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

Heart Shaped Bottle 500ml – Designer Range

Heart Shaped Bottle 500ml – Designer Range

This beautiful 500 ml heart shaped bottle will add a touch of luxury and elegance to your sand unity ceremony. Glass stopper has a plastic gripper coating around the tip.

Available to order: Estimated delivery to our centre in Cork City: 1-2 weeks. Requires 750 grams of sand to fill.

Price: €18

How to Order: Contact me directly to inquire about availability and to place your order. You can pay by card (%2 fee) or Paypal (5% fee)

Optional Extras:

Sand 750 grams in your choice of 2 or 3 colors. €14,
Stock colors only until sold out.
Please contact us to ask what colors are available.

300ml pouring glasses €3 each

Can a Celebrant Legally Marry You in Ireland?

Can a Celebrant Legally Marry You in Ireland?

This question is causing a lot of confusion with couples in Ireland.  Can a celebrant legally marry you in Ireland?  The answer is – not all Celebrants in Ireland are authorised to conduct legal marriages.  For your wedding ceremony to be a legal marriage, your Celebrant must be a Registered Solemniser of Marriages – duly authorised by the HSE. 

Registered Solemnisers are the Celebrants who represent the Government in their capacity as Solemnisers of legal marriage.  Each Registered Solemniser is required to have extensive training over a number of years along with an impeccable knowledge and experience of all aspects of the requirements of the Marriage Act. 

Celebrant is a general term which describes a person who conducts a ceremony of any kind.   Any member of the public can conduct a ceremony as a celebrant, but not every celebrant can conduct a legal marriage ceremony. 

Wedding Celebrants in Ireland can be classified into one of the following two categories:

  1.  Those who are Registered to Solemnise legal marriages, known as Registered Solemnisers, and
  2.  Lay Celebrants –  those who conduct wedding ceremonies which don’t have any legal standing, because Lay Celebrants aren’t authorised by the government to Solemnise legal marriage.   Many Lay Celebrants do indeed conduct beautiful ceremonies.  However, if you engage a Lay Celebrant to conduct your wedding ceremony, you won’t be legally married.   In order to be legally married, you will also need to attend a Civil Registration office with your witnesses on another day to be married with a Registry office marriage.

In fact in my home country of Australia, it is illegal for a Lay Celebrant to conduct a wedding ceremony for a couple who are not already legally married.   Here in Ireland (at this time) there is no such law,  however with so much confusion brought about by the surge in the number of Lay celebrants now calling themselves “Registered Celebrants”, it is inevitable that will change sometime in the not too distant future.

If your wish is to be legally married in Ireland, with a unique and meaningful ceremony designed to your own requirements, with your beloved family & friends with you as your witnesses, your best choice is to find a Celebrant (like myself) who is not only able to create a unique & personalised ceremony to your exact wishes, but who is also duly authorised and Registered to Solemnise legal marriages. 

Your ceremony will only be Religious if you are married in a Church which prohibits interfaith marriages or if your marriage is conducted by a Registered Solemniser who is required to talk about their Religion and its beliefs during your ceremony,   With a non-denominational Holistic Minister like myself as your Celebrant, your ceremony will be a non-Religious ceremony if that’s what you wish.  The true evidence of this can be seen on your legal marriage certificate, where there is no mention of any Rites & Ceremonies taking place, (as there is with a Religious ceremony) or any mention of the name of any Religion or Church (as there is with a Religious ceremony).

Your marriage ceremony can also be a Spiritual Ceremony, Mixed faith ceremony, or Spiritual with a religious feel, or any combination in between!  If your family has a Pastor, he/she can take part in your ceremony and give you a blessing, you are limited only by your imagination.

With so many Registered Solemnisers in Ireland, who can conduct legal marriages, your job is to find a Solemniser who you get along well with and who shares your beliefs. (pick me!).  The ceremonial services provided by each Solemniser is very much unique to their own character and individual style – it’s up to you to find the Marriage Solemniser who is right for you, you need to do the job interview!.

Civil Ceremony

Here in Ireland you can choose to pay an extra fee to the HSE and book a HSE Civil Registrar to attend your wedding venue outside of office hours, to conduct a Registry Office marriage there for you, also known as a “Civil Ceremony”.   This is the standard government non-religious ceremony and is perfect for those who don’t wish to have a unique ceremony designed to their wishes, and who don’t wish to include any Spiritual or Religious elements.  

A Civil Ceremony in Ireland is not the same as a Civil Ceremony in Australia, where the meaning of a Civil Ceremony is a ceremony designed to your own wishes by a Celebrant who is self employed.  The Marriage Act in Australia is very different in that regard.  Here in Ireland a Civil Ceremony is a Registry Office Marriage, a standard government ceremony, conducted by an employee of the HSE Civil Registration Office,  The Civil Ceremony in Ireland is short and simple without any fuss.  Perfect for those who prefer this option.

How to Find Your Celebrant

Some of the best ways to find your Celebrant/Solemniser include asking your friends about any memorable and remarkable weddings they have attended in Ireland, or ask your wedding venue to recommend you a Registered Solemniser who conducts a lot of ceremonies with them.  Of course you can use website search for your wedding venue and the word “Solemniser” eg. “Dromoland Castle Solemniser” and see what comes up, see how much effort they have made to ensure their website is presentable and informative.

Of course I’d love to speak with you about your ceremony requirements, I would be honoured to work with you.  But I realise choosing Celebrant is a very important decision you must make for yourself after meeting up in person, or by Zoom or by having a good chat on the phone.  You should never cut corners by missing this vital step to interview your potential Solemniser/Celebrant to make sure they are right for you.

Most of the time, couples just don’t realise that there is an abundance of Celebrants in Ireland (like myself) who are Registered to Solemnise legal marriage, and that they should spend a little more time looking for the right one.  With the abundance of Marriage Solemnisers and gorgeous wedding venues, it’s now a wonderful time to be legally married in Ireland! 

Celebrant Guarantee

As a valued member of the Enchanted Ceremonies group of Holistic Ministers & Celebrants there is always a backup Celebrant on hand in case of an unforeseen emergency - this is your Celebrant guarantee!

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your ceremony wishes may be, you have found the right place.

If you would like a ceremony as unique as you are - created to suit your own style, please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you!

Modern Couples Getting Married in Ireland are Now Choosing a Holistic Minister to Marry Them and Here’s Why!

Modern Couples Getting Married in Ireland are Now Choosing a Holistic Minister to Marry Them and Here’s Why!

Interfaith Ministers are celebrants supercharged and are the latest must-have for modern couples getting married in Ireland.   This is because an Interfaith Ministry is sweeping the world for its inclusive philosophy which welcomes people from all walks of life without discrimination or dogma, and Ireland is no exception. 

The Interfaith Minister is a modern spiritual teacher who has completed extensive studies in the areas of spirituality, world religions, human culture over many years.  This means that their skills and experience as authentic practitioners of the art of ceremony are impeccable.   The inclusive and interfaith philosophy which Interfaith Ministers abide by means they welcome people from all walks of life, without discrimination, 

So it’s thefore no surprise that Interfaith Ministers are now the celebrant of choice for modern couples in Ireland who believe that a unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony should be one of the most important parts of their special day.

Interfaith Ministers, like many Universalist organisations are not required to wear vestments or robes unless they wish to do so for special cultural celebrations or VIP occasions.  They may wear an interfaith stole for their ceremonial duties but only if requested to do so by the couple or the family.

The non-denominational ceremonies created & conducted by Interfaith Ministers are designed to suit the unique requirements of each couple regardless of their belief in spirituality, religion or not.  This makes a marriage ceremony conducted by an Interfaith Minister truly charming and special no matter if its a shorter or longer ceremony, because each ceremony is designed to suit the unique ceremony style and requirements of the couple.

For couples who would like a unique & personalised, meaningful and special wedding ceremony in Ireland, the modern Interfaith Minister really is the Rolls Royce of ceremony celebrants. 

It is well known by those who have experienced one of the beautiful ceremonies led by Interfaith Ministers that the beautiful ceremonies they create & conduct are some of the most unique & special wedding ceremonies in the world.;  The ceremony certainly has an added air of unique graciousness, which really adds to the importance of the occasion even for a truly non-religious humanist style wedding ceremony..

Because of their genuine desire to help others throughout their life, Interfaith Ministers are generally those who hail from the caring, teaching, natural therapies or even formal ministry professions who felt a calling to further study in the area of spirituality and human culture in order to fulfill their wish to serve the community..

Due to the inclusive and interfaith philosophy of the interfaith body they are affiliated with, an Interfaith Minister is able to conduct unique ceremonies of any secular,, spiritual or religious style or any mixture of anything in between to suit the couples requirements.  This means Interfaith Ministers really can provide couples getting married in Ireland with the most flexibility for their ceremony design options and also with the locations they can be married at. 

It comes as no surprise that so many modern couples in Ireland are now choosing an Interfaith Minister to marry them with a beautiful unique & personalised ceremony designed to suit their own wishes and unique ceremony style, a ceremony which is also meaningful & special and among the best in the world.

Intefaith Ministers are most widely known for their beautiful and meaningful spiritual ceremonies but the inclusive philosophy they abide by means they are equally at home conducting secular and non-religous ceremonies for people from all walks of life.

What About the Legal Bits?

Interfaith Ministers are also HSE registered solemnisers and duly authorised to solemnise marriages in Ireland.

What this means for you is that with an Interfaith Minister as your ceremony officiant and celebrant your beautiful wedding ceremony will also be fully legal on the day if that’s what you want.

What Does it Cost ?

Costs vary between Ministers as some charge for travel and some don’t.  There is no extra cost for a legal marriage ceremony,, it will be the same cost as a non-legal ceremony.  

My own costs depend on time taken, and start at €295 for a micro-wedding of up to 10 people in total within 5kms of Cork City centre.  This is a much simpler ceremony as no PA system is needed so the amount of time spent on the day and preparations the night before are greatly reduced.  Average cost within 25kms of Cork City is €495 depending on the venue and what options are chosen.  For ceremonies conducted over 25kms from Cork City and beyond the average price is €595.  For this you can expect a unique & fully personalised ceremony and around 30 hours of time spent to provide you with a VIP ceremony experience.  A ceremony rehearsal the night before of up to 2 hours is €100.  There are other options for a simple and straightforward ceremony.  Please take these estimates as a guide only, – for an accurate quotation to suit your needs please get in touch for a quick chat to determine your exact requirements.

There are others who are charging a lot more, but please keep in mind that they may have more costs to cover including child care, that I don’t have to consider.

* All prices are current as of 1st July 2020 and are subject to change.

If you’d like to know more about the legal requirements for getting married in Ireland, please see the Legal Info page.

Marriage During Pandemic Restricted Periods

The value of Interfaith Ministers has become increasingly widespread for couples wishing to be married during pandemic lockdown restrictions.  This is because Interfaith Ministers are able to travel unrestricted to conduct a legal marriage throughout Ireland as Religious personnel and essential workers, where other marriage solemnisers who are not Religious personnel may not be permitted to travel during stricter lockdown restrictions.

Interfaith Ministers also have access to a many more venues for legal marriage during strict lockdown at times when hotels and other wedding venues may be closed to the public.  So if there are strick pandemic lockdown restrictions in place and your solemniser is unable to marry you, and you still want to be legally married if you already have your Green Folder, all you need is an Interfaith Minister and your two witnesses. 

The Interfaith Minister, like other Religous solemnisers, will have access to a number of additional venues which can be used for the purpose of legal marriage when hotels and other venues are closed due to pandemic restrictions.  You may wish to obtain permission for a ceremony during strict lockdown restrictions but your Interfaith Minister will be able to best advise you of any technicalities.

For information regarding the ceremonies conducted by an Interfaith Minister you should consult them directly as there is a minefield of wrong information being propagated online regarding the ceremonies conducted by Interfaith Ministers.

Peace of Mind

All Interfaith Ministers belong to a body with strict quality standards and a community of like-minded people working to support the community.  This is your guarantee of peace of mind that if the unexpected should happen, no matter what the circumstances you will have the benefit of a backup Interfaith Minister of equal calibre and kindness at no extra cost to you if your chosen Minister is not available due to unforeseen circumstances.

How to Find an Interfaith Minister

Many don’t have websites or social media presence because they are well known in their local communities through their ministry work..  This is where Google can be your friend.  You can search for “Intefaith Minister Dublin” or “Interfaith Minister Cork” or “Interfaith Minister Killarney” or what ever area you would like to be married, and you will find some..  Or ask your nearest holistic natural therapist for advice, because you just never know – they be an Interfaith Minister.

I create & officiate beautiful unique & fully personalised ceremonies to celebrate all of life’s special milestones for people from all walks of life.  I can create a ceremony for any occasion worthy of celebrating..

No matter if you would like a plain and simple ceremony, meaningful and special but without any fuss – or that fairytale ceremony with all the enchantment and magic,   I will work with you to help you to discover your unique ceremony style, and create the unique & very special ceremony of your dreams. 

Please feel free to browse my website for more information about the work I do, and of course please don’t hesitate to call me for a chat, and to see if I am available on your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you..

Rev Sharon Q.

Interfaith Minister, Modern Spiritual Teacher, Professional Musician, Registered Natural Therapist, Yoga & Meditation teacher, Community kindness volunteer, Visionary & creator of dreams.

Tel: 085 831 3437

What is a Holistic Minister ?

What is a Holistic Minister ?

The diversity of Religious organisations in modern Ireland means that it is just not possible to generalise by claiming that Religious Marriage Solemnisers can only conduct religious ceremonies. 

A Holistic Minister is a non-denominational Clergy who doesn’t represent a particular Religion.   Holistic Ministers come from all walks of life, they may be teachers of Yoga & Meditation, Healers, Therapists, Carers, ex-Theologians and Community Volunteers who work on community kindness projects of their own choosing, for the benefit of those in their local area.

This is such a wonderful thing for modern couples in Ireland who wish to be legally married in a unique & personalised, creative &  meaningful ceremony which has been designed & created especially for them, 7 days a week!

What is a Holistic  Minister ?

As a Holistic Minister, my role is varied and diverse.  I am free to serve my local community in my own way, we are as unique as the people we work with and the personalised ceremonies we create.. 

I am a modern spiritual teacher, teaching, meditation, yoga, personal & spiritual development, a variety of womens arts & crafts, along with inspiring womens circles to help women of all ages believe in themselves and achieve their dreams..  I also volunteer in my local community in many ways.  You can find out more about my background and the work I do in the community here on my About Page.

I just love ceremonies!  Each ceremony I create & conduct is an opportunity for me to assist you to celebrate on of life’s most significant events in a manner which is not only relaxed, but also auspicious, meaningful, dignified and memorable for all the right reasons.

I am honoured to be entrusted with such an important responsibility in people’s lives, which I never take for granted. 

If you would like a unique & personalised ceremony designed to your own requirements, because you believe that your ceremony should be an important part of your special day.  I would be honoured to work with you.

What About the Legal Bits?

As an Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister I am registered to solemnise legal marriages in Ireland for people of all faiths or none without discrimation.  This means your ceremony is designed & created to suit your beliefs and wishes, with me as your solemniser and ceremony officiant, your ceremony design possiblities really are endless.

The bonus with me as your solemniser, is that your legal marriage ceremony can be uniquely designed and created to suit your beliefs and wishes no matter what style of ceremony you require.

Non-Legal Wedding Ceremonies

Some couples living overseas will choose to have a non-legal wedding ceremony with family & friends here in ireland because it makes so much more sense in their situation to have their legal marriage in their country of residence..

Whatever your situation I can assist you with the right advice and a unique & personalised ceremony.

If you would liike to get legally married in Ireland, or have a non-legal wedding or what ever ceremony you need please give me a call for a quick chat to find out how easy it really is to have the ceremony of your dreams! 

I would be honoured to work with you.