When planning your elopement in Ireland, one of the biggest decisions is choosing a date! So many factors go into this decision, like avoiding crowds, the weather, sunset times, public holidays, and expense. It's a great idea to really research which months will work best for you!
Spring is a great time to elope in Ireland. The weather begins to warm up, averaging between 8-12°C (46-54°F) and rainfall is lower. It's greener, there's more flowers, more colours. The days are starting to get longer, with sunset at 6pm in March, and by the end of May it doesn't set until 9:45pm.
Tourism is relatively low, so avoiding large crowds on your elopement day is extremely easy! However there are some dates to look out for:
May 17 - St. Patricks Day
April 1st (2024) - Easter Monday
May 1st - May Day
These dates are public holidays, and while it's still possible to elope during these dates, you'll find that most places are busier / booked out due to families being off work and school, and some businesses may even be closed or shut early.
Initially, you might thing Summer is the best time to elope anywhere, since its typically warmer and less likely to rain. However there are definitely some things to consider! Ireland's tourism is the busiest during the months of July, August, and into the middle of September. Most locations that you might have seen on Pinterest or Instagram might be overrun with tourists during the day. Especially places like the Giants Causeway, the Dark Hedges and the Cliffs of Moher. During the summer it's almost impossible to hit up these locations without large crowds during the day.
Another thing to note is how late sunset is! In the peak summer months, the sun doesn't set until after 10pm, which is something to consider if those dreamy sunset photos are important to you. You will likely have to plan your day around this, which can complicate things if you have dinner arrangements or guests, but it's also a pretty good way to avoid those crowds as tour bus companies tend to wrap things up early evening!
The biggest benefit to eloping in the summer is the weather. It opens up a lot of opportunities for fun activities that might otherwise be closed for business during winter or less busy months. If you elope in Ireland in the summer, I highly recommend making the most of it by organising something unique that Ireland has to offer, like a helicopter tour, a picnic, water activities or a boat tour to an island such as Skellig Michael or Rathlin Island to potentially see some Dolphins or Puffins!
Some dates to avoid:
July 11 & 12 - Battle of the Boyne (If eloping Northern Ireland)
Personally, I think the autumn months take the cake when it comes to the best time to elope in Ireland. Between the beautiful fall colours that appear everywhere, the sunsets, and tourism slowing down, it's perfect for couples looking to tie the knot.
There are no major holidays to look out for during the Autumn months. Spooky themed elopements are encouraged!
Daylight hours become a little more reasonable too, making planning a lot easier. The sun sets at the beginning of September at 8pm, whereas by the end of November it sets at 5pm.
One thing about Ireland in the winter is, it's cold, and its wet. January and February are the coldest months of the year, with the potential for some snow. But I personally wouldn't rule out the winter entirely. Flights are significantly cheaper, especially in February, and it's quiet, so your chances of exploring our iconic coastline and castle ruins with little to no other people is pretty likely.
If you are looking for a super low-key elopement, maybe a shorter day, (the sun sets as early as 4:15pm in December) and you aren't afraid of the elements, (maybe you are looking for those windswept, rainy photos) then honestly go for it. I have plenty of tips and tricks to keep warm during winter elopements!
Overall, the best months to elope in Ireland are March, April, May, September and October. I believe these months offer the most when balancing weather, tourism, and daylight while avoiding peak travel expenses & wedding season, which should make life easier when looking for available vendors for your elopement day.