Clare Island: a Unique, Boutique Wedding Venue
If you’re looking for a boutique wedding venue, then pay Clare Island a visit. We have been host to a number of small wedding celebrations and we’re beginning to be recognised as a wedding destination that will stand out in guests’ memories.
Island weddings are not for every couple, but they are an exciting option for those planning an intimate wedding.
“Unique”, “stunning location”, “culturally and historically rich” are words that best describe the destination. And those who choose to exchange vows here tend to be quirky couples who look to operate outside the mainstream. If that sounds like a match to you, our boutique wedding venue might be just what you’re looking for.
Clare Island is the wedding destination. Sailor’s Bar & Go Explore Hostel is the reception location.
You can accommodate your guests in some of the most unique guesthouses in Ireland, such as O’ Gradys Guesthouse located right on the beach, or the Lighthouse perched on a dramatic cliff face overlooking the open Atlantic and Achill Island. Clare Island B&Bs are run by locals who will impart hospitality and local knowledge to your guests, giving them a real sense of this beautiful island.
Our chef is building a name on Clare Island and the reputation of Sailor’s Bar as a destination for wholesome traditional cuisine with a bit of a difference. He sources as much local produce as possible, such as Clare Island salmon, homegrown vegetables and Ballinrobe beef. Just check out our Tripadvisor comments by searching for Go Explore Hostel and Sailor’s Bar, Clare Island.
The O’ Grady family also operates the Clare Island Ferry Company so we can organise special boats for your wedding. Carrying up to 100 passengers at a time, we will bring your guests safely to and from the island with speed.
A taste of what you can expect:
- Champagne to welcome guests on board The Pirate Queen as they depart the mainland harbour
- Fresh fish caught on the day by locals on your menu
- Home grown greens from Macalla’s organic farm
- High quality accommodation (including the option to stay in one of Ireland’s best preserved lighthouses)
- A reception in one of the most unique bars and restaurants in Ireland.
We at Sailor’s Bar and Go Explore Hostel will provide you with an unforgettable day at our unique, boutique wedding venue.
Our maximum capacity is 64 people. Please refer to floor plan below for layout of seating arrangement.
- Our base rate for a seated set menu is €40. This includes starter, soup, main, dessert plus tea & coffee. Rates may increase depending on choice of menu & time of year. Please refer to menu choice here sailors-bar-wedding-options-2017
- Our base rate for buffet style menu is €32. This includes one hot dish, two cold dishes and four salads plus a selection of breads and two desserts. Please refer to menu choice here sailors-bar-wedding-buffet-options-2017
- Our rates for drinks reception, evening reception & canapés can be viewed here sailors-bar-wedding-extras-2017
- Our rates for wines and corkage can be viewed here Sailor’s Bar – Wedding Wine Options
- All wedding parties must take all 6 bedrooms in the hostel for a minimum of 2 nights at €120 per room per night. Rooms have a capacity of between 6 and 8 per room or can be used as a large family room
- Base rate cover months April to June and September. Contact us in relation to rates for July & August
Typical Itinerary for Wedding Day
- Ferry departs Roonagh pier at 10.00am for anyone arriving that morning
- Guests arrive at church at 12.00pm
- Mass finishes at 1.30pm
- Drinks reception in the bar at 2.30pm
- Dinner at 3.30pm
- Traditional music session, sean-nós dancing & singing can be arranged for after dinner
- Band starts @ 10.00pm followed by disco
- Sandwiches and cocktail sausages served at 12.00 midnight
- Marriage celebration and reception on Clare Island.
- Marriage celebration with canapés and after drinks on Clare Island and reception in one of the many mainland hotels within a 30 minute drive of Roonagh Harbour.
Clare Island is the setting of one of Ireland’s most prestigious boutique guesthouses, the Clare Island Lighthouse. We recommend that the wedding couple stay at the lighthouse. Rates for the lighthouse vary depending on room choice. Please visit the following web-site for more information. www.clareislandlighthouse.com/en/
Clare Island Accommodation
If the Clare Island Lighthouse is unsuitable for your needs, we recommend O’Grady’s Guesthouse as the location for the marriage couple. O’Grady’s Guesthouse is a 4 star property located on the beach beside the harbour. It is only five minutes walk from Sailor’s Bar.
- O’Gradys Guesthouse / Tel – 098 22991
- O’Gradys Self-catering / Tel – 098 22991
- Nelly & Gerry’s B&B / Tel – 098 22986
- Granuaile House B&B / Tel – 098 26250
- Cois Abhainn B&B / Tel – 098 26216
- Cloch na Scith B&B / Tel – 098 25893
- Kieran & Ann’s B&B / Tel – 086 823 2229
- Kieran & Ann’s Self Catering / Tel – 086 823 2229
- The Lodge Self Catering / Tel – 087 659 4992
- Seabreeze B&B / Tel – 098 26746
Marriage Celebration in Local Church
The Clare Island church is located 2 km from Sailor’s Bar & Restaurant. There are a number of mini buses on the island that can be hired to transport people to and from the church. On special request to the ferry operator, a small number of guests can bring in their own vehicles for the weekend to help with transportation. The church is coordinated by the Westport Parish. Visit the following link for information and contact details for the priest. You will need to speak directly with the priest in charge (currently Fr. Karl Byrne) to make arrangements and bookings. www.westportparish.ie/
Currently, the national registrar office will not conduct civil ceremonies on islands. Reason unknown. However HAI celebrants are now approved as marriage solemnisers. Therefore this may be an option for those of you wishing to go down this route. You will get more information here www.humanism.ie/campaigns/humanist-weddings/
Non Religious Ceremonies, Rituals and Celebrations – www.jayestaceremonies.com
Religious Ceremonies, Contact Eileen Morris 083 1293391
- Only at certain times of the year can the public bar be closed to the public during weddings. A private bar in the function area is open at all times.
- Adventure activities such as coasteering, snorkelling, rock climbing, orienteering, raft building can be arranged for the wedding party before or after the wedding day. Please ask for more information.
Terms & Conditions
- To secure at date a deposit of €350 is required
- Initial numbers are given during booking. Final numbers must be confirmed 3 days before wedding day. This is the minimum numbers charged on the day.
- Full payment must be made before departure from the island.
- All 6 bedrooms in the hostel must be taken for a minimum of 2 nights during the wedding.
- Table plan must be submitted two days before wedding day.
- In the event of cancellation the deposit can only be refunded if date is sold to a similar size event and dealt with on an individual basis.
- Prices include Government Tax
- Should the hostel, for reasons outside our control, need to change the event arrangements, we shall use all reasonable endeavours to offer alternative comparable arrangements and facilities.
- In the event of weather conditions preventing the wedding from happening, the hostel shall endeavour to re-schedule the event.