Natalie and Connor's Ireland castle destination wedding at the Loughcrew Estate left us speechless. No, I truly mean that. We cannot believe that we got to be a part of such an absolutely incredible wedding day. When I became a wedding photographer 10 years ago, I don't think I could have even imagined life blessing my business as it has today! Shooting an Ireland destination wedding was something I only dreamed of doing when I was 18 years old and just getting into photography. So I'm elated to be able to check this off our bucket list and dip our toes into international weddings!
Loughcrew Estate Ireland Wedding Venue
This blog post is going to be all about our experience at Loughcrew Estate in County Meath, Ireland. But don't worry, we'll also be covering a few other venues in the area so be sure and look around the blog if you are still trying to decide on a location!
Loughcrew Estate, situated in County Meath, Ireland, has a rich historical legacy dating back over 300 years. The estate features a Georgian mansion, carefully preserved to retain its original splendor and offering a glimpse into Ireland's architectural heritage- which is really something for those who have never visited and are experiencing it for the first time!
On Ground Housing for Guests
When Natalie reached out to us a year before her wedding, she had told us how they had gone with a venue that hosted everyone right on the grounds- which was a huge plus. The main building has over 10+ bedrooms with both queen and double twin beds to host up to 17 of your closest friends and family members. When in the Irish countryside, there are no Ubers, so having a place to stay on the premises is a huge plus. At the end of the reception, we walked 15 feet to our room and crawled right into bed- it was amazing! And a similar experience to photographing hotel weddings. The estate also provides several different amenities, including fine dining experiences, spa treatments, and outdoor activities, ensuring that all of your guests are pampered and entertained throughout their stay. Since you'll be over an hour from Dublin, this is another huge pro to choosing this estate.
Church Ruins Ceremony Spot
The showstopper of the venue is, without a doubt, the church ruins. Saint Oliver Plunkett's Church is dated back as far as the 17th century. It truly is a little piece of history- spiritually and physically. If you are wanting to get married in Ireland but aren't wanting a cliffside ceremony, there is no better place to exchange vows. The rock and overgrown ivy bring the ruins to life and make for one of the most romantic ceremony spots we have ever had the pleasure of photographing.
The gardens are just another way your guests will get to get the full, Irish countryside experience. They will be dropped off at the main building, and then they will walk a short way through the trees and gardens to get to the church, and it really is breathtaking. Irish moss and wildflowers all the way throughout the walk and several off-road paths as well. The gardens also have a bit of history to them- dating even further back than the ruins all the way to the 1600's. It's a short walk down the road from the Main House, so your guests can walk the path or they can catch the bus for transportation if they aren't up for the walk in heels!
Nearby Things To Do
Beyond the boundaries of Loughcrew Estate is the surrounding Irish countryside and one of the biggest reasons you'll likely choose this spot. We woke up early the morning after the wedding to head out on a hike up the mountainside to see the Loughcrew Cairns in person. We were visiting in the summer, so the sun was up for the morning around 5:30AM. No sleeping in for us!
The Loughcrew Cairns are one of the most extraordinary features in the area. The ancient passage tombs are known as the Loughcrew Cairns or the Hills of the Witch. These mystical prehistoric structures are older than the pyramids of Egypt (crazy, huh?!). It is a pretty steep hike, but well worth the trek to be able to see the nearly 360 views of the countryside.
Guests can also explore the little ancient town of Kells. We got a chance to celebrate the night before the wedding at ta local pub and it was just a fantastic Irish experience- yes, there were definitely fish and chips!
The region's warm hospitality and rich heritage add an extra dimension to the overall wedding experience.
Also, Dublin isn't far at all- just an hour drive from Co. Meath. You and your guests will likely fly in at the Dublin airport, so I recommend staying there a day to explore the city and eat the all the good food before heading into the country.
Overall, I really just suggest spending the day relaxing at the estate if you have an extra free day. Walking the grounds, getting to see the ruins, the cows and the country right from Loughcrew. Enjoy the catered brunch and soak up the "island time" that Ireland is known for.