Your Complete Elopement Guide to the
Cliffs of Moher - Ireland
All the while managing to remain, in some places, virtually untouched. Given its popularity, but also it’s obscurity, I’ve written this Cliffs of Moher elopement guide to help you plan hopefully the most incredible, and definitely the most memorable day of your lives.
CLIFFS OF MOHER / Aillte an Mhothair
From Dublin Airport to the Cliffs is a long 3+ hour journey, it might look easy on google maps, but the roads are barely two cars wide, so I would definitely recommend you give yourself an ample amount of time. Once off the motorway the roads can shrink, considerably, which is very typically Irish, narrow, potholed, and the locals are sometimes a little too confident, so it might seem a little daunting if it’s your first time driving in Ireland, but the scenery is one of a kind, so just take your time and enjoy the views. Try not to give yourself strict times, Ireland will laugh and make you wait in hour traffic of cows making their evening commute home. On that note, I’d recommend booking your stay in one of the closest towns, to lessen the journey and any travel anxieties. Ennis, Ennistymon, Doolin, Kinvara, or the capital of culture city 2020, Galway. Doolin and Galway are the two most favorite places to stay when eloping to the cliffs. Both offer many options in its traditional pubs, hotels, and Airbnb. Doolin is a small coastal village just 15 minutes from the cliffs located on the Atlantic coast, it is a noted center of traditional Irish music, which is played nightly in its pubs. Galway is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and for hosting numerous festivals, celebrations, and events, such as the Galway Arts Festival.
If you are getting married by civil ceremony in a Registry Office or other approved place, you should approach the Registrar of Civil Marriages for the district in which you intend to marry for information on how to proceed. There is no requirement to live in the district where you want to get married. As well as arranging your civil marriage ceremony there is also a requirement to give 3 months notification to a Registrar. This does not have to be the same Registrar. A civil ceremony can be held in a Registry Office or some other venue that is approved by a Registrar.
A Registrar will also have to be available to solemnize the marriage. If you want to get married in a venue other than the Registry Office you should contact the Registry Office for the district the venue is located in to arrange to have it approved. This may involve the Registrar inspecting the venue.
Celebrate the ceremony your way. That’s the good thing about elopements, and that’s why you are possibly considering having one. As it’s all about not following the rules, allowing for personal, unique sentimental ceremonies and adventure. You could choose to have a celebrant conducting the ceremony for you, or you can share that experience with your family and having them officiating that, or plan a private vow reading with just the two of you. Fewer and fewer couples are choosing to have their civil ceremony in Ireland on the same day as their elopement, couples are choosing to sign their legal documentation in their home country before or after the traveling. If you choose this path, you don’t need to worry about all the restrictions and all the legal boring stuff, it is just about enjoying the greatest adventure of your lives.
I like to separate the location by Northside and Southside locations, with The Cliffs of Moher touristic park in the middle.
- The Northside location is the closest spot to Doolin town( and my favourite), it involves taking the Cliff Walk path, a 5 minutes walk to the spot. From there you see a panoramic view from the Cliffs tower all the way to the Southside of the cliffs. It’s impressive! On a nice dry day, it’s also possible to take a 15 minutes trail down to the bottom of the Cliffs, this trail is usually used by surfers to get to sea, so it can be very challenging if you are not a hiking kind of person, but it’s definitely once in life experience. But on a wet day, the path can be slippery, so every caution is necessary. There are no car parks in this area, I would recommend you leaving your car in one of the small roads around there.
- The Southside location also called Hag’s Head, you will get a car park, but from the car park to the cliffs is about 15 minutes walk. The panoramic view is breathtaking, there’s also an old deactivated tower, unfortunately, the tower is surrounded with a fence, so there’s no way to have your ceremony on it. This location is just a few miles from Liscannor and Lahich, two beautiful towns, with great pubs, hotels, and restaurants.
The Burren area has a reputation beyond Ireland, and, most notably with the Cliffs of Moher, but also with blue water beaches, major show caves, dolmens, and abbeys.
- The Burren National Park: The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. This is an extremely appropriate name when you consider the lack of soil cover and the extent of exposed Limestone Pavement. If you like walking trails, the Burren is made for you. There are seven way-marked walking trails in the Burren National Park, The walks vary from a short thirty-minute loop walk to a three-hour walk over limestone hills.
- Fanore Beach: Fanore’s large sandy beach and clear waters are very popular with walkers, swimmers, and surfers. The sand dunes and it’s exposed geology gives a special touch to any elopement ceremony. And if you are the kind of surfing and swimming people, why not going into the water?
- Corcomroe Abbey: This is an early 13th-century Cistercian monastery located in the north of the Burren region, a few miles east of the village of Ballyvaughan. The monastery was once known as “St. Mary of the Fertile Rock”, a reference to the Burren’s fertile soil. The Romanesque ruins featured stone carvings that are considered to be among the finest in a Cistercian church in Ireland. It’s also a perfect background for a moody and intimate ceremony.