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Jessica and Joe traveled from Vermont to elope in Killarney National Park in early March right after Jess just finished school for nursing. Incredibly, she won her wedding dress at a bridal shop where upon trying on the dress she wanted, she found a ‘free dress’ label pinned to it.
Jess wanted to incorporate a hike into their day and have their ceremony somewhere remote with great views. After getting ready at the Brehon Hotel where they were surprised with Champaign and chocolates from their friends at home, they had an emotional first look at Killarney lakes. They hiked a quiet trail in the Kerry Mountains where they had a beautiful ceremony. They shared a bottle of bubbly and afterward hiked to a nearby lake. Jess surprised Joe by playing their song at the lake and so they had the most romantic first dance in the pouring rain before the sun went down.
Killarney National Park is known for its stunning landscapes, which include mountains, lakes, waterfalls, woodlands, and open pastures. It’s scenery is often described as some of the most beautiful in Ireland. It is home to a wide range of plant and animals, including red deer, the only native herd of red deer in Ireland. They can often be spotted throughout the park. It is a great place to hike as there are plenty of well-marked trails and paths to explore.
Along with it’s beautiful scenery, the park also contains ancient ruins, including the Muckross Abbey and Ross Castle, which can provide a glimpse into Ireland’s history.
How To Elope in Killarney National Park
top tips for planning an elopement in Killarney National Park
- Consider the season.
The summer can get very busy at Killarney National Park with visiting tourists, while winter often has harsh weather conditions. I recommend spring or autumn as the best time to plan an elopement here.
- Consider a symbolic ceremony
Getting legally married in Ireland can take many months, paperwork, and appointments so you need to start this process in plenty of time. Alternatively, you can get legally married in your country of residence and have a symbolic ceremony in Ireland. This way you can enjoy the experience without worrying about the legal side of things!
Do couples require any special permits to get married here?
A permit needs to be obtained for wedding photography in Killarney National Park.
What sustainability considerations are important when planning an elopement here?
Killarney National Park is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. All efforts should be made while visiting to keep this beautiful natural area protected.
Keeping your elopement guest list small can also make it easier to focus on sustainability and Leave No Trace principles should be followed.There are some amazing local vendors for you to work with for your elopement who prioritize sustainability and ethical practices.
Any other advice or tips you would like to share based on your experience?
When planning an elopement in Ireland, you need to be prepared for all weather conditions. Bring warm underlayers and a waterproof outer layer along with anything else that would make you more comfortable if the weather breaks. Ireland truly has some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, so no matter what location you choose, you are going to be blown away!
Tell me about your favorite moments from the day
After getting ready at the Brehon Hotel where they were surprised with Champaign and chocolates from their friends at home, they had an emotional first look at Killarney lakes.
Jess surprised Joe by playing their song at the lake and they had the most romantic first dance in the pouring rain before the sun went down.