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.
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.
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,