The Ultimate Guide for American Couples Eloping in Ireland in 2023 - 2024
The ultimate guide to eloping in Ireland [updated for 2023-2024]
''Escape to Ireland for a Romantic and Intimate Elopement and Cherish the Moments Forever with Beautiful and meaningful Photographs"
One of the best things about eloping in Ireland is that there are no residency requirements, meaning that you can get married as soon as you arrive in the country. This makes it the perfect choice for couples who want to avoid the hassle and expense of getting a marriage license in the United States.
Eloping in Ireland is also much cheaper than getting married in the United States. The average cost for an American couple eloping in Ireland is just $8,800 + travel and accommodation, compared to the average cost of a traditional wedding in the United States, which is $33,900.
"Embrace the Simplicity and Intimacy of an Elopement - Say 'I Do' Without Breaking the Bank or Adding Unnecessary Stress"
Ps: All images featured in this post were captured by Bruno Rosa
Ready to start planning your elopement? Here is everything that you need to know if you wish to elope in Ireland.
First and foremost:
1. You don't need a lot of time to plan an elopement in Ireland.
2. You can elope in Ireland even if you're not Irish!
3. You don't need to be religious to get married in Ireland.
4. You can get married anywhere in Ireland.
5. You don't need a witness to get married in Ireland.
6. You can get married by a civil celebrant or a religious celebrant in Ireland.
7. You can bring your own wedding rings to Ireland or buy them here.
8. You don't need to wear a white dress to get married in Ireland.
9. You can have your wedding ceremony in English or Irish (Gaelic).
Before we get too far into talking about eloping in Ireland, let’s clarify that every single couple married in Ireland must prepare at least three months in advance. While you can have a whirlwind romance here, you really can’t make it official without letting the government know well ahead of time.
To cover the basics, to officially elope in Ireland you need to be at least 18 years old, and the couple can be of the same sex or opposite sex. However, whether you’re young, old, gay, or straight, you have got to be physically present in Ireland for at least three months before the big day and be ready to hand over $200. For those living on the Emerald Isle, this is a pretty straightforward requirement, but if you are living abroad and thinking about eloping in Ireland, this is a major factor to consider.
IRELAND IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR YOUR ADVENTURE ELOPEMENT, NO DOUBT!
As an adventure elopement photographer and planner, I wholeheartedly believe that Ireland is the BEST destination for couples looking to celebrate their love in an intimate and adventurous way. The country's stunning natural beauty, incredible castles, rich history and culture, and wide range of activities make it a truly unique and memorable destination for an adventure elopement.
Whether you're interested in hiking through the rolling hills and ancient forests of the countryside or eloping at the incredible Dunluce Castle, Ireland has something for everyone. You'll find plenty of accommodation options, from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels, to suit your budget and preferences.
As an experienced adventure elopement photographer and planner, I know how to capture the unique and intimate moments that make your elopement special. From the first look to the first kiss, I'll be there to document every emotion and moment. I'll work closely with you to create a personalized elopement package that fits your needs and help you create lasting memories of your dream elopement in Ireland.
So if you're looking for a truly unique and adventurous way to celebrate your love, consider eloping in Ireland. It's a destination that will surely leave a lasting impression on you and your partner.
WHY AMERICAN COUPLES SHOULD ELOPE IN IRELAND?
If you're an American couple considering eloping, Ireland is a destination that should not be overlooked. This breathtaking country offers a unique and memorable elopement experience that you'll cherish for a lifetime.
Imagine saying your vows in front of an Irish castle, surrounded by rolling hills and ancient forests. After the ceremony, head to the epic cliff tops for breathtaking portraits as you celebrate your love. And what could be more fitting than toasting to your new marriage with a refreshing Guinness?
Ireland is known for its stunning natural beauty, with breathtaking landscapes, unbelievable castles, and charming countryside villages. Whether you're looking for a quiet and intimate elopement ceremony surrounded by nature or a more urban setting with vibrant city streets and colorful doors, you can’t go wrong in choosing Ireland for your Elopement.
Here are some tips for you that are coming from the United States to elope in Ireland:
Start by researching the legal requirements for getting married in Ireland. Both partners must be over 18 years old and not already married or in a civil partnership. If either partner has been divorced, you'll need to provide proof of the divorce. It's important to make sure you meet all of the legal requirements before you start planning your elopement.
Choose a location that fits your vision for your elopement. Ireland is known for its stunning landscapes and charming small towns, making it the perfect place to elope. Some popular locations for elopements in Ireland include the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Aran Islands. If you prefer a city setting, Dublin and Cork also offer plenty of options for elopements.
Find an officiant to perform your ceremony. In Ireland, you can choose between a civil ceremony performed by a Registrar or a religious ceremony performed by a clergyperson. It's important to note that religious ceremonies are only recognized as legal marriages if the clergyperson is registered to perform marriages in Ireland.
Plan your ceremony. Elopements in Ireland can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. Some couples choose to have a small ceremony with just the two of them, while others invite a few close friends and family members to join them. It's up to you to decide what type of ceremony best fits your vision for your elopement.
Book your accommodations. There are plenty of accommodation options in Ireland, ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels. Depending on where you choose to elope, you'll want to book your accommodations well in advance to ensure availability.
Obtain a marriage license. You'll need to apply for a marriage license in order to get married in Ireland. The process for obtaining a license varies depending on where you're getting married. It's important to allow enough time for the
How much does it cost to elope in Ireland for American couples?
The cost of eloping in Ireland for American couples will depend on the same factors as for any other couple, such as the location, time of year, and the specific services and amenities you choose. Some of the key expenses to consider when budgeting for an elopement in Ireland includes:
Ceremony: The cost of the ceremony can vary depending on the type of ceremony you choose. A civil ceremony performed by a registrar or civil celebrant may cost less than a religious ceremony performed by a clergy member.
Photography: One of the most if not the most important investments of your elopement. The cost of photography can vary widely depending on the photographer and the package you choose. You can expect to pay for a starting package anywhere from $1500 to $5,400 for photography services. The best, more experienced, and more creative photographers of course cost more but it's well worth the investment.
Wedding attire: The cost of wedding attire can also vary depending on your preferences. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,500 for a wedding dress and $100 to $1500 for a tuxedo or suit.
Flowers: The cost of flowers can vary depending on the type and number of arrangements you choose. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $800 for flowers.
Transportation: The cost of transportation can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose and the distance you need to travel. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for transportation.
Accommodations: The cost of accommodations can vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose and the length of your stay. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 per night for accommodations.
Elopement package: Many elopement photographers and planners offer packaged services that include everything you need for your elopement, such as a celebrant, witnesses, and photography. These packages can range in price depending on the specific services included.
I offer ALL-inclusive or Photography only elopement packages for American couples that dream to elope in Ireland. These types of packages can be a convenient and stress-free way to plan your elopement, as they typically include everything you need to create your dream elopement experience please see it below:
ALL-INCLUSIVE ELOPEMENT PACKAGES - PLANNING & PHOTOGRAPHY
Everything you could wish or need to create your perfect elopement experience in Ireland.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRUNO ROSA the most awarded photographer in Ireland
FLOWERS - (BOUQUET & BOUTONNIERE)
Starting from $8400 USD
ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGES
I’m not your typical photographer but you are not a typical couple so I love you for it!
ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE VENDOR LIST
EDITED IMAGES + PRINTING RIGHTS
ONLINE ELOPEMENT SLIDESHOW
MULTI-DAY ELOPEMENT COVERAGE OPTIONS
Starts at $4400 USD
One exception to the three-month notification rule is given to those who already have an Irish civil partnership. It is important that you don’t just assume that any exceptions made for you for non-civil partnerships, however, because you are out of the country for some reason. If you or your spouse are outside of Ireland, you must request approval for a mail-in registration. To get approval, contact the office as soon as possible. Once approved, they will send you out all the forms that you need to get started. If you go this route, do keep in mind that at least five days before eloping in Ireland, you will still need to appear in person at the Registrar. Again, if you have special circumstances, talk to them and ensure you plan ample time to prepare everything before eloping in Ireland.
- 1) Passport
- 2) Passport photos
- 3) Birth Certificate (If you are not Irish, your birth certificate must have an apostille stamp from your embassy, with the exception of those from Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, or Latvia)
- 4) Original final divorce decrees documents, if relevant
- 5) Original dissolution decrees for civil partnerships, if relevant
- 6) For ended Irish civil partnerships or marriages, a final decree of nullity and a letter from the court is needed
- 7) If you are a widow/er, you will need your deceased spouse's death certificate and previous civil marriage certificate
- 8) If you are living in Ireland as a foreigner, you will need evidence of immigration status (typically a GNIB card)
- 9) If you are living in Ireland or intend to reside here after the wedding, you will also need your PPS number
In addition to these official documents, the official seeing your case is going to ask you for some basic details regarding your wedding/elopement plans, including the following:
- 1) Are you going to have a civil, secular, or religious ceremony?
- 2) When is your planned elopement date?
- 3) Where are you planning to elope?
- 4) Who is your officiant?
- 5) What are the names and dates of birth of your two witnesses?
Once you have all of your information together, you can book an appointment online or call the local office. The Irish government site has all of the details that you need available online HERE. While you will find offices all over Ireland, it is worth noting that some areas, like my city of Dublin, only have one office! This means that things can get busy leading into the wedding season so plan plenty of time (I have heard that this can take up to eight months in Dublin at certain times of the year!) when you are thinking about eloping in Ireland.
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t need to register in the same county where you are eloping in Ireland. You can actually go to whichever office is convenient for you (or has the best appointment times!).
If you have any questions about organizing your documents, contact the office ahead of time. You definitely don’t want to arrive at the appointment missing any essential info. Just find the phone number of your local office on the site and give them a ring. If you arrive missing essential details, you will have to start the whole thing over from square one!
Eloping in Ireland for Foreigners
Finding the best location for your Elopement in Ireland
Here is some information about each of the 10 outdoor locations for eloping in Ireland:
Cliffs of Moher: The Cliffs of Moher are located in County Clare and offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. They are a popular location for outdoor elopements and photo sessions and are easily accessible by car or tour bus. The cliffs rise 214 meters (702 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean and stretch for 8 kilometers (5 miles). There are several viewing points along the cliffs, including O'Brien's Tower, which offers panoramic views of the cliffs and the surrounding countryside.
Killarney National Park: The Killarney National Park is located in County Kerry and offers a variety of outdoor venues for elopements, including Muckross House and Muckross Abbey. Muckross House is a Victorian mansion located in the heart of the park and offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for elopements. Muckross Abbey is a ruined monastery located in the park and offers a picturesque setting for outdoor elopements and photo sessions. The park also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and boat tours.
The Burren: The Burren is a rocky landscape located in County Clare that is popular for outdoor elopements and photo sessions. The Burren is a unique and picturesque location, with rocky outcrops, caves, and ancient ruins. It is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. The Burren is easily accessible by car and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and cycling.
The Giant's Causeway: The Giant's Causeway is a World Heritage site located in County Antrim that offers a unique and picturesque setting for outdoor elopements. The site consists of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, formed by an ancient volcanic eruption. It is a popular location for outdoor elopements and photo sessions and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and boat tours.
The Ring of Kerry: The Ring of Kerry is a scenic coastal route located in County Kerry that offers a variety of outdoor venues for elopements, including beaches and small villages. The route is approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) long and takes
The Rock of Cashel: The Rock of Cashel is a historic site located in County Tipperary that offers a unique and picturesque setting for outdoor elopements. The site consists of a castle and a chapel built on a rock outcropping and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It is a popular location for outdoor elopements and photo sessions and is easily accessible by car.
Connemara: Connemara is a region located in County Galway that offers a variety of outdoor venues for elopements, including beaches, lakes, and mountains.
The Dingle Peninsula: The Dingle Peninsula is located in County Kerry and offers a variety of outdoor venues for elopements, including beaches, lakes, and small villages.
The Aran Islands: The Aran Islands are located off the coast of County Galway and offer a variety of outdoor venues for elopements, including beaches and ancient ruins.
The Wild Atlantic Way: The Wild Atlantic Way is a scenic coastal route that stretches along the west coast of Ireland from County Donegal to County Cork. It offers a variety of outdoor venues for elopements, including beaches, cliffs, and small villages. The route is known for its rugged beauty and is a popular location for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and boat tours.
These are just a few of the many beautiful outdoor locations that are suitable for eloping in Ireland. Just be sure to do your research and consider your personal preferences and budget when selecting a location for your elopement.
Eloping in Ireland at a Church
Before you consider eloping in Ireland in a Catholic church, there are just a few things you will want to keep in mind. Again, it’s not all champagne and wedding cakes! There are some documents and prerequisites for eloping in Ireland at any Catholic church. Here is what to expect that they will ask for:
- The long-form baptismal certificate for both spouses issued within the past six months (your church will have this)
- Confirmation certificate issued within the past six months (again, track this down from your church)
- Letter of Freedom to Marry- This can be a tricky one. You are supposed to get an official letter from every parish you have lived in since turning 18. If you have moved a lot or are coming from abroad, you can also opt for an Affidavit from a Commissioner of Oaths. Your priest can help you organize this.
- Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form- The priest will give you this form, which just says that you are free to get married and that you understand what you are signing up for.
- Dispensation- If one of you isn’t Catholic, you will need to get approval from the local bishop to be married in a Catholic Church. Your church can explain how this works.
- Pre-Marriage Course- The majority of Catholic churches will require you to go through a pre-marriage course and obtain a certificate of completion. This is typically done through Avalon or Accord.
- Fee- This varies a lot. If you are getting married in your local parish, it might just be a donation-based system. If you are getting married outside of your regular church, it can be up to $500.
While this might feel like a long to-do list, the church will make it easy. The vast majority of Catholic churches have done countless weddings before yours and they will be able to lay out all of the requirements in simple terms. So, again, if you would like a church wedding, don’t be shy about contacting your dream wedding venue. Remember, eloping in Ireland does not have to restrict you to government offices!
Alternative Wedding Venues for Eloping in Ireland
Eloping with Family Around
There’s no better way to make your whirlwind romance official than with an elopement. While I love the idea of eloping, it does leave a little something to be desired: your loved ones! You might not want to invite distant relatives you haven’t seen in years or deal with the expense and cost that comes with a massive wedding, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be just the two of you.
One very cool and modern trend that I have been seeing lately is ultra small weddings. As a wedding photographer in Ireland, I see a lot of couples who have come from abroad to get married. Just check out this wedding I photographed at Ashford Castle. The couple had come from America with only their nearest and dearest for an absolutely stunning wedding with of solely their immediate family. The intimate environment created such a special atmosphere.
Many couples find these ultra-small weddings to be the best of both worlds. You can share the big day with those who are truly important in your life while saving the money to spend on things you’d rather dish out your hard-earned cash to have. For many couples, having a smaller wedding means that you can upgrade your venue or dress; or just save that money for something like a down payment on a home or new car.
Get Those First Look Photos
I was so excited to see the “first look photo” trend hit our island! It’s such a beautiful concept where couples meet before the ceremony and get their first look at each other--- captured by a photographer, of course! It is such an extraordinary and emotional moment.
Many Irish brides no longer want to be “given away” or have their husband pull off a veil for their first look. While these can be lovely traditions that many couples would never do without, they just aren’t for everyone. If you are looking to try something new and fresh, first look photos are definitely worth considering.
An Aisle Free Wedding
Tied to these first look photo shots, aisle free weddings are becoming a big trend. Ditching the old-fashioned “bride’s side” and “groom’s side” concept, many couples are embracing circles. It’s a fresh and unusual idea that gives everyone a closer look at the couple while creating an intimate atmosphere.
While not totally without an aisle, my favourite new wedding trend has got to be “guest bouquets.” In this ultra endearing trend, the bride walks down the aisle and collects flowers from the guests. It is a perfect way to make your guests feel special and involved while making your ceremony more memorable. It is also a huge relief for shy brides! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of having all eyes on you as you march down the aisle, this is a dream solution for making you feel more at ease.
I help couples from the USA to elope in Ireland since 2011
I’m 100% committed to helping couples from the States have incredible elopement experiences here in Ireland. After a couple of elopements, I realized that my clients were feeling pretty daunted trying to plan an elopement in another country so I’ve made a commitment to make the process totally stress-free! In the last 12 years, I’ve photographed and helped so many couples just like you to plan your dream elopement in Ireland.
There will be no stress! There will be no pressure!
” I’m not your typical elopement photographer. But then again, if you like my photos, you’re probably not a typical couple. I know that, and I love you for it ”
I’m really looking forward to getting to know you and helping you with your elopement plan here in Ireland!
Your Elopement photographer
Here are some great websites that can help you plan your trip to Ireland:
Tourism Ireland (www.Ireland.com) - official tourism website for the island of Ireland, providing information on things to see and do places to stay, and events.
Fáilte Ireland (www.failteireland.ie) - the National Tourism Development Authority, provides information on tourism in Ireland, including accommodation, attractions, and activities.
Irish Tourist Board (www.discoverireland.ie) - provides information on tourism in Ireland, including accommodation, attractions, and activities.
Ireland.com (www.ireland.com) - providing travel information, including accommodation, attractions, and events.
Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/ireland) - provides travel information, including destination information, travel planning advice, and reviews of accommodations and activities.
TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com/Ireland) - provides reviews and information on accommodations, attractions, and activities in Ireland.