Like a well-kept secret, Leitrim’s wild beauty and slow pace astonish those who discover it. Peaceful, lush and romantic, its untamed scenery is a balm for modern life, and the most idyllic backdrop to a wedding celebration.
Tucked away in the North West of Ireland, yet only a 2 hour drive from Dublin, the wild and spectacular county reaches from Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands to the Atlantic shoreline.
Blissfully unspoilt, its rugged mountains, majestic lakes, cascading waterfalls and dramatic coast offer unforgettable locations for a sensational wedding celebration. And with Europe’s tiniest chapel, Costello Chapel, cruises on the River Shannon and insta-worthy villages tucked into rolling valleys, Leitrim promises untold enchantment to couples seeking a romantic destination wedding that dares to be different.
1. The Old Rectory Country House
A creeper-clad stone house in a magnificent country estate, The Old Rectory Country House is as romantic as it is picturesque.
Built almost 200-years ago in the pretty village of Fenagh, close to Ballinamore, you’ll find an impressive Georgian house that’s been lovingly restored as an intimate and exclusive wedding venue. The Currans are pros at hosting bespoke weddings and with the option to hire the Old Rectory exclusively for two days, you can settle in for a truly special celebration.
Say I do on the manicured lawns, or in one of the local churches, before hosting your drinks reception in the atmospheric Georgian Courtyard. Then dine and dance the night away in the Lake View Pavilion overlooking Fenagh Lake and Fenagh Abbey. The impressive Bridal Suite is in the main house with quirky guest accommodation in The Stables and The Cottage. With its sweeping driveway, manicured gardens and backdrop of the beautiful Old Rectory, you’re set for a destination wedding that will wow you and your guests.
Fenagh Glebe, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, T: 071 964 4089 www.theoldrectoryireland.com
2. The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance
If the name doesn’t charm you, the venue certainly will. The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance in Glenfarne is a famous landmark and the scene of many new romances since it began hosting dances back in 1934.
Ireland’s most famous dance hall, it’s now a blank canvas for a fun wedding full of character, that can be as formal or relaxed as you wish. Located in the leafy Leitrim Glens, this is a place to party.
Ideal for all styles and budgets of weddings, there’s a fully licensed bar and kitchen on site, a light-flooded marquee and lots of room for dancing! Feel free to bring in your own caterer or work with the ballroom’s team who will create a delicious wedding menu. For a laid-back wedding with music and dancing late into the night, The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance seems a fun choice.
Brockagh Lower, Glenfarne Co. Leitrim T: 071 985 6831, www.therainbowballroom.ie
3. Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens
Dreaming of a castle wedding? Head for luxurious Lough Rynn Castle Estate and Gardens in Mohill, where you’ll find a meticulously restored 19th century castle hotel perched on the shore of Lough Rynn.
Destined to impress, this fairytale venue is tucked away in 300 private acres, making it feel exclusive and extra special. Imagine drinks on the lawn with the castle as your backdrop or roaring log fires indoors on a winter’s day. Atmospheric and spacious, it’s a dream destination for a glamorous celebration with exceptional food, excellent accommodation and wonderful staff. You’ll be spoilt for photo ops too, with the impressive walled gardens – the largest in Ireland – supplying delicious fresh produce to the creative and award-winning team in the kitchen.
Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens, Mohill, Co Leitrim. T: 071 963 2700 www.loughrynn.ie
4. The Dock
Looking for an alternative venue to exchange your vows or celebrate in style? With high ceilings, stripped floorboards, huge windows and a sweeping staircase The Dock is an elegant and edgy choice in Carrick on Shannon.
Housed in a handsome 19th century former courthouse, overlooking the River Shannon, this spacious building has been sensitively restored as an Arts Centre, and is a cool choice for contemporary couples seeking something a little different. Hosting small and exclusive marriage and civil ceremonies, the light-flooded rooms are ideal for exchanging vows in front of your nearest and dearest. As a gallery, it’s the ultimate versatile space, with natural light and blank walls perfect for a little custom styling. A gorgeous space for a drinks reception too, The Dock can also arrange catering for a full sit-down meal in this historic hub.
St. George’s Terrace, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim T: 071 965 0828 www.thedock.ie
5. The Organic Centre, Rossinver
Rustic and romantic, The Organic Centre in Rossinver makes an unexpected and original choice for a laid-back wedding celebration.
There’s no manual to follow here, with every wedding a bespoke and intimate experience. A budget-friendly alternative, serving vegan and vegetarian food, you’ll find indoor and outdoor spaces for exchanging views, feasting and partying. Hire the whole eco-friendly venue for the day and enjoy privacy, exclusivity and oen serious party at this leafy-green hideaway.
Spaces can be styled with eco-friendly decorations and the organic gardens make a pretty backdrop, together with the surrounding countryside. The Organic Centre is an inspired location for a nature-loving couple dreaming of a white wedding with a green ethos.
Sraud (Conolly), Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, T: (071) 985 4338 www.theorganiccentre.ie
6. The Bush Hotel
With 200 years of history in its DNA, The Bush Hotel in Carrick on Shannon has hosted more than a few weddings.
Imaginatively restored to preserve its wonderful character and history, the charming heritage hotel, with its open fires and cosy lounges, is romantic, rustic and reassuringly laid-back. Family-run with great attention to detail, the seasoned team will ensure your celebrations exceed expectations, serving up warm hospitality and excellent food. Party the night away in the Orchard Ballroom, which can host 350 guests, or choose a smaller room for a more intimate wedding reception. The Bush Hotel’s mature gardens and traditional facade make gorgeous backdrops for your photos.
Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, T: 071 96 71000, www.bushhotel.com
7. Drumcoura City
Stetsons at the ready! Step into the Wild West for a unique and fun wedding experience at Drumcoura City near Ballinamore on the shores of Drumcoura Lake.
The 50-acre venue is a unique Western themed ranch with a cool saloon bar and restaurant – complete with swing doors, of course – smart function room and impressive horse riding facilities. With over 30 stables, covered arena and horse riding trails, keen riders might take the opportunity to plan some unique wedding photography or group activities before or after the big day. A dedicated wedding coordinator is on hand to plan your special day, whether that’s steaks, cocktails and a hoe-down or something more formal. And with wooden pods on hand for glamping, you can plan a truly original celebration.
Drumcoura, Derrygoan Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, T: 071 964 5312 www.drumcouracity.com
8. The Landmark Hotel
It’s not just the waterside location, elegant interiors, good food or exemplary service that make The Landmark Hotel in Carrick on Shannon such a beloved wedding venue.
It’s the brilliant wedding team and their constant innovation to ensure each celebration here feels personal and original, with little details that will set your big day apart. Maybe you’d like a vintage sweet cart or one serving ice-cream or even gin at your reception? How about a dessert buffet or a whiskey bar? Maybe late night pizza and a hot chocolate station? Rooted in tradition, yet delightfully modern, a wedding at The Landmark Hotel will run like clockwork while impressing you and your guests.
Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, T: 071 9622 222 www.thelandmarkhotel.com
About Our Writer
With over 20 years’ media experience, Jillian Bolger is one of Ireland’s most one of Ireland’s most prolific travel writers. She is also former editor of Irish Brides and so more than equipped to give you the low-down on Leitrim’s finest wedding venues. You’ll find her travel features on the pages of Ireland’s best-selling publications, including the Irish Independent, IMAGE magazine, Business Post and The Irish Times.
A member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, she is also Dublin editor for Georgina Campbell Guides and an author for Fodor’s Essential Ireland 2021 guidebook.