When planning your wedding day you obviously want it to be personal, unique and exciting for your guests. A lot of my couples tell me that they want something different, and I always get really excited to see what they have planned! It’s so meaningful to see the wedding atmosphere and little details reflecting who they are as a couple, and telling their story. So I was especially excited to capture a Segrave Barns wedding, having heard a lot of amazing things about this up and coming wedding venue. And it exceeded all my expectations – it’s one of the best wedding venues in Ireland!
Segrave Barns are located near Dunany, Co. Louth – an easy hour’s drive up the N1 from Dublin. It’s actually 3 different rustic barns located next to each other. You’d think that it might have been an old farm converted into a wedding venue but the story is a lot more interesting than that!
Segrave Barns – the Story
Segrave House was bought in 2009 by by tenor Eugene Ginty and John Cooke, who were originally looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin and trade it for simple country living.. It didn’t quite go to plan! A year later Eugene ended up hosting an impromptu concert with soprano Sally Ann Shepherdson at his new home. It proved to be so enjoyable and huge success that Eugene and John started hosting music shows several times a year, and by 2019 attracted a crowd of 3000!
Seeing what a perfect place Segrave was for events, Eugene and John realized that hosting concerts wasn’t their limit. They built gorgeous rustic barns, and this is how Segrave Barns wedding venue was born. It truly is unique and completely different from any other venues I’ve seen around Ireland – perfect for couples looking for an alternative space combining the elegance of a wedding day and the fun of Electric Picnic!
Segrave Barns Wedding Space
Segarve Barns is exclusive hire wedding venue, and you’ll have three barns at your disposal.
The Ashtree Barn is absolutely perfect for getting ready: with the cosy bedrooms downstairs and a bright spacious room upstairs, you can have all your family and bridal party together and not feel in any way cramped. It even has a full kitchen so you can have as much tea & coffee as you need!
Downstairs there is a lovely spacious area with a bar, perfect for the arrival of your guests and the drinks reception after the ceremony. Next to it is Holly Barn – a long rustic room which can be used for both your ceremony and reception on a rainy day. More on that later!
Finally, across the courtyard is the stunning Willow Barn, fully decked out for a fantastic wedding meal and a party afterwards!
Segrave Barns Wedding Ceremony
Being such a rustic nature-inspired wedding venue there is of course an amazing outdoor space for your ceremony! As you walk along a path through an enchanted forest to the clearing between the trees, it all looks and feels incredibly romantic.
But of course we are in Ireland so we always need a rain plan! In fact, I photographed my first ever Segrave Barns wedding in the middle of July, and it was probably one of the wettest days of the whole year… So I have plenty of first-hand experience of this gorgeous venue on a rainy day! Spoiler alert: it was the perfect day, and the rain didn’t even get in the way.
In fact, the Holly Barn turned out to be such a fantastic spot for the ceremony. It’s rustic, intimate and cosy, and filled with candlelight on such a rainy day it felt extra romantic. But there was a special surprise! The groom and the wedding party all processed through the main door but the bride (unbeknownst to anyone else, even the groom!) made her entrance from the outside through the double doors behind the altar. I just loved seeing everyone’s face as those doors swung open unexpectedly, and we could see her in a white dress surrounded with light – it was spectacular!
Wedding Reception at Segrave Barns
After your ceremony is over there are a lot of fantastic options for your drinks reception. First is a group photo with all your guests! Joe the fantastic manager usually calls on everyone to make their way to the front (whether it’s an outdoor or indoor ceremony), and there’s a great vantage point from an upstairs balcony to get a fun photo of everyone together.
Depending on the weather, you have a choice of options for your drinks reception. There are lovely gardens and sunny patio to the front, tables with parasols at the back, and a covered indoor area with gas heaters next to the Holly Barn. Something that I found always works well is having full sharing platters of cheese and charcuterie during your drinks reception. This way your guests aren’t starving by the time dinner time comes around, and you can save the time of serving starters to get to the evening party earlier!
Dinner itself is served in the magnificent Willow Barn – it’s truly a wow factor for all the guests! With round tables, wooden beamed ceilings, and gorgeous decor, it’s a perfect place for your evening celebration. Segrave Barns keeps adding fantastic little touches: there’s a recently-built dedicated cocktail bar (you can pick your signature wedding cocktails for a special offer!) and even a phone charging station! Next to the Willow Barn is a fully licensed Dunany Pint pub where you can enjoy some trad music after dinner and pull your own pint!
Something I really appreciated as a photographer is the amazing lighting all around the barn. We ended up taking a lot of couple photos in the Dunany Pint on that rainy day, and the skylights along with traditional interiors make for amazing photos. And you can definitely tell Segrave Barns have a lot of experience with concerts because the lighting for the dancing is just incredible! The disco balls adds an especially cool touch.
Photo opportunities at Segrave Barns
If you haven’t figured it out already, the photo opportunities are endless – I could go on and on! There are alpacas at the front, romantic fields at the back and a beautiful Georgian house with gardens. There is a magical forest with festoon lighting that comes on after dark (perfect for some sparklers, too!) And even on a rainy day there are fantastic pockets of light and rustic brick walls as backdrops so you will never be stuck for locations. Just have a look at some inspiration below!