westport house wedding ceremony
Wedding Ceremony at Westport House

Westport House wedding of Linda and Derek. First bit of history of the place. Westport House and Gardens were built in 1730.  Westport House which is not only a historic property was also the home of the Browne family for almost 300 years. Today Westport house plays a significant role as a tourist attraction in Mayo but also operates as the finest wedding venue in this area. Elegant House with beautiful architecture brings the attention of many couples who like to say yes in this venue. 

Gracy’s Pizzeria & Bistro  operates on-site

The garden of Gracy’s Bar & Restaurant on the grounds of Westport House, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland. It is not normally a wedding venue – ours was the only wedding there in 2016, but we thought it would be the perfect place for the informal relaxed wedding we wanted. We found there is a real shortage of alternative venues in the West of Ireland so it was hard to find something different. Westport House is a beautiful historic country house, tourist attraction and Adventure Park, famous for being home to Grace O’Malley, the notoriously bad-ass 16th Century Pirate Queen and as a feminist, I loved the idea of having our wedding there! Gracy’s is a bar and restaurant on the grounds for tourists, locals and visitors of the adjacent campsite. It is very family-friendly, with a big green area, park and play area on-site, outdoor seating and wood-fired oven. It is well known for its stone-fired pizzas and BBQs, and the wooden bandstand on the lawn for live music. It is very pretty and it feels private even though it is very close to Westport where we live (Westport is a very popular tourist town and was voted the best place to live in Ireland).

We decided to risk the Irish weather and have the ceremony outside on the lawn beside the bar/restaurant where the picnic tables usually are. We rented folding chairs and placed them either side of a stone path through the lawn to make an ‘aisle’. We decorated the chairs on the end of every row with bunches of baby’s breath. We then extended the aisle by laying down more foliage and flowers to meet the gate I was starting to walk from. We had a beautiful DIY flower arch at the end of the aisle, a couple of chairs and a small table for signing the marriage cert. We had to come in the day before to decorate everything ourselves so it was all a bit last minute!


Alternative weddings in Ireland

I’m a big fan of shooting at different locations special if it’s an alternative outdoor wedding. So many stand out for me. One of the best things about having an outside ceremony is the fact that it will allow you to take advantage of natural beauty. it could be in your own house garden or on the beach. Although this will largely depend on the specific location that will be chosen. Outdoor setting can be breathtakingly beautiful. The sight of the greens and the fresh air will surely make your wedding more special. For sure, your special event will be more photogenic because of the stunning outdoors. I’ve recently had a chance photographing a wedding for Linda & Derek at a small but unique restaurant on site of Westport House. The ceremony included traditional Irish Druid blessing, and tying the knot. They super easy and laid back manners help me photograph as I like . Having reception in Gracy’s Bar is a big fun-filled celebration. If you in searching for alternative wedding venues in Ireland or ideas for drink receptions that stand out from the norm have a look thorough post to get some inspiration from this amazing place. There is a lot of DIY details and decorations done by the bride and groom and their friends. You can also check my Pinterest board which is full of detail from different Irish wedding parties I photograph recently.