'Martinstown House' - an intimate and bright wedding venue, blending rustic charm with shabby chicness
Martinstown House is a Strawberry Gothic style cottage in the Curragh, County Kildare, which caters for weddings of all sizes and styles.
A lot of couples are now opting for a venue where everything can happen in one place. This is not only convenient and allows for a natural flow from ceremony to reception, but it can also give your day a close and intimate atmosphere too. Martinstown House is just that.
There are a few options available to you for on-site ceremonies:
The marquee can cater for up to 220 guests and is definitely a beautifully decorated space with a romantic atmosphere. However, if you require more space, in 2018 Martinstown House will have another reception option - the newly commissioned pavilion will seat up to 300 guests. Smaller and more intimate wedding parties also have the option of using the main house. The possibilities are endless in this venue.
What else is available to you?
As an exclusive venue, Martinstown House becomes your very own personal home for your wedding celebrations. The wedding party has freedom of the grounds - the main house, woodlands, Walled Garden, front lawn, Bessie - the vintage tea caravan, as well as additional accommodation in the stone yard. As many weddings have become more than a one day event, Martinstown House caters for any length celebration, giving the option of staying the night before and a BBQ/meal the day after. It is all available to you here, there is no need to move!
Wedding Planning and Styling
There is a wedding coordinator available who will be present on the day. Martinstown House have a great deal of decorations onsite for couples to use as they wish - candelabras, jam jars, fairy lights, to name a few. However, couples are welcome to add their own touches and personalize the space as they wish for their big day.
What they say...
"As a small, family run venue, we really get to know our couples, and although it is a bit of a cliche, they are all really special to us."
"All hands are on deck on the day. We want every couple to feel
supported and looked after for their most special celebration. We also have an incredible crew of staff that really help this place ticking over beautifully."
"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange
Olga, aka Mrs RedHead, is an alternative wedding photographer. She works with the couple to capture the beauty and magic of their special day, creating a unique wedding story with an artistic and imaginative touch. Her goal is “to create a unique wedding story the couple will fall totally in love with.” She is passionate about wedding photography and it is her fun, creativity, and non-posing vibe that makes her work what it is – STUNNING!
She photographs 50-70 weddings every year, and her skill and professionalism is something to be admired. She shoots in both digital and film, as well as in colour and black and white. The wedding package is altered to suit the couple and their needs. Although she is always happy to take some staged photos if requested, Olga prefers to document everything as it happens. She says, “I love making my images look natural – not stiff, awkward or staged. My couples should see their images as moments that were going to happen.”
Contact Olga at MrsRedHead Photography to discuss availability and to answer any questions you may have by clicking on one of the links below...
Visit her website
Log on to the Facebook page
Alternatively, you can email MrsRedHead directly.
Have you a hen party to organise and you want something different, alternative, or bohemian? ‘Glamping Under the Stars,’ in County Laois, has just the atmosphere you are looking for. Only five miles from where Electric Picnic is held, this glampsite is the perfect place to summon your inner boho babe for the weekend! This glampsite is full of quirky personality and vintage glamour. The whole glampsite can sleep up to 24 fabulous ladies.. The whole site is completely yours for two nights with exclusive use of all facilities – the glamphouse, the BBQ deck and campfire area, the luxurious hotel style bathrooms, and all the sleeping facilities (which includes two cabins, three bell tents and a colourful horse drawn caravan).
10 Reasons you should bring your hens 'Glamping Under the Stars'
1. Everyone is together and you have the whole glampsite to yourselves for two nights!
2. You can bring your own beer, processo, wine...basically whatever your desired poison is
3. No need for feet-swelling heels, just pack your Converse or slippers! (Unless you are planning to hit the town one of the nights)
4. Instead of a four digit food bill, throw a few shrimp (or burgers) on the barbie, or just order in!
5. You don't have to be 'outdoorsy' to glamp, but if you are the daring type you can arrange horse riding, zip-lining, yoga, paintballing (to name a few)
6. There are a range of possible hen activities in the area which can come to you - i.e. hat making, afternoon tea, flower crown making, jewellery making
7. No dodgy portaloo on site here, you can wee in luxury!
8. Regardless of where your gals are coming from on the map, you cannot get more central
9. No need to pitch a tent or pull out a sleeping bag - everything is cosy and two feet off the ground in their fabulous cabins and belltents!
10 Picture this: all your besties in their onesies with prosecco in hand around the campfire singing 90's classics and reminiscing under the stars.
Find out more...
For more information contact Kyra, aka the hostess with the mostess, who will gladly discuss availability and help tailor your hen party to make sure you all have fun!
Whatever vibe your brood is after, ‘Glamping Under the Stars’ is the perfect base to assemble the flock, chill out and recharge your feathers.
or find them on Facebook here
Take me back to the Stars
On the 8th of December 2016, I woke up like every other bride, excited and anxious for the day ahead. Makeup and hair arrived and I shared breakfast and Prosecco with my fabulous bridesmaids, my Mum, and my daughter Lola-Rose. I got dressed up and walked arm in arm out to the car park with my Dad – who was driving me to my ceremony venue. It was an exhilarating journey, not only because I was on my way to get married, but there was a little more going on. I had no idea where I was going. As much as the lakeside ceremony blew me out of the water (excuse the pun!), it ended with Jamie leaning in to my ear saying “If you thought this was good, wait until you see the reception.” In that moment, I remember thinking there was no way he could top what had just happened. I mean I had been rowed across a lake – in an amazing blue dress - in the middle of an autumnal coloured forest – with ducks flying by – all to the soul melting melody of Van Morrison. However, I very rarely say it, but he was right.
The car ride to the reception saw us turning on to the M7, a road I’m very familiar with as my family live in Limerick – but we took the exit for Abbeyleix and continued along some narrow country road - I could hear my mother’s teeth grinding “I told you so” echo in my mind as my thoughts painted an image of the bride treading a field in her wedding dress to a damp, cold, sparse tent for a guitar led sing-song and a few cans of Bud. Then I saw it – “Glamping Under the Stars.” I got out of the car to a dusk of twinkling beauty and charm- full of lights, fairy doors, campfires, cookies and bunting. Without even realising it, this was my dream wedding. I just didn’t know it until I got there.
Glamping Under the Stars - A Review
After an amazing night, Jamie and I were so happy and privileged to get a gracious and heart-warming invite back to stay in this magical place by Kyra and Barry, the owners of ‘Glamping Under the Stars.’ We booked in straight away and made our trip back to Laois last weekend. We went with our two little girls, Lola-Rose who is three years old and Sadie who is just seven months, and it was AMAZING!
On arrival, I was so amazed to see how much more has been added to this quirky glampsite. The site now consists of the three bell tents and two lodges, or wooden cabins. The bell tents are perfect for that REAL camping experience, yet with a touch of colourful glamour. My family and I’s home away from home for the next two nights was the ‘Moonrise Lodge,’ which Kyra was kind enough to recommend as they have a stove inside, which was important to us when staying with little Sadie. The cabin itself was very spacious, clean and full of personality and charm. There was plenty of firewood left to keep the fire going all weekend, but the cabin got so snug very quickly, we did not need to use much. The cabin has sleeping space for six people, so we found it very roomy.
The ‘glamphouse’ is the common kitchen and dining area with everything and anything you would need for an amazing glamping experience. It has gas hobs, kettles, toasters, microwave, fridge and freezer, and a vintage-style stove. There is a wooden deck extending out the back with tables, chairs and a barbeque that made Jamie froth at the mouth! He made the most amazing burgers on it during our stay. To the right of the decking is a campfire area where you can sit wrapped in a blanket and cook marshmallows to your hearts content for an authentic outdoors experience. I loved how the site was made with children in mind – from the giant Jenga, fairy doors and chalk boards in the bathrooms to shapely safety of the upcycled campfire.
It is all the little, charming details for me that make ‘Glamping Under the Stars’ so magical and memorable – the silver star cushions in the cabins and tents, the rustic signage, the pink vintage radio, the shabby chic bunting – just like on my wedding day, I feel like I’m in Pinterest heaven when I’m there!
Barry and Kyra were so wonderful and helpful to Jamie for our wedding day, and our trip back as a family cemented what we knew already – they are the perfect hosts. They make you feel so welcomed and looked after, which is no surprise from such caring, attentive and friendly people. There is no doubt about it, this enchanted place will tick every box on your camping/glamping holiday wish list. Whether you are a family looking for a bit of fun away from the tablets and smartphones, a couple, group of friends, or even a hen party, ‘Glamping Under the Stars’ is a gem of a find and a place you are guaranteed to be returning to again and again.
Whether you are a hen party virgin or a seasoned dress holding professional, being asked to be bridesmaid is always an ‘aw shucks’ moment. However, the question itself is a little more multifaceted than one might suspect. Being a bridesmaid means more than just showing up on the day and having a little dance with the drunken uncle. With the title come a lot of special duties that are not laid out in the job description. So here are some of the things that will be expected from you and a few tips to make sure you bridesmaid like a boss!
You will be asked to go dress shopping...
You will more than likely be asked to go dress shopping. Some brides will be quite relaxed about this, giving you the freedom to choose your own dress, however other brides may have a more precise vision. It is important to respect that this is their day and as bridesmaid you do need to help the bride achieve this where possible. But if you are very uncomfortable with it, don't be afraid to let her know - after all, it is easy to add a cap sleeve!
Of course with some dresses, there may not be any room for extra material...
You will be listening to ALOT of wedding talk...
It may be a constant and consistent conversation topic from the day of the proposal, or it may go from minimal to bridezilla intensity for the month leading up to the day, but either way there will be lots of questions, rants, worries, tears, and meltdowns. It is important to never judge or let wedding organisation alter your opinion of any woman....it can drive the most chilled of us bat-crazy! Be there for her, listen, be sympathetic and show her the unconditional support she knew you would by asking you to be by her side. And at the end of each frenzy....
You will have a few WhatsApp groups to keep up with...
Get ready for a major thumb workout with plenty of texting. You will be setting up and being added to quite a few WhatsApp groups over the coming months, which will probably include a bridesmaid group (one with and one without the bride), a close friends of the bride group, a hen party group (which may have a few sub groups), all to name a few!
But with such abundance comes the need for constant awareness. You have been warned ....
You will be organising a hen party...
Some brides want to be in the loop and some want no part whatsoever - but either way, organising a hen party will be one of the most fun, and equally stressful things you will ever do. Trying to successfully keep everyone updated, deciding and sharing the news about the budget, working around everyone's schedule, collecting the money, and maintaining some level of female harmony is, to say the least, a challenge. It will test all your social survival skills and if you come out alive you will be Bear Grylls-ing your way to the bar for a well deserved tray of shots on the night!
You will become a diplomat...
Throughout the wedding lead up you will be confronted with many situations that will test your negotiating skills and your ability to think quickly and tactfully. Whether you are dealing with a brood of hens or a bride who's Pinterest obsession needs reeling in, you will have to draw on all your powers of diplomacy during these times. When dealing with the conflicting and opinionated clucks of hens it is important to stay calm and patient. Rather than trying to keep the majority happy, focus on the bride to be - after all, that is who it is all about. And when it comes to being asked your 'honest opinion' about her eclectic take on 'boho chic' table décor... by all means, do be honest, but also be kind and sensitive to her vision. When in doubt - remember your training...
From the mouth of babes...
"I knew *** wanted me to be honest, that's why she asked me to be bridesmaid, so I always gave my truthful opinion. She would know if I was lying anyway!"
"Organising the hen party was SO stressful, especially trying to collect the money from everyone. You almost feel like a debt collector at times! But seeing how happy *** was when we she saw us all dressed up made it all worthwhile."
"*** is always so calm and collected. Everything was fine until we were making the wedding invitations. Suddenly my imperfect guillotine cutting skills had me close to loosing my own head...Enter Bridezilla!"
" One thing that baffled me - what is the point in being in a group chat if you aren't even going to respond!"
"I always knew we were friends, but when *** asked me to be her bridesmaid I honestly was blown away. It sounds so sad but to know someone values you that much is awesome!"
" The best part of being a bridesmaid for me was getting to spend that night before the wedding together. We laughed, cried, reminisced and ate so many wontons we couldn't even look at the meal the next day!"
" Holding her dress while she peed was the least I could do, I mean God knows how many times she held my hair back after too many Sambucas."
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