If your dream great Southern Killarney has all the grandeur of a country house bash but none of the faff of travelling to a remote location, we may just have found your perfect wedding venue! Set on six acres of beautiful gardens, the Great Southern is spilling over with Victorian glamour, but its location in the heart of Killarney town makes it easy to reach for every last one of your guests, whether they’re coming from the next county or another continent! With options for small weddings of 40 guests, right up to extravagant celebrations of 600, the Great Southern Killarney is ideally placed to host tailor-made wedding of all sizes.
This iconic Victorian hotel radiates romance, from its elegant entrance hall to its breathtaking grand foyer and drawing rooms, and custom-built wedding suites. The gardens are ideal for outdoor ceremonies, as is the Garden Terrace. With its stunning garden views, it’s also a great spot for an alfresco drinks reception or evening buffet. The venue’s many reception rooms are available to host ceremonies in colder weather, as well as your evening reception – couples can choose between The Picture Room (up to 40 guests), The Lake Room (40 to 70 guests), The Garden Room (70 to 100 guests) or The Great Room (150 to 600 guests).
From its inception as Killarney’s first luxury hotel, the Great Southern has forged a reputation for hosting epic parties. From the moment you step through the door, you and your guests will feel spoiled, and the fact that the venue is a 30-second walk from the Killarney train station means that everyone will be arriving happy and well-rested! Killarney National Park and Ross Castle nearby provide a spectacular backdrop for wedding portraits, and there are tonnes of nooks and crannies to discover inside the hotel, too – Brownes Bar is a natural place to convene before, during and after the wedding, and the sophisticated surroundings of the Wine Room make it ideal for pre- and post-wedding parties. The Great Southern team are also happy to help you personalise your day with big ideas, little touches, or a mixture of both!
The bedrooms and suites at Great Southern Killarney represent the height of Victorian luxury – it’s impossible not to get a good night’s sleep in a four-poster, queen-size bed! There are two Grand Suites to choose from – the Ambassador and the Kennedy – each with antique furniture, fine art paintings and a separate drawing room. For the bridal party and family members, there’s the gorgeous Railway Cottage, a standalone Victorian residence on the venue grounds comprising two luxurious apartments. Both apartments are elegantly decorated and contain two bedrooms, making them perfect for small groups. They’re available on a self-catering basis, but believe us, you’re going to want to plumb for the bed and breakfast option! Speaking of which…
The wedding feast at Great Southern Killarney is all about no-holds-barred opulence. Executive Chef Rory Gabriel, who has worked at some of the finest hotel restaurants in Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and beyond, can put together a bespoke menu for you and your guests, or you can choose from some of his best-loved dishes, which use only the finest Irish produce, including Listowel black pudding, Dingle crab and Slaney Valley lamb. For pre- and post-wedding gatherings, there are lots of BBQ and buffet options – personally I would find it tough to choose between suckling pig on a spit, slow-roasted Mediterranean lamb, and chicken and seafood paella!
The Great Southern’s location in the heart of Killarney makes it ideal for exploring the town and taking in the beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way, including the Ring of Kerry, the Gap of Dunloe and Torc Waterfall. Golf-lovers will be delighted to hear that there are five fantastic courses within reach, and there are countless walking and hiking trails to choose from, too. Of course, if you fancy a more relaxed wedding weekend, you can kick back with a swim in the leisure centre or a hydrotherapy bath, massage, or beauty treatment at the Innisfallen Health and Beauty Rooms.
The Great Southern Killarney is one of those wedding venues that looks equally beautiful drenched in summer sun or blanketed in winter snow, but if we had to pick a highlight, we’d choose those plush interiors, which make you feel like you’re living in a big-budget Victorian costume drama!