Ireland is famous for its beautiful castles, but Bellingham Castle holds a place of its own. Unlike other darker, medieval-looking venues, it truly brings you into a fairytale. Located an easy 40min away from Dublin just off the M1, it’s a bright and luxurious venue with gorgeous grounds, breathtaking vistas, sumptuous parlours and delicious food. Ailbhe and Ciaran’s Bellingham Castle wedding was just that – a dreamy golden-lit celebration of love and beauty.
Bellingham Castle Wedding Reception
With exclusive use of the castle and grounds, Bellingham Castle is the perfect setting for a fairytale-style wedding. Dating back to 1660, the castle is steeped in history. The romantic feel is enhanced by sweeping lawns, riverside walkways, weeping willows and lush pergolas of roses and wisteria. One of its main historic highlights was the 1905 lavish wedding of the 4th Marquis de Bute’s to the daughter of Sir Alan Bellingham. The event received worldwide attention in society and placed Bellingham Castle high on society radar.
These days Bellingham Castle regularly hosts weekday and weekend weddings, accommodating up to 200 guests. Their wedding package is really straightforward – an all-inclusive option at €108.50 per person for a Friday or Saturday wedding (minimum 150 guests) or €98 midweek (from 40 to 80 minimum guests, depending on the day). You get exclusive use of the castle and grounds, a dedicated wedding coordinator, red carpet welcome and personalized menus. Besides the canapés and drinks on arrival you and your guests are treated to a five-course meal with wine and prosecco, as well as evening bites.
The reception itself is hosted in the castle’s many drawing rooms, the library and the bar. Each room is beautifully decorated, with plenty of natural light – a dream for a photographer! When the dinner bell rings your guests are invited into the spacious banquet suite. It’s full of chandeliers and the top table is backlit with natural light making for gorgeous photos during speeches.
What I love the most about Bellingham Castle is the little nooks and crannies you wouldn’t be used to in a standard wedding venue. Beside the banquet suite there is incredibly cute Buttery Kitchen where your guests can pop in any time for a bit of quiet time and a cup of tea. There’s an awesome room with a low vaulted ceiling – it makes for incredible photos as well as a cool selfie station! There’s also a beautiful wine cellar and “games” room with a chess set and an arcade machine. It basically means your guests will never be bored!
Accommodation at Bellingham Castle
With your wedding package you get to pick your luxury bridal suite. The castle has 19 gorgeous period-style bedrooms looking out onto amazing views. Depending on your choice of room you can see the gardens, the river, the fountain or the local church among beautiful woodlands. The larger bedrooms all feature four-poster beds and free-standing baths. Definitely an amazing way to indulge and unwind after a party of the century!
Wedding Photos at Bellingham Castle
One of the biggest attraction of Bellingham Castle are, of course, its stunning grounds. There aren’t many other venues in Ireland with such amazing opportunities! Turning into the driveway you are greeted with a gorgeous view of the castle itself and a fairytale fountain at the entrance. The castle is located on a hill so from the entrance you have an amazing view of the river, the bridges and the willows.
The bridges are one of the most popular areas for couple photos, very intimate but still close enough to the castle that you don’t need to disappear from your wedding party for a long time. Ailbhe and Ciaran planned to sneak down to the river just before they were announced into the dining room but the weather scuppered our plans with a May shower. As it turned out, it was even for the better. As you come down to the river with the gorgeous view of the castle in the background the sun sets perfectly behind the building, and you get the gorgeous golden soft light.
In the afternoon we got to use the lovely pergola located just outside the banquet suite. In May it’s adorned with lush wisteria – I love the soft purple tones of this plant! In the evening it was also the perfect centre spot for cake-cutting.
While the rain was trying to get in the way we opted for a few photos in the luxurious drawing rooms and library on the first floor. All the guests were finding their seats downstairs, and we had the castle to ourselves. The period furniture and the floor to ceiling windows make for some jaw-dropping backdrops for your Bellingham Castle Wedding photos.
Scroll below for more fairytale inspiration from Ailbhe and Ciaran’s stunning Bellingham Castle Wedding!