You don’t have to be a bookworm to consider holding your wedding in a library: as well as being a unique setting, a library is a sophisticated and picture-perfect venue that looks amazing in your wedding photographs.
You can also work the library theme into your decor and details. You could give out classic books as favours, decorate your cake with icing books, use books in library-themed centrepieces and design stationery that includes books or literary references.
There are lots of options if you’re interested in a library wedding venue. The most obvious choice is to look for a real, working library that is licensed to hold weddings.
At Marsh’s Library in Dublin (www.marshlibrary.ie), a beautifully preserved early 18th-century building, you can hold an intimate, personal and totally romantic ceremony. Unchanged for three centuries, Marsh’s is a perfectly preserved library with original oak bookcases housing more than 25,000 rare and fascinating books.
A new venue when it comes to weddings, ceremonies already held in Marsh’s Library have been memorable occasions, enjoyed by guests and staff alike (as the photo of Annemarie and Ray Sullivan, taken by Terry Warren, clearly shows). The Old Reading Room holds 15 to 20 guests and can be made available for the ceremony itself. It is also possible to arrange for photographs to be taken in the hidden garden, weather permitting.
If you’re interested in stepping over the border for your wedding, Linen Hall (https://www.linenhall.com/pages/event-hire) is the oldest library in Belfast. Founded in 1788, it has a unique Irish and local studies collection and holds the Northern Ireland Theatre and Performing Arts Archive, a collection that reflects a rich cultural heritage. Listed and centrally located, you can hire a room at the Linen Hall library for your wedding service.
If you can’t find a local library to host your wedding service, you could choose a beautiful venue that has its own library instead.
For a five star experience, the Dylan in Dublin (www.dylan.ie) has a library that can accommodate up to 35 people for an intimate civil ceremony. Weddings in the designer library provide warmth and elegance and promise an individual experience with bespoke packages to suit you and a delicious, seasonal menu created by the head chef, Mark Bodie. Natural light pours into the room – fantastic for photographs – and it has a light, bright and airy atmosphere as a result. All weddings at the Dylan include a dedicated wedding coordinator, a candle lit, red carpet entrance and a suite for the couple on their wedding night with a champagne breakfast.
Set within a sprawling estate overlooking Kenmare Bay, at the foot of the Caha Mountains and the tumbling Sheen Falls, Sheen Falls Lodge (http://www.sheenfallslodge.ie/weddings/) has a lovely library that can seat up to 14 guests for an intimate wedding ceremony. You can also celebrate in style at Sheen: the Falls Restaurant can accommodate up to 200 guests with an adjacent cocktail bar and sun lounge that is ideal for hosting a drinks reception and your evening entertainment. Champagne receptions, informal summer BBQs and evening buffets are also available to couples marrying at Sheen Falls Lodge.
At Roundwood House in County Laois (http://www.roundwoodhouse.com/), weddings are varied and unique with couples arriving at the venue on everything from horse-drawn carriages to bridal tractors, and enjoying anything from a five-course sit down meal to an informal buffet. You can have a marriage blessing in the library and alongside old-fashioned Irish hospitality this venue, just over an hour from Dublin at the foot of the Slieve Bloom, is full of character, charm and warmth. Enjoy a library wedding with delicious food, great wines, open fires, architectural and historical points of interest and fresh, country air.
The library at Hayfield Manor in Cork (http://www.hayfieldmanor.ie/wedding-reception-cork), a venue specialising in intimate weddings and civil partnerships, interconnects with the popular private dining room which has seating capacity for up to 52 people. The private dining room also provides access to the Manor Garden for a drinks reception or to take some outdoor photographs. You can have a small wedding or civil partnership ceremony in the library itself, or use it for a small pre-dinner drinks reception.
For a stunning civil ceremony, with a gorgeous photo opportunity in a library, Corick Country House in County Tyrone (http://www.corickcountryhouse.com/wedding-venue) is the ideal place. The period style library has a beautiful window – perfect for photography – and an original fireplace, dating back to the 17th-century, that has been restored to its former glory. Extensive wedding packages are available and couples marrying at Corick can also make the most of a Victorian walled garden, manicured lawns, a fountain and a terrace with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, perfect for a champagne reception.
Another venue with a snug and stylish library for photos and intimate drinks (and lashings of luxury) is Bellingham Castle in County Louth (http://www.bellinghamcastlehotel.com/bellingham-castle-weddings). This lavish, exclusive venue hosts weddings in complete privacy with a choice of two rooms in which to hold a civil ceremony; the Oratory can host 70 people and the Bute Suite can accommodate up to 200 wedding guests.
Wherever you hold your library wedding, this is a theme that can run throughout your wedding day, providing class, timelessness, lots of fun and beautiful photos to treasure forever.