Elopement in Ireland: Ultimate Guide for 2024

elopement in ireland - ideas and guide

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There are not many countries that are as popular for elopements as Ireland is. So many couples decide to have their elopement in Ireland and when you see what a landscape and nature this country has, it’s no surprise at all. And that’s not all, wait until you hear about the history of Ireland and all the medieval castles that are still proudly standing, just waiting to be used as the backdrop of your Ireland elopement.

This post is aimed to be a comprehensive Ireland elopement guide that will give you insight into planning and organizing your elopement, tell you everything about the best Ireland elopement venues, what to think about when you book Ireland elopement photographer, and much more.

So let’s start a journey through this magical country.

We are an Ireland elopement photographer and videographer

We are Andrea and Mario, an elopement photographer and videographer, documenting elopements and weddings all across Europe. We have been in this business for almost 10 years now and we still love it as the first day we started doing it. It’s a constantly changing world and we don’t believe that documenting elopements will ever get boring to us. As the years passed, we learned more and more about the whole planning process of elopements and we decided to create this guide to serve you as a good starting point for planning your elopement in Ireland.

When documenting elopements and weddings, we are always focused on the true emotions rather than on the staged photos. Our style is documentary and we love to capture the moments as they happen and evolve with as little intervention from our side as possible. Apart from being a photographer and videographer, we also help you during the whole planning stage of your elopement in Ireland.

Explore our website to learn more about us and our style and get in touch if you like what you see.

Let’s embark on the mutual Ireland elopement adventure!

‘Love and Ventures are amazing! They helped us pick through locations for our ceremony and accommodated us when we changed locations one week before the ceremony. They also helped us find a makeup artist and officiant. The photos and video they made are incredible, and the locations they picked for them were perfect! We loved working with them and appreciate all they did to memorialize our special day!’

– Ellie and Jared

Welcome to Ireland, the land of legends and stunning landscapes

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic and it’s the 3rd largest European island. It’s divided between the Republic of Ireland which takes the larger surface of the island and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is known for its beautiful nature, rich history, culture, and many other things.

Ireland is a land full of castles, and while you are exploring it, it might seem like you ended up in a book about fairies, dragons, and elves. And that special vibe is something we love about Ireland. Sometimes it seems that old towns have been stuck in some past, more romantic times. We truly believe that Ireland is a great country for elopements. It’s a great country for weddings abroad too, but the concept of elopements gets along with the Irish landscape and history so well that you need at least to think about eloping in Ireland.

Real elopement story: Amanda & Jared’s spring hiking elopement in Killarney, Ireland

How to get to Ireland

Since Ireland is an island, the best way of reaching it is by airplane. Ireland’s airports are well connected with many other airports worldwide. A good thing about flying to Ireland is the fact that you can get pretty cheap tickets since the low-cost company Ryanair is from Ireland and Dublin airport is their hub. It’s possible to get tickets that go as low as 50 Euros for a 2-way trip which is unbelievably cheap.

The other possible way of reaching Ireland is by ferry from the United Kingdom. It’s a bit slower and less convenient way of reaching Ireland, but it’s a great option if you are from the UK and want to travel across Ireland by car.

Reasons to elope in Ireland

Our top reasons for elopement in Ireland are nature and history. The blend of these 2 is fantastic. All these old castles fit so well in Ireland’s green and moody landscapes that it’s unimaginable. Even the rain and cloudy weather which is characteristic of Ireland add to this moody vibe.

Another reason why you should consider eloping in Ireland is the elopement venues of this country. There is a vast number of locations to choose from. Reaching Ireland is rather easy and you can book a cheap flight which means you can spend more money on other things regarding your Ireland elopement or vacation.

Elopements are much easier to plan and organize than a traditional wedding. They are also a cheaper version of a wedding and perfect if you want to get married abroad with a limited budget. Since Ireland is a famous country and elopement destination, there are many vendors to choose from – elopement photographers and videographers, florists, wedding planners, etc.

Here are a few of the reasons why you might want to elope in Ireland.

Enchanting Landscapes

Ireland is full of stunning landscapes everywhere you look. It’s full of green and lush vegetation and its coastline is one of the best we have ever seen on our journeys. All these landscapes provide a magical setting for your Ireland elopement ceremony and you can be sure that these surroundings will look magical on your elopement photography and videography.

Rich Cultural Heritage

Ireland has a rich history and this means that it can offer a unique experience for everyone looking to elope in this magical country. There is nothing better and more authentic than the option to incorporate local traditions into your elopement in Ireland. There are various elements that you incorporate into your ceremony to make it an outstanding experience – Celtic rituals, Irish music, folklore and legends, and much more.

Intimate and Personal

Eloping in Ireland is a perfect choice for you if you are seeking more intimate elopement experience. Elopements are a type of weddings that let you focus on each other, far from the pressure of larger weddings. Ireland is full of vast landscapes and you can always choose a remote place where you can have your ceremony, especially if you are looking to elope outside of the high season.

Adventure and Exploration

If you love adventure and the great outdoors, Ireland has a lot to offer you. Elopement lasts for the whole duration of your stay in a particular country. That’s why it’s important to choose a country that can offer you many great experiences, just like Ireland can. You’ll have great opportunities for a whole range of experiences and places to see if you choose to elope in Ireland.

Ease of Legal Requirements

Last, but not the least, if you are looking to get legally married in Ireland, we have some great news for you. You can do so, and the process is not as complicated as in some other countries in Europe. You’re still going to have to deal with some paperwork, but it’s completely manageable with some careful planning.

Also, check our comprehensive guides to elope in Croatia, Scotland, Switzerland, Italy

Ireland’s nature and landscapes

We already mentioned that the landscape of Ireland is one of our top reasons why you should have your elopement in Ireland. We love the whole of Ireland but the Western coast of the island is something special. We shoot a lot of elopements in Croatia and most of them have the sea as the backdrop for the ceremony. But the Atlantic that washes up on the Western part of Ireland is completely different. It has the raw power of an untamed ocean and it can’t be compared with other seas.

Ireland has a bit of darker and more moody weather and a lot of rain. Somebody might not like this but in terms of photography, it’s perfect. Yes, a little bit of a golden hour glow is great if you catch it, but overcast usually means that you can have a good and consistent light condition throughout the day. That means you can organize your elopement in Ireland at any time and not only during the sunset hours like in some southern countries.

Can you get legally married in Ireland?

As we already mentioned in a few sections above, getting legally married in Ireland is possible if you are a foreigner. Many couples who want to avoid dealing with paperwork opt for a symbolic elopement in Ireland. However, if you are looking to make your marriage legally recognized in the whole world, you can do so as well. This means that you’ll need to do some planning and paperwork necessary for your Ireland marriage to be legally binding. The process involves submitting a notification of your intent to marry to the Irish authorities at least 3 months before the intended elopement day. You can do this via post or in person in any civil registration service in Ireland.

You’ll also need to provide some documents as part of this step. You’ll also have to meet with the registrar at least 5 days before the preferred elopement date to finalize the paperwork. Due all this being said, couples usually seek help from the local wedding planners to guide them through the whole process. Also, legally binding ceremonies are usually done in the Registrar’s Office and additional fees might apply if you choose to have your elopement ceremony somewhere else.

Where to stay during your elopement in Ireland – the importance of proper accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation is a crucial aspect of your elopement in Ireland. From our experience as elopement photographer and videographer, couples often overlook this aspect and choose ‘wrong’ accommodation. Going traditional is always a good way to go and it will make your elopement have a vibe of the country you are eloping at. The accommodation aspect is important from the overall experience angle as well as for the photography and videography part of your elopement. Of course, you can go with other types of accommodation, as long as they fit into your destination elopement story.

Ireland is full of different types of accommodations and we’re sure you’re going to find the right one for yourself. These range from historic castles and luxurious manors to countryside estates or lighthouses. There is something for everyone. Accommodation is usually chosen after you know the elopement location and it’s a good practice for it to be within 1-hour driving radius from the elopement ceremony location. Also, you can book particular accommodation only for a day of your elopement and then choose some other for the following days.

Best time of the year for elopement in Ireland

Ireland is at its busiest during the summer months of July and August. It’s also the warmest part of the year with temperatures being around 20 degrees Celsius during the day. You could say that the summer is the perfect time to visit Ireland considering the temperatures. On the other hand, you want the famous locations to be as less crowded as possible, just to get the best experience possible. Also, empty locations are perfect when talking about an elopement in Ireland. You don’t want people to walk around you during your ceremony.

Having all this in mind, the best time to visit Ireland would be the months of April, May, June, and September. Even October is a good choice. This way you still get pretty good weather but avoid crowds. Regarding the weather, you can always expect a little bit of rain in Ireland since rain is almost a trademark of this country.

Ireland weather: what kind of clothes and equipment to bring for your elopement in Ireland

Why do you think the grass is so green in Ireland? It’s because of lots and lots of rain. Ireland is famous for it and there is a high chance that you’re going to have at least a few rainy days during your stay in Ireland. Usually, people don’t like rain, especially on their wedding day. But there is nothing you can do about it so stop worrying. Honestly, Ireland elopement photos look so cool in a moody and rainy atmosphere.

When visiting Ireland, you definitely must prepare for the unpredictable weather. That means that you need to bring good shoes, preferably waterproof ones. Or at least water-resistant to some point. Secondly, you need to bring enough warm clothes, depending on the time of the year you are visiting Ireland. The raincoat is a must during your stay in Ireland and we suggest you buy a longer raincoat poncho that will cover most of your body. These are lightweight and easy to carry around at all times.

Ireland elopement venues: Our top pick

Regarding the best places to elope in Ireland, we have made our pick of locations that will give you an impression of what to expect from Ireland. Honestly, all of Ireland is beautiful and you really can’t miss any location. Some of them are similar too. When it comes to our experience of Ireland, we have fallen in love with its western part – Connemara. It’s something amazing.

We were driving through Ireland for 10 days straight, searching for the best Ireland elopement venues and visiting some less famous places. Many places throughout Ireland are not shown on the maps but are still stunning and perfect as the elopement venues. If you are ever to drive through Ireland, you’re going to see what we are talking about.

Meet your Ireland elopement and wedding photographer – meet us!

Dingle peninsula

Dingle peninsula is located in County Kerry and it has one of the most stunning coastlines we have ever seen. It’s a perfect location for Ireland elopement and it’s full of picturesque villages and ancient historical sites. Dingle peninsula is also rich in Irish culture and language which adds to the authentic feel of your special day in Ireland.

Connemara

Connemara is the region in western Ireland. This region is very rich in culture and you can experience a true Ireland here. Many people talk in the traditional Irish language. As the region, Connemara has some mountains, many coves, and lakes, and its a beautiful landscape overall. The largest city in the vicinity is Galway.

Connemara is on the Atlantic coast and you can feel the true beauty of the ocean here. If you are planning to elope in Ireland, Connemara should be on your list. If you are looking to have mountain elopement in Ireland, then Connemara is the place for you.

Cliffs of Moher

A little bit more south of Connemara is where the famous Cliffs of Moher are located. For sure, they are one of the main natural attractions of Ireland. And, as such, they are just the perfect place for elopement in Ireland. Cliffs of Moher were carved by the Atlantic Ocean for millions of years.

Combine the high cliffs with the magnificent Atlantic Ocean and you get one of the best Ireland elopement venues. Cliffs of Moher are very visite throughout the year, but since it’s so large surface, it’s not hard to find a good and empty spot for your Ireland elopement. Also, if you are visiting Ireland in the preseason or postseason, there will be fewer visitors in Ireland.

Glendalough

Unlike the Connemara region and Cliffs of Moher, Glendalough is located in eastern Ireland. It’s a glacial valley and a place of stunning beauty, just like the rest of Ireland. There are many ancient ruins in the Glendalough area and these are perfect for Ireland elopement with a scent of history. The rest of the Glendalough is pure nature, there are flowing rivers, lakes, and forests, each perfect backdrop for your elopement in Ireland.

At any of the Ireland castles

Ireland is full of castles. If you are to drive through the country you’ll see a lot of them and will soon get accustomed to the sight. Many castles are located just near the road you’re traveling on while some others are secluded and you need to walk to them. Some castles have an entrance fee and some others are free to visit with any restrictions. To conclude, castles are great as a backdrop for your Ireland elopement.

Apart from castles, there are many other types of old ruins – churches, monasteries, towers, etc. Just like the castles, some of these are great options for weddings or elopements.

Wicklow mountains

Wicklow Mountains National Park is near the Glendalough and it’s part of Wicklow County. These are perfect for mountain elopement in Ireland. Although the Wicklow Mountains are not as high as some other mountains of the world (the highest peak is just 925 meters high), they still have the mountain vibe. Mountain elopements are very popular and once you see the photos of such elopements, you’ll immediately know why is that so.

Killarney national park

Welcome to the first national park in Ireland. Killarney is located in the southwest of Ireland and it’s one of the most picturesque cities in Ireland. Killarney National Park, on the other hand, is full of lakes, mountain peaks, and rivers. A large part of the park is covered with forest which is considered to be one of the largest forest coverings in Ireland. Killarney National Park is a very popular Ireland elopement venue and it’s famous for its beautiful scenery.

Dog’s Bay or any other sandy beach

Ireland is full of small bays and sandy beaches. Dog’s Bay is located in Western Ireland, in the region of Connemara, which we already mentioned in this article. It’s a beautiful bay that is perfect for beach elopement in Ireland. It’s easily accessible and it’s located in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland. It’s possible to swim at Dog’s Bay during the warm days since the bay is sheltered from the strong Atlantic currents. Although there are many more similar beaches in Ireland, Dog’s Bay is special because it’s the blend of 2 beaches that are turned toward opposite sides.

Hiring a wedding planner for your elopement in Ireland

Since we are wedding and elopement photographers, we occasionally collaborate with wedding planners. Wedding planners are crucial when it comes to planning and organizing a larger wedding. It’s a person who helps newlyweds in every phase of their wedding – finding the best venue, contacting and hiring all the vendors, etc. We always suggest that you hire a wedding planner if you are going to organize a wedding in a foreign country. It will cost you some money, but it will save you a lot of time and stress.

On the other hand, if you are planning to elope in Ireland or any other foreign country, you might not need the service of a wedding planner. Elopements are great because they are much easier to plan and organize and they don’t include so many vendors as some larger weddings do. You could say that elopements are a much more versatile way of getting married. Suddenly, all of the locations are available and it’s just about you and your partner. There is nothing more beautiful than the fact that you can focus on the important things on your wedding day.

Explore more ideas for your elopement in Ireland

Ireland elopement packages: an estimated cost of your elopement

One of the most asked questions about Ireland elopement is: “How much will it cost me?” While there is no single answer to this one, we’ll try to give you a price range for a standard elopement in Ireland. The final price of the elopement varies according to your wishes and vendors included. There are some venues in Ireland in which you’re going to need to pay a certain fee for your elopement wedding to be held there.

Please note that the estimated prices shown in this article may not reflect current prices at the moment, as the market is volatile and prices are constantly changing.

Estimating the cost of an elopement in Ireland for two persons involves various elements such as the venue, vendors, accommodation, and travel expenses. Prices can vary significantly based on your choices and the level of luxury you prefer.

Here’s what to expect out of each of the elopement vendors in Ireland:

  1. Photographer: €1,000 – €3,000. A professional photographer’s price depends on their experience and the length of their service (full day vs. a few hours).
  2. Videographer: €1,500 – €4,000. Similar to photography, the cost varies with expertise and the duration of coverage.
  3. Florist: €200 – €600. This includes bouquets, boutonnieres, and any additional floral arrangements you desire.
  4. Musician: €250 – €800. Hiring a musician or a small band for the ceremony can add a special touch.
  5. Hair and Makeup Stylist: €100 – €300. Prices depend on the stylist’s experience and whether they come to your location.
  6. Symbolic Officiant: €300 – €600. If you want a personalized ceremony, a symbolic officiant can help craft and conduct it.
  7. Elopement Planner: €1,000 – €3,000. While optional, a planner can significantly ease the organization process, especially for destination elopements.
  8. Accommodation: €100 – €300 per night. This varies greatly depending on the type of accommodation (boutique hotel, castle, B&B, etc.).
  9. Travel and Transportation: Varies greatly. Consider flights, car rental, and any internal travel.
  10. Miscellaneous (meals, activities, etc.): €500 – €2,000. This includes dining, entertainment, and any additional activities you plan during your stay.

Total Estimated Cost Range: €5000 – €16,500.

Legal ceremony vs symbolic ceremony while eloping in Ireland

At the start of your Ireland elopement planning, you need to decide whether you want your ceremony to be legally binding or symbolic. In case you want your elopement to be legally binding, you need to meet some conditions – you need to be over 18 years old, be free to marry, and so on. In this case, you need to hire a legal officiant and take care of some paperwork before you even come to Ireland. It’s best to do these steps as soon as possible. We suggest you contact a legal officiant in Ireland and ask what you need to deliver to legally get married in Ireland.

Things get a bit simpler if you have decided to have a symbolic elopement ceremony. In that case, you need to hire a symbolic officiant who will guide you through the ceremony. You can also combine these two. You can get married legally at the legal marriage office and have an outdoor symbolic elopement anywhere in Ireland.

Hire us as your elopement photographers, videographers, and guides

As we reach the end of this lengthy article we wish to thank you if you have stayed to these lines. We also hope that this article helped you to get a clearer image of different aspects of your potential elopement in Ireland, whether you are planning to organize one. When it comes to elopement photography and videography, Ireland is one of our favorite countries to work at and we would love to be part of your Ireland elopement adventure.

Apart from being a photographer and videographer team, we also help you in all stages of elopement planning, from choosing the right location for you to helping you make a perfect timeline for your elopement day. If you like our style and would like to know our Ireland elopement prices and packages, connect with us through the contact form and we’ll answer you shortly.

Have a nice day and hope to see you in Ireland.

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We are Mario & Andrea, a photo+video team, specialised in adventure elopements and intimate weddings all across Europe. Contact us if you plan an elopement or intimate wedding with a pinch of adventure.