The best place for a wedding in Laois

Beautiful Wedding. Photo credit: Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia

Among the best hotels available as wedding venues in Laois, four in particular stand out for their attention to detail, excellent service, and outstanding surroundings to make any wedding a memorable event. These are the Ballyfin Demesne, Castle Durrow, Roundwood House, and Heritage Killenard.

Ballyfin Demesne is the site for a dream wedding. In 2013, Destinations Weddings and Honeymoons selected the hotel as one of their top 12 romantic spots in the world.

On the down side, it is quite pricey; however, the price is well worth it for the level of attention you get from the staff, the awe-inspiring demesne and wonderful period charm of the manor, the excellent food and wine, the multitude of activities available on the grounds, and the overall romance of the intimate setting.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_fGcOrN3g1/

The entire manor can be booked for an intimate wedding, and the guests can stay in some of the most elegantly appointed rooms in Ireland. Children are more than welcome, and there are many activities for them to enjoy, including story time at the grotto. Guests can enjoy tours of the garden in a horse and carriage or a boat ride on the lake.

Instagram

The options for exciting activities are seemingly endless. For a touch of something different, you can even have the costume department outfit the guests in period outfits for a pre-wedding party.

The 1820s manor itself is a sight to behold at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The ballroom alone can accommodate 130 guests, while the State Dining Room, overlooking the water cascade, can hold 70 guests. Smaller rooms for pre-wedding celebrations with close friends and family are also available.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEtpoVsyF5q/

Menus can be customized to suit the bridal couple's preferences.

The bedrooms are unique in their design and décor. Some feature four-poster beds and fireplaces, while others have a private balcony. One has its own library, while another features huge 17th-century Flemish tapestries. The suites are large and comfortable. Views from all rooms are spectacular.

https://www.instagram.com/p/8x307NrLaq/

Castle Durrow is another fine Irish hotel. It looks every bit as good as Ballyfin but is far more affordable. Built in 1716, the mansion is close to Dunmore Caves and Ballaghmore Castle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGB7hs4GW8C/

The wedding packages on offer are all-inclusive and don't have any hidden fees, allowing couples to easily match costs against their budget. The restaurant sources its herbs, fruit, and vegetables from its own garden.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGB5PYMN9fN/

The banquet room can host up to 170 guests. It's a very romantic setting with wooden floors, candles, dimmed chandeliers, and French doors overlooking a private terrace. A late-night BBQ is available for those who prefer to eat late.

Wedding pictures on the 30 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland or the enclosed courtyard against the backdrop of the grand castle will turn out beautifully. Even indoors, one can capture the grand staircase and elegant rooms for memories that will last a lifetime.

Facebook

As part of the wedding package, the couple also receives many complimentary additions. These include a red-carpet arrival, the bridal suite for the wedding night, champagne on arrival for the bride and groom, use of the cake stands, an engraved cake knife presented to the couple at departure, and a free wine and meal tasting as well as a free bedroom for the night of the tasting.

Beauty therapists are on hand to prepare the bride on the eve and morning of the wedding, and packages are available to include the bridal party as well.

Special accommodation rates are on offer for friends and family of the bridal couple. Accommodation in specially chosen townhomes and farm houses is available for those who won't stay at the castle.

There is plenty of parking to accommodate all guests.

An in-house videographer will capture video of the wedding and present it to the couple on a DVD.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFid8ZlMbNI/

For the night before or after the wedding, you can opt for a Suckling Pig BBQ or a buffet meal or even a small family dinner in the private dining room. Only one wedding is catered per day, ensuring the staff's full attention. Guests receive two drinks on arrival, and half a bottle of house wine per guest is included in the meal. All food is freshly prepared just prior to the meal and cooked to order.

The Heritage Killenard is not among Ireland's historic sites, unlike the other two options, but the venue is still very good for a wedding, and the surroundings are quite beautiful.

Couples who have decided to do without a wedding planner can use the hotel's own web-planner, called Moposa, free of charge. Moposa provides a guest list manager, personal wedding website with online RSVP, a budget planner, text messaging for guests, and a ‘drag-n-drop’ seating planner for the function rooms.

At the spa, the bridal party can enjoy several treatments as part of the pre-wedding packages that are offered 6 months, 3 months, and 2 weeks ahead of the wedding.

Facebook

As a unique feature, there is a helipad on-site, which can allow a dramatic entrance for the bride and groom.

Rooms at the hotel can accommodate both single guests and large families.

Guests who will be staying for a few days can enjoy a few rounds of golf on the 9-hole golf course or take a few classes at the golf school. Other activities are available for kids and teens, along with fishing and tennis. Service at the hotel is exceptional with great attention to detail, and all guests are treated like royalty.

Roundwood House offers a wonderful tranquil and secluded venue for a dream wedding. Both the historic hotel with its beautiful gardens and courtyards and the location make for perfect photos. It offers an intimate space for small weddings, comfortably fitting in just over 40 guests. The hotel provides only 10 bedrooms, but the owners also manage other houses in the village, which can accommodate more guests.

Facebook

If still more guests need to stay nearby, there are hotels in Dublin or other parts of County Laois that are sure to please. In that case, we recommend staying in Laois one day before and after the wedding for better transportation options.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BC-q90Iljm4/

Roundwood House can serve up to 60 guests at a sit-down meal and 70 guests for a buffet. The staff do their best to customize the wedding experience to match the couple's preferences.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BELvyqiljuS/

 


Carolyn John, 2015

UNIQUE VACATION