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Choosing a Wedding Venue

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of choosing the right wedding location. Once you’ve booked your venue, your wedding is a blank canvas and it’s almost impossible to make important decisions about the venue. Your wedding location will decide the mood and design of your wedding along with the location and the cost, making it crucial to select wisely. When you’ve decided on a wedding venue the location will dictate pretty much everything else about the wedding including food, photography, all the way to the attire you wear.

Picking a wedding location is always a difficult task however, it can be made easier when you first decide on the type of wedding you’re after, and what kind of mood you’d like to create believe us, it’s the only thing your guests will be able to remember on your silver wedding anniversary!

For your wedding venue selection to make it easier for you to find the perfect wedding venue, we’ve compiled list of the five most popular wedding venues available, with the pros and cons of each. Once you’ve settled on the kind of wedding you’re looking for the following guide can help narrow things down!

There are Two Big Wedding Venue Questions

Before you begin looking into wedding venues, organise a chat with your spouse where you talk about possible ideas to plan your wedding as well as (hopefully!) determine the type of wedding you’d like to throw. We have plenty of wonderful posts on the early stages of planning your wedding and finding out what type of wedding you prefer There are two key questions you have to address first:

1. How many guests you are planning to invite?

Calculate the ballpark amount of guests before even thinking of making an itinerary of possible venues. If you’re planning to host over 200 people, for example, your venue choice will be severely restricted by that amount. Roughly speaking, for weddings that have greater than 150 attendees you will probably end up in a hotel, an exclusive wedding venue or marquee for weddings with less than 50, a more private place or restaurant will be best. Unless you’re planning on getting married soon, we recommend you decide on the number of guests you’d like in a perfect world rather than trying to guess what restrictions of Covid-19 may be in place when your wedding day rolls around.

2. How involved do you plan to be?

If you want to minimise the stress and headaches of wedding planning, marquee rental or an exclusive hire location aren’t an ideal choice – a hotel wedding, in which an in-house wedding planner does much of the grunt tasks, is the best. If, on the other hand, you plan on overseeing every little detail yourself an exclusive venue for hire or marquee wedding are in your area.

Hotel Wedding Venue

Traditionally, planning a wedding in Ireland was relatively simple You booked the local hotel and the local church, and that was it! While Irish wedding couples are getting more adventurous and creative in the choice of their wedding location, venue and method of celebration, there are still lots of reasons why hotels could be your ideal option.


Package Deals: Hotels that cater for lots of weddings usually offer competitive packages, making budgeting so much easier
Wedding coordinator in-house The wedding coordinator will take care of every aspect of your wedding day
Trust: A respected establishment with a stellar reputation can be sure of your decision
Accommodation is available on-site for most, at least all, your guests
Recommendations: Most venues can provide recommendations for trusted suppliers


A lesser degree of flexibility: You’ll likely be restricted in your choices of decor as well as food, wine etc. and you will also you will have less time to prepare the room and decorate the room.
Packages: These can be expensive and add-ons can add up
It’s the same thing. Same as before: Hotel function rooms can be boring, and in some instances, more effort is required to make it unique and modern
The supplier restrictions of some venues insist on couples only using certain suppliers.

Exclusive Wedding Venue For Weddings

A growing choice for Irish wedding couples, is the exclusive venue for hire that is ideal when planning an formal(ish) style dinner and dance wedding but don’t require a hotel.


Privacy: Since you’re the only group of guests, you’ll have all the privacy of a private event
Wow Factor: Private venues are often gorgeous and interesting venues that have authenticity
Personal touch An intimate venue is usually managed by the owner directly and is only used for a few weddings per year, which means you’ll have a more personal connection to the location as well as the staff.


Small: Many private venues are really only ideal for weddings with smaller numbers in the house itself
Cost: For bigger weddings, marquee hire is usually possible, however it typically it will cost more
Planning: Private parties involve more coordination of vendors, and it is needed
Restrictions: A private hire wedding venue is someone else’s property , often their house, meaning it’s not always possible to enjoy the complete control of the location

Marquee and/or Wedding At Home

The most personal of all, having your wedding in a marquee at your home or at a different location is a fantastic option, should you find the appropriate space as well as the mental enthusiasm to make it happen. Be aware that planning a marquee wedding is not for the faint of heart!


More personal: Celebrating at home is a way to ensure both you and guests feel immediately at the ease
Control: You are in charge of each aspect of your day from decor to suppliers You could even spend the whole week of setting up and decorating your heart’s content if want to.
There are no limitations: You may hold an open bar or dance until 6am, and no one will ever tell you to shut off the music (except maybe the neighbours!)
Budgeting: A wedding marquee is not cheap but there’s an opportunity to save money in certain areas.


Hidden Costs: Unlike a package provided by a hotel the costs for weddings in marquees aren’t easily measurable, and could surprise you
Marquees today are weatherproof, but rainy days can derail the style and appearance of your wedding in the garden
Intrusion: Your personal space will be spied on by suppliers throughout the days prior to the wedding
Coordinating and organizing a wedding in your home is much more work for you as the wedding planner. You will certainly require a wedding day coordinator to help with the wedding planning

Wedding Venues for Weddings in Pubs or Restaurants

If you are a couple who loves food and desire a private and less traditional affair, a wonderful bar or restaurant is definitely worth considering for the reception.


The Food Your guests will be thankful you for this!
Atmosphere: The mood tends to be more intimate and laid-back
Decor: Choosing a beautiful restaurant means wedding decor can be kept to the minimum
More options to choose from There are more and more restaurants that are providing weddings as a service


No Accommodation: Guest accommodation is not usually available on-site
Location: Good restaurants tend to be in urban centers, and it could be challenging
Late Night: Late licenses can be more challenging for restaurants.
A Dance Floor is Not Available: Space for dancing might be restricted or unavailable at all
Ceremony: A separate ceremony venue is generally required. Certain restaurants have a suitable location, but not all
A Little Sense of Occasion: This may not matter to you, but if you’ve dreamed of a big white wedding, a pub probably won’t fit the bill

DIY Weddings, DIY Weddings, or Anything You Like

Whether you’re thinking about of having a ceremony in the cliffs and picnic reception or a late-night party on the shore, you’ll likely have the same pros and disadvantages of having a wedding at home and/or an exclusive venue for hire. This requires more organization and planning (and often hidden expenses) If you and your spouse are both interested in making your wedding unique, we trust it will succeed!

The last thing to keep in mind is that every wedding location differs. There are places that offer packages and hotels that function as exclusive hire locations, therefore we’ve had the need to make numerous generalisations in this guide however we hope that our advice will help steer you and your partner towards the right direction.