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Everything you need to know about choosing the best West Cork wedding venues

A wedding photographer’s guide of the best wedding venues in West Cork on The Wild Atlantic Way.

Are you feeling like there are too many brilliant West Cork wedding venues? Unless you’re following in family tradition by hosting your wedding or wedding reception at the same venue as generations of your family, there is a variety of excellent award-winning hotels in West Cork and many of them on right on the Wild Atlantic Way where you can hold your wedding. It can be hard to settle on a decision. 

I’ve shot at all of these venues during my career as a wedding photographer (except Drishane, which is on my wish list!). I’ve had the inside peek into the romance and services these wedding venues offer to brides and grooms, so let’s break this down for you. 

But first…

Why get married in West Cork?

Without doubt, West Cork is a fantastic region to have your wedding. It offers a relaxed, rural idyll and is something of a food mecca, so you’ll find plenty of artisanal locally-sourced foods available. Then, there’s the rugged Wild Atlantic Way coastline, incredible beaches and cliffs which offer spectacular sunset “golden hour” wedding photographs of you and your loved one silhouetted against the sky. 

Okay, so you’re settled on West Cork. Fab. Now, it’s time to share my sneak peek insights to your choice of wedding venues, listed in alphabetical order. 

Which will be your West Cork wedding venue?

Actons Hotel

https://www.actonshotelkinsale.com/

  • Where? Kinsale
  • What is it? 4-star boutique hotel on the seafront of Kinsale.
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes.
  • Capacity: 240
  • Perfect for: Lovers of the ocean & boating, boutique decor and, of course, CharlesFort.  
  • Makes me think of: Chic, understated modern style, vintage cocktail bus on the lawn and Gin & Tonic with Kinsale Gin (Count me in!)

The oldest hotel in Kinsale, Actons Hotel is old-fashioned romance mixed with a contemporary touch. Four-star excellence runs throughout this hotel, from the choice of rooms and its location through to the dedicated wedding team and their brand of quality service. 

Actons has an understated yet bold presence that belies its luxury. More fool anyone who walks by without looking in. The elegant interior that radiates four-star magic transports you to that holiday vibe where nothing can touch you, and everything’s grand in the world. Who doesn’t love that?

I could tell you about how the hotel has an extensive range of wedding facilities or about the Garden Lounge, which is an idyllic setting that’s ideal for more intimate occasions and can accommodate up to 50 people, but I’m a sucker for inside/outside spaces. So one of the best parts of the hotel – for me – is the outside patio, which is a super lovely low-key spot where your party can relax and chill. Then there are the landscaped gardens and near-by harbour as well as the rather wonderful Kinsale for the backdrop to your big day, so your wedding photographer has a lot of options for creating stunning photographs in a variety of settings. Straight up, Actons delivers outside sea-faring breeze, openness, and a touch of modern class while letting you and your wedding party chill the heck out and revel in holiday-esque splendour.


Ballinacurra House

www.ballinacurra.com

  • Where is it? Kinsale
  • What is it? Boutique luxury exclusive manor house. 
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes
  • Capacity: 50 / 130 / 180
  • Perfect for: having your wedding your way, secluding in style, staycationing in Ireland.
  • Makes me think of: Old school exclusivity, privacy, and Michael Jackson!

I’m borrowing this wedding venue’s  buzz words because they perfectly capture Ballinacurra’s approach to weddings: whether you want classic elegance, vintage chic or quirky decadence (my buzz words, too!) Ballinacurra’s team fits your wedding to you, and then some. From their Black Book of wedding suppliers to its vast grounds, this is a wedding wonderland. Literally it is wow.

Ballinacurra House has got weddings wrapped up. Their experienced wedding team, who are ninja stealth in ensuring everything is as promised, deliver an extraordinary experience. You and your wedding party get exclusive use of the house. Set in a forty-acre luxury country residence that’s home to a south-facing walled garden, there are plenty of outside entertainment areas. It is home to a croquet lawn, meandering garden walks that lead to the river, a children’s playground & enormous tree house for the grown kid in all of us, and a cocktail bar for the adults. If your guests are the sort to drop in by helicopter, there’s even a helipad. The opportunities for photographs abound, but what I fell in love with the first time I went there was I was fed the wedding meal like a guest and OMG what an experience. It was decadent and delicious, so being a foodie, it won a special place in my heart (and my belly!).

If you’re looking for a non traditional, non formal but luxury wedding venue this could be it.


Bantry House & Gardens

http://bantryhouse.com/

  • Where is it? Bantry, West Cork
  • What is it? A stately home
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes.
  • Capacity: 100
  • Perfect for: Elopements, small intimate ceremonies and vintage feel weddings.
  • Makes me think of: Antiques, walled gardens, losing my breath after climbing to the top of the steps, and period dramas.

Oh Bantry House, standing in your gardens and looking across Bantry Bay never fails to create an expansive feeling of wonder and legacy. As newlyweds stand before this 18th Century House that has seen so much, it becomes a part of your history, too. 

Bantry House and Gardens is a stately home situated on the Wild Atlantic Way and overlooks Bantry Bay in the south west of Ireland. It has been home to the White family since 1739 and houses an important private collection of antique furniture and objects of art which lend your wedding photographs a classic quality.

Having a wedding at Bantry is not only luxurious, with a stately atmosphere, but also opulent. When I photograph a wedding here, I love playing with the architecture, the walled gardens, which are so rich and abundant. Then, there’s the time in your day when you climb the steps to the top of the estate and look back over the house and bay. This moment takes your breath away (not least because of the climb!) and it belongs to you. What I love about Bantry House is that no matter the weather or light quality, everywhere you turn you discover another photo opportunity.


Blairscove

  • Where is it? Durrus, West Cork,
  • What is it? Georgian home
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes
  • Capacity: 100
  • Perfect for: Informal good times and five-star service, switching off your mobile phone and getting back to nature.
  • Makes me think of: Getting away from traditional weddings, seclusion and smaller intimate gatherings

Blairscove House embodies West Cork and delivers understated charm in surroundings so beautiful that you and your wedding party can relinquish yourselves of hurlyburly and surrender to the tranquility of the Wild Atlantic Way. Situated on the picturesque inlet of Dunmanus Bay, your wedding day couldn’t be in better hands, as you’ll be personally looked after by a member of the family that’s owned Blairscove for three generations. The emphasis at Blairscove is delivering top-quality service, five-star catering, and an informal, relaxed atmosphere. On fine days, your wedding reception will take place in the courtyard of the Georgian Blairscove house, which is ideal for drinks receptions. The landscaped gardens and the backdrop of Dunmanus Bay are ideal for wedding photography, especially with dramatic skyscapes at the golden hour

From experience, weddings celebrated here are informal events with an emphasis on good food and good times. Blairscove gifts your wedding party beautiful, low-key surroundings that help everyone concentrate on the finer things, like celebrating your wedding union.


Celtic Ross Hotel

https://www.celticrosshotel.com/

  • Where is it? Rosscarbery
  • What is it? A family run mid-size hotel
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes 
  • Capacity: 120-300
  • Perfect for: Beach weddings, cliffside sunset shots, sun-trap afternoon drinks on the terrace
  • Makes me think of: The Warren beach, big west cork weddings and big bands with big moves!

Set in front of Rosscarbery estuary, overlooking Warren Strand blue flag beach, The Celtic Ross Hotel is one of the larger hotel wedding venues to appear on this list. My brides and grooms choose it for good reason. It exemplifies West Cork hospitality and beginning-to-end high-quality service – not to mention their executive chef Alex Petit uses over 25 local producers from West Cork on their menus.

Along with its truly super location, there’s a large number of rooms to accommodate your wedding party in the comfort they deserve. The Celtic Ross Hotel is home to wonderfully warm staff, including Scottish Neil, who are sure to make you feel welcome and do their utmost to make your wedding day a dream. There are packages to choose from and these guys have twenty-years experience of guiding brides and grooms through preparing for your big day. 

Whether you’re looking for beachside at the warren, cliffside shots overlooking the beach, where you get a magnificent sunset or wooded areas at nearby Dromcolliher National woods, weddings with the Celtic Ross Hotel deliver epic picture opportunities, always. I most love the afternoon cream teas, which are fast becoming legendary. I have to give a thumbs up for the gluten free scones – OMG!


Drishane House

www.drishanehouse.com

  • Where is it? Castletownsend
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? yes
  • What is it? Georgian design country home
  • Capacity: unlimited
  • Perfect for: marquee style weddings, summer croquet on the lawn, authors and history buffs
  • Makes me think of: private and exclusive estate, Somerville and Ross and mystery.

Rarely open to the public, to have a wedding at Drishane House is a very special event indeed. You can feel the love the generations of Somervilles have poured into Drishane House, built in 1780 in classic Georgian design. The main house is filled to the brim with interesting family heirlooms, oil paintings, antiques, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Jane then she will be happy to regale you with stories of this wonderful home and its fascinating heritage. The location is private and exclusive yet warm and welcoming, too. 

When you book Drishane House for your wedding venue, a local catering/drinks company takes care of your wedding meal, which really adds to the feel of the country house exclusive atmosphere. What’s even better is that your party will enjoy their main meal in the outside marquee that’s set up especially for you in the private grounds.

For those photographic opportunities, I love it when brides and grooms make time for shots on the cliffs which offer stunning views across the Atlantic. But you needn’t roam too far, as the orchard has some wonderful areas for wedding photographs. If the weather doesn’t lend itself to photos you can explore the nooks of the house and feel like the lord and lady of the manor, with your photographer there to capture some utterly charming and timeless images.

I love it for the long tree lined drive way as you enter, the family history, the sash windows and arched doorway windows and the stunning views over the bay. 


Dunowen House

  • Where is it? Sands Cove, Ardfield, Clonakilty, West Cork. www.dunowenhouse.ie
  • What is it? Private Georgian country house, with 4 acres of private grounds, 500m from a secluded cove. Dunowen House is also a member of the prestigious Ireland’s Blue Book.
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes
  • Capacity: 30 guests
  • Perfect for: intimate, tiny weddings, elopements and foodies.
  • Makes me think of: small bijoux weddings that demand luxury & personality.

I hold my hands up, this is the only venue I have not shot a wedding at YET! I was only here once when I photographed author Louise O’Neill for the Examiner Weekend Magazine a few years back. Since then, I’ve been obsessed. I also love following the owner, Kela, on Instagram with her cooking demos.

Your wedding venue becomes part of your wedding story, and by choosing Dunowen House you entwine your story with its long history of colourful characters. For more than 30 years Noel Redding, former bass guitarist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience lived at Dunowen House, where he entertained music legends throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. After his death in May 2003, his ashes were interred in the garden. When you visit, you’ll discover items of rock and roll memorabilia linked to Noel Redding and Jimi Hendrix, specifically original concert posters, vintage magazines and music decorated throughout the house. Of course, you needn’t be a music lover to make the most of this awesome wedding venue, for Dunowen House becomes exclusively yours when you book it for your big day.

Due to its intimate size, Dunowen is perfect for micro-weddings. Underneath the large sycamore tree is an ideal space to have your outdoor humanist ceremony, but you can also choose to have your wedding ceremony inside or outside the house, too.

Photo supplied by Dunowen House

Dunmore House

www.dunmorehousehousehotel.ie

  • Where is it? Clonakilty Bay
  • What is it? Family owned and managed 4 star hotel, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Licensed for civil ceremonies? Yes, indoor and outdoor locations including the Ocean Suite, Sea Terrace, Cliff and Organic Gardens.
  • Capacity? From intimate ceremonies to larger celebrations up to 280 people.
  • Perfect for? Specials days – Dunmore’s family looking after yours!
  • Makes me think of: Open expanse of Atlantic ocean views, generations of gatherings from christenings, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and every other big hallmark family occasion.

Situated on the shores of Clonakilty Bay, Dunmore House is a West Cork wedding venue that’s the result of pure love. It’s a fourth-generation, family-run business that prides itself on taking care of you, as if you were family. Carol and Richard, Peter, Anne-Marie & Miriam work alongside their team to make sure that everyone who enters feels like they’ve come home. 

Within a stone’s throw of Clonakilty, the hotel nestles upon a peninsula that gives spectacular views over the bay, no matter the weather. The interior is an immaculate blend of modern country house feel.

I can’t mention Dunmore House and not speak of the food. As anyone who knows me will testify, I love organic locally-sourced produce, so Dunmore House wins gold-stars. The food is always delicious and plentiful. Much of the food on the menu comes from their Organic Kitchen Garden, which means that a wedding at Dunmore House benefits from a unique farm to fork dining experience. 

One of the fab things about Dunmore House is the private bay which I love to make a tour of with my wedding couples. Watching the sunset on the eve of your first day as a married couple from sea-level across the endless expanse of Atlantic Ocean means more than epic photos; you get epic memories, too.


Eccles Hotel and Spa

www.eccleshotel.com

  • Where is it? Glengariff
  • What is it? Classic seafront hotel and spa
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes
  • Capacity: 250 guests
  • Perfect for: Those wanting a more vintage look, nature lovers, spa breaks!
  • Makes me think of: The good old days, relaxing in over-stuffed armchairs next to crackling open fires, Jane Eyre & Gougane Barra church

If Eccles Hotel and Spa were a person they’d be that West Cork character who’s full of soul, warmth and great craic; a vintage soul who combines contemporary qualities and comforts with old-school touches. 

As described in the Irish Times, “It is the perfect antidote to homogenous modern hotels. The welcome is genuine, the food is excellent and the rooms are old-world comfortable, with superb views through gorgeous sash windows.” I might just add that Marie is the new wedding manager in 2020 so you’re in her safe and capable hands as she has years of experience planning west cork weddings and events.

Steeped in 250 years of rich history, Eccles Hotel is situated in Glengarriff. It overlooks Bantry bay and Garinish island on a stunning stretch of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way so you’re guaranteed stunning views, which means you and your photographer will have such fun capturing wonderful sky- and waterscapes to add an epic natural quality to your wedding photographs. The festival lights add a touch of festival fun in the evening too. Of course, there’s also the spa where you can take some chill and pamper time before or after the wedding, because everyone deserves TLC.


Located close to St. Finbarr’s Church in romantic Gougane Barra, Eccles Hotel and Spa can welcome up to 250 guests. And, it’s just recently been awarded 4-stars. WOW!!


Fernhill House Hotel & Gardens

www.fernhillhousehotel.com

  • Where is it? Clonakilty
  • What is it? Family run large country house and gardens hotel
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes, beautiful outside pagoda and all year round marquee.
  • Capacity: Up to 300 guests
  • Perfect for: large family weddings, all onsite weddings & garden ceremonies.
  • Makes me think of: Large weddings with lots of high spirits, manicured gardens, garden party and country house.

Some wedding venues keep picking up awards, and Fernhill House Hotel and Gardens is one such well-deserving West Cork wedding venue. Perhaps it’s the sumptuous grounds, the decades of experience of hosting weddings and delivering quality customer-service or… There are many special qualities to Fernhill that establish its reputation within the West Cork wedding scene, but when I talk to my couples they tend to say they love the gardens, the marquee and the fact that it’s all contained onsite.

Fernhill House is a Georgian Manor house that has been cared for by the O’Neill family for four generations. Set amongst acres of picturesque gardens, it has stunning views of the beautiful West Cork countryside and oodles of space for your exterior marquee drinks reception, civil ceremony, and photographs in the landscaped gardens that include a waterfall. The food is always a winner here, too. 

The reason why I love Fernhill House Hotel is the little details that give it such character, like Michael O’Neill Snr who enjoys driving people from the main hotel down to the gardens and marquee in the resident golf buggy. You know you can always have a giggle with Michael and get a lift back up again, too, which is perfect if you want to save your energy (and feet) for the first dance.


Gougane Barra Hotel

www.gouganebarrahotel.com

  • Where is it? Gougane Barra
  • What is it? Classic hotel sitting on the lakes of Gougane Barra
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes
  • Capacity: Caters for up to 65 guests/ accommodation for 50 guests
  • Perfect for: Elopements, boho smaller weddings, those that love woods, lakes and inland weddings
  • Makes me think of: Irish cosiness, fairytale Boho wedding chic and forest walks.

I have to admit, Gougane Barra occupies a special place in my history of photographing weddings. This is because of a fairytale boho-chic humanist wedding that I shot there. This disclosed, I can say that ‘fairytale wedding location’ starts to describe Gougane Barra Hotel, which is situated in a breath-taking position on the edge of Gougane Barra lake. 

The hotel sits right next to St Finbarr’s island oratory, which is one of the most popular wedding venues in Ireland for it’s charm and prettiness. Meanwhile, this fifth-generation family-run hotel is the epitome of Irish cosy, as it’s tucked away in a romantic, glaciated valley in the south-west of Ireland and surrounded by mountains. The old world charm of the decor and atmosphere enhance relaxed and informal non-traditional, intimate wedding ceremonies. What’s more, they offer wedding couples the choice of hosting a civil ceremony on the hotel grounds or St. Finbarr’s Oratory for intimate, small-scale services.

Photo opportunities are never ending here: with a spectacular mountain backdrop and glittering lake, the island oratory or hotel gardens make this one of the most beautiful locations in West Cork for a wedding day. If you fancy rowing a boat out with a bottle of bubbles this is possible. Getting lost in the woods? Yes. I most love… all of the above!


Glebe Gardens

www.glebegardens.com

  • Where is it? Baltimore, West Cork
  • What is it?
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes.
  • Capacity: 40 / 100 guests 
  • Perfect for: same-sex, garden enthusiasts and foodies
  • Makes me think of: tulips, walled gardens, hot house flowers gig in the natural amphitheatre and Tessa’s baking!

The idyllic Glebe Gardens is the ideal venue for weddings of all sizes and styles, be that traditional or non-traditional, though the emphasis is on hosting personal, made for you weddings. 

The Glebe Gardens team has fifteen years’ experience of designing, hosting and catering for weddings and special occasions. The sisters, Tessa, Keziah & Jojo run the show here, taking care of everything – including you. In fact, the ethos you’ll discover at Glebe Gardens is that all are welcome.

With its plentiful outdoor space, including a veranda and covered courtyard, you’ve the option of an intimate wedding reception of forty guests hosted within the restaurant. Alternatively, go large with up to 100 guests dining within the restaurant and open air courtyard. Whatever your party size, the Glebe Gardens team works with you to deliver your wedding as you want it, in their inimitable style.

Of course, I have to mention the Gardens of Glebe, which are a project of love and have been cultivated over decades. The gardens are an ideal place for your wedding photographs and Champagne reception while, in the meadow, there’s a beautiful amphitheatre which overlooks the sea. This flowing arrangement of miniature locations make Glebe Gardens a perfect spot for your wedding ceremony, band, first dance or sunset photo shoot. 

I most love how the Glebe team have proudly been hosting same-sex weddings since 2007. An added plus in my book. 


Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa

www.inchydoneyisland.com

  • Where is it? Clonakilty
  • What is it? Four Star Luxury Hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the rugged West Cork coastline.
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? yes, on the amphitheatre and inside
  • Capacity: The Inchydoney Room can host 2- 250 people.
  • Perfect for: Beach and Sea Lovers, Food Enthusiasts, those wishing to wed outdoors with the dramatic coastline as a backdrop.
  • Makes me think of: The Seaside, Wild Atlantic Waves, Great Local Food, Wonderful Local Friendly Staff

Four-star Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa is located close to the colourful heritage town of Clonakilty in West Cork. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean & two Blue Flag beaches, this multi-award winning hotel and spa delivers polish and consistently high-standards to generations of local families who return to celebrate their love-union, for good reason. 

Firstly, and let’s be honest, planning a wedding is stressful, so when your big day arrives, you deserve to have a spa and trained therapists cater to your needs. Your weddings guests will appreciate it, too, so if not for yourself, then…! But it’s not only the spa that’s stand-out.

The amphitheatre in front of the hotel is a great space to hold an outside wedding ceremony, with the views on both sides of the pristine beaches it definitely has the acres of big sky wow effect. Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa have the luxury of golden sands of the beach on both sides, perfect for epic wedding photographs. If you’re not inclined to get sandy toes, you’ll gain equally awesome photographs from the cliff-edge. 

Speaking of photographs, can your wedding photographer steal you away for a few minutes? You won’t be sorry, as Clonakilty has some colourful fun pubs, like De Barras and Scannells – which add texture to your wedding story (and you can still enjoy a sneaky glass).

The reason I love photographing weddings at Inchydoney? It’s got to be the beaches, the dunes, the bright reception area and sunsets over the amphitheatre and cliffs.



Inish Beg Estate Island

www.inishbeg.ie

  • Where is it? Inish Beg Island, Baltimore, West Cork
  • What is it? An exclusive 97-acre island with all sorts of accommodation and treats!
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes, in the boat house or outside at H2O a tiny island on a pond with a wedding gazebo (perfect for the romantics amongst us)
  • Capacity: 2 – 180
  • Perfect for: outside rustic humanist/civil ceremonies, so many things!
  • Makes me think of: Exclusivity, DIY weddings, walled gardens, pirate treasure map, covered inside pool, eccentricity & Paul’s vintage car collection.

How often are you able to make use of an exclusive 97-acre island for your wedding day? And how can I begin to describe Inish Beg Estate Island? Words aren’t enough when pictures speak a thousand words, which is how many words, at least, will be spoken in tribute to this incredible private-island wedding estate. 

Why do couples select Inish Beg? Located between market town Skibbereen and the coastal Baltimore, your wedding party has the full run of the island and its amenities, while making memories that will last a lifetime with a wedding that’s bespoke, unique, sublime… No, there aren’t enough adjectives. Let’s just say that Inish Beg is the perfect venue for a D.I.Y. couple and here’s why. You get: accommodation on the island for up to 48 guests; a magical pirate treasure map trail; a woodland pond with picturesque arched bridge leading to the little island at its centre; a boat house; an octagon marquee; an indoor swimming pool within the walled garden. You also gain the support of Inish Beg Estate to help you with ideas and to facilitate your wedding plans.  

What I love about Inish Beg Estate is that it’s like being a big kid running around a deserted island for the weekend; you can let your woodland fairy come out to play in this wonderful oasis of magic.


Innishannon House 

www.innishannonhousehotel.ie

  • Where is it? Innishannon.
  • What is it? Boutique hotel built in 1720
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes, both inside and outside by the river
  • Capacity: 2 – 200 seated guests
  • Perfect for: outside ceremonies overlooking the river, vintage feel weddings.
  • Makes me think of: Old World charm with every modern luxury.

Situated on the banks of the river Bandon, hidden away by 100 year old trees, Innishannon House offers a classic location that’s shrouded in history. The River Bandon flowing through its grounds and the Rose Garden create the perfect backdrop for your wedding, whether it’s twenty people or two hundred. 

The ethos of Innishannon House is to treat each wedding as individually as the couple getting married, so you can be assured of excellent service and a level of professionalism that will make your day exemplary. And, did I mention the Innish Bar? This extension is a great and relaxed spot to share your wedding reception, with an area large enough for dancing the night away or even having a barbecue. 

What I love most is photographing my couples along the river walk with evocative weeping willows trailing along the path, the outside ceremony space and the dining room decor.


Liss Ard Estate

www.lissardestate.ie

  • Where is it? Skibbereen 
  • What is it? Georgian style house
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes, inside and outside underneath the beautiful elm tree.
  • Capacity: 2-150 inside the main house and up to 300 if a marquee is required in the walled garden.
  • Perfect for: Medium large weddings, intimate gatherings & seclusion.
  • Makes me think of: The beautiful lake and meandering walks around the grounds, the smell of woodland moss and apples, the James Turrell’s Sky Garden and contemporary dining.

Liss Ard Estate on the outskirts of Skibbereen is a place close to my heart, especially as I lived within an old gate lodge just five minutes walk away. This is one Georgian country house estate that stands out, not least because managers Mags and Aidan do more than you could imagine to make your day and weekend one of the best days of your life. 

Set amidst 163 acres of mature broadleaf woodland with a private lake, as you enter Liss Ard Estate driveway you are immersed in an ancient woodland and it becomes your own private wonderland. Then there’s the main house. When you book Liss Ard Estate, it’s not only the wonderful modern fresh feel of the main house that becomes yours. So, too, do the walled garden, the victorian lake lodge that overlooks Lough Abisdealy and the magic of James Turrell’s Sky Garden.

When it comes to your wedding meal, the chefs at Liss Ard Estate are constantly upping their game with inventive dishes to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. 

I love shooting here, not just because it feels like it’s your private house for the weekend but the wide selection of photo opportunities is staggering – and breathtaking. It seriously feels like it is your place! And what a place to have a party.  


Maritime Hotel

www.maritimehotel.ie

  • Where is it: Bantry
  • What is it? Modern large 110 designer bedroom 4 star hotel
  • Licensed for civil ceremonies? Yes
  • Capacity: 250
  • Prefect for: Wanting to explore the rugged peninsulas of Mizen Head, Sheep’s Head and Beara, large wedding where all guests can stay on site.
  • Makes me think of: Funky bold colour decor, Bantry Bay, the library & the large banquet hall.

Located at the entrance of Bantry market town, The Maritime Hotel is one of the largest hotels in West Cork, with 110 rooms including suites and a penthouse with views over Bantry Bay. Now, the hotel does not have a unique exterior space, instead – and here’s the bonus for any wedding couple booking this venue – you get the use of the glorious Bantry House gardens included in some of their packages. Let’s not forget that they’re located in a spectacular location on Bantry Bay with so many photo opps within a short drive away.

Because of its scale, The Maritime Hotel has various different rooms – there’s a DVD room where you can deposit your kids; there’s a library where your aunts and uncles can gather with gossip and craic – and do tell them that it’s right next to the bar, so not far to stagger for those pints of Guinness or sneaky Whiskeys. The feeling and atmosphere you get from The Maritime Hotel is pop, bold, modern va-va-voom with traditional family values, and it’s set in a location that’s grand enough to host even the largest West Cork family.


West Cork Hotel

https://www.westcorkhotel.com/

  • Where is it? Skibbereen
  • What is it? 50 guest room riverside hotel on the outskirts of Skibbereen.
  • Licenced for civil ceremonies? Yes, Daly’s Store house is a welcome addition.
  • Capacity: 50-300
  • Perfect for: Large weddings, plenty of space and rooms, they are constantly revamping the bedrooms.
  • Makes me think of: Generations of family gatherings, heartbeat of Skibbereen, delicious afternoon teas & local artisan produce.

Located in the heart of the market town of Skibbereen, West Cork Hotel is a constant in most wedding photographers’ calendars. For many of its couples and clients, the hotel represents family tradition; for others, it is timelessly elegant and like getting a big hug from your favourite aunt. For just about every wedding I’ve shot at West Cork Hotel, the couple has had parents or relations who had their weddings there, too. 

A firm favourite for all West Corkonians looking for lunches, to watch matches, or even to attend town meetings. With 50 rooms, your wedding party won’t have far to travel at the end of your big day, which for some may be a relief! 

Speaking of your big day, West Cork Hotel has a newly-created wedding ceremony space, the unique and alternative Daly’s Store House, which is super funky and modern. This is a large-size, versatile space that’s the perfect canvas for an alternative civil ceremony. There’s also the option of the gorgeous ballroom that can hold anywhere from 50 people to 300, though there are smaller rooms that are suitable for intimate wedding receptions, too.

I hope this is of some help in amongst the excitement of planning your big day. I hope I might be part of it and would love to chat to you to discuss the unique plans you have for your day.

My 2021 diary is already filling up fast, so if you’ve a date in mind and you like my work, please get in touch to check my availability and see if we click.

Click here to chat

Please note: The numbers mentioned here were current at the beginning of 2020. Please confirm with the venue what numbers with regards to regulations are in place now.

Huge apologies to any venues I might have missed out on, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to be included and we have worked together in the past.

All photographs copyright of Emma Jervis Photography. Not be reused without express permission of author.

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