Your dream Ireland elopement – the ultimate planning guide
UPDATED FOR 2024-2025
AT A GLANCE
Best time to elope in Ireland
March to May, and September to November
Can foreigners get legally married?
Yes, it’s possible for anyone to get married legally in Ireland.
Cool piece of info
Ireland is home to more than 30,000 castles and ruins, making it a land of enchantment and timeless beauty.
Embark on a journey where love meets the emerald embrace of Ireland, a land where every corner whispers tales of enchantment and every landscape beckons hearts to unite. An Ireland elopement offers couples the unique opportunity to exchange vows amidst some of the world’s most breathtaking sceneries—from the rugged cliffs that kiss the wild Atlantic, to the mystical embrace of ancient forests, and the serene beauty of rolling green hills. Here, your love story can intertwine with the rich tapestry of Irish culture, history, and natural splendor, creating a backdrop so magical, it feels as if it has leapt from the pages of a timeless fairytale. Whether you dream of a secluded ceremony by a quaint lighthouse, a romantic moment within the ruins of a castle, or a simple exchange of vows under the vast, poetic skies, an Ireland elopement is your canvas to paint memories that will echo through the ages.
Let’s dive in…
How to elope in Ireland – a quick checklist
- Choose the best time of the year to elope
- Choose your elopement location
- Choose the duration of your stay (I recommend anywhere between 7 to 15 days to fully discover the island)
- Book your flights
- Book your accommodation
- Book your activities
- Get your wedding license
- Need help? Check out my Iceland elopement packages
- Last details before you leave
How to get legally married in Ireland
Couples often chose to get legally married in their home country first before eloping in Ireland to have a symbolic ceremony. The ceremony is usually carried out by a celebrant, officiant, family friend, monk, or Celtic priest. If you want to get legally married in Ireland, it is a relatively straightforward process. The Irish marriage license is valid internationally.
The couple getting married can be either opposite sex or same sex. However, you must be physically present in Ireland for at least 3 months prior to the wedding and be ready to pay 200 Euros.
If you or your spouse are outside of Ireland, you will be required to seek approval for a mail-in registration. To be approved, you should get in touch with the office within the shortest time possible. Once you are approved, they will send you all the forms you need to get started.
If you choose to go this route, keep in mind that you will still be required to appear in person at the Registrar at least 5 days before you Ireland elopement. If you have special circumstances, you should get in touch with the office and ensure that you have enough time to prepare everything before your elopement.
If you don’t plan on getting legally married in Ireland, then you can simply get married in our home country and elope in Ireland afterwards for the “real”, intimate vows exchange.
For couples from the US:
In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Ireland.
Can foreigners elope in Ireland?
Yes! Wherever you come from, and whatever your gender, religion or sexual orientation is, you can get legally married in Ireland!
Top 6 spots to elope in Ireland
If you would like to elope in Ireland, you should consider the following jaw-dropping locations:
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park is the ideal location for eloping to get married in Ireland. Spanning an area of over 25,000 acres of land, it offers an impressive selection of spots to elope in. It offers something for every kind of couple.
Muckoss Abbey is one of the most popular choices in Killarney National pack fir history enthusiasts. The Gap of Dunloe, which is an old mountain pass that has stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the lake is the ideal location for nature lovers. Ross Castle, on the other hand is ideal for couples looking to combine nature and history.
Situated in the south-west of Ireland in County Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland’s most popular peninsulas. For discovery, there is nothing better than to travel the tens of kilometers of the Slea Head Road, one of the most beautiful roads in Ireland. Between the views of the ocean, the cliffs, the vegetation and the many points of interest, the Dingle Peninsula will be a feast for your eyes!
Dunluce Castle is located in Ireland’s north coast, right on the cliff-edge that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It is a location with amazing views of the cliffs that spread out into the distance as well as the stunning backdrop of medieval castle ruins.
Once the sun starts setting over the Causeway Coast, this lovely location becomes even more breathtaking. If you want to be amazed even more, you should consider heading down to the mythical Mermaid’s Cave located beneath the castle, which can be a perfect elopement location.
This is not an easy one, but the Dark Hedges are truly beautiful. The Dark Hedges is free and open to visitors throughout the year. Threatening or benevolent, these trees have the particularity of changing under the light, creating an inimitable atmosphere! But plan in advance and avoid summer and holidays to have a peaceful, uninterrupted ceremony!
Dunseverick Castle is yet another amazing destination for your Ireland elopement. It is quite a special location with noticeable peacefulness and tranquility. It is a great place to exchange vows and has ancient castle ruins, massive looming cliffs, and lush green fields.
Dunseverick Castle is ideal for an elopement ceremony since you will be surrounded by cliffs that shelter you from the wind. It is a great elopement destination since it is not only easily accessible but also ideal if you plan to bring a handful of guests to your wedding celebration.
The Mourne Mountains are a magnificent granite mountain range with rounded peaks covering the southern horizon of County Down, between the town of Newry and the seaside resort of Newcastle. The Mournes formed about 50 million years ago when the erosion of the sedimentary layer discovered a granite layer unique to Northern Ireland. Poor soil only favors the growth of poor vegetation, mainly heathland, meadows and heather. The region remained isolated for centuries, living only on fishing and agriculture, as well as granite quarries which was shipped from the ports of Newcastle, Annalong and Kilkeel to pave the streets of major English cities.
Did you know?
There is so much more in Ireland than the pricey castles. When you choose to book your elopement with me, I will provide you with a personalized list of 4 to 5 extraordinary off-the-beaten-path locations that perfectly align with your preferences. Allow me to lead you to the hidden treasures of Ireland, far from the usual tourist spots.
When to plan your Ireland elopement
If you are planning to elope in Ireland, the time of sunset is one of the most important things to consider. Harsh midday sun is the worst kind of lighting to work with while cloudy conditions and evening sun tend to be more flattering and make everything look much better. That being said, the landscape still looks amazing no matter the season.
WINTER (December to February)
If you are fortunate enough you can get nice and snowy days in Winter, which can be great for your photos. Otherwise, it tends to be quite wet and cold. The days are generally shorter, which means that you have just about 5 hours of good lighting conditions to work around pictures. If you bring your rain coats and wellies boots everything will be okay.
SPRING (March to May) and FALL (September to November)
Spring and Fall are the two seasons that offers some of the best lighting conditions since the sunset is earlier, which makes it easier to plan with timing. In Spring, the Irish landscape usually has lovely pastel colors while in the Fall, it has brown and orange tones that give a completely different feel depending on your preferences. The two seasons are also not as busy with tourists as Summer is.
SUMMER (June to August)
Summer is perhaps the most popular season with tourists. The high temperatures mean hard light and many places full of tourists, which is why you should always allocate yourself additional time to get to some location. It also usually tends to rain a lot more in Summer in Ireland. Summer is generally not the best time to elope in Ireland.
Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Ireland
Ireland has so many exciting things to do! Between the rich history of the island to the lush landscapes, there’s so much to do and see.
Here are just a few of the things you can do when you elope in Ireland!
Ireland has about 30,000 castles and ruins – that’s a whole lot! Many castles have been converted to lodging, but some have been restored to their original beauty. Attend Gaelic cultural night at the 15th-century style Donegal Castle, explore “Mermaid’s Cave” at Dunluce Castle, or visit the science center at Blackrock Castle.
Go Whale Watching
To see some of the ocean wildlife, go whale watching off the shores of Cork! Boat trips are a minimum of four hours on the water, so you’ll have ample time to spot a breaching whale. On your excursion, you may see different kinds of whales, dolphins, and even some seals!
Rent a Bike
Ireland is an extremely bike-friendly country – almost every town and village has a place to rent a bike! The diversity of landscapes you’ll encounter means anyone can go biking, no matter what their abilities are. Bike along the shore and through the mountains or along railroad tracks and through the towns – you can explore so much of Ireland on two wheels!
What should you wear on your Ireland elopement?
The location where you plan to elope in Ireland and the season are the two factors that will determine what you should wear on your elopement in Ireland.
The wedding dress is one of the most important features of the elopement. You can pack it away in a backpack and change when you get to the ceremony spot. Here are some of the key considerations for choosing a wedding dress for a elopement in Ireland:
The weather in Ireland can be very unpredictable, which is why you must never forget to pack the right shoes. The shoes you choose should be comfortable. If you will be hiking for a portion of the elopement, you need good solid shoes with good tread. You can always hike up the train in your hiking boots or wellies if it is raining and switch into some fancy shoes once you reach your destination. When it comes to your overall outfit, weather tracking will help you decide what type of shoes to wear for the day.
It is always easier to choose what the groom should wear on an elopement in Ireland. A wool or tweed suit or just a nice waistcoat/vest tend are generally easier to travel around with. The important thing is to ideally wear comfortable, fitting clothes with little to no embellishments and you will have an easier time.
If you are planning for a winter elopement in Ireland, you need to pack the right outerwear. It can help you keep up with the Irish theme. Hand warmers, leggings, a shawl/blanket, a woolen scarf, an Aran cardigan, or a wool blanket can keep you warm and looking great in photos.
Typical food and dishes from Ireland
You might want to integrate into your elopement day
Irish Stew is a hearty and comforting dish that has been enjoyed for generations in Ireland. It typically consists of lamb or mutton, potatoes, onions, and carrots cooked slowly together in a savory broth. The flavors meld together, creating a rich and satisfying stew that warms both the body and the soul.
Soda Bread is a staple in Irish cuisine. It is a quick bread made with simple ingredients such as flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Traditionally, soda bread is baked in a round shape with a cross cut into the top. It has a slightly dense texture and a unique flavor. It is often served sliced and spread with butter or enjoyed alongside a bowl of Irish stew.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, butter, and sometimes scallions or leeks. It is a comforting side dish that pairs well with various meat dishes. Colcannon is often served during holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween and is a delicious way to enjoy the simple yet delicious flavors of Irish cuisine.
Ireland elopement packages and pricing
All my packages include:
- From 1-2 locations to a full 7 days honeymoon and elopement adventure photography coverage
- Custom planning by a travel agent and elopement planner with:
- A list of 3 to 4 location recommendations based on your vision
- Complimentary transportation for your day(s)
- Concierge service for vendors, accommodation, restaurants, you name it! And the option of having it all included in your package
- Help with anything related to accessibility, permits and rules
- A printed “how to elope” guide with everything you need to know
- A custom timeline for your day(s)
- The possibility to get legally married by your photographer (we’re all US ministers!)
- Online gallery you can share with the world
- Travels feels to anywhere in Ireland and Northern Ireland are already included!
- Starting at $10.750
Last details before you leave for Ireland
Ready to leave and explore the Emerald isle? Here are some of my last bits of knowledge.
Ireland has a very oceanic climate, which means that its temperature are mild all year long. The summers are around 25°C and the winters can go below 0°C but that’s still pretty rare. As it is very green, you can guess rain is almost always here, so pack some waterproof boots, jacket and pants!
Renting a car
In Europe, the cars tend to be much more compact compared to those you might be familiar with. It’s crucial to pack lightly, as fitting all your luggage into a single vehicle could prove challenging! Moreover, a vast majority, about 95%, of cars in Europe are equipped with manual transmissions. If you’re not comfortable operating a manual vehicle, it’s important to specify you need an automatic transmission while booking your rental car.
If you plan on touring the whole island, don’t forget to tell you car rental company so they can add a “cross-border” fee that will protect you in either countries.
How to pay in Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland, the Euro is the currency used. In Northern Ireland, it’s the British Pound. Both countries accept credit cards very easily!
Language in Ireland
English is the official language of Ireland and some Irish also speak Gaelic. On the road signs, you will always have the English names and Gaelic names.
Formalities – do we need a visa to visit Ireland?
Here is a map of the countries needing a visa to enter Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A small conclusion: Why elope in Ireland?
Ireland is a beautiful country, which is perfect for a romantic getaway. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should plan an Ireland elopement.
Ireland’s rich culture makes it highly admirable. The diversity in terms of food, fashion, people, and tradition make it the perfect elopement destination. If you would like to have a taste of some of the most delicious food in the world, you need to elope in Ireland.
If you want to have the best guest experience, Ireland is the perfect destination. It is known for its hospitality. The Irish are known for their generosity. Whether you are a gay or straight couple you can be sure to be treated equally and have the best time of your life.
Ireland is blessed with endless beauty. It is an irresistible land offering an impressive and diverse scenery that includes natural wonders, mountains, and historical features that will leave you with a memorable experience. Eloping to Ireland to get married is the best decision that you will ever make.
Latest Ireland elopements I planned and photographed
Discover here the latest Ireland elopements I had the chance of planning and photographing.
With a beautiful windy ceremony in a National Park
With a ceremony near some thousand years old ruins
With a ceremony on top of fiery cliffs
Are you eager to start planning your Ireland elopement? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!
Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime
Hey there, I’m Amber!
When you’re planning your Ireland elopement, one of the most important things you’ll do is hire an elopement photographer! Your photographer will not only capture all the incredible moments during your elopement adventure but also be there to help you plan all the details to make your wedding day everything you hoped for.
Being an Ireland elopement photographer and experienced travel planner, I’ll work to help make your wedding day amazing! With personalized location recommendations, travel tips, custom timelines, and more, I’ll help you plan everything you need to have the elopement of your dreams – so you don’t need to stress the small things.
If you’re ready to elope in Ireland, or want to learn more about Ireland elopement packages, let’s chat!