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Here's what it's like to get married in Marsh's Library in Dublin


SOME OF US love books. We put it in our Twitter bios. Maybe open an account on Longreads.

IMG-20180120-WA0009 Source: Wim Vanhengel, In Love Photography

But do you love books enough to get married there?

That’s exactly what Holly and David Hesnan did. They decided to get married in Marsh’s Library on Wood Quay after seeing photos of it online.

We knew that we wanted to get married but the idea of a traditional wedding just never appealed to us. We wanted something that felt intimate and personal to us and that reflected our personalities and interests. I saw photos of Marsh’s Library online we went to visit and instantly fell in love.

Marsh’s is the oldest library in Ireland, opening in 1707. James Joyce, Bram Stoker, and Jonathan Swift are among it’s notable readers.

Holly told DailyEdge.ie that despite the very unromantic bullet holes in some of the shelves from the 1916 Rising, it was something special to walk up the aisle surrounded by 25,000 old books on dark oak bookcases that have remained unchanged since the 18th century.

IMG-20180120-WA0013 Holly, David, and their daughter Holly Source: Wim Vanhengel, In Love Photography

They wanted to keep the ceremony intimate.

I think they’ve only hosted 2 weddings ever. We had 6 guests just our immediate family knew about it then we texted everyone else and surprised them with the news.

The ceremony itself took place in the gallery overlooking the gardens of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The staff at Marsh’s could not have done more for us we had use of their beautiful garden for a champagne reception afterwards the garden is also historic with some plants dating from the 18th century.

The photos were a joy, too.

_F6A5047 Source: Wim Vanhengel, In Love Photography

But it wasn’t just the venue that was vintage. Holly’s dress was from Dirty Fabulous boutique on South William Street, and she tells us it was “originally worn to President Kennedy’s inauguration ball”.


As for the after party, the couple had drinks and music in the library garden, before everyone went to the Saddle Room Restaurant in the Shelbourne for lunch.

We chose an unconventional venue and opted to have our immediate family attend and tell our wider friends and family afterwards which certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s idea of their dream day.

“It was the most special day of our lives made immeasurably more poignant by our choice of venue. By eschewing tradition we felt we had more autonomy over our day as we weren’t restricted by religious rules and regulations as we opted for a Humanist service”.

Have you had an unconventional wedding in Ireland? Hit me up at nicola@dailyedge.ie.

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