Hidden away in Ireland's capital city are some true wedding gems. These unique Dublin wedding venues break from the norm and offer a quirky and more unusual alternative to the luxury hotel.
It can be a challenge to be different, especially if you are planning a chic city centre wedding in Dublin.
If you're looking for a venue that's more intimate, more interesting and a little bit more special, instead of the usual hotel wedding, here are a few recommended by the experts at The Wedding Journal Show:
Ely Bar & Grill
Urban chic has arrived in Dublin with the perfect city centre venue for your wedding. Ely Bar & Grill CHQ is located in the original 18th century wine and tobacco vaults in Dublin’s docklands and are steeped in history offering cool, modern décor with bare backdrops in unique spaces to decorate to your hearts content; or not; if you like to keep it minimal.
The waterside terrace and Atrium Bar are ideal for arrival drinks with views over St George’s Dock and downstairs the cave like vaults create a romantic and atmospheric backdrop for the main event and after party.
Ely Bar & Grill caters for a range of numbers from an intimate private dinner for 12 in the wine cellar to 100 people in a semi private vault and onto all five vaults catering for up to 300 people.
Package prices start from just €60 per head for arrivals, dinner and after party and the family farm provide organic and GM free food cooked to perfection by a team of talented chefs.
Number of Guests: Maximum 300
Smock Alley Theatre
The restored 17th-century Smock Alley Theatre has to be experienced to be understood; with the multi-tiered theatre (formerly a boys’ school) and the stained-glass-windowed banquet hall, it’s a spacious and ornate city centre wedding venue on the banks of the river Liffey.
The banquet hall is licensed for Civil Ceremonies and Partnerships church style pew seating for up to 100 guests provided. Follow with a sparkling Prosecco reception before dining on a candlelit banquet (think fresh fish, local cheeses and decadent desserts) with excellent wines.
The acoustics for music here are unparalleled and it’s fully licensed too, so you and your guests can wed, dine and celebrate until 11pm. Plus, the cobblestones of Cow’s Lane make for quite the photo backdrop.
Number of Guests: Max capacity of the Banquet Hall is 250 for a standing reception. And up to 120 people for a seated dinner. Minimum number required is 50.
GPO Witness History provides a unique event space over two floors within the GPO building, an important landmark in Dublin. Renowned for both its historical and architectural significance, the venue offers the ultimate backdrop for a variety of events, including weddings, right in the heart of Dublin.
The venue contains three main spaces available for events. The Witness Gallery with its high ceiling and large Georgian windows is an ideal space for an intimate reception, The Commemoration Gallery overlooking the courtyard is a great space for larger weddings and offers a modern feel in a historical surrounding or The Courtyard which is an outdoor oasis of calm within the hustle and bustle of Dublin city centre.
Number of Guests: Maximum 120
The Mansion House
The Mansion House epitomises Victorian grandeur and this beautiful venue is licensed to hold civil weddings.Imagine arriving in the historic courtyard, enjoying drinks and canapés at the foot of the elegant staircase before moving outside into the gardens to relax before a sumptuous wedding breakfast? Sounds idyllic doesn't it?
The versatility of the house means there is a choice of style and size of room to achieve the atmosphere you desire. Also the exclusive use of The Mansion House, its Victorian walled gardens and soon to be redeveloped Orangery are available to your guests throughout your special day.
Number of Guests: Maximum 700
Founded in 1904 the Abbey Theatre is Ireland's national theatre and has played to host some of the most famous playwrights and actors of all time. Follow in the footsteps of some of Ireland’s famous actors and deliver your lines on the world renowned Abbey stage.
Their award-winning events team will help to bring your ideas to life and create a beautiful backdrop for your special day. Enjoy rare photograph opportunities, an intimate auditorium seating for your guests and the use of the wonderfully atmospheric Yeats Lounge. The theatre has also partnered with a selection of handpicked hotels should you require assistance with a reception venue.
Number of Guests: Maximum 100 day and 400 evening
With its unique backdrop and historic setting, Blackhall Place is regarded as one of the finest wedding venues in Dublin and Ireland and is no stranger to hosting extraordinary weddings in the heart of Dublin city.
This impressive wedding venue combines stature with excellent cuisine and service, to create a truly memorable experience.
The venue has a policy of holding only one wedding per day, so you are guaranteed special attention, from the initial enquiry right through to the wedding.
The stunning grounds of Blackhall Place provide fantastic wedding photo opportunities and there's the option to add an additional marquee (the maximum capacity for wedding at Blackhall Place is 180).
Number of Guests: Maximum 180
No.6 Kildare Street
The beautiful home of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland since 1864, No. 6 Kildare Street is now available to hire as a private wedding venue. Behind the imposing façade and elegant stone pillars you'll find an eclectic collection of artefacts and antiques reflecting the antiquity of the College. In fact, the main rooms of the building remain much as they were in 1864 when the building was opened.
The landmark building features eight stylish rooms, each with its own distinctive character and can accommodate up to 150 guests for unique city centre wedding. The professional on-site catering facilities allow for a wide range of menu options, from delicious sandwiches to spectacular six-course banquets.
Number of Guests: Maximum 150
No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place
Number 25 is an impeccably restored Georgian house located in the heart of Dublin’s south city centre. Located on a quiet corner of the Georgian mile, the property has been lovingly restored and decorated in a classic yet contemporary style highlighting its original period features. With a beautiful backdrop, delicious menus and warm, attentive service – No. 25 is ideal for those looking for an intimate and unique venue with fantastic food.
This romantic wedding venue can seat 60 guests for dinner and offers full bar facilities. They have a dedicated team of experts to look after you on the day and can put you in touch with a trusted list of suppliers for entertainment and any extras that you might need to complete the day.
Number of Guests: Maximum 60 for dinner
The Chocolate Factory
Once an actual chocolate factory, The Chocolate Factory (based at the old Williams and Woods building), was the first concrete building in Dublin!
Their first floor space, with its large windows, high ceilings and exposed steel beams, is the perfect venue for an alternative wedding ceremony.
They can arrange for a drinks reception with canapés after the ceremony or a full sit-down meal in the large first floor space.
Couples also have the option of having their ceremony on the first floor and their meal and after party in the beautiful Blas Restaurant downstairs.
The curfew for the first floor space is 11pm, but the party can continue until 12.45am downstairs!
All packages can be customised to suit the size, vibe and style of your day!
Number of Guests: 50 to 200
For lots of Irish wedding venue ideas, from the unusual to the more traditional, visit The Wedding Journal Show Dublin in the Citywest Convention Centre on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September. Open daily from 11am to 5pm, discounted online tickets are available here.
Images via: Elk Stylist, Bella Botanica, Balloons For You, AisleLoveYou.ie. Image by Bronté Photography.