Eloping to Ireland – what to expect.
Have you decided to elope but aren’t quite sure where to go? Then let me ask you, do you dream of a mystical wedding ceremony atop a cliff or hillside, surrounded by nature. Maybe an ancient castle is where you imagine saying your vows. Are you looking for history, great food and music, stunning natural beauty and a welcome that is second to none? If so then eloping to Ireland is the perfect choice for you.
The Perfect Location
We have it all in Ireland (well except the weather!!). But seriously, when it comes to amazing locations, you will be hard pushed to find anywhere better. For such a small island, couples are spoiled for choice. We have castles and cliffs, hills and hotels, seasides and city-scapes. From our Ancient East to the Wild Atlantic Way we have you covered. Since the Equality Referendum in 2015 the country has seen a massive boost in boutique, exclusive hire venues opening their doors. Country estates and barns have been transformed into beautiful bespoke venues.
Some of the most popular locations are the Cliffs of Moher or one of the many castles, but I invite couples to keep an open mind and think outside the box. With so much choice, there really is something for everyone in Ireland.
The legal bit
The easiest option for any couple eloping in Ireland is to complete the legal side in their own country. The process in Ireland requires couples who are foreign nationals to provide additional, legally verified paperwork and to be in the country at least 5 days in advance of the wedding to attend an interview with the Health Service Executive (HSE) which is the governing body over births, deaths and marriages in the country. This does not suit many couples who want to keep those extra days for after the wedding ceremony.
My advice is to do the legal papers at home and then hire a celebrant in Ireland to perform a marriage blessing. This is the same as a wedding ceremony, can have all the same elements, and is symbolic rather than legal. Also note that to have a legal ceremony in Ireland there are restrictions on the types of locations so some beaches, hillsides, manor houses etc would not qualify as registered locations, so again this is another reason to complete your legal papers in your own country.
But I want to have a church wedding!!
You can still have a ‘church’ wedding in Ireland without it being a legal ceremony. There are many hotel venues that have a chapel on-site, and many independent de-consecrated chapels are open to couples who wish to have a church wedding without the dogma or association to a particular faith. Again a lot of these changes have come about because of the Equality Referendum as many same-sex couples want a church wedding and why should they not be able to have one.
Choosing an Independent Celebrant
An Independent Celebrant is the perfect choice for any couple planning on eloping to Ireland. As a Celebrant, I will initially ‘meet’ my overseas couples through Skype for an initial consultation where we all get a ‘feel’ for each other. Trying to plan a wedding is tough sometimes, trying to do it from abroad is even more of a headache and it is important that couples feel confident in their choice of wedding professionals.
I guide my couples throughout the planning process. Often the ceremony is the last thing couples think about and they often get stumped on what they can include, what they feel they have to include (you should not feel you ‘have’ to include anything you do not want to!), choices of music, rituals etc. We chat about these elements of the ceremony and together start creating a ceremony that they will cherish.
Independent ceremonies can be as traditional or as wacky as the couple wants, there really are no set rules, so be who you are, be true to yourself!
Some of my favourite locations in Ireland – check them out!
Clonabreany House http://www.clonabreanyhouse.ie/
Kinnitty Castle https://www.kinnittycastlehotel.com/
Mount Druid http://alternativeweddings.ie/
Kilruddery House http://www.killruddery.com/
Tinakilly House https://www.tinakilly.ie/weddings/weddings-2
Newtown Castle http://www.newtowncastle.com/
Couples often find that eloping can be a bit trickier than they first thought, especially with time differences and booking suppliers. I provide a tailored elopement service, specifically designed to help couples enjoy planning their Irish elopement. Based in Ireland, I am your eyes and ears on the ground, helping you liaise with vendors and navigate the planning process. With extensive knowledge of the wedding industry in Ireland and a wide network of wedding professionals, you can rest assured that your elopement will be absolutely perfect.
For more information on eloping to Ireland and how I can help please get in touch, I would love to hear from you. Contact me for more information or to arrange a chat. You can also find me on Facebook