Can you imagine getting married in a 15th-century castle while enjoying all the modern conveniences? Once you see Darver Castle it’s hard to go back! Located an easy hour’s drive from Dublin in Co. Louth, this romantic venue will easily become the perfect backdrop for your party of a lifetime. And the fact that it is one of the most spacious venues around Dublin (up to 280 guests!) could seal the deal.
What’s the Best Season to Get Married at Darver Castle?
Darver Castle Weddings are magnificent all year round. The manicured gardens and blooming roses in summer make for beautiful photo backdrops. There are lots of beautiful indoor locations for photographs in case of a rainy day.
At the same time, Darver Castle is one of my favourite winter wedding venues. There aren’t many places in Ireland that look as good on a December day as they do in July. From November to start of January the place turns into a real winter wonderland. Full of twinkling Christmas lights, roaring open fires and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, there is something especially cosy about being in the castle during the winter months.
Accommodation at Darver Castle
Not only does Darver Castle seat a lot of guests for your dinner, there are also plenty of accommodation options on site. In total there are 50 rooms at Darver Castle Estate, situated in the Main Castle, Courtyard, and Stables. There is a variety of single, double, triple and even family rooms, sleeping over 100 guests if fully occupied.
11 rooms in the castle are reserved for you and your wedding party, and you are required to include this in your wedding booking. The rest of the available rooms in the Courtyard and Stables are there to be booked by your wedding guests as they wish. There is a hearty breakfast in the Grain Store included in your booking.
Best of all, even if the rooms aren’t yet available on the morning of the wedding, you can still get ready at the castle. There is a dedicated Bridal Parlour Suite located in the walled courtyard so that you and your wedding party can all get ready together. Included is a wedding breakfast, tea and coffee facilities, and of course prosecco!
Civil Wedding Ceremony at Darver Castle
Darver Castle has a beautiful and newly refurbished Ceremony Room on site seating up to 150 people (although it’s definitely cosy with these numbers!). The Ceremony Room itself is in line with the rest of the castle, with stone walls and windows along the left wall. I always love the convenience of having the ceremony at the venue and not worrying about travelling between locations!
If you have a larger wedding and the weather is in your favour, you can also have an outdoor ceremony with up to 280 in attendance. The ceremony is held under a beautiful pergola surrounded by the stone walls of the courtyard.
All civil ceremonies at Darver Castle start at 3pm. It’s a popular time for summer weddings but in winter with the sun setting at 4 so it’s something to bear in mind when planning your timeline. If you are getting ready on site, having a first look and all family portraits done before the ceremony is a great way of maximizing on daylight and spending as much time as possible with your guests.
Wedding Reception and Packages
After the ceremony your wedding reception is held across several rooms in the castle, including a beautiful conservatory, a cosy old-style kitchen and a terrace for summer weddings. What I particularly love about Darver Castle weddings is that straight after the ceremony you and your closest family are invited into a private room for some refreshments and canapes. It is a great opportunity to catch your breath and get some food before heading back to all your guests. So often after the ceremony I see couples swept away by a crowd so they don’t even get the chance to check in with each other or get a bite to eat!
After the reception you and your guests proceed into a stunning banqueting suite. It is full of charm and character, featuring cut stone walls and exposed beams. Darver castle for weddings of 50-280 guests, making it one of the most spacious wedding venues close to Dublin.
There are a variety of packages you can choose for your wedding starting from €80 for mid-week weddings. The minimum numbers are 80 guests mid-week and 150 on weekends, however between Monday and Wednesday you can organize an even smaller wedding of 50 guests.
Where Can I Take Photos?
With so many beautiful backdrops around that’s rarely a problem! The Castle Entrance is a popular choice, and so are the gardens. For when the weather doesn’t oblige there’s a great option of a private sitting room in the Castle. The decor is beautiful, everyone can stay warm and the guests all mingle in the bar, so you can get a bit of peace and quiet.
For couple photos, the gardens are the most obvious choice. All the locations are in close proximity so you won’t have to be gone too long from the drinks reception. And then in the evening you might be lucky with some beautiful light from a low-setting sun!
Pros of Darver Castle Wedding
- completely exclusive for you and your guests
- a lot of rooms on site
- very experienced coordinator team that make sure the day runs smoothly and on time
- caters for weddings of up to 280 guests – one of the largest wedding venues in the area