eloping in ireland

Eloping In Ireland: Complete Guide Including Locations!(2024)

Have you been fantasizing about eloping in Ireland? 

Picture this: sharing vows in verdant meadows, ancient castles, or by the stunning Irish coastline. 

It’s not just an elopement but an enchanting adventure on the Emerald Isle. 

Who knows? You might even want to extend your elopement into an Irish honeymoon 😉 

But I get it, it’s tough planning a wedding!

Ger and I were shocked at how much effort goes into wedding planning! O_O

There’s just so much to consider – from the location to the canapés to the number of guests to invite! 

It feels like there’s no end to planning a wedding when all you want is to focus on what matters the most – your relationship! 

That’s why eloping in Ireland sounds so magical! You’re celebrating your love in an intimate, stress-free setting surrounded by Ireland’s natural beauty. 

Whether you’re dreaming of a sunrise ceremony on the cliffs or a fairytale elopement in a castle, we’ve created this guide to help make your Irish elopement an unforgettable experience. 

Eloping in Ireland

At A Glance: Eloping In Ireland

Why Should You Elope In Ireland?

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Elope In Ireland?

Do We Need Witnesses For Eloping In Ireland?

How Much Does It Cost To Elope In Ireland?

Different Types Of Ceremonies For Elopements In Ireland

  • Civil Ceremony
  • Religious Ceremony
  • Humanist Ceremony
  • Spiritual Ceremony
  • Secular Ceremony

Legal Requirements For An Elopement In Ireland

  • Notification Of Marriage
  • Location Of Ceremony
  • Elements Of The Ceremony

Where To Elope In Ireland

  • West Ireland Elopement Locations
  • Elopement Locations In East Ireland
  • North Ireland Elopement Locations
  • Elopement Locations In South West Ireland

Helpful Tips For Eloping In Ireland

  • Have A Backup Location In Case Of Weather Surprises
  • Choose The Right Time Of Day
  • Organize Your Transport Ahead Of Time

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Why Should You Elope In Ireland?

1. Magical Irish Sceneries

If the thought of saying “I do” surrounded by magical sceneries such as majestic mountains, rolling green hills, dazzling lakes, and rugged cliffs makes your heart skip a beat, Ireland is the best place to elope!

Top it off with magnificent castles and romantic country houses, and you have an elopement out of an Irish fairytale!

2. Warm Irish Welcome

I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous Irish hospitality! 

Wherever you elope in Ireland, the Irish will welcome you warmly. 

Feel free to strike up a conversation with them to learn about the best spots you do not want to miss out on in Ireland. 

Maybe consider a honeymoon here? 😉

3. Go On A Honeymoon Right Away

You just had a magical day eloping in Ireland. Why not extend it to several magical days? 

There are endless possibilities for your honeymoon!

Whether you’re taking a Cliffs of Moher Tour, a day tour around County Cork, or a road trip along the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way, it’ll be an exciting honeymoon!

4. Rich Culture

Aside from the stunning scenery, Ireland has a wealth of culture to look forward to. 

Are you a history buff? You would love exploring the castles and historical landmarks!

Can’t wait to taste delicious food? Don’t forget to try the famous Irish stew and Irish soda bread!

Interested in local entertainment? Check out their literary, music, and arts festival. Don’t miss out on the traditional music at the local pubs that make you want to dance!

Psst! If anyone asks you, “What’s the craic?” just remember it is the Irish way of asking, “How are you?”

5. Save More Money, Spend Less Time Planning, Enjoy No Drama

Maybe you want to elope because you want your special day to be about your relationship without the stress. 

Perhaps you are eloping in Ireland, so you don’t have to deal with the “why wasn’t I invited to your wedding” drama. 

I’m telling you that it’s okay to elope! If you are worried about hiring an elopement planner, Ireland offers tons of elopement planning services. 

Let the elopement planner worry about helping you gain access to the best locations and any wedding suppliers you need!

Besides, eloping will help you save on wedding transportation, decorations, and favors. 

An Ireland elopement gives you the chance to create an experience that is about YOU!

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Elope In Ireland?

The best time of the year to elope in Ireland is the best time that works for the two of you! 

I know that sounds cheesy, but it is true! 

All seasons in Ireland offer a different ambiance for your elopement photos. Let me break it down for you!

SPRING into action (for your wedding)!

Enjoy the sweet pastel colors of spring from March to May for your elopement! 

There are fewer tourists in Ireland during spring, which would be perfect if you want more privacy during your elopement. 

You might want to avoid Easter and St. Patrick’s Day, as those days are when the crowds are out and about celebrating.

SUMMER is when the flowers and tourists take over Ireland from June to August! 

It might be a little harder to find good photo spots with more tourists around. It is also the peak wedding season. Hence, the cost might increase.  

You enjoy longer hours in the sun, but it may be a challenge for your elopement photoshoot as the sun rises at 4:30 AM and sets as late as 11:00 PM

You need to get up very early or wait a long time to achieve the soft lighting for your photos.

FALL in love with the rich orange and brown tones from September to November! 

Lovely lighting conditions paired with the rich tones of autumn make for a dreamy elopement photoshoot! 

Fewer tourists and cheaper fares are great reasons to have your elopement during fall in Ireland. Without a doubt, fall is one of the best times to elope in Ireland!

WINTER may chill your bodies, but not your warm hearts! 

December to February are the coldest and wettest months, which may not suit your outdoor ceremony. It also gets dark quickly at 3:00 PM or 4:00 PM.  

But winter is one of the best times to have Ireland to yourself! 

The moody atmosphere can create the most romantic photos outdoors if you are willing to risk the cold and rain. 

Scarves, thermal leggings, hand warmers, and a flask of hot tea are your best friends to be more comfortable for your winter elopement photoshoot! 

Another thing about Ireland? RAIN! 

Instead of trying to predict the weather, be prepared for the possibility of rain! 

Pack that raincoat and swap out your heels for a practical pair of walking shoes, or opt for a cute jacket instead of sleeveless.

It’s also best to book a nearby indoor location (e.g., hotel, country house, etc.) as an alternative for your ceremony.

Do We Need Witnesses For Eloping In Ireland?

Can you elope in Ireland without any witnesses? The answer is it depends on the type of ceremony!

1. Legal Ceremony

If you wish to have a legally binding elopement ceremony, one of the requirements is to have 2 witnesses who are at least 18 years old. 

You need to provide the names and dates of birth of your witnesses at least 3 months in advance. 

If you are eloping without any family or friends, I suggest asking your photographers or musicians to serve as your witnesses. 

Some elopement planning services can provide witnesses for your ceremony, so don’t forget to check with them!

However, if you have invited a few of your nearest and dearest to be present, they can serve as your witness! 

2. Symbolic Ceremony

A symbolic ceremony is not legally binding. Hence, you don’t need witnesses or fulfill any legal requirements for a legally binding ceremony. 

Many couples prefer to forego a legal ceremony in Ireland by legally marrying in their home country before hopping on a plane for a beautiful symbolic ceremony in Ireland. 

How Much Does It Cost To Elope In Ireland?

You are probably wondering, how much does it cost to elope in Ireland?

In general, Irish elopement packages would start from USD 3,000, but it depends on what you want from your elopement wedding. Ireland has plenty of options for you to select from!

Some couples had their Irish elopement for less than USD 5,000

Some all-inclusive elopement packages Ireland offers start at USD 10,000, which includes timeline planning, hair and makeup services, bouquets, and more. 

The cost of your elope-in-Ireland packages may also differ due to the time of the year (more expensive during summer!), location fee, and the number of guests you wish to invite.  

Different Types Of Ceremonies For Elopements In Ireland

1. Civil Ceremony

A civil ceremony is a legally binding secular ceremony performed by a registrar based in the county they are at. 

Anything spiritual or religious is not mentioned in a civil ceremony.

The civil ceremony takes place within office hours at the registry office, or the Registrar can travel to approved venues or rooms for civil ceremonies.

2. Religious Ceremony

Only a registered religious solemnizer can perform religious ceremonies in places of worship. 

The ceremony can be performed on any day of the week, including Sundays, if the local Bishop permits. 

3. Humanist Ceremony

Humanist ceremonies are very personal and celebrate the commitment and love of the couple! 

Legally binding humanist ceremonies are performed by HAI-accredited celebrants on any day of the week.

But what makes civil and humanist ceremonies different from each other? 

A humanist ceremony is tailored to the couple’s personality and preference and takes place on any day of the week. 

On the other hand, a civil ceremony only takes place from Monday to Friday at approved venues. The ceremony script is standardized for all civil ceremonies.  

4. Spiritual Ceremony

Spiritual ceremonies can be performed on any day of the week at your choice of indoor or outdoor venue. 

In the present day, spiritualism could mean believing in communicating with spirits and seeing the spirit world where spirits often evolve. 

Spiritual ceremonies would charge additional fees for travel. Couples are expected to enhance the ceremony with their own decorations and materials. 

5. Secular Ceremony

Secular ceremonies do not include any spiritual or religious elements, which are legally binding if performed by registered secular solemnizers. 

The most common secular ceremony is a Humanist ceremony. 

Legal Requirements For An Elopement In Ireland

1. Notification Of Marriage

Regardless of your nationality, you must inform the Registrar of your intention to get married in Ireland at least 3 months in advance before your wedding day. 

2. Location Of Ceremony

A civil ceremony can only take place in a registry office or a registrar-approved venue. You must pay an extra fee for a ceremony that does not take place in the registry office. 

A registrar-approved venue is either:

(1) A building that is open to the public, or

(2) An outdoor space (such as a courtyard, yard, garden, field, or piece of ground) that is available for the public to access and shared with or near a building, which is open to the public. 

Spiritual and humanist ceremonies can take place anywhere as long as the venue has an identifiable address or landmark and is open to the public. 

A solemnized priest can only perform Catholic weddings in a consecrated church or chapel. 

3. Elements Of The Ceremony

For a legally binding ceremony, you and your partner must be over 18 years old, are not related, and have 2 witnesses above 18 years old. 

You must provide 3 months’ notice of your intention to marry to the Registrar. 

4 to 5 calendar days before your wedding day, you must meet with the Registrar to verify your identity with a few documents: your passport, original Birth Certificate with Apostille, and a fee of €200 (USD 215)

If either is widowed or divorced, don’t forget to provide the legal documents. 

If the legal documents are not in English or Irish, please include a certified English-translated document. 

Once you have signed a declaration you are unaware of any legal reason why your marriage cannot happen, the registrar will provide you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF), which you will pass to the solemnizer before your marriage ceremony. 

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Booking

Where To Elope In Ireland

West Ireland Elopement Locations

1. The Lodge At Ashford Castle

Imagine getting married by the lovely Lough Corrib with rolling green hills in sight in County Mayo! 

The beautiful lakeside views make for a breathtaking backdrop to capture the essence of your love story. 

Should the Irish weather strike *cues for umbrella* The Lodge has an indoor suite that would suit intimate ceremonies for up to 30 guests. 

It’s a lovely elopement location with stunning outdoors with an indoor location as a backup space. 

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Booking

2. Kilronan Castle

Dreaming of an Ireland castle elopement?

Located in the idyllic West of Ireland, Kilronan Castle is a luxury 18th-century castle for your fairytale elopement with modern facilities! 

Surrounded by landscaped lawns and natural woodland, Kilronan Castle is full of natural backdrops for your elopement photoshoot! 

Don’t forget to check out the stunning Lough Meelagh for your photos too!

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Tripadvisor

Elopement Locations In East Ireland

1. Airfield Estate

Airfield Estate welcomes you for your elopement! The estate is not too far from the city of Dublin so you don’t have to travel far for your accommodation! 

Elopements take place between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM for up to 2 hours at the lovely Walled Garden or indoors at the Library or Lily Butler Room! 

You will love the rustic vibes here! Take a walk through their gardens or the woodland, and you’ll be bound to find charming spots for your elopement photos!

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Tripadvisor

2. Howth Head

It’s hard not to fall in love with Howth Head, one of the best places to elope in Ireland!

The panoramic views of the coastal landscape are something out of a postcard, which is perfect for your elopement photos. 

The pathways are well maintained, but there is plenty of walking involved. So don’t forget to wear your comfy walking shoes!

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Tripadvisor

North Ireland Elopement Locations

1. Slieve League Cliffs

Slieve League has one of the tallest European sea cliffs. You will feel like you traveled to the edge of the world for your elopement. 

I mean, would you look at those ragged cliffs and gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean? 

You can smell the salty sea air as you exchange your vows and capture photos of your love story.  

One tip is the skies can change dramatically! It can be great for your photos and not so great if you do not bring your raincoat and walking shoes. 

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Tripadvisor

2. Glenveagh National Park

The magnificent mountains, dazzling lakes, and beautiful woodlands are the essence of Glenveagh National Park in County Donegal. 

You will love eloping here! You never know which path will lead you to a stunning space for your photoshoot. 

Some couples even stop by Dunlewey Church for an impressive backdrop! 

Eloping in Ireland

Photo: Tripadvisor 

Elopement Locations In South West Ireland

1. Sheep’s Head

Looking for stunning places to elope in Ireland? There’s nothing like Sheep’s Head in West Cork! 

From the rugged cliffs to rolling hills, the scenery makes for a stunning backdrop for your elopement photoshoot. 

Psst! There’s a marriage stone at the Sheep’s Head you don’t want to miss out on! It has a hole wide enough for you and your partner to join hands to say your promises. 

Photo: Tripadvisor 

2. Connor Pass

Located in County Kerry, the Connor Pass offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

It is a slow and winding drive for anyone who takes on the tricky turns and steep inclines. 

But you will be rewarded with panoramic views that are out of this world! 

The lush green fields and magnificent cliffs are lovely backdrops for your elopement photoshoot and ceremony! 

Helpful Tips For Eloping In Ireland

1. Have A Backup Location In Case Of Weather Surprises

There is no doubt a few things true about having a ceremony outdoors in Ireland.

One, there are magnificent places to elope everywhere in Ireland! 

Two, when you think of Ireland, you think of rain!

Three, because you are eloping (or with very few guests) in Ireland, it is easier to be more flexible if it rains during your outdoor ceremony. 

Many Ireland elopement locations offer indoor and outdoor options (e.g. a country house and the gardens, a castle and the grounds) for your ceremony. 

Consider these kinds of locations that offer indoor and outdoor options. 

Hence if the Irish weather strikes, you have a backup indoor location for your ceremony. 

Another tip? Wear comfortable walking shoes, especially if you plan on hiking somewhere for a beautiful ceremony! 

You might find it easier to travel in walking shoes, especially if you have to run in the rain.

2. Choose The Right Time Of Day

Planning for an Ireland wedding? Elope with your partner away from the stress of wedding planning and enjoy the fun of a wedding that focuses on the two of you lovebirds! 

One thing that gets overlooked for your photos? 

Choosing the right time of the day for your photos!

Usually, you want to avoid taking your photos anytime during midday. The sunlight during midday is too harsh for your elopement photoshoot. 

Ideally, the best time for your elopement photoshoot is sunrise and sunset for the romantic golden hour. 

But there is a catch during summer and winter!

It gets dark really quickly during winter, usually around 3:00 PM or 4:00 PM

Not to mention, it might get quite wet, but you also have shorter daylight hours for the perfect wedding photos outdoors. 

Nevertheless, don’t let it deter you from having your dream winter wedding in Ireland! 

Any good elopement photographer Ireland has would advise you on the best time to prepare for your photoshoot. Don’t forget to dress warmly, as it is still winter after all!

On the other hand, daytime during summer can start from 4:30 PM and go all the way to 11:00 PM, no joke! 

You might have to wait for a long time until the sun hits just right for your wedding photos. 

3. Organize Your Transport Ahead Of Time

Although there is very little planning for eloping in Ireland (especially if you get an all-inclusive elopement package) as compared to an actual wedding, there are a few things you still have to plan for, such as your transportation. 

It is a good idea to rent a car (Ireland drives on the left side) to explore Ireland’s gorgeous sceneries and towns. 

Not all towns have extensive public transport systems so it would be difficult to travel around without a car. 

If you are eloping in Dublin, Ireland, feel free to travel around the city via bus or train. 

Otherwise, consider hiring a driver to take you around for your elopement (and maybe your honeymoon)! 

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FAQs On Eloping In Ireland

Can You Legally Elope In Ireland?

Yes, you can legally elope in Ireland. 

For a legally binding civil, religious, and Humanist ceremony, your elopement ceremony must be solemnized by a registered marriage registrar, priest, and accredited Humanist celebrant, respectively. 

Your ceremony must also take place at an identifiable landmark or a location with a postal address.  

How Do You Elope Ireland?

One way is planning your elopement on your own. A few things you might want to consider are:

1. Do you want a legal ceremony or a symbolic ceremony?

2. What is your budget for eloping in Ireland?

3. Where would you like to have the ceremony? (e.g. castles, gardens, country houses, city halls, and more!) 

4. How will you travel around Ireland during your elopement?

5. What season suits your elopement best? 

Another way is to purchase elopement packages! Ireland has many services that will help you elope in peace and with no stress! 

Look out for the all-inclusive elopement wedding packages Ireland offers, so you don’t have to keep worrying about how to elope in Ireland! 

Many Ireland elopement photographers offer packages!

Aside from an Ireland elopement, Northern Ireland has many iconic locations for your photoshoot, such as the Dark Hedges, Murlough Bay, and Dunluce Castle. Fun fact – Game of Thrones has filmed at all of these places! 

There are lots of elopement packages Northern Ireland offers! 

Some all-inclusive packages for a Northern Ireland elopement start from £4500 (USD 5,552), while elopement photography packages may begin from £1400 (USD 1,728)

Can Foreigners Get Married In Ireland?

Yes, foreigners can get married in Ireland. You must provide notice to the Registrar of your intention to marry at least 3 months before your wedding. 

To prove your identity, provide your passport, original Birth Certificate with Apostille, and a fee of €200 (USD 215) to the Registrar before your wedding. 

Can A Visitor Get Married In Ireland?

A visitor cannot get married in Ireland if he or she has not provided notice to the Registrar of their intention to marry at least 3 months before the wedding day. 

What Forms Do You Need To Get Married In Ireland?

You need a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) to get married in Ireland. 

To get an MRF, you need to provide at least 3 months’ notice of your intention to marry to the Registrar before your wedding day. 

4 to 5 calendar days before your wedding day, you will meet with the Registrar to sign a declaration to prove you have no idea of any legal reason why your marriage cannot take place. If all is in order, the Registrar will provide you with an MRF. 

What Do You Need To Get Married In Ireland?

You need a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) to get married in Ireland. 

To receive an MRF on the day you meet the Registrar, you need to provide the following:

(1) Your passport

(2) Your original Birth Certificate with Apostille

(3) A fee of €200 (USD 215)

(4) Divorce decrees (if applicable)

(5) Death certificates of previous spouse (if applicable)

What Are The Legal Requirements For Marriage In Ireland?

You must meet a few legal requirements for your marriage in Ireland to be legally recognized. 

Any requirements that are not met will mean your marriage is legally invalid.

(1) You are at least 18 years of age. 

(2) You must have the capacity to marry.

(3) You must have the capacity to understand what marriage means. 

(4) You have been issued with a Marriage Registration Form after providing 3 months’ notice of your intention to marry.

(5) Be single, widowed, or divorced, with proof of death of spouse or divorce. 

(6) You are not related to your partner by marriage or blood to a degree legally prohibits you from marrying each other.

The magical allure of eloping in Ireland is irresistible, isn’t it? 

Imagine creating a memory you’ll treasure forever in enchanting green landscapes, mystical castles, or alongside dramatic coastal cliffs. 

Your love story deserves the romantic narrative that only Ireland’s captivating charm can provide. 

With the insights from this guide, you’re equipped to craft a uniquely beautiful, intimate, and stress-free Irish elopement. 

So, take the leap, let the Emerald Isle enchant you, and make your dreamy escape a reality. 

Because, in the end, there’s no backdrop quite like Ireland for your unscripted love story.

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