Who hasn’t dreamed about getting married in a castle? While it may seem castles are only for royalty and Disney princesses, you may be surprised to learn that you too can be married in one. Each month we will showcase some of the world’s most romantic fairytale castles where you can say, “I Do.”
This month we feature Kilkea Castle, one of the oldest inhabited castles in Ireland. With history dating back to 1180, Kilkea Castle is situated in the rolling countryside of Kildare and is about an hour’s drive from Dublin.
Once the medieval fortress and estate of the Fitzgerald family, the property was sold in the early 1960s. For decades it was run as a hotel, but entered examinership in 2009 as a result of the Irish financial crisis. Today, the castle is family owned and has undergone a five-year, $30-million renovation and restoration.
The 12th century castle has been fully refurnished and the result is an intriguing mélange of medieval décor and modern chic. The castle boasts carriage rooms, a grand function hall, restaurants, bars, a spa and a golf club. It sits on 180 acres of lush woodland, rose-filled gardens, a serene river and a world-class 18-hole golf course.
Your guests can enjoy a variety of offerings in the castle itself, including the luxurious Drawing Room, perfect for afternoon tea, and the grand Dining Room for sumptuous meals and gatherings. Other areas to enjoy include the Castle Lounge, with its roaring fireplace, and The Keep, an authentic Irish pub where you and your guests can enjoy Irish whiskey and Guinness after a full day of activities — tennis, golf, archery, falconry, skeet shooting, horseback riding, swimming, tubing, cycling, fishing and birdwatching.
There are 11 beautifully appointed bedrooms in the castle, including the Fitzgerald Suite, which features sweeping vistas of the landscape. In the courtyard, the original carriage house and stables have been converted into 31 bedrooms, many of which showcase original features, including bespoke wrought iron and exposed wooden beams.
Imagine having your ceremony and appetizers in the Rose Garden, surrounded by lush trees and foliage. Then a short walk to Baronial Hall, which accommodates up to 280 guests, or Hermione’s Restaurant, which can accommodate gatherings of up to 120 guests for your reception — both are perfect venues for your celebration. You’ll choose from a four- or five-course traditional Irish dinner menu designed around seasonal local produce – both menus are fit for a king and queen.
No worries in planning, Kilkea Castle has a wedding planning team in place to help you get the fairytale wedding you have always dreamt of.