Eloping to Ireland - a guide to help
Updated: Nov 23
Coming to Ireland for your wedding or elopement ceremony requires some planning to make the day as special as you want it and a day to remember.
Destination Ireland is one of the most unique and magical destinations in the world with its stunning landscapes, rich culture, literature, music and a thousand welcomes. I have performed a number of elopement ceremonies, in some magical locations around the country and from that I have learned some of the things you need to consider when you are planning.
As you plan your day, here are some hints and tips to consider.
Are you planning a fully legally binding ceremony or a commitment style ceremony (having completed the legals at home)? If you are planning a legally binding marriage ceremony you must give at least three months’ notice to the Registrar (I would recommend at leas six months). The appointment does not need to be in person; however, you may need to meet the Registrar 4 – 5 days before your ceremony to present the originals of the required documents and receive your marriage registration form. The full process is explained here, and I would be delighted to help.
Location / Venue
Ireland is a country with a wealth of incredible locations and venues for your wedding ceremony. From chic hotels to ancient castles. From sandy beaches to forest glades. East to West, North to South. Indoor or Outdoor. For a legally binding ceremony your venue must be open to the public and have a post code/postal address. For a commitment ceremony the world is your oyster, with no restrictions.
Here are some recommendations for outdoor, in the spectacular setting of the Irish landscape.
1. Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
2. Dunseverick Castle, Co. Antrim
3. Howth Cliffs, Co. Dublin
4. Rahinnane Castle, Dingle, Co. Kerry
5. The Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim
6. Gap of Dunloe, Co. Kerry
7. Giants Causeway, Co. Antrim
8. Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
9. Menlo Castle, Co. Galway
10. The Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry
There is a saying in Ireland that you could see the four seasons in one day, so preparation is key and expect the unexpected. There is obviously a higher probability of dry sunny weather in Spring and Summer, but in Ireland you need to be ready for any weather any time, particularly if you are planning an outdoor ceremony. But do not let that be the deciding factor on your date as Autumn, Winter or Christmas can be truly magical in Ireland.
Select your vendors carefully. Find vendors who you feel will capture your wishes for your day. A photographer who will capture the vibe that you are looking for, whether that be rustic by an ancient castle or stylish in a chic hotel.
Start with your celebrant/officiant and photographer. Your photographer should be able to help with finding the perfect location, particularly if you are looking for something outdoor.
I have included here some recommendations for photographers with which I have worked.
Just you or with friends and family
The word elopement has traditionally been associated with a couple running away to get married, but that has changed and often couples bring friends and family to witness the moment. If you are having a legal ceremony, you will need two witnesses (over the age of 18) to witness the marriage taking place and sign the paperwork with you.
If you are bringing friends or family, it does take a bit more planning, but I can give guidance and advice on locations and venues that can accommodate smaller groups.