Photographer
Serving love
Ireland and Worldwide
Elopements

Cliffs of Moher Elopement Guide: How to Plan a Wedding at the Cliffs of Moher

05.21.24

Welcome to my guide on Cliffs of Moher elopements, where love meets adventure and the edge of the world! I’m Aideen, your adventurous elopement photographer. I’m here to help you plan your dream destination wedding in Ireland and how to say “I do” against the backdrop of Ireland’s most iconic cliffs.

Bride and Groom portait on Cliffs of Moher during their Ireland Elopement at sunset

Elope in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher 

Close your eyes and imagine standing on the edge of towering cliffs, with the Atlantic Ocean stretching beyond as far as the eye can see. This is the Cliffs of Moher—a rugged, wild landscape that embodies the raw beauty of Ireland’s west coast. As an Ireland elopement photographer passionate about capturing love in extraordinary places, the Cliffs of Moher hold a special place in my heart. Every time I step on those cliffs, I remember nature’s endless possibilities and wonder. It is a magical and perfect setting for an Irish wedding or vow renewal.

Bride and Groom photos on top of the Cliffs of Moher during their Ireland wedding at sunset

Why choose a Cliffs of Moher elopement? 

So, why plan a wedding at the Cliffs of Moher? Well, let me tell you, there’s something genuinely magical about starting your journey together at the edge of the world. Whether you’re drawn to the sense of adventure, the romance of the rugged coastline, or the spiritual significance of this ancient landscape, the Cliffs of Moher offer a setting unlike any other. Here, you can exchange vows on your wedding day, surrounded by the raw power of nature, with the crashing waves as your soundtrack and the wind in your hair. It’s an experience that’s intimate, meaningful, and utterly unforgettable.

Bride and Groom kiss on the Cliffs of Moher during their Ireland Elopement

When is the Best Time of Year to plan an elopement on the cliffs?

Now, let’s talk about timing. Spring brings blooming wildflowers and mild temperatures, while summer offers long daylight hours and warmer weather, with the highest average temperatures at around 64℉ in August. Fall is ablaze with autumnal colors, and winter brings moody and unique, dramatic beauty. Each season has its unique charm! Just be prepared for it to rain at some point! Ireland is famous for its all-year-round wet weather!

January & February are the only months you should avoid. The cliffs are very exposed, so while the temperatures are generally mild throughout the year, high winds can increase the wind chill and make your winter elopement challenging.  

Black and white image of an Irish handfasting ceremony for a Cliffs of Moher wedding

Where to stay when eloping at the Cliffs of Moher?

I recommend staying in Doolin or Lahinch so that you’re as close as possible to the Cliffs. For a more intimate and personal experience, consider privately hiring one of the many  B&Bs or guesthouses dotted throughout the countryside near the Cliffs of Moher. Book well in advance, as these locations are popular with tourists!

Here are a few of my favorite places to stay:

Luxury Camping in the heart of Doolin

The Lodges at Sea View House

Doolin Lodge

Sea Mist

Burren Cottage

Gregans Castle Hotel

Salt Cliff Cottage

Which airport should you fly to for your Ireland elopement? 

Shannon Airport is the closest major airport to this iconic natural wonder (50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Cliffs). However, most of my couples fly into Dublin Airport as it serves more U.S. locations and has better car rental options.  

Can you get legally married at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland? 

Yes, it’s possible! You can legally marry outdoors in Ireland by opting for a non-religious ceremony. Still, the ceremony must take place at a recognized landmark! At the Cliffs of Moher, this is O’Briens Tower at Hags Head. It is a beautiful location, but it’s not always accessible. Most of my couples choose to do the legal part in their home country and instead plan a symbolic ceremony in Ireland. I highly recommend Doolin wedding celebrant Fiona Whelton. 

Black and white lanscape image of O'Briens tower at hags head on Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Can we bring guests to our ceremony at the cliffs?

Yes, of course, but please keep it small and limit your wedding party to 10-15 people. Remember that accessing the cliffs requires some walking, no seating is available, and you are not allowed to bring chairs. Parking can also be limited!

Bride and Groom celebrate their cliffs of moher elopement in Ireland

Benefits of Hiring a Local Destination Wedding Photographer

Hiring a local photographer is essential when you choose to elope at the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions. Due to this popularity, parking restrictions, and limited photo location options,  accessing the cliffs for epic photos is becoming increasingly difficult. Having a photographer who knows where and when to go will ensure everything goes smoothly and stress-free.

What if it rains?

It’s essential to be open-minded and prepared for plans to change on the day if necessary. The weather can be impossible to predict in Ireland, and often, there is not much to see at the cliffs. Any weather warnings will also make visiting the cliffs unsafe, so it is a good idea to have a plan B in place.

Suppose you are eloping with just the two of you. In that case, I recommend including an ‘instead of the cliffs’ option in your itinerary, such as church ruins (Kilmacreehy Church ruins) or the beach (Fanore Beach is lovely). Ruins and dunes will provide some cover from the elements, followed by a hot whisky in Doolin to warm up! 

For a ceremony with guests, I recommend you have a plan to host your guests for an intimate ceremony at your accommodation instead or prebook another indoor location. Newtown Castle is a great option. It can be hired for weddings for €544 – €738, worth paying for peace of mind!

Bride and Groom at corcomroe abbey first kiss for their Irish Destination wedding

Elopement Ceremony Ideas

  • 01

    Handfasting Ceremony

    This lovely symbolic unity ritual is a Celtic tradition from 7000 B.C. Today, it is often incorporated into elopement ceremonies to symbolize the binding together of two separate people. Click here for handfasting tips and ideas. 

  • 02

    Quaich – Celtic Whiskey Sharing Ritual

    The Quaich, pronounced “quake,” is an ancient Celtic tradition where the couple getting married share their first whisky drink from the same cup. The ritual symbolizes friendship and unity as each participant sips, creating lasting memories and strengthening bonds. It’s a heartfelt expression of kinship in Irish culture and a lovely addition to any elopement ceremony. Buy your Quaich cup from Amazon ahead of time for around $50, and then purchase a unique local whiskey when you arrive in Ireland.

  • 03

    Pint of Guinness

    It’s a different Celtic tradition for Guinness fans. Instead of a Quaich cup, why not bring a pint glass and a can of Guinness to crack open and share after you say your vows?

  • 04

    Ring Warming Ceremony

    If you have guests in attendance, pass the rings to all your guests to bless and infuse them with their good wishes. Bless the rings with an Irish prayer if it’s just the two of you.  

  • 05

    Time Capsule

    Prepare a time capsule box that will be assembled on the day. You could add photos, polaroids, and a bottle of Irish whiskey and place either your handwritten vows or a letter to read to each other in the future.

  • 06

    Unity Sand Ceremony

    It is a tradition in which a couple pours sand from separate vessels into a unified, central one. It represents two people coming together in marriage!

Celebrate in Style After the Ceremony on the Cliffs

Step Back in Time and Enjoy a Medieval Banquet

Prebook a medieval banquet at Dunguaire Castle, where you will be treated to traditional fare, live music, and spirited performances in the castle’s grand hall. From hearty dishes to lively entertainment, it’s an unforgettable celebration of Ireland’s rich heritage and culture.

Get Cozy in O’Connor’s Pub in Doolin

Just a short drive from the cliffs, O’Connors in Doolin is a charming, cozy pub where you can enjoy a pint of Guinness and hearty local cuisine.

Must-See Places Near the Cliffs of Moher

While the Cliffs of Moher are undoubtedly the star attraction of County Clare, several other incredible places are worth exploring during your elopement adventure. From quaint villages to ancient landmarks, here are some must-see places to visit near the Cliffs of Moher:

  • 01

    Aran Islands

    Doolin offers boat tours to the nearby Aran Islands, providing a unique opportunity to experience Ireland’s rugged coastline from a different perspective. The largest island (Inis Mor) features an impressive Iron Age fort in Europe, Dun Aengus. It’s worth a visit!

  • 02

    The Burren

    Located to the north of the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren is a vast limestone landscape dotted with ancient stone forts, megalithic tombs, and unique flora. Take a leisurely drive or guided tour through this otherworldly terrain, stopping to explore iconic sites such as Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Stone Fort.

  • 03

    Aillwee Cave

    Discover an underground wonderland at Aillwee Cave, located near the village of Ballyvaughan. Take a guided tour through this fascinating cave system, marvel at the stunning formations, and learn about the area’s geological history.

  • 04

    Poulnabrone Dolmen

    For a serene and secluded experience, visit Fanore Beach, known for its pristine sands and breathtaking views of Galway Bay. Take a romantic stroll along the shore or relax and soak in the natural beauty of the Atlantic coastline.

  • 05

    Fanore Beach

    For a serene and secluded experience, visit Fanore Beach, known for its pristine sands and breathtaking views of Galway Bay. Take a romantic stroll along the shore or relax and soak in the natural beauty of the Atlantic coastline.

  • 06

    Loop Head Peninsula

    Venture further south to explore the scenic Loop Head Peninsula, home to rugged cliffs, picturesque lighthouses, and panoramic ocean views. Watch for dolphins and seabirds along the coastline as you traverse this stunning peninsula.

Cliffs of Moher Weddings Alternatives

The Cliffs at Dun Aengus, Inis Mor (Aran Islands)

The cliffs at Inis More are similar to the famous Cliffs of Moher. They are another excellent setting for your Irish wedding, with the bonus that you will likely have them all for yourself!

The Cliffs at Loop Head, Kilkee (Co. Clare)

Kilkee Cliffs are nearby; some say they offer a more ‘authentic’ experience. They also look like the Cliffs of Moher and don’t require you to visit a remote island. If you are looking for something a little off the beaten path, more isolated, less crowded, that doesn’t cost and has a cute lighthouse, this could be your dream location. Loop Head is gorgeous, dramatic, and undiscovered! I can guarantee you will have the cliffs entirely to yourselves and the most incredible wedding photos. 

A Real Adventure Elopement on the Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher is one of the best places to elope in the world! This perfect day will prove that to you! Cali and Sam said their vows at Corcomroe Abbey, followed by an intimate handfasting ceremony at sunset on the Cliffs of Moher. It was a real-life fairy tale, and I couldn’t quite believe it. I was there, chosen to witness and capture Cali and Sam celebrating their marriage in Ireland! How lucky I am to be a photographer and call THIS my job! Working on these photos was a joy, and I am so grateful I captured a tiny part of Cali and Sam’s love story.

Cliffs of Moher Elopements

Cali and Sam’s elopement in Ireland was just amazing. They tied the knot amongst some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. This is why I love to shoot elopements: I get to spend time with like-minded, adventurous souls in some of the most stunning locations. View more photos from their elopement here.

Portrait of a bride and groom at the cliffs of moher for the wedding in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher Elopement Packages

I offer a bespoke Cliffs of Moher Package to support the vision for your special day. If you feel connected with my style and would like me to photograph your Irish Elopement story, I would love to hear from you. Please get in touch to learn how to make your dream wedding come true.

Black and white portrait of bride and groom at their wedding

Ireland Elopement Planning Resources

Check out my ultimate guide on eloping in Ireland, linked below!