Wedding Capacity: 250 guests

Guest Activities: Dún A Rí Forest Park, hike, fly fish and Cathedral Of St Patrick And Saint Felim.

Accommodations: Rooms, suites and cottages available on-site.

Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle in County Kilkenny, Ireland
Photo: matthewzinder / Getty Images

Built in 1260, Kilkenny Castle now offers a more Victorian-age setting with elegant drapes and chandeliers. Open to tourists year-round, the 50-acre grounds include a dramatic fountain, rose garden, lake and parkland. Couples can host civil or humanist ceremonies (but not receptions) at Kilkenny Castle. The staff rolls out the red carpet (literally) for the walk down the aisle. A lectern, AV services and technician, white chair covers and a table with white linens are also available to pairs and their guests.

Wedding Capacity: Contact venue for details.

Guest Activities: Explore the grounds, Smithwick's Experience, St Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower and Medieval Mile Museum.

Accommodations: Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel, Pembroke Kilkenny and Butler House & Garden.

Luttrellstown Castle Resort, Dublin

Luttrellstown Castle Resort in County Dublin, Ireland
Photo: Luttrellstown Castle Resort

Tucked away in the suburb of Castleknock, Luttrellstown Castle Resort is one of the best wedding venues in Dublin, Ireland, because it simultaneously provides a respite from the bustling city. Its proximity to the airport (20 minutes) and the city center (30 minutes) will delight guests and couples alike. Ditto for the bespoke castle wedding offerings, which can accommodate small parties of 20 to larger ones with 180 loved ones. Royal perks for couples and guests include a red-carpet arrival, Prosecco for the to-be-weds, personalized menus, centerpieces and floral arrangements, and exclusive use of the castle. Couples can also use the venue for pre and post-wedding parties, like a day-after BBQ.

Wedding Capacity: 180 guests

Guest Activities: Guinness Factory, St. Patrick's Cathedral, walking tours of Dublin, Jameson Distillery Bow St. and Trinity College.

Accommodations: Rooms available on-site.

Kilkea Castle, Kildare

Kilkea Castle in County Kildare, Ireland
Photo: Independent News and Media / Contributor / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Housed in a 12th-century structure, Kilkea Castle is truly a historic place to tie the knot. A spa offers treatments like facials and massages that'll leave you glowing and feeling relaxed. An elegant Baronial Hall—complete with statement chandeliers and a stone-wall interior reminiscent of another time—is an opulent spot for a larger wedding. A restaurant lauded for its natural light and garden views is ideal for intimate receptions of up to 60. Couples will work with a wedding planner to make their day one that's truly theirs, including choosing packages that come with multi-course meals and beverage service.

Wedding Capacity: 270 guests

Guest Activities: Kilkea Golf Course, Saint Brigid's Cathedral and Round Tower. Castledermot Round Tower and St. James' Church. Archery, off-road and horseback riding experience are offered through the hotel.

Accommodations: Rooms on-site

Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan

Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan, Ireland
Photo: Joe Dunne / Stringer / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images Europe

An hour from Belfast and 80 minutes from Dublin, Castle Leslie Estate is one of the most sought-after wedding locations in Ireland for both its proximity to and respite from these major cities. The sprawling 1,000-acre countryside hideaway is still run by its family and lauded as Europe's Most Romantic Hotel. This romance extends to wedding planning. Pairs can choose from the old-world grandeur of the castle itself for smaller weddings of 70 guests (midweek only). A Pavillion beside Glaslough can host up to 260 guests, but the quiet countryside refuge will make even lavish affairs feel peaceful. Perks include complimentary extras like personal planning meetings with the events team, bubbly upon arrival for the to-be-weds, centerpieces and use of the castle's sword for a one-of-a-kind cake cutting.

Wedding Capacity: 260 guests

Guest Activities: Rossmore Forest Park, Lough Muckno Forest Park and a day trip to Dublin and Belfast. Horse-drawn carriage rides, clay shooting and archery are also available on-site.

Accommodations: Rooms available on-site.

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Dublin

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in County Dublin, Ireland
Photo: Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel

Another gorgeous Dublin wedding venue, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, is a stylish spot found less than 10 miles and a world away from the city center. Its stunning views of Dublin Bay and 19th-century castle digs set the scene for a quintessential Irish soiree. Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel can accommodate two-person elopements and larger fêtes with a 280-guest headcount. A dedicated wedding planner will offer white-glove support for couples and wedding packages can include perks like a prosecco bar and afterparty. If you're planning a kid-friendly bash, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel offers little-guest accommodations like welcome drinks (juice) and books to keep them entertained.

Wedding Capacity: 280 guests

Guest Activities: Killiney Hill Park, Killiney Golf Club, Guinness Factory, St. Patrick's Cathedral, walking tours of Dublin, Jameson Distillery Bow St. and Trinity College.

Accommodations: Rooms available on site.

Belle Isle Estate, Castle & Cottages, Fermanagh

Belle Isle Estate, Castle & Cottages in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Photo: Belle Isle Estate, Castle & Cottages

One of the top small castle wedding venues Northern Ireland offers, Belle Isle Estate, Castle & Cottages is set on 400 private island acres. Castle weddings can accommodate up to 65 guests in the 17th-century structure amid the lush countryside and gardens. (A marquee on the lawn can hold up to 180 guests.) To-be-weds will work hand-in-glove with a dedicated representative to pull off a one-of-a-kind event. The castle will be yours and yours alone for the day because the venue hosts just one wedding at a time. Couples will receive a red carpet for the aisle, candelabras and white linens, among other perks. A full Irish breakfast is also offered daily in the grand hall.

Wedding Capacity: 180 guests

Guest Activities: Fishing, hiking, boating and horseback riding (arranged through the hotel).

Accommodations: Rooms available on-site.

How to Choose a Wedding Venue in Ireland

Planning an Ireland castle wedding can be fun. However, determining the best venue for you can be a challenge if you're planning from the US. Scouring the Internet for reviews can help you pinpoint the best wedding venues in Ireland. Look for commentary on the venue staff's attention to detail and communication. Just remember that Ireland's time is ahead of ours in the US (four hours ahead of the East Coast, five ahead of Central, six ahead of Mountain and seven ahead of the Pacific Coast).

You can also look at photos to get an idea of what Ireland wedding venues look like from afar. Wedding planners who specialize in Irish destination weddings can also provide recommendations. Ireland's weather can be rainy. Even if you have your heart set on an al fresco ceremony and reception, you'll want to choose a venue with a worthy Plan B.

Your budget will also be an important factor (and remember, wedding venues in the Republic of Ireland use Euros, while those in Northern Ireland use the pound sterling). Opting for a package may be a way to get more for less.

Consider your desired headcount. Small castle weddings and larger soirees are all available in Ireland, but some venues will have minimums, and all will have a maximum capacity. If it's not available on the website, a member of the events team will be able to tell you.

Finally, consider what you'd like your planning process to be like. Do you want a venue to include a dedicated wedding planner, or would you rather bring in your own? Do you want a package to help streamline the need to find vendors from afar, or do you wish to go the bespoke route? Do you want a castle wedding venue that doubles as a hotel to cut down on the need to travel, or do you crave a change of scenery? Do you plan to host your reception at the venue or just the ceremony? It's all personal preference, but some venues may offer these options.

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