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Picking a wedding venue in Northern Ireland – 5 top tips

Picking a Wedding Venue - Relaxed Bride and Groom, Wedding at Harrys Shack

One of the first things that you will need to do after getting engaged, will be to pick a venue, or venues for your wedding. Northern Ireland has an absolute abundance of wedding venues for you to choose from, so you are sure to find a venue to suit you! Below are some things to consider, and to help you in picking a wedding venue in Northern Ireland, as well as some helpful suggestions of venues!

Picking a Wedding Venue - Adventurous bride and groom, Clifftop Wedding, Mussenden Temple, Northern Ireland
Picking a Wedding Venue - Wedding at Lissanoure Castle, Northern Ireland

What type of venue do you want?

The first thing to decide is what type of venue you are looking for. As I’ve said, there are loads of options in Northern Ireland. You could have your wedding in a hotel, a restored mill, a barn, a castle, a brewery, a restaurant, converted stables, cliff top temple, a tipi in the woods, even a gin distillery! I have listed some amazing venues at the bottom of this post for you to consider! So you are sure to be able to find a venue that suits you and your wedding plans!

Picking a Wedding Venue - Empire Music Hall Wedding, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Picking a Wedding Venue - Lakeside Wedding at Harveys Point, Lough Eske, Donegal, Ireland

One venue or two?

Traditionally people would have had their ceremony in a church, and then the reception in a hotel. For many people that is still what they prefer to do, but with so many venues licensed to carry out weddings now you can also have your wedding in a different setting, both religious and non-religious weddings! A much more common trend today is to have the wedding ceremony and the reception/party all at the one location. This is great for you as a couple, and for your guests as it means no traveling between venues! It is also great for many of your suppliers for the same reason.  It makes for a much for relaxed day fo everyone!


If you do choose to have multiple venues, bear in mind travel time between them, as well as the time of year (a long journey time between venues in winter will leave less time for photographs because there is less day light)

Picking a Wedding Venue - Crom Castle Wedding, Northern Ireland
Picking a Wedding Venue - Relaxed Bride and Groom, Wedding at Harrys Shack

What about food?

What about catering? Does the venue provide the food for you, as with most hotels, or do you have the option to organise your own caterers? This could save some money, and also allow you to have a really specific type of meal!

Check if the venue or caterer will allow you to have a tasting beforehand to help you choose your menu. Or you could actually have your wedding in a restaurant like Harrys Shack!

Picking a Wedding Venue - The Mill at Ballydugan Wedding, Northern Ireland
Picking a Wedding Venue - Crom Castle Wedding, Northern Ireland

Is there somewhere for photographs?

Obviously I am biased about this particular point. Is there somewhere nearby the venue, or even at the venue that is a suitable location for photographs, both family and group photographs, and photos of just the two of you! If possible go to see the venue a couple of times before booking, and look at more than just the main room. Walk around the whole venue, and any grounds they have!

Lakeside Wedding at Harveys Point, Lough Eske, Donegal, Ireland
Lakeside Sunset, Wedding at Killyhevlin Hotel, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Think about the weather, is the venue suitable despite the weather?

The weather, it is the one thing you can’t control on your wedding day (so don’t let it worry you). Careful venue selection will help as well! If the weather is wet or windy (or more likely in Northern Ireland, both), is there enough space inside your venue for all your guests to comfortably relax, or is there outdoor shade? Likewise, if it is a hot, sunny day, is there shade for people to cool off?

This applies to photographs as well, is there suitable shade, cover, or indoor options for photographs in case of bad weather, or super sunny weather!

Picking a Wedding Venue - Queens University Belfast Wedding, Northern Ireland

One final idea! If you don’t want the fuss of a whole wedding, you could elope! Like these guys did, just the two of them, the celebrant and myself in Tollymore Forest Park, and the Maghera Inn.

Picking a Wedding Venue - Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland Elopement

Some Venues for you to consider.

Some of these I have photographed, some I am photographing soon, and and some I haven’t but would love to! Hopefully this helps you in picking a wedding venue!

Mussenden Temple
Harrys Shack
Glenarm Castle
Hillmount House
Lissanoure Castle
Galgorm Resort
Ivory Pavlion
Larchfield Estate
Belfast Empire
The West Wing at Crom Castle
The Mill at Ballydugan
The Wool Tower
Queens University
Carriage Rooms at Montalto
Riverdale Barn
Orange Tree House
Breckenhill 
Gracehall
Hilden Brewery
Limepark

Wedding at Lissanoure Castle, Northern Ireland

If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss my previous post – 5 tips for newly engaged couples.

Duke of York Bar, Wedding, Belfast, Northern Ireland

If I can be of any help in helping you to pick or give you advice on picking a wedding venue in Northern Ireland, or if you would like to find out more about having me photograph your wedding, please just get in touch or fill out the form below!

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