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The landscape in the west of Ireland is epic for an elopement, and that’s no doubt one of the reasons why this couple chose it! Megan & Cathal escaped to rural Connemara, to Abbeyglen Castle for their intimate ceremony and elopement.
This is an outstanding area of natural beauty, Connemara National Park covers a huge area in Galway. Its lakes, mountains, rivers and roads lead to amazing backdrops. At the time of this shoot it was November, the heathers and bracken were bursting with their winter colours, the sun was low giving us dramatic light and even rainbows. Connemara’s skies are constantly changing, dramatic clouds, blue skies and sunset reds and oranges.Paul – Photographer
Tips For Planning An Elopement In Connemara National Park
Choosing Your Ceremony Location
To get married in the churches, couples need to go through the usual church channels of application, but there is so much wild public land, ceremonies can be performed outdoors without any permission needed, as long as it is on public land.
Because this was an elopement, there were no guests, Megan and Cathal needed official witnesses to sign civil declarations at the end of the religious ceremony. Both myself and the church singer were asked to be those two witnesses, which was an honour. I have only ever had to do that once before, it was 5 years previous, with the same singer (Rossanna Brehony) also in Connemara.Paul – Photographer
Leave No Trace
One of the first things you will notice about Connemara National Park is its wildness, it is so important that people respect this, I am always of the ethos in my shoots that where we have visited be left in the exact condition that we arrived at it in.
The weather in Connemara can change in a few minutes, it can go from sun to rain quickly, its important to bring rain gear, and comfortable shoes. The light is also constantly changing, as with any mountainous area, sunset can be a lot earlier than the apps will tell you due to the height of the surrounding environment.
Megan and Cathal were a dream to work with, they kept things simple, they responded positively to everything I asked of them. Megan had no problem hiking through bogs to get spectacular photos. Add to that the fact that we were so lucky with the weather, amazing sunlight, rainbows, it really was dream conditions.Paul – Photographer
Take It Slow
No matter how many people attend your wedding, time on your wedding day speeds up, it flies by. Be in the moment, don’t worry about what will happen, and simply enjoy what is happening. Uncontrollables like the weather are not worth worrying about, there is always a way around it, and if it rains, we will dry off. Trust your photographer, they want to get the best for you.