Elopements are a growing trend for couples looking to get married for many reasons. You might be non-traditional and not want the formalities that traditional weddings have, or you aren't religious and want a more personalised humanist ceremony. Maybe you have trouble with family expectations, or family drama and want to remove that altogether, or you are just low-key and don't want the fuss. Whatever the reason is - that's ok and I'm proud of you for doing what you REALLY want!
So, you have decided you cannot pass up the breathtaking scenery of Ireland for your elopement. That's great! Now what? Where do you start when planning an elopement abroad in Ireland? Thankfully, there are a bunch of resources available to help you figure out what works best for you. I have decided to put them all in one place, so you can start planning the most perfect day that resonates with you and your values.
Before we move onto the fun stuff, lets talk about the legal stuff!
If you are planning to have a legally-binding, religious or civil elopement ceremony in The Republic of Ireland that is recognised back home, your elopement must be done by a registered solemniser or Humanist Association of Ireland accredited celebrant, and must take place on a location with a postal address, or at an identifiable landmark, and be accessible to the public (not private property). You must also have two persons present who are at least 18 as witnesses. Your photographer(s) or videographer(s) can act as witnesses if you are eloping without guests. You must give notice of your Marriage at least 3 months before your ceremony and apply for a marriage Visa.
For Northern Ireland, your elopement must be done by an officiant for religious weddings, or a registrar or humanist celebrant for secular weddings. You must also have 2 witnesses who are at least 18. You must give notice of your marriage within the 12 months of your ceremony, and the minimum is 28 days before and apply for a UK marriage visa. I will leave relevant links below this blog post for you to check out any legal information!
For both Ireland and Northern Ireland, the types of legally binding ceremonies are:
Religious i.e Catholic or Protestant / Civil / Secular & Humanist.
Of course, if having a legally-binding ceremony abroad is a little too fussy for you, you can choose to sign the dotted line at home, and have your ceremony, where you can exchange vows and rings, here.
Ask yourself, "what does my dream elopement actually look like?"
Are you aimlessly exploring the mountains, then settling on a spot to elope? Are you by the sea, listening to the waves crash against the rocks while you exchange your vows? Are you heading to the local pub with your closest family and friends after playing some outdoor games, or maybe you planned a romantic, candle-lit sunset dinner on the beach for just the two of you, then end the night goofing off and dancing to your own play-list. The possibilities are endless. The time is yours to make it whatever you want, and to create a day that is full of your personality, and authentic to you as a couple.
If you are considering Ireland to elope, there's no doubt its because it is one of the most beautiful countries on earth. There are literally 100's of gorgeous places to consider when planning your elopement here.
What scenery speaks to you the most? Where do you both feel most peaceful? Here is a list of a few my favourite locations:
- Dunluce Castle
- Dunseverick Castle
- Ballintoy Harbour
- Kinbane Castle
- Dingle Peninsula
- Cliffs of Moher
- Mourne Mountains
- Wicklow National Park
- Killarney National Park
- Howth Head
- Dublin City
- Conor Pass