Blackwater Castle, North Co.Cork

Blackwater Castle, North Co.Cork

Handfasting, an ancient Celtic tradition

Gardens beyond the Stone Wall

Lawns beside the Castle & Mansion House

Photography:  Sharon Quigley

Your Idyllic Irish Castle Wedding

If you are searching for a private hire of a luxury romantic medieval Irish Castle & Mansion House, with all the olde world charm you could imagine, a convenient distance from Cork City and International Airport, you can’t go past Blackwater Castle located just outside the village of Castletownroche, in North County Cork. 

One of Co.Cork’s most sought-after destination wedding venues, now re-opened for 2024, Blackwater Castle is is located 60km from Cork Airport (50 mins), and a short distance from the Cork to Dublin motorway.

It’s stunning cliff-top location overlooking the River Blackwater, with meticulous gardens, lawn areas with private woodland backdrops offers a breath-taking selection of outdoor choices for your ceremony and picturesque photo opportunities too numerous to mention!

If an indoor ceremony is more your liking, (or as weather dictates) there are several choices for a glamourous indoor ceremony, with all rooms in the mansion house classically decorated and filled with natural sunlight, with beautiful panoramic views of garden beyond.

The original tower house adjoining the castle mansion house is home to a genuine sheela-na-gig stone, which in mythical Irish folklore is a well-known fertility token.   Where it was once believed that a maiden who touches the sheela-na-gig and makes a wish, will fall with child soon after!

There is also access to the tower house roof for stunning photographs, on request.

The castle’s flexible approach allows couples to place their own stamp on their big day.   Management will do theif utmost to fulfil your wedding wishes, ensuring your perfect day, your way.


With 9 bedrooms, 6 reception rooms including bar, professional kitchen, plus additional accomodation in the extensive fully converted stables housing up to approx. 100 guests, makes a perfect self-contained setting for your idyllic romantic castle wedding getaway.  

Entertaining your Guests on your Wedding Day

Blackwater Castle welcomes all musicians and suppliers that you wish to include for your special day, and offer bucketloads of friendly advice and guidance for every aspect of your wedding day.

Post Wedding Party

The whole castle and accommodation is available for exclusive hire and can be booked for several days before and after your wedding with various packages on offer.

Contact Blackwater Castle at any time to make an appointment for a chat and viewing, you’ll be so glad you did!


Sharon Q.

Celebrant / Registered Solemniser of Marriages

Yoga Alliance RYT200 Registered Yoga & Meditation teacher, Community Volunteer, Musician, Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister, Visionary & Creator of dreams.

Tel: +353 (0) 858 313 43

Sinead Cronin – Wedding Singer

Sinéad is a talented wedding and occasion singer as well as being the lead vocalist with Cork-based band, Franklin. She has a stunning voice to suit various genres evidenced by the ability to go from an operatic aria to an Aretha classic in the blink of an eye!

With over 15 years of experience, she is equally happy to make suggestions to help you with your musical choices or learn a whole new set of songs for your unique big day! Her goal is to make sure your wedding music fits the personality of your wedding and you.  The world is your oyster!

Sinéad is easy to work with for both couples and celebrants and is happy to be contacted at any time to discuss any query you might have about music and running order for ceremonies. Sinéad is contactable at 087-7716385 and vocal samples can be provided on request.

If you’re in need of a one-stop musical shop, package prices can also be sought to provide music for both your ceremony and drinks reception, or additionally your live evening entertainment with Franklin,

How Much Does a Celebrant Cost in Ireland?

How Much Does a Celebrant Cost in Ireland?

The cost of a Celebrant in Ireland varies greatly for many reasons.  Factors which may affect the cost of a Celebrant in Ireland include:

  • the type and style of ceremony you choose
  • travel distance to the ceremony venue
  • what is included as standard, and what can be added for extra cost
  • how competent, experienced (and in demand) the Celebrant is
  • how much the Celebrant must charge in order to pay their bills
  • If Celebrancy is a sideline or hobby to a regular paying job – their fee may be less
  • If Celebrancy is a sideline to a much higher paying career role – their fee may be more

Celebrancy is my career and no matter what kind or type of ceremonies I create & conduct,  I am always honoured to be part of such a special day in people’s lives. 

With over 25+ years experience in the art of ceremony & celebration, I know what an important decision it is to choose your Celebrant.   I also know how everyone has different needs for their ceremony.  So I have developed a range of VIP Packages to assist you in choosing a package which best suits your needs. 

With every ceremony I create & conduct, you are my VIP.

I Would be Honoured to Work With You

Special days are made by special people .. and you are one of them Sharon.
Thank-you so much for helping to create a wonderful day that we’ll never forget..
how you told our story was romantic, funny and just magical.  Thank-you.
GN (the groom)
Legal Marriage
Maryborough Woods Hotel Cork City
Essential Advice on Why My One Ceremony Per Day Option is Your Choice

Essential Advice on Why My One Ceremony Per Day Option is Your Choice

In my homeland Australia it’s not unusual for Civil Marriage Celebrants to conduct 2, 3 or even 4 or more personalised and unique ceremonies in the same day, especially on weekends.  When I get to conduct more than 1 ceremony in the same day here in Ireland, I am absolutely thrilled with the extra excitement it brings to the day!

Others claim to have a 1 ceremony per day policy for all ceremonies they “perform” – so they can “ensure your ceremony has their full attention”.  This implies that others (like myself) who won’t hesitate to conduct more than 1 ceremony a day, won’t  be capable of providing their full attention.

This claim is false on so many levels.

The most experienced and capable Celebrants (like myself and many others) won’t hesitate to conduct more than 1 ceremony a day if requested.  Here’s a good question:

Would you ever trust a hairdresser who won’t ever book more than one client per day because they won’t be able to give each client the full attention they deserve ? 
Does that sound like a suitably experienced professional who is able to deal confidently and competently with the unexpected should it arise on your big day?
I didn’t think so.

If you prefer that I don’t book any other ceremonies on your special day for any reason at all – that’s not a problem.  You can choose my Exclusive VIP option – which guarantees that I won’t conduct any other ceremonies on your big day.

Many ceremonies I conduct will naturally fall into this category anyway due to their exclusive country location, which makes it impossible to conduct more than one ceremony per day, or being on a peak day, ie. when there is more traffic on the roads making it not at all ideal for more than one ceremony per day.

Celebrancy isn’t a performance you can rehearse and perform, because it’s never about acting on a stage.  Celebrancy is real and when it’s at it’s best, it’s an authentic role which is now so fundamentally missing from our modern society, who have so drastically turned away from Religion on such a vast scale.

Despite the many reasons this cultural shift is happening, what Religion did for ceremony is that it preserved a certain level of authenticity and dignity by turning any ceremony into a meaningful and spectacular community event.  When Religious ceremony is done well and with true honour and dignity held by a wonderful facilitator (and there are/were plenty of good ones!) Religion kept the Spirit and magic of ceremony alive!

For a ceremony without the Spirit and magic, is nothing more than a speech.

Now society is going full circle with the return of the art of ceremony to its indigenous roots – where the ceremony was never defined by doctrines of a Religion, but was instead defined by the wishes and requirements of the couple to get them off to a wonderful start and help to ensure their successful future together.

Celebrancy remains an essential community skill which is all about capturing the true Spirit and character of the couple and creating the special magic of the moment for them and their guests in the celebration of their new lives together.

No matter what kind of ceremony I create & conduct, the smiles at the conclusion of the ceremony is what makes all my efforts worthwhile,

With over 30 years experience in the art of ceremony – I have the expertise and experience you need to ensure your ceremony exceeds your expectations.

What is a Spiritual Ceremony as Your Marriage Ceremony ?

What is a Spiritual Ceremony as Your Marriage Ceremony ?

This is one of those questions which can have a different answer depending on which expert you ask. As a former College Lecturer I am confident I can explain the answer in a generic kind of way, I’ll do my best to keep it as short and simple as possible!

If you don’t agree with my explanations – that’s wonderful too, as it shows you are a free-thinker proudly exercising your own free will to decide what you believe for yourself based on your own life experience and what you believe is right, rather than taking any advice and information provided to you by others.

At the very least you will have some more food for thought, and further understanding about what a Spiritual Ceremony means for the majority of people here in Ireland who have some form of Spiritual belief but who would not necessarily classify themselves as being Religious.

If we are to go back to basics and define ceremony into it’s most basic form, you would have two ceremony types:

  1. Spiritual or
  2. non-Spiritual

The reason I placed Spiritual first at No.1 is not that it is any more important than a non-Spiritual ceremony but that a Spiritual ceremony is believed to be the first and oldest form of ceremony which has existed since the oldest original of ancient times. Ancient times when the world was at peace and everyone lived in harmony with nature and the land with their creation stories, which became the blueprint for modern Spirituality as we know it.

The original reason for holding ceremony in such ancient times, was to create a Spiritual connection to the Divine Creator and bring about a Divine blessing for a certain intention and/or outcome to occur.

For example in ancient Ireland there were annual ceremonies on the Celtic Calendar celebrate the seasons and invoke a Divine blessing from the Creator for example for an abundant harvest of crops along with various blessings on the people and their lives at certain times of the year.

Many people around the world have revived those ancient traditions and they are celebrated to this day. Here in Ireland for many families and communities, those spiritual ceremonies of the Celtic Calendar never stopped and have continued since time began.

In the case of a marriage ceremony, the Spiritual intention of the original ancient marriage ceremony was to create a connection to the Divine Creator (or Great Spirit) in order to invoke a Divine blessing of good wishes for the couple and good luck for their marriage.

Whereas others here in Ireland and around the world, who don’t believe anything unseen or magical is possible will refer to ceremonial traditions simply as “superstitions” – and that’s OK too because in modern times we are all encouraged to have our own free will.

The abolition and hijacking of indigenous Spirituality which occurred during the Middle Ages when Religions were introduced, meant that indigenous Spirituality including ceremonies became an essential part of Religious doctrines, which required that ceremonies had to be conducted a certain way.

In the modern times we are in now going back full circle – people living in Ireland are no longer required to follow a Religion in order to exist in society. Instead people are encouraged to have their own free will and beliefs about what Spirituality and the meaning of life is for them.

Because of this we now see the wonderful introduction of the non-denominational and non-Religious legal marriage ceremonies, along with completely non-Spiritual ceremonies for those who don’t have any Religious beliefs or any belief in Spirituality of any kind. Along with mixed faith and unique personalised ceremonies to suit the couples own wishes.

So in a nutshell – a Spiritual ceremony is any non-Religious ceremony created to suit the free will and Spirituality of the couple, rather than the Spiritual beliefs and rules of a Religion.

In its most basic form – a Spiritual marriage ceremony is a non-Religious ceremony with Spiritual elements included to suit the beliefs and wishes of the couple. Most often departed loved ones are welcomed to the sacred space of the ceremony along with the wedding guests and made to feel very much part of the celebrations.

There may also be a memorial candle lit and placed either on the ceremony table itself or on a nearby smaller table placed to the side of the ceremony table. Any such memorial candle may also be accompanied by cherished photograph of the departed.

Depending on the wishes of the couple, a Spiritual ceremony can also be designed with a Religious feel. This can be done by including Religious elements of the couples choosing, which can also include mentioning God where appropriate – which can be really wonderful for a Religious family, where their adult children don’t wish to be married in a Church.

As a non-denominational Holistic Minster, I am not required to wear vestments or robes or be addressed with a Religious Title during a ceremony unless the couple request it. Every marriage ceremony I create and conduct is designed to be unique and special to suit the beliefs and wishes of the couple every time.