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I’m delighted to introduce the first in a series of wedding venue interviews. I understand how hard it is to find the time to contact people, and ask the questions you need answers to. And to make it even more difficult, your chosen venue might not even be in the same part of the country as you!
We kick off with proprieters Hannah and Paddy Flynn of the very beautiful Roundwood House in Co. Laois, Ireland. Here’s what they had to tell us about their very special wedding venue…
1. Wedding Venue
How long has Roundwood House been in business as a wedding venue, and is it difficult to find?
Roundwood has been a wedding venue since her doors were open to the public 30 years ago. It is very easy to find, just off the old Dublin to Limerick Road. We’re always happy to receive enquiries and you can find our contact details at the end of the article.
Are there adequate parking facilities?
There are about 50 parking spaces, with fields available if additional parking is required.
Do you have an outdoor area for photographs, and similarly, an indoor area if the weather turns bad?
There are many outdoor and indoor areas that are ideal for photographs. Gardens, woods, a rockery and rustic stone buildings are favorites for outside photos, while the entrance hall, staircase and greeting rooms make for some lovely indoor options.
How far in advance are bookings required?
There is no required advance booking time, but the earlier the better, in terms of securing popular dates. Week-ends in the summer tend to start filling up from January and in some cases earlier.
Do you hold a license for civil ceremonies, and can you provide contact details for the registrar?
We are indeed licensed for civil ceremonies and have contact details for the county registrar as well as contact details for other registered officiators.
2. Accommodation and Ceremony Rooms
For smaller wedding parties, do you have rooms that are intimate, and what is their capacity?
We have 3 different options for dining arrangements depending on the size of the wedding party:
- Up to 30 people, sit-down meal in the Dining Room in the Main House
- Sit-down meal in the Long Room – a beautiful stone building just off the stable yard. This room holds up to 38 at one table or 60 at separate tables.
- Buffet in the Main House and we can cater for up to 80 people.
- For bigger parties please contact us for a possible Marquee Wedding.
Are there stairs to climb and is there wheelchair access?
Yes, there are stairs to climb and unfortunately, since it is a 300 year old house, it is not very wheelchair friendly.
When would access to rooms become available, to set up flowers, wedding cake, etc?
It would depend on how busy we are coming up to a wedding, but we’re fairly flexible regarding setting up before weddings. Couples would often come down a day or two in advance, to drop off the cake, decorations, etc., and begin setting up. As there is exclusive use of the house for all weddings at Roundwood, when the couple arrive, the house is theirs to adorn at their leisure.
Sometimes guests just like to mingle over drinks in the evening. Do you provide facilities for playing background music if there is no evening band?
We have a few options for playing music. We have a docking station for casual background music, a full p.a. system for dancing and myself and a guitar, which only really becomes an option in the wee hours.
Would there be another room for older guests to retire to should it be necessary?
There are a few reception rooms in the main house, one of which is often used to escape the noise.
Is it possible to create a personal menu with as many courses as required, or is it a fixed menu?
We work with every couple who gets married here to personalize their menu. It can be any number of courses, a buffet or a pig on a spit. The meal should suit the occasion and every occasion is unique.
Will there be a menu available to suit young children?
We would always do a separate menu for children, which we work out in advance with an organizer/parent.
Are you able to provide different options such as a sit-down meal or buffet, and will there be vegetarian/vegan choices available?
We do have different options for the main meal. We offer a sit down, 5 course set menu for up to 60 people and a buffet for up to 80 people. There is always be a vegetarian option included in the buffet and upon request for the sit down meal. We cater to all dietary requirements, so vegans, coeliacs, and any allergy or intolerance will be looked after upon request.
Do you provide food for an evening function should this be required?
We do provide food later in the evening and cater this to the requirements of the couple, as simple or substantial as required.
Do you insist on providing all catering, or can the bride and groom provide their own champagne and wine? What would be the cost of corkage?
Couples can bring their own wine and Champagne. We charge 10 euro per bottle for corkage.
Is there an opportunity to taste a sample menu?
As it is such an intimate setting, couples usually come down in advance to have dinner and get a sense of the place. We haven’t done a tasting menu before, but we never say never.
Contact Details for Roundwood House
Proprieters: Hannah & Paddy Flynn, Roundwood House, Mountrath, Co. Laois
Tel: +353 57 8732120 Fax: +353 57 8732711
I really hope this section has helped you out, and would love to know what else we could ask. So, if you can think of anything else that’s relevant, just drop me a line below and I’ll add your question to the next interview. Which venues would you like to hear from? I’d be happy to contact anyone for you, whether you are in the UK or US.