Weekend Wedding Venues - UK and Ireland
Perhaps you have just got engaged (congratulations!) or come to a crossroads with your wedding venue search and need a little inspiration. If you haven’t already heard about their increasing popularity, let us put an idea in your head…a wedding weekend!
More and more couples want the fun to last a little longer - and why wouldn’t they? Wedding days are famed for flying by in an instant; how many brides have you heard say, “we had a wonderful day but the time went so quickly”? Imagine if your wedding could last over two, or even three, days. Not only would this relieve the pressure of you putting all your efforts into continually ‘being in the moment’, but it would also allow you to take moments to relax and truly enjoy the experience. What’s not to love?
A wedding weekend in a castle!
First was the trend of wedding venues offering dinner and accommodation ‘the night before’, giving couples a taste of the good things to come in their chosen beautiful venue, all the while heightening their anticipation of the day ahead. Since then there has been the introduction of the post-wedding brunch and pre-wedding cocktail party, signifying a continued demand for an elongated wedding experience, for both the special couple and for their family and friends.
Google searches for 'weekend wedding venue' have risen by 50% in the past year and, as the want for venues increases, so must the supply. However, don’t be overwhelmed; we are here to help you narrow down your search. Here are some of our picks for weekend wedding venues across the UK and Ireland, accommodating a range of guest numbers and budgets. Each of these properties has been hand-picked by our knowledgeable team of castle experts who have been booking luxury weddings in the world’s most beautiful castle wedding venues for over 20 years.
Borthwick Castle; a rural Medieval gem near Edinburgh, Scotland
Step back in time at this atmospheric 600-year old Scottish tower, surrounded by rolling countryside that once protected Mary Queen of Scots. Borthwick sleeps 26 guests in 12 richly-coloured and characterful-named four-poster bedrooms, accompanied by lavish bathrooms. Up to 85 guests can attend your ceremony under the stone-vaulted ceiling of The Garrison with majestic iron chandeliers followed by reception drinks on the lawn against a backdrop of the historic castle walls.
Enjoy a long-table banquet wedding breakfast in these fabulous Medieval surroundings, admiring mesmerising views across the Scottish Borders. Smaller weddings up to 50 see the delights of The Great Hall with its minstrel’s gallery and giant gilded-mirrors. Later, you and your guests can relax in the elegant Stateroom on cosy settee clusters or dance the night away to the sounds of a Scottish Ceilidh.
Blairquhain Castle; Imperial grandeur in lush Ayrshire
The magnificent Blairquhain sits in stunning countryside on 200 acres of tree-dotted parkland, only 50 miles south of Glasgow, Scotland, and with easy access to various airports. It sleeps 30 guests in 15 individually-styled bedrooms and another 20 in gorgeous cottages across the estate.
Dating back to the Regency period, the castle’s style, romance and charm is palpable throughout; from its idyllic setting, to its stunning architecture and beautiful interiors. Boasting delectable cuisine and an impeccable service, the castle is adept at hosting weddings of up to 100 guests (or up to 450 in a marquee).
If you fancy a Downton-style wedding in a most prestigious historic home with beautiful gardens, and have an extensive guest list, then Blairquhain Castle is a sure contender.
Thirlestaine Castle; bespoke wedding with fairy-tale charm
This pretty, pink-stoned turreted castle offers a range of grandly-decorated and rustic spaces for up to 100 ceremony and 150 dining guests, as well as extensive grounds backing onto the gorgeous Scottish Borders (which can accommodate 1000 guests in a marquee). Just 25 miles south of Edinburgh, it’s ideal for far-commuting family and friends.
There is no space quite like the combined staterooms at Thirlestaine Castle, with their elaborate cornices, 17th-century ornately-sculptured ceiling and shimmering green-gold covered walls. For the wedding breakfast and evening food, choose from a wide selection of award-winning caterers from elegant fine dining to laidback street food.
This truly is a weekend wedding venue of dreams, not only for its ethereal charm and mesmerising interiors but for its flexibility in creating a wedding weekend tailored to you.
Springkell; a private Palladian house with lots of choice
Surrounded by a thickly-wooded parkland estate in the south of Scotland, this 18th-century property offers an idyllic weekend wedding setting for either spectacular parties or intimate gatherings, and is only six miles from famous Gretna Green!
Springkell is another obliging venue with bucket loads of variety, hosting weddings from two to 250 guests! After entering off the balcony of the sweeping Italian stone staircase, you’ve an enticing selection of ceremony spaces; from the black and white marble-pillared entrance to the music room, or outside, a grand marquee to the romantic round garden.
The spacious ballroom is a vision for your wedding breakfast and able to host a mix of evening entertainment. The 21 unique bedrooms sleep up to 49 guests and offer you a choice of two bridal suites.
Kilmartin Castle; cosy and characterful with a true country vibe
Situated in Kilmartin Glen, on the stunning Argyll coast, this 500-year-old castle is ideally-sized to host intimate weddings for up to 10 overnight guests. The unique, individually-designed bedrooms are accessed up spiral staircases and a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces offer plenty of snug seating arrangements which call out for view-gazing and fun conversation. Enjoy a relaxed ceremony in the ambient living room or use the gorgeous Glasshouse if you’ve up to 18 guests.
You will work closely with the owners, who were married here themselves and will help cultivate your desired wedding weekend, recommending trusted local suppliers, including a personal chef. Served on antique tableware on an intimate candlelit table, the food will be just one of the many highlights of your intimate wedding.
Killochan Castle; boasting rich history and Scottish flair
Spectacular 140-acre grounds house this unforgettable 700-year-old grade-A-listed property on the south-west coast of Scotland, noted for its magnificent history, fairy-tale charm and enchanting woodland setting. Up to 18 guests can stay in elegant, individually decorated bedrooms and beautifully appointed cottages can accommodate a further 22 people.
Fine Scottish hospitality and décor are in abundance here. The culinary expertise of the castle chef will astound your guests – and a whole wedding weekend means plenty of time to enjoy it! Each room tells a story of its own and features a wealth of romance, from dazzling chandeliers to winding turret staircases, one of which takes you outside to the highest vantage point in the castle offering breath-taking views over the Firth of Clyde and beyond.
Glin Castle; incredible gardens and rooms with personality
Situated within spectacular gardens and grounds on the banks of River Shannon, this majestic crenellated property has been owned by the Fitzgerald family for over 700 years. Standing proudly at the end of a long, sweeping drive on a stylishly-cultivated country estate, it can host weddings of up to 56 guests and sleeps up to 30 guests in individually-themed bedrooms.
With striking colourful interiors, artefacts, heirlooms and paintings adorning every space, it would offer a fabulous, fun backdrop to your weekend wedding and the castle's bespoke wedding planning service offers flexibility and freedom to you both. Throughout your celebrations, enjoy private use of all the large, light-filled rooms, the immediate landscaped lawns and organised outdoor activities across the estate.
Belle Isle Castle; traditional, rural and filled with charm
A 17th-century castle in the heart of a 450-acre estate looks straight onto the unique vista of the Upper Lough Erne with the lush, ancient Fermanagh countryside beyond. The castle can accommodate weekend weddings for up to 60 guests, who together could be accommodated in the castle and estate cottages. The former features 14 luxury bedrooms, each beautifully presented in charming floral or patterned wallpaper and dotted with period pieces.
Exchange your wedding vows in the magnificent Grand Hall, with a Champagne toast in the Drawing Room or garden. For the wedding breakfast, the castle’s exquisite menu is thoughtfully created using seasonal, local produce. In addition, your photographs will be the envy of all, showcasing the many spectacular views across the estate.
Carlton Towers; Gothic splendour with a distinguished history
As you turn the bend in the long drive, the stately Carlton Towers comes into view, overlooking 350 acres of private parkland in a hidden corner of North Yorkshire. The house and grounds provide a truly unique setting for a weekend wedding, allowing you exclusive use of two wings and the Clock Tower for up to 220 wedding guests with beautifully-appointed and refined bedrooms for up to 31 people overnight.
One of the many delights of this property is the strikingly ornate walls and ceilings of the conjoined Venetian Drawing Room and Picture Gallery, providing an incomparable backdrop to your ceremony and wedding breakfast. The Card Room or Armoury can cater for intimate weddings whilst the Walled Garden Vineyard is a summer paradise.
Hedingham Castle; variety and freedom in the English countryside
Set in classical sweeping parkland on the scenic Essex-Suffolk border, this 12th-century idyll hosting weekend weddings up to 70 guests (200 in a marquee) is just over an hour from the city of London. The vast grounds at Hedingham comprise dreamy gardens and enchanting woodland set amongst shimmering lakes and features one of the best preserved Norman keeps in England. Absorb its tangible sense of history and explore every nook to your heart’s content.
The adjacent dolls-house-like Georgian mansion provides luxurious spaces for the reception drinks and houses 12 guests, whilst the two of you retire to the four-poster keep with its double bath set before an open fire. From the dramatic double-height archway of the Banqueting Hall to the atmospheric Medieval Garrison floor, your wedding is yours to design.
Over to you…
Experiencing a weekend wedding makes for a truly unforgettable time and there is certainly a wonderful choice out there to suit every happy couple. Our castle wedding experts would love to help you find your own weekend wedding venue. You can benefit from our free service 7 days a week!