Wedding Locations in Ireland: Your Questions Answered!

Thinking of an Irish destination wedding? There are so many incredible wedding locations in Ireland to choose from. Our island boasts romantic, evocative landscapes, from the breathtaking Galways mountains to the coastal cool of Wexford. There is also a huge range of wonderful Irish wedding venues, whatever your style. Grand castle hotels, countryside estates, romantic cliffsides, ancient ruins, historic churches, traditional pubs, gorgeous gardens, modern city venues… the list goes on! In fact, with so many amazing wedding locations in Ireland to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. To get you started, I’ve gathered some of the questions I hear most from couples who are planning a destination wedding in Ireland and answered them for you.

What are the most convenient wedding locations in Ireland for foreign visitors?

Whether your guests are flying in from the US, Europe, or even further afield, it’s important to choose an Irish wedding venue that’s easy for them to access. Dublin is of course the main travel hub, and there are many luxury wedding venues within an hour of Dublin, both within the city itself and in neighbouring counties like Wicklow, Kildare, and Meath. Shannon Airport is another great option for American couples, as it has has seasonal, non-stop flights from the US, as well as a US customs and immigration facility. The airport is just 30 minutes from one of my favorite Irish wedding venues, Adare Manor in Co. Limerick. For weddings in Northern Ireland, Belfast Airport is conveniently located.

wedding locations in ireland weather

What is the best time of year to get married in Ireland?

Ireland is a year-round destination and has a temperate climate without extreme changes in temperature. Worried about rain? Know that the Irish weather is famously a law unto itself, but the best chance of a dry day is in the summer season (June – August), although May is also often very sunny. The wettest regions are the mountainous ones, such as Kerry, Donegal, and Galway. The east coast including Dublin and Kilkenny tend to be the driest. In winter, expect clouds and rain with sunny spells and beautiful snow on the mountains, with the lowest temperatures inland.

What are the legal requirements for getting married in Ireland and do they vary from one county to another?

The legal side of getting married in Ireland can be quite an involved process, but the good news is that it is the same across all wedding locations in Ireland. There are three types of ceremonies (religious, civil, and humanist or secular) and each has its own requirements. Whichever you choose, you must give notice to the Civil Registrar of Marriage a minimum of three months in advance, and let them know what kind of wedding you are planning to have. You can usually do this remotely if you live outside of Ireland. At least five days before the wedding, you will meet with the registrar with all necessary paperwork, including identification documents, birth certificates, and divorce papers or a death certificate if either of you has previously been married, so that you can obtain a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). Same-sex marriages are recognised in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

wedding locations in ireland bantry house

Can you get married on a beach in Ireland?

Yes! Since 2014, it has been possible to have a legal wedding outdoors, and there are many wonderful beach wedding locations in Ireland to choose from. You’ll find seaside wedding venues dotted along the Irish coast, including Dublin, Donegal, Galway, and Kerry. Wedding venues in Cork include the private island of Inish Beg, while Co. Clare boasts the famous Cliffs of Moher – the most romantic place for an elopement! In Northern Ireland, you can marry at any council-maintained beach, including White Rocks Beach just off the Causeway Coastal Route, and the tranquil golden sands of Castlerock.

Do I need to visit Irish wedding venues in person?

Ideally, you should plan for at least one visit to the Emerald Isle ahead of time where you can visit different wedding locations in Ireland and tour potential venues in person. However, this may not be possible at the moment due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. I’m always happy to advise my clients on what different areas have to offer. Many venues are now also offering virtual tours.

As an Irish destination wedding planner, I have long-established relationships with the best Irish wedding venues. My team and I are also always scouting for exciting new wedding locations in Ireland. From making recommendations to visiting properties on your behalf, we’re here to support you throughout the entire wedding planning process. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Paula O’Hara and Lisa O’Dwyer Photography

How to Create a Wedding Rain Plan for your Destination Irish Wedding

Do you have a wedding rain plan in place? In Ireland, no matter the time of year, there’s always a good chance of a shower at some point on your big day, whether it’s a drizzle or a downpour. But, while rain is most couples’ biggest fear, it needn’t be all doom and gloom. Of all the many wet weddings I’ve been at, not one has been dampened by the weather! In fact, rain can be especially romantic, and creates the most beautiful photographic opportunities. Not to mention that it’s traditionally good luck! As the blessing goes here in Ireland: “Happy is the bride that rain falls upon”. While there’s nothing you can do to control the weather, there are plenty of steps that you and your Irish wedding planner can take to ensure it doesn’t get in the way. Here are my top tips to help you create a wedding rain plan for your destination wedding in Ireland.

Work with your vendors to create a Plan B

If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception, it’s important to have a contingency plan in place. Ask your venue about alternate spaces and look at tent rental options as well. (A clear tent on a rainy day is so atmospheric!) It’s worth the cost of a lost deposit to ensure you have one as a backup. You should also communicate with your vendors to find out how they work on a rainy day and what they need. This is one of the many areas where having a destination wedding planner can really come in handy, as we can co-ordinate all the arrangements and draw together the logistics of transforming spaces and flipping rooms from one function to another.

Always be prepared

In creating a wedding rain plan, preparation is key! One step is to rent a supply of umbrellas for the bridal party as well as the guests. Clear umbrellas are the best option, as they won’t obstruct the view and look great in photos. They may not get used on the day, but it’s worth it to have them, just in case! Rain-proof gear is another necessity, like a cute pair of Hunter boots if you’re traipsing across muddy fields for the couple shoot, and a wrap or jacket. Towels and hairdryers are also a good idea for the emergency kit, as are tissues and hairpins. And don’t forget to wear waterproof mascara as well as a good fixing spray to keep your makeup in place.

Be flexible but decisive

It’s important to give yourself lots of options when creating a wedding rain plan. Even if you do have showers, they may not last all day, and a bit of flexibility will allow you to work around the weather. For example, if it’s bucketing down after the ceremony, you could go straight to the cocktail hour and head out for photographs as soon as the skies clear. You can also shift your couple shoot indoors or to sheltered outdoor spaces like arches and doorways. With that said, it’s also important to be decisive on the day and have deadlines in place for when to make the call to move to Plan B.

wedding rain plan groomsmen

Protect your wedding dress

A little mud on your hem isn’t the end of the world for most brides, but there’s a lot you can do to help prevent any damage to your gown. For example, you can have the hem of the dress professionally sprayed to protect it. Opt for a bridal petticoat that will lift the gown, and ensure it’s easy to bustle. Your bridesmaids can also be a big help in carrying your train, but be sure that they have flat shoes or boots to stop them from slipping into the wet ground.

Keep guests in the loop

If your wedding rain plan includes a change of timing or venue, be sure to let guests know in advance. That way, you and your bridesmaids won’t have to field endless calls on the wedding morning. Your wedding website is always a good place to put this information too.

wedding rain plan couple shoot

Try not to worry

Remember: you don’t need perfect weather to have a perfect wedding! The most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life, surrounded by the people who mean the most to you. In five, ten, or twenty years, you won’t care that you got a little damp – in fact, some of the best stories and moments from your wedding day may come from the rain. Embrace it!

Umbrella in the rain
Tara in the rain

As a destination wedding planner in Ireland, I’m happy to help you create a wedding rain plan that works for you and ensure everything goes smoothly on the day!

Slán go Fóill,


Images by Brett Harkness, Aspect Photography, Unikeye Wedding Photography, Into the Light, Doreen Kilfeather