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ING l travel D D E W ecia By Aoife O’ Connor

Sp

‘I do’

Water ford Castle

Croke Park appointment and a deposit of £750 is required with all bookings. For more information call 028 926 38025 or email enquiries@larchfieldestate. co.uk.

Cliffs of Moher:

with a difference

Alternative wedding venues are starting to become increasingly commonplace

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electing the perfect wedding venue can be a tricky task. But all the decision-making and stress will be worthwhile when you chose a wedding environment that will set the mood for the entire event. In Ireland a number of unusual venues are becoming popular choices for couples. While they must be licensed to hold wedding ceremonies and there are certain restrictions in place, don’t let this put you off. Departing from the norm could be the best decision you ever make.

Croke Park: The impressive stadium and holy ground of the GAA is gearing up for a busy year as it prepares to host some matches of a more romantic nature. Having been the venue for some iconic matches throughout the last century, the historic grounds continued this trend in the new millennium and especially since it was opened up to non-Gaelic games in 2005. As a result Croke Park has a special place in the hearts of Irish sporting fans, regardless of whether it’s football, hurling, soccer or rugby. The grounds are proving to be a popular wedding day choice, as soon-to-be-wed fans of all games Gaelic and otherwise are lining out for their big match day. Situated in central Dublin, couples looking to tie the knot in the hallowed sports ground can choose from a number of different wedding packages available to suit your wedding day requirements. Weddings at this spectacular venue will most certainly be an unforgettable day for one and all as vows are exchanged in suites overlooking the impressive 82,300 capacity stands and magnificent

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Woman’s Way, May 10, 2010

pitch. Two suites are available for ceremonies depending on the size of the wedding party. The Players’ Lounge caters for weddings of up to 120 guests while the Hogan Mezzanine suite can be booked for wedding parties of up to 300 guests. The show-stopping event includes the opportunity to have a photograph taken pitch-side (the coveted green grass is off limits between matches) and all packages offer the option of including guest accommodation in the four-star Croke Park hotel located directly across from the stadium. A deposit is required upon booking, which varies depending on the size of the wedding and your requests. For further information contact Karen on 01 8192316 or email weddings@crokepark.

Larchfield Estate: Set in the beautiful Co Down, Larchfield Estate is one of the North’s best-kept secrets, or it was until now! The rolling pastures of this exquisite estate are only a 20-minute drive outside Belfast city centre making it an ideal venue for a distinctively different wedding. Wonderfully romantic, the estate was originally built in 1750. Surrounded by

The coveted green grass of es Croke Park is off limits between match – even for weddings! leafy woodland, picturesque lakes and miniature donkeys; even alpacas call this incredibly scenic and atmospheric place home. A walled garden restored over the years offers the opportunity for spectacular photographs especially during the summer months when the garden comes alive with bursts of floral colour. Licensed to hold wedding ceremonies, couples exchange their vows in the Larchfield Barn, which can hold up to 264 guests. As it is a private estate there are certain

restrictions in place including no right to use to the manor house for photographs, as it is a private residence. Photographs can only be taken in the walled gardens, courtyard, larchfield barn and at the fish pond lake but access is limited to bride and groom and photographer. Temporary licenses are required to serve alcohol at weddings. Event organisers at Larchfield Estate are more than happy to help and provide details of accommodation, caterers, musicians and photographers when you book your wedding. Viewing is strictly by

If you’re looking to have a small intimate wedding with a difference look no further than the Cliffs of Moher. This towering spectacle off the coast of Co Clare is one of the most romantic and breathtakingly beautiful places in the world, so where better to say your ‘I do’s’ than on the Cliffs listening to the waves of the Atlantic crash against the rocks below. A wedding blessing (not legally binding) can be performed on the Cliffs either outside O’Brien’s Tower or alternatively at Hags Head, which offers views of O’ Brien’s Tower, Goat Island and the Aran Islands. A member of staff can officiate at a wedding blessing or alternatively a number of local parish priests are willing to offer their services. After the blessing, the wedding party can enjoy spectacular views from inside O’ Brien’s Tower while a viewing area on top of the tower provides a stunning view of the surrounding area which is available for photos subject to weather conditions. While the Cliffs offer a bride and groom an unforgettable experience surrounded by untamed beauty there are issues you should be aware of prior to booking. Access to the Cliffs depending greatly on weather conditions and during peak times in July and August the island can be extremely busy with tourists. There are regulations restricting loud or amplified music. The cost for O’Brien’s Tower for a 2-hour period

Cliffs of Moher

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Bear the weather restrictions in mind if choosing the Cliffs of Moher

starts at E1,000. For more information on weddings at the Cliffs of Moher contact 065 7086141 or info@ cliffsofmoher.ie.

Waterford Castle: Have you dreamed of having a fairytale wedding since you were a little girl? For the royal treatment on your special day then Waterford Castle in the sunny southeast is the place for you. Located on its own private island in the Kings Channel minutes from the quays of Waterford City, the grounds are only accessible via private ferry (operated by the island 24/7). In a world of its own, ivy clings to the 16th century stonewalls of this majestic castle creating a wonderfully magical atmosphere that truly envelops you. Home to an 18-hole golf course and 320 acres of unspoiled woodland that is overflowing with wild flora and fauna, the sprawling grounds make for a uniquely different wedding. Beautifully groomed private gardens provide for the most romantic of backdrops for photographs on the day. Each wedding at Waterford Castle is organised by the venues own wedding planner who is on hand to help you figure out every minor detail to ensure you have the perfect wedding day. An outstanding gastronomic experience can be expected in the elegant Munster Room, where you and your guests will enjoy a tailor-made menu prepared by their award-winning chef using local produce. Waterford Castle caters for up to 120 guests and marquee weddings can also be arranged on the grounds for larger wedding parties. One of Ireland’s most romantic and scenic locations, Waterford Castle

Waterford Castle is located on its own private isl and reached only by ferry

Delphi Mountain Resor t offers an unforgettable wedding day to celebrate your love. A deposit of E1,500 is required with all bookings. For more information contact 051 878203 or email weddings@waterfordcastle. com.

Delphi Mountain Resort: On the other hand if you’re a bit adventurous and prefer a wedding venue that provides adrenaline rushes as well as relaxation, then Delphi Mountain Resort in Co Galway is perfect. Couples and their guests can escape into the wilderness of the Irish highlands which blends seamlessly into the 400 acres of untamed Connemara landscape that surround the exquisite location. A haven for couples who are seeking to escape the busy modern world; you and your guests will enjoy complete seclusion with no mobile phone coverage, Internet or television at the resort. Instead you

can enjoy the whole range of forest, mountain and ocean based activities on offer at the resort, which include archery, hiking and surfing. Quality foods prepared using local produce are tailored to your specific requests to make your wedding day dining experience an unforgettable one. A €E1,000 non-refundable deposit is required for a wedding and €E2,000 if the wedding is on a bank holiday weekend. For more information contact 095 42 208 or info@delphiescape. com.

Larchfield Estate Woman’s Way, May 10, 2010

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Irish wedding locations