Brides and grooms are adapting to the reality of small intimate wedding celebrations with grace, creativity, and open hearts. While the pandemic has changed our wedding planning in endless ways, there are some significant advantages to having a micro wedding.
I am happy to introduce my monthly series of unique wedding venues to help you kickstart your venue research.
We are starting with Dunowen House… I hope you enjoy reading my interview with Kela, the owner.
Tell us about Dunowen House?
Dunowen House is an 18th-century country house and a small estate. It has been meticulously restored by owners Kela and Stephen Hodgins over the last 7 years and operates as a private holiday rental and intimate wedding venue. It has been a member of Ireland’s Blue Book for the last three years and received numerous awards from The McKennas Guide, Georgina Campbell, and the Irish Independent.
Where is Dunowen House located?
Dunowen is located just 10 minutes from Clonakilty in West Cork. It is on the Wild Atlantic Way and surrounded by stunning beaches and private coves.
What’s the capacity for weddings?
Up to 30 guests
Can you hold ceremonies?
Yes, we do hold ceremonies such as weddings.
Do you offer catering services?
Yes. We have in-house private catering and specialize in our own homegrown ingredients and West Cork artisan producers. We offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options to guests.
How long has Dunowen House been open?
We have been open since 2013, so for 9 years.
Tell me something about your venue which I can’t find in your brochure?
Dunowen House is famous for its Rock & Roll history, having formerly been the home of Jimi Hendrix bass guitarist, Noel Redding. Noel lived here for 30 years and the house has lots of reminders and memorabilia, which any music fan guests adore.
If you follow us on Instagram, you will know that Kela bakes a different cake and posts recipes every Monday. It’s become so popular that guests have requested a cake table at their wedding. Kela is hoping to print a cookbook featuring many of the cakes and recipes in 2021.
Does Dunowen House support a certain wedding theme?
As we only host a small number of weddings each year, we don’t have a defined theme, but work with each couple to create a style unique to them. Underlying everything we do here is a warm, relaxed and welcoming feeling – we want every guest to feel that Dunowen is their home while they are here.
We pride ourselves on having a laid-back, luxury feel at the house which makes couples relax instantly. We have started working with a wedding planner to prepare the finer details of each wedding booked with us. This provides each couple with access to the skills and knowledge of a locally based professional who will ensure everything is taken care of on the day.
Do you offer accommodation?
Yes, we have 9 bedrooms on the estate. The main house has 6 suites, while Orchard Cottage in the walled garden has 3 bedrooms. A maximum of 23 guests can be accommodated on-site.
What’s the best season to get married at your venue?
As Dunowen operates as a private holiday rental too, our min stay between June and the end of August is 7 nights Saturday to Saturday. Outside these times, our min stay is 2 nights.
May, September, and October have traditionally been very popular times for weddings here but we also have had couples book the house for a week in the Summer and tie in a mini-honeymoon here when the wedding is over.
What’s the most memorable wedding you have hosted?
We had a group of 12 guests travel from the USA for a week to host their very intimate wedding here at the house. They married under a tree on the lawn and had a vegan wedding buffet on the terrace on a stunning September day.
Afterwards they traveled into the famous DeBarra’s pub in Clonakilty for some live music and pints of Guinness….not your traditional wedding but absolutely perfect for them.
Who is the best person to talk to arrange a site inspection?
Owner, Kela Hodgins
Where can we find you? (Web-site, Instagram)
Facebook: Dunowen House
If you want to chat about your intimate wedding celebration in Ireland, get in touch here.