Updated October 5th 2023
Would you love to elope in Ireland? You are in luck, this ‘Elope in Ireland Guide’ is all you will need to start planning your Ireland adventure elopement!
Ireland is one of the leading destinations in the world for elopements mainly because of its insane natural beauty.
An island that is full of ancient castles, rugged coastlines and rich green landscapes in remote locations. The unspoilt scenery, beautiful beaches, remote mountain passes and isolated pubs are some of the highlights you will experience when you visit Ireland.
Visitors will tell you that there is nothing like an Irish welcome. The Irish are well-known for being friendly and hospitable by nature.
The country is more progressive than some other European countries. Both Ireland and Northern Ireland legally recognizes the marriage of same sex couples under the law.
Follow the 10 steps in my ‘elope in Ireland guide’ to make your Ireland Elopement dreams a reality.
If you’re still not sure if eloping in Ireland is for you after reading this, please get in touch with any questions about planning a trip here, I would be delighted to assist!
1. Book your Ireland elopement photographer
Booking your local Irish elopement photographer is one of the most important vendors you will want to secure early on. Not only will you ensure all the important parts of your day will be captured through beautiful images, but your local photographer will also be able to help you with the planning of your whole Ireland elopement by being on hand to share everything that you will need to know!
I help all of my couples every step of the way from providing exclusive planning guides, helping choose the perfect elopement location and vendors, and building the perfect timeline. Don’t hesitate to get in touch no matter how early on you are in exploring what your dream day can look like. I can help guide you through that vision.
2. Decide on your type of ceremony
To get legally married in Ireland, you must register your intent to marry three months prior to your ceremony date and meet with the registrar in person five days before the ceremony. Registering your intent to marry can be done from outside Ireland.
If you choose to legally marry here, there are a number of options from religious ceremonies to civil services to humanist ceremonies. There are a few things that are slightly different in Northern Ireland and Ireland so just get in touch if this is something you want, we will discuss the process and I will put you in touch with a celebrant who can deliver a ceremony of your choice.
The other option is for couples to legally marry in a courthouse in their home country before eloping in Ireland. Choosing to have a symbolic wedding ceremony in Ireland will give you the freedom to say your vows in any location you choose, at any time of the day. You can avoid the legal paperwork on your elopement day and instead focus on what truly matters – making a commitment to your partner surrounded by stunning scenery.
There are lots of great options and traditions that can be incorporated into your symbolic ceremony. You can choose to hire a celebrant to lead the ceremony or keep it private and share your vows among the two of you.
Some examples of meaningful traditions that you can incorporate into your ceremony include:
- Celtic handfasting ceremony
- Personal vows
- Exchanging rings
- The Blessing of the 4 Elements. The four elements are the essence of nature: water, earth, air, and the sun as fire.
- Mixing of the Sand Ceremony
- Champagne spray
3. Choose your elopement date:
When is the best time of the year to elope in Ireland?
The best time of year to elope in Ireland is between May and September.
While each season and location has its own considerations, the Sumer months are the most favourable for elopements. These months provide the most stable summer weather for outdoor weddings.
Daylight time varies greatly between seasons. At the height of Sumer, you will find only 6 hours of darkness. This will need to be taken into consideration when choosing your date as your timeline will vary for sunrise and sunset portraits.
What if it rains on our elopement day?
Ireland would not be Ireland without its unpredictable weather. Stormy skies make for the most incredible elopement photos and experiences. The weather in Ireland is known to change by the minute and we are very used to being prepared for all outcomes. In Ireland, we have learned to embrace the changeable weather and always have on hand waterproof clothes, umbrellas and good hiking boots. Beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies and make the most dramatic images.
The best thing about an adventure elopement is that, unlike a traditional wedding, there are so few people involved we can change up the timeline if needed.
When is it green in Ireland?
The good news is, due to consistent rainfall, it is green all year round in Ireland!
Many couples want to elope to Ireland when they can ensure they have views of rolling green fields. As there is steady rainfall in Ireland throughout the year, there are beautiful green sights all year round.
4. Decide on a location
There are so many epic spots to elope in Ireland. Some of the more well-known options you could consider are listed below. If you would like to explore some different ideas, I have loads of suggestions for lesser-known gorgeous spots that only the most adventurous locals know about. I love bringing couples to hidden gems and there are so many beautiful locations to choose from – secret waterfalls, enchanting woodlands, mountaintop lakes and more.
Through personalized questionnaires, I get an idea of your vision and get to work on your custom location guide. In this guide, I take into consideration accessibility, types of scenery, seclusion, any restrictions on the location, and what time of day the best light is for photos. Upon receiving your list, it’s time to decide which stunning location is the one for you.
Where are the best places to elope in Ireland?
Ireland is one of the greatest adventure elopement destinations on the planet because of its abundance of stunning locations. Not only are there loads of really well-known amazing places, but there are also countless remote and still secret places that don’t make it onto the main tourist itineraries. Read on for a list of the best places to elope in Ireland that you can also find in the guidebooks. I will share the more secret locations with clients who book!
- Slieve League
- Cliffs of Moher
- Mountains by the sea
- Connemara National Park
- The Burren
- Achill Island
- Fanad Lighthouse
- Dunluce Castle
- Killarney National Park
- The Giants Causeway
5. Choose your outfits
What outfits should you wear for an adventure elopement in Ireland?
First thing is that you should choose outfits that you are very comfortable in! If you plan on walking or hiking to a special location for your ceremony or couples portraits, you definitely want something you can move easily in and that is easy to pack.
The type of elopement dresses that work best in Ireland are flowy as they look great when blowing in the wind!
A suit for an Ireland elopement should be loose enough that you can comfortably move around in it. The bottom of the legs should fit well with the show you plan to wear. A warmer material like wool or tweed is a good suit fabric to choose for Ireland elopements.
I always advise my couples to pack waterproofs and warm layers for their Ireland elopement. Thermal leggings, hand warmers and cosy scarfs are such a treat on an Irish adventure. You can take the layers off for photos and even snuggle up in a blanket to get some cute shots.
If the location for your ceremony or couples portraits involves hiking then definitely bring some good waterproof hiking boots. Again you can change these if you wish for the photos but some couples love to pair them with their wedding attire to show a true representation of the day.
There is no one way to dress when you’re eloping in Ireland. The main thing to remember is to have accessories that will make sure you are warm, dry and comfortable.
6. Choose your accommodation
Once a location is decided, it’s time to choose your lodging. There are a variety of accommodation options available for your Ireland elopement, depending on your preference and the location you choose for your elopement.
Ranging from 5-star hotels, castles, lighthouses, cosy Airbnb’s and quirky glamping spots, there is something for everyone. If you want great getting-ready images, you will want to book somewhere that has a brightly lit space with large windows. Take the aesthetic of your accommodation into consideration. You will also want to ensure your accommodation is close to your ceremony spot so you do not have too far to travel for your elopement.
7. Book your transport
It is best to hire a car when you arrive in Ireland as it will allow you to visit the most scenic locations off the beaten path. However, care is needed as the roads here can be narrow and winding and you will be driving on the left side.
When booking a hire car, make sure your insurance covers you to drive in Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland if you plan on including both in your trip.
Public transport is regular between the main cities but not as often in rural areas. Although Ireland is a small island when compared to the United States and Canada, it can take longer than one would expect to travel around, especially once you leave the main cities. This is due to lots of smaller regional roads and few motorways.
Although many couples drive themselves, you can consider hiring a private driver for your elopement day.
You will find yourself on many cute country roads on your adventure, where sometimes the only traffic is the sheep.
8. Plan your elopement day activities
Your adventure wedding in Ireland has so many unique activity options for you to choose to do with your partner on your elopement day. Whether you want to go for a morning swim, an afternoon bike ride on country roads or plan a picnic in the mountains, it’s time to begin putting all your plans together.
9. Book your elopement day vendors
Once your timeline is drawn out and all the activities are decided on, now you need to hire any other vendors you would like. These could include a wedding celebrant, videographer, a hair and make-up artist, a florist or a driver. I will be able to help you narrow this down with my very best local vendor recommendations.
10. Your dream Ireland elopement
When all the planning is complete, it is time to enjoy every moment of eloping in Ireland! You will come away from your dream day with beautiful memories and incredible photos that captured your whole experience.
The next step is to plan to come back for your anniversary trip and renew your vows!
How much does it cost to elope in Ireland?
It will cost $5,000 + to elope in Ireland.
This cost will vary depending on your preferences but I have included a breakdown of the main costs for an elopement in Ireland to give you an idea of what you should think about when planning your elopement.
- Photographer $2000 +
- Beauty (Hair & Make-up) $400 +
- Flower bouquet $150 +
- Permit $0 – $1500
- Celebrant $1000
- Transport, Food & Accommodation: This will vary as there are so many different kinds of options for couples and whether they bring along guests. I am happy to give advice on your options and vendor recommendations near your ceremony location.
Please get in touch through my contact page, I am here to help with anything you need to plan your dream Ireland elopement. I hope you found my elope in Ireland guide useful.