“It’s every little girl’s dream to get married in a castle, isn’t it?” thinks Marnie Corscadden.
Kerry-based Marnie knows what she’s talking about.
She and her husband Rory O’Sullivan celebrated their big day within crenellated walls and have since welcomed other bride and groom to their own castle, Ballyseede, near Tralee.
Some of them are original historic houses and others are buildings renovated especially for the wedding market.
Marnie comes from a family that owns and operates Ireland’s award-winning Romantic Castles Collection, Ireland’s largest independent and private collection of luxury castle wedding venues.
“She basically bought Ballyseede over a cup of coffee.”
For her own nuptials, Marnie returned to what she considered the “family castle” Cabra, which her brother Howard still runs.
“My brother Patrick got married at Bellingham Castle, which the family also owns, and where he works, my sister Patricia got married at Ballyseede, and my brother Howard was working at Dromoland when he got married and that’s where her marriage took place.”
This venue is steeped in history and is set in 30 acres of ancient woodland.
Ballyseede Castle was the main garrison of the legendary Fitzgeralds, Earls of Desmond, and its elegant interiors include impressive drawing rooms with ornate cornices, marble fireplaces and fine furnishings.
The key to a successful chateau interior is to “stay classic,” says Marnie.
Today, sustainability is key.
As for Marnie’s favorite perch?
“Love to sit on the half landing and look out the large open windows to take in the view of the countryside below.”
Like many castles, Ballyseede also has its own resident ghost, Hilda.
“We close for January and February and something big always happens in March when we reopen, when the building hasn’t been inhabited for a few months – a picture will fall off the wall or a door will open that shouldn’t have s ‘open. Something that will wake things up.