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Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

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Norwich, United...
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Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

Hi. Me and my partner recently got engaged in Belfast, partly thanks to the wonderful advice for proposal ideas from this very forum! We loved Belfast, and Northern Ireland in general, so much that we've decided we want to get married there! (We're from South East England.)

This week we've started our wedding planning and right now we're looking at venues. It's only going to be a very small wedding, a civil ceremony and only about 30 people max, so our ideal wedding venue would be a place that is, of course, beautiful, but also intimate.

Speaking on the ceremony, in particular, we're thinking of a beginning of June wedding and so one of our ideas for the ceremony was to have it outside, or (in case it rains!) maybe in a glass sort of building where lots of natural light is coming through. It's just a passing thought by one of us at the moment but thought I'd mention it.

Does anyone have any ideas on what venues would suit us?

p.s. I know there have been quite a few wedding threads before but I thought our requirements were a bit different than the others. Hope this is ok!

Belfast, United...
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1. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

Hi! Just a couple of quick ideas off the top of my head from when we were searching for a venue last year - sorry I can't give more detail but I'm away at the moment.

The first thing to check out is the list of places approved for wedding ceremonies in the Belfast Council area:


That's not to say you can't go elsewhere - there are other councils nearby that offer other approved venues, for example Carrickfergus:


I think you can also get married elsewhere (in "a venue of your choice") but it costs £400 for a licence. There are details on both of the above websites.

As for actual venue ideas, here are a couple, very quickly:

Belfast Castle - beautiful views (as you know!) and plenty of light in the main room. Drawback is that it's quite far away from everything else and you can't stay there, so you and your guests will have to take taxis back and forth to wherever you're staying.


Carrickfergus Castle Banquet Room - this is where my (now) husband and I finally decided to tie the knot last year - a few miles away from Belfast but in a real Norman castle and the Banquet Room is beautiful with its medieval banners and wall torches set up and it feels very intimate. Drawback is that you and your party are responsible for setting up the room before the ceremony (i.e. moving the tables into the Servery Room next door and organising the benches into a sort of "pew" arrangement) and then changing it back again after the ceremony. Also there's a definite 50 people max limit and guest numbers can tend to spiral out of control when family get involved ;-) Also you can't have your reception there, although the Clarion Hotel nearby is very good (again where we had ours - can't fault them at all, everything was perfect - you can hold ceremonies there too actually).

http://www.ni-environment.gov.uk/carrick.htm (tab 'Facilities')


The Stormont Hotel - this is in East Belfast near Parliament Buildings. It was our second choice for a reception venue and they're so professional and the venue is wonderful - it was really only convenience that swung it Carrickfergus-wards for us but if you and all your guests will be staying in a hotel anyway then it makes sense to have your reception and/or ceremony in a hotel.


My father and step-mother also recently married in the Belfast City Hall Registry Office and it was quite nice too - you can have your photos taken anywhere in the main public areas of the City Hall, so there are some very pretty backgrounds there and the grounds can be very pretty in summer. You could then have a reception meal anywhere in the city centre, for example Ten Square Hotel just behind the City Hall seems to host a lot of weddings and receptions.



Like I say, I'm sure there are lots more but these were some of the places on our "short list" so they've stuck in my mind. Hope they give you a starting point anyway and that some others can point you in the direction of some other wonderful venues.

Northern Ireland
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2. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

For beautiful views you may like to consider Mussendun Temple (virtualvisit-northernireland.com/…). Although you couldn't have a reception here, it is close to the Raddison Hotel in Limavady (http://www.radissonroepark.com/eng/home)

For something completely different what about on board a boat on Lough Neagh. Weddings can be held on the Maid of Antrim or you can get married on the shores of Lough Neagh at Shane's Castle. Further information would be available from the Registrar at Antrim Borough Council (antrim.gov.uk/index.cfm/…more)

For a wedding and reception in the one venue I would recommend Ballygally Castle Hotel (antrim.gov.uk/index.cfm/…more). This is a lovely venue with great staff and food. Your guests could stay here and everything would be under the one roof.

Wherever you choose in Northern Ireland I hope you have a lovely day.

Norwich, United...
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3. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

Thank you for some wonderful ideas Bridget and Adequate. I'll discuss these with my fiancee and will let you know what we choose! Thanks again!

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4. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

HAve a look at this roof garden in the Merchant hotel


I was a guest there recently and i know they have smaller rooms for smaller weddings.


Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

Thanks for your suggestion downings. We have been thinking about the Merchant Hotel very recently. We like it a lot but that it only based on the pictures from their own website. Can you tell me your impression of the roof garden? Did you go during the day, or evening? Is it smaller than it appears in the photograph?

Northern Ireland...
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6. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?


Malone house in south belfast is a very pretty, intimate location with gorgeous photo opportunities. I think it is on the Belfast.gov website as an earlier poster suggested. Ideally suited to slightly smaller weddings with hotels nearby (just down the road)

Newcastle, United...
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7. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

Hi there, check out Hugh McCanns in Newcastle, the views from the wedding suite are breathtaking - it looks out to the sea on one side and the mourne mountains on the other. The building has loads of character, with exposed brickand granite walls, and panoramic windows in the function room. It is a very romantic spot!

8. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

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Yorkley, United...
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9. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

Hmmm... I was a wedding planner in Northern Ireland and some of the nicest weddings I've attended have been the more intimate ones.

I always loved Carrickfergus castle and the ballygally hotel is a small hotel that will not have another wedding on the same day.

The Old Inn in Crawfordsburn is a bit of a wedding actory but the beautiful rooms, nice food and stunning grounds for photographs more than make up for it.

Oh, and the Clandeboye lodge have a lovely room upstairs that is licensed for small weddings and is really quite nice - and the food there was always great!

Good luck!

Enniskillen, United...
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10. Re: Wedding venue for small intimate wedding?

A really excellent new venue in Fermanagh:


I've eaten there and the food is fantastic - setting is beyond belief beautiful.