ELOPE IN IRELAND Guide for U.S couples for 2024

Rugged mountains, vast landscapes, breathtaking views and hikes… why wouldn’t you whisk yourselves off to my stunning home country of Ireland to get hitched?

Why elope in Ireland?

More and more couples are shunning the big fat wedding with hundreds of guests, years of planning and tons of money spent on throwaway items and food for people they barely know, and heading outdoors to elope - it’s cheaper, easier and potentially a lot more romantic too.

Why Ireland?

The Emerald Isle is the perfect place to do it - it’s scenic, it’s mountainous, and the crumbling old castles are the icing on the fairytale cake. Windswept hair, flowing dresses, warm hugs and passionate embraces will happen. Plus, you can legally get married in most places - as long as it has an address or landmark name then your marriage will be legally binding. Plus, most places allow for a handful of guests (usually standing only) so you don’t have to leave your nearest and dearest behind completely.

Where to elope in Ireland?

In my 16 years (and counting!) as a wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve discovered all the best spots and would love to help couples from the USA elope in Ireland. I love the great outdoors, and I’m guessing you do too. So pull on those hiking boots and check out my top fifteen epic elopement destinations.

Click the button below to view our elopement packages and prices and skip the top 15 elopement locations. 

elopement packages & Prices

1. Muckross Abbey

County Kerry (South-West Region)

Perfect if you’re looking for:
Gothic, otherworldly, crumbling ruins

The wedding lowdown:
The abbey is roofless, so if you’re worried about rain, bring umbrellas. Part of Killarney National Park, after your ceremony, why not head off to the park’s waterfall, rivers and woodland for romantic photos? Top tip: autumn might be chilly, but the turning red leaves will make a stunning setting for photos. Plus, there will be fewer tourists! You can fit around 20-30 guests in the abbey if you have a large family you’d like to attend.

2. Cliffs of Moher

County Clare (Mid-West Region)

Perfect if you’re looking for:
Rugged coastlines with sweeping, epic views

The wedding lowdown:
For it to be legally binding, hold your ceremony at O’Brien’s Tower. Consider a spring or autumn elopement, or a sunset ceremony, if you want to beat the tourists. Or go for a full summer ceremony if you want a big cheer from the crowd. You can bring around 20 guests but can’t bring any chairs. Bonus: less stuff to carry!

Be sure to have €100 cash on you to pay a farmer who let you drive closer to Guerin’s Path.

Fun fact:
Star of a ton of music videos and films including The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

3. Wicklow Mountains

County Wicklow (Mid-East Region)

Perfect if you’re looking for:
Craggy peaks, swathes of purple heather… and a feeling of immense satisfaction when you reach the summit

The wedding lowdown:
You can either hike to the summit (you’ll want a similarly adventurous and outdoorsy officiant!) or elope in the foothills at Glendalough valley. There’s also a crumbling old church ruin – St. Ciarán’s (Kieran’s) Church – for a different setting. Wild camping is allowed in the national park (apart from Glendalough), so if you fancy the full outdoors experience, there are worse views you could wake up to.

Fun fact:
The mountains have the largest span in Ireland, across four counties – get married in four places at once!

4. Tollymore Forest

County Down (Northern Ireland)

Perfect if you’re looking for:
An outdoor adventure surrounded by lush emerald trees piercing through the morning mist, and mountain views

The wedding lowdown:
You can bring around 20 guests to this magical forest, so no need to leave everyone at home. You will, however, have to walk a bit to get to the perfect ceremony spot, so pack the walking boots or wellies!

Fun fact:
Tollymore is home to one of the oldest arboretums in Ireland, packed with rare and exotic trees from around the world – nature lovers, look no further! 

5. Dunlace Castle

County Antrim (Northern Ireland)

Perfect if you’re looking for:

It’s like a fairytale to do your vows on a rugged Irish Clifftop overlooking this awesome ancient castle

The wedding lowdown:
Dunluce Castle is a perfect spot to do your vows with a beautiful backdrop for adventure elopements but there’s a farmer, Sean own those land, if you want to do some portraits with the castle in the background it will cost £50, if you want to hire the ground for your elopement ceremony for just £200. Within a few miles of the castle are the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, the Giant’s Causeway, Ballintoy Harbour and many other epic locations.

Fun fact:
The Dunluce Castle was the Pyke’s Castle, the seat of the house greyjoy in HBO’s epic fantasy series – Game of Thrones. Same for the Ballintoy Harbour.

A list of 10 more places in Ireland where you can elope. Choosing just one is almost impossible since there are so many amazing places in Ireland.

Feeling wild and spontaneous?
Let's jet off to Ireland and tie the knot!
Check out my elopement packages below

If you’re looking for something more bespoke, or more ideas on the best places to elope in Ireland, I’d love to chat to you and help you plan your elopement here in Ireland or Northern Ireland – it’s where my heart lies. 

elopement photographer

About me - wedding and elopement photographer in Ireland

Here's Johnnnnnnnnnnnny!


I’m Johnny, a wedding and elopement photographer based in Ireland, not Jack Nicholson from The Shining. While I may share a similar name, my focus is on capturing natural, beautiful moments for my couples rather than being a menacing presence at a haunted hotel. So, please don’t mistake me for the infamous character – I promise I’m much more friendly and approachable!

I have an awesome job. I even think it’s the best job in the world. I’m a wedding and an elopement photographer and it makes me very happy doing things for a living that I enjoy. It is an amazing adventure. I’ve been able to document my clients’ weddings all over the world, and all the beautiful stories that have yet been told. I hope I get to document your story someday! 

Hi there! I’m Johnny and I’m a wedding and elopement photographer in Ireland.

My style is natural and beautiful – nothing fussy, nothing formal. Just you two, your love and your sense of adventure. And my camera capturing it all.

I like to think of my photography as art – something you will treasure and hang on the wall in a beautiful frame. I love shooting creatively and playing with shadow and light. My work has a film-like feel, and my couples book me for my romantic portraits (and my laid-back but adventurous nature!).

My couples always say how relaxed I make them feel on their special day. I don’t ask for fake smiles or awkward posing – just that you be in the moment.

Being a newlywed I can completely understand the craziness of wedding planning. This is probably why I love mini weddings and elopements so much – they’re all about the simple act of getting married to your best friend, sometimes with a few favourite people there as witnesses. And that’s all.

I love nature, the outdoors and the simplicity of elopement. To be honest, any excuse to get outdoors and have an adventure I’m there!

So if your idea of a perfect wedding day involves pulling on some comfy boots and running through a field hand in hand while whooping that you just got married, then I might just be the adventure-loving photographer for you.


Apart from my daily work as a photographer, I am a simple guy who loves spending time at home. I enjoy the simple things in life such as forest or hill walking, hiking, picnics in a scenic location, good company and a few laughs.

When I think about what my perfect evening would look like, I would simply answer that a turf fire, a Guinness and being surrounded by the family would make my day. From Thurs to Sundays I am very busy working with clients in different locations but during weeks and some free weekends I like to spend time with my son Aaron and our dog, Ghost and of course staying fit doing Crossfit training.

A few more of my favourite things 

– 80s video games   – Pew Pew!
– Running (Trail Run / off-road running and half marathon or more on the road)
– Hyperreal Pencil drawings
– A bit of oil painting
– A  proper cup of coffee
– Popcorn
– Comedy films
– Spicy chicken wing’s
– Adventure

What type of shooting do you do?

As a wedding and elopement photographer, I specialise in capturing moody, relaxed, grainy, classic, and film-like images. (A fun photographer) I want my couples to feel relaxed and natural in front of the camera, and encourage them to be themselves and have fun during the photoshoot. Posing and fake smiles are not necessary – I am there to capture you at your best.

I take my role as a photographer very seriously and strive to be organised and prepared on the big day. I work closely with the bride and groom to understand their vision and preferences, and rely on the wedding party or families to help gather everyone together for group shots. In addition to formal wedding photos, I also love capturing the relaxed, informal moments that reflect the happy atmosphere of the day.

To get a better idea of my wedding shooting style, check out the wedding.

Inspiration for my work

Natural photography is seeking the most natural and relaxed angle in human interactions. It is all about appreciating the lighter side of life, the simple things that make huge things perfect.

I get my inspiration from my usual interaction with family and clients. I use my love of life, the love of all things simple such as art/painting,  long walks / hiking, spicy chicken wings for dinner, drink coffee more than water, love TV (I’m watching Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, Breaking Bad, How I met your Mother,  New girl and Family Guy)


I love capturing people and their interactions in a relaxed and natural way. I believe that the little things in life, like art and nature, can bring us joy and make big things even more perfect.

I get a lot of my inspiration from spending time with my family and clients, and from enjoying the simple pleasures in life like long walks, spicy chicken wings, and a good cup of coffee (or two). I also love TV and am always watching something new – currently, I’m into shows like Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, and Family Guy.

As a natural photographer, I strive to capture the beauty and authenticity of people and their relationships. Whether it’s a family photoshoot, engagement session, or wedding, I want to help you create memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. So if you’re looking for warm, friendly, and natural photography, I would love to work with you!

How I got my first camera...

Taking pictures is something that I’ve always been interested in, but it wasn’t until I was a little older that I really got into it. My uncle used to lend me his film camera when I was a teenager, and I loved taking pictures with it. But then I got busy with other things, like graphic design, and I didn’t do much photography for a while.

But I always felt like I was meant to be creative, and one day I saw an ad for a photography course at a college called Roslyn Park. I knew I had to apply, and I was lucky enough to get the last seat in the class. I studied for a year and earned a certificate, and then I stayed at the college to practice my skills and work on projects in the studio.

One of the first big opportunities I had was when a friend of my brother asked me to photograph her wedding. I was really nervous, but everything went really well and the bride was thrilled with the pictures. In the years since then, I’ve photographed the weddings of five of her friends, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

I also do portrait work and digital manipulation, and I’m always up for a challenge. Photography is something that I’m really passionate about, and after almost 15 years of doing it, I still love it just as much as I did when I started.

Charcoal, Graphite, and Oil Paintings: A Creative Mix on Instagram

When I’m not busy taking photographs, I like to spend my time exploring other artistic mediums. One of my favorite hobbies is creating charcoal art, as I enjoy the way that the medium allows me to capture a sense of depth and texture in my work. I also enjoy working with graphite pencils, as they allow me to create very fine and detailed pieces. Additionally, I love the rich, vibrant colors that can be achieved with oil painting, and I often spend hours lost in the process of creating a new piece. When I’m not working on art, I like to stay active and fit by going for a run or participating in other outdoor activities. Overall, I believe that it is important to have a balance of physical and creative pursuits in life, and I enjoy finding ways to incorporate both into my daily routine.

Are you an art lover looking for something a little different? Look no further – follow me on Instagram for a unique and eclectic mix of charcoal and oil paintings! From abstract pieces that push the boundaries of traditional art forms, to more traditional works that showcase my technical skills, I strive to create a diverse range of pieces that will engage and inspire my viewers. Whether you’re a seasoned art connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of visual art, I believe that there is something for everyone in my portfolio. So come on and give me a follow – you never know what creative treasures you might discover!