darver castle decorated for christmas

      With fairy lights twinkling in every corner and Christmas in the air it’s so easy to feel like a kid again. We all eat more chocolate than we promised ourselves (and our waistline). We search for presents and can’t wait for Christmas day to share them. It’s also easier than ever to believe in fairytales. This Princess Darver Castle wedding gave my Christmas spirit a real boost this year. I feel I just have to share it with you for true fairytale inspiration!

      Lynette and Joey met under the most romantic circumstances. Imagine being 10 years old, going to a new school and receiving your first ever Valentine? This is exactly the way Lynette and Joey’s relationship began. It’s also the way it was put on hold for a while. Lynette says Joey was such a messer and really not her type! Whether it was Joye’s joke or the fact that he only gave Lynette a half-eaten pack of Maltesers for that fateful Valentine’s day, we’ll never know.

      What we do know is that 6 years later they met again in a bar, and Lynette’s clearly reconsidered her “type”. Joye hadn’t. They hit it off almost immediately and have been inseparable since. Their relationship blossomed with common passions, travels abroad and even a move to distant Australia for a few years. And as exotic and wonderful as Australia is, there’s no place like home. When Lynette and Joey found they were expecting their first beautiful baby, they made the decision to return to Ireland. Joey made an even more difficult decision to take over his father’s farm.

      Darver Castle Wedding

      couple wedding photos darver castle wedding at christmas

      Fast forward 7 years, they both run a successful farming business and raise three wonderful children. Last year Joey received a Milking for Quality award and a stay in Lyrath Estate. A true gentleman, he decided the day shouldn’t be all about him and took the leap to finally pop the question! Half a pack of Maltesers and some years later, their Darver Castle wedding was a true fairytale affair. With a warm welcome from roaring fires, Christmas trees everywhere and even Santa making an appearance, this was a real Christmas wedding to give you the perfect Christmas spirit. I’m so grateful I got to be part of it!

      What’s the Best Season to Get Married at Darver Castle?

      portrait of the bride in front of darver castle

      I’d say both summer and winter are amazing seasons for your Darver Castle Wedding. The lush grounds in summer make for beautiful photo backdrops. At the same time, there are lots of beautiful indoor spots for photographs in case of a rainy day. And if the day turns out too hot the spacious banquet room feels very cool.

      At the same time, I think Darver Castle is one of my favourites as a winter wedding venue. There aren’t many places in Ireland that look as good on a December day as they do in July. Many exclusive wedding venues even close for winter, with their grounds being bare. Darver Castle is full of Christmas lights, and there’s something especially cosy about sitting beside a fire in an Irish castle. 

      Can I Get Ready at Darver Castle? Accommodation Options

      With Darver Castle being such a popular wedding venue, they often host weddings a few days in a row. Check with your coordinator if the bridal suite is ready the night before, it can make for some gorgeous morning-of photos. If the room is occupied, there are lots of other options in the area. Dundalk is just a few minutes’ drive away, and Lynette got ready at Crowne Plaza hotel.  It’s also a very popular option for your guests to stay at the night of the wedding. Darver Castle itself has 40 bedrooms in the Main Castle, Stables, Courtyard and Oakwood Cottages, so you’ll be able to cater for most of your wedding party.

      Civil Wedding Ceremony at Darver Castle

      bride and her father walking up the aisle at darver castle civil wedding ceremony

      Darver Castle has a beautiful and newly refurbished Ceremony Room on site which Lynette and Joey got to use for their wedding. I always love the convenience of having the ceremony at the venue and not worrying about travelling between places! The Ceremony Room itself is in line with the rest of the castle, with stone walls and windows lining the left wall. The white ceiling also makes it easy for photographs! The Ceremony Room seats up to 150 people, although at Lynnette and Joey’s wedding I found it quite tight. With a videographer on one side and myself on the other, we didn’t have much space to move around, so I would recommend using the room if you have fewer guests. It also tends to get quite warm inside, though that’s rarely a complaint in Ireland! 

      Another thing to bear in mind is that 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 it could be a problem! Lynette and Joey skipped their greeting line but we still only had about 15 minutes of light (4pm to 4.15) to grab a few family and couple photos.

      Where Can I Take Family Photos?

      family photos at darver castle winter wedding

      With so many beautiful backdrops around that’s rarely a problem! The Castle steps are very popular, and so are the gardens. For winter weddings 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 if you like!

      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