How to Elope at Dunluce Castle

Looking for the perfect elopement location in Europe? Dunluce Castle

What a breathtaking view! It really is the perfect spot to exchange your vows.

The castle ruins are iconic, situated right on the cliff edge which gives the ultimate WOW factor your elopement images are looking for. Having a backdrop like Dunluce, elevates your images beyond imagination. Envision that ‘shot’ hanging in your home, I can hardly breathe with excitement! Relive that memory through your images.

The coastal edge continues into the horizon and the roaring waves below add incredible atmosphere to your experience and images. Every day at Dunluce is different weather wise. Some days you’ll have a calm and romantic golden hour, others you’ll have a little windy weather and dramatic clouds to bring adventure to your elopement.


How to get married at Dunluce

87 Dunluce Rd,
BT57 8UY Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle
  • Perfect view: Iconic castle ruins, rugged cliff edge & roaring waves below
  • Exclusively book the field opposite – no tourists, total privacy, option to decorate it any way you like
  • Complimentary use of a cottage, facilities, parking and drop off at the cliff edge for you and any guests in a 4×4


Views along the coast of Northern Ireland are very special, especially on your wedding day, they add to the perfect backdrop. The good thing about this view, is that it can be booked for as long as you want. Once you book the field you have the freedom to plan anything… helicopter entrance/exit, cake cutting, hiandfasting ceremony, hay bales, picnic or drinks celebration, and horse riding.

Tourists can park and enter inside the castle which is managed by the National Trust and is open during the day. The land next to Dunluce Castle, which is where couples say their vows, is privately owned by a local farmer, this is what you want to book. To have your ceremony here, the farmer charges a fee of £350 to access the view point, cottage and facilities. You can warm up with a cuppa tea or have a dram of whisky before you head down to the ceremony spot. The farmer can drive you down to the view point in his 4X4, it’s enjoyable and stress free. Early summer can book up fast, try to plan a weekday off peak time or have flexibility date wise. You can also pre book the field for a short 45 minute ‘portrait session’ if you just want photos, dependant on availability and price on enquiry.

If you have guests attending, there is a safari like, rain proof seated trailer, that they can go down in. Believe me this is ‘some craic’. The fun, singing and bouncing of the ride down is really good fun and such a mood booster. It always gives me the giggles.

Your photographer will be able to arrange the Dunluce booking details for you, or a local elopement planner can do this too. It’s best to speak to your photographer (me) about your vision, I can recommend the best ceremony time for your date/season you choose to elope to work around the potential golden hour sunshine and season.

If you and your guests want to go inside the castle, you will have to get tickets and plan to go within opening hours. It’s a tourist attraction so others will be there too, and they don’t facilitate any ceremonies inside. If you wish to have photos taken inside the castle, a photo-op fee of £60 is charged on entry and must be pre-booked in advance with the National Trust, this way you can have more views and old stone wall imagery.


Book a local photographer

Tiffany Gage Photography
Northern Ireland Elopement Photography

  • Local area expertise: Location guide & hidden gems
  • Can cater any type of elopement or vow renewal
  • Expert in sunrise/sunset timing and weather forecast
  • Timeline planning for Multi-Location elopements
  • Local recommended vendor connections and advice


It is so important you discuss the time of your elopement with your local photographer, and think about their advice. In Northern Ireland we have long hours of daylight in the spring/summer time, and in winter the days are so short, but the sunsets are softer and golden in the autumnal and winter months.

Plus the sunrise times can differ a lot throughout the seasons and there are certain locations you can only capture at sunrise or sunset. We can plan around the sun times, organise your vows, photos and make sure you have time for celebrations and food after.

For multi location or 2 day elopements you’ll need my expertise on how best to maximise your time and travel between locations.

It takes a lot of skill and practice to get those epic shots that are ‘just right’. Make sure to choose a photographer who is there regularly, as there are new fences and options available. Your photographer will make you feel at ease and guide you through your portraits, all while getting the angles and composition correct and working with any golden hour light. You will want top class images that are breathtaking, to hang in your home forever, you don’t want to struggle with little choice, you want to have much variety of really great shots.

Advice such as getting a dress that flows and blows is a good tip. Make the day your own, choose a suit or Irish tweed jacket, go for a white, red or black dress, add your own personal touch. Dunluce will be the perfect backdrop for your ceremony.


Why Dunluce vs Other Locations?

With lots of options in NI it’s a hard choice

  • The best castle backdrop for vows in NI
  • Can cater for any number of guests
  • Car ride down included & Safari-like truck available
  • Central location between Portrush & Bushmills
  • Private cottage and facilities beside carpark
  • Along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route
  • Pre-book, have it all to yourselves
  • Close to other locations for a multi location shoots
  • Religious, legally binding, humanist/other, or symbolic elopement ceremony type
  • Access from Belfast or Dublin Airport


Firstly book yourself a modern or cute farm or river cottage B&B. If you’re having photos of you getting ready it’s best to have space and lots of bright light. This will elevate your photos and provide a great space for your first look.

The abundance of locations available in NI is really quite remarkable for your elopement photos. Many of them are a bit better known after Game of Thrones filming. I have an extensive list of locations and photos here for you to read in depth.

One of the best parts about eloping at Dunluce Castle is the huge list of locations nearby, along the causeway coastal route. The route takes you from Dunluce the whole walk back to Belfast via the coast road.

Dunluce Castle is around the corner from the beach, the Giants Causeway, the Dark Hedges Road, Dunseverick Castle, Mussenden Temple and a few other hidden places. There are honestly so many to choose from, no matter which locations you choose to explore on your elopement, you won’t be disappointed. 

Rain or shine it’s perfect. The rain is usually very light and weather fronts pass and move on quickly. 20 minutes can make the biggest difference and usually after the rain the sun comes out. If there is very light rain, I recommend embracing the elements and enjoy the adventure.

Tips from a photographer’s view point

Elopement tips

Book the field – Total privacy making for a more relaxed experience and comfortable photography session.

Florals – Ask for a special Elopement statement bouquet large in size, these look perfect in your bridal images.

Book a call – Get online with your photographer and chat through all your ideas and questions. Create the perfect day!

Finally, book something unique, a special treat for after, like pulling a pint of Guinness in the local pub, falconry experience, helicopter exit or horse ride on the beach/the dark hedges. Head for a surf or ice cream. A private meal at your lovely accommodation.

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