The Best Northern Ireland Elopement Guide for 2024

The country of Northern Ireland is unique and the locations are off the beaten path. Without the crowds you’ll have every location in this country to yourself. The perfect place on earth for your private ceremony. This is a list of the best ‘wow factor’ locations to have an elopement in Ireland, made by a local photographer (me!). There are also some tips at the bottom and local vendors in Northern Ireland.

If you’re considering an elopement but you’re not sure where, or if you’ve looked at doing so in Northern Ireland but can’t settle on an answer, I’m answering some of the top questions to help you decide as well as telling which locations are the best. It can also be a great vacation for friends and family to join the celebration.

Hamilton’s Seat, The Giants Causeway Cliff Path, by Tiffany Gage Photography

Is Ireland as beautiful as people say?

Firstly, Northern Ireland has some of the best scenery in Europe, from ancient castle ruins, to stunning rivers, lakes and mountains. You don’t have to limit yourself to one location either, as some of the best spots are close together. I’m talking a 15 minutes drive at the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland!

What locations do photographers recommend for elopements in Ireland? 

If you want to book me for your elopement photography, please click here and let’s see if our dates match up. Here are my top recommendations, scroll past the lists to see some stunning images to get a feel for their personality and how you want your elopement to look. There are mostly outdoor scenic locations that give the ‘I eloped to Ireland’ feelings, but I’ve also included some luxurious castle estate locations too.

Northern Ireland Elopement locations:

  1. Dunluce Castle
  2. Kinbane Head & Castle ruins
  3. Dunseverick Castle ruins, Cliffs & sheep grazing
  4. Ballintoy Harbour and Game of Thrones location walk
  5. Murlough Bay & Fair Head – very remote and intimate
  6. The Dark Hedges
  7. Hamiltons Seat and the Giants Causeway Stones
  8. Mussenden Temple
  9. White Park Bay
  10. Thatched Arthur Cottage

Donegal Elopement Locations

Dublin Elopement Locations

Republic Ireland Elopement Locations

Northern Irelands Number 1 Elopement location is Dunluce Castle

As an experienced photographer, my top recommendation for anyone eloping to Ireland is Dunluce Castle on the Causeway Coastal Route. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland, and offers so much scope, with incredible views. The field that overlooks Dunluce Castle is owned by a local farmer, so permission to enter does need to be acquired prior to your day, for which there is a fee to pay. It is SO worth it! Any good photographer or planner can arrange this for you. See the highlights of an elopement at Dunluce here. How to book Dunluce Castle here.

Dunseverick Castle

Dunseverick Castle, also on the Causeway Coastal Route, is a lesser known hidden gem, with stunning views of the sunset and easily accessed by walking a short distance. It is peace and tranquil, joining on to the Giant’s Causeway cliff path route which can also be explored whilst you’re there in Co Antrim. The castle itself sits high up with views of the sea on either side. Couples often stand atop a small mound to say their vows, which couldn’t be more naturally perfectly placed! 

Nigel Ivy Film (Elopement Video)

Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Harbour offers the most variety for an elopement in Ireland, making it both a bride and a photographer’s dream. Drive down the windy road and park right at the location of the famous Game of Thrones backdrop of Ballintoy, with black cliffs, white rocks, and strange land formations where the sun shines through when it is setting. This fantastic location is complete with several private beaches and a rural coastal cafe! 

Murlough Bay & Fair Head

Another not-so-well-known location, and often overlooked by the locals, is Murlough Bay. It is very secluded and so ensures a private wedding, with beautiful views of the sea, huge stones and cliff edges, and plenty of little white sheep nibbling away as you walk through the natural landscape. You’ll not meet anyone while you have your images here. See an elopement here.

The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges is another wonderful spot on the Causeway coastal route. I grew up not far from here, so can attest to its beauty. With lots of personality and beach tress line both sides of the road, the Hedges is an ideal location to visit, and close enough to some other landmark stops as well. A top tip for this one though; whilst lovely throughout the day and at sundown, the ideal time to visit is sunrise, due to its popularity throughout the rest of the day with tourists. Check out the images below to spot the difference. This is why you should trust your local photographer. Contact me today if you have any more questions about eloping here. Super stunning, imagine this hanging on the wall in your home. See an elopement in winter here.

Captured at The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland by Tiffany Gage Photography

Kinbane Head

If you’re looking for a popular but private elopement location, you might want to check out Kinbane Castle. It has rugged cliffs, an amazing view of Ratlin Island across the water, and a historic castle and waterfall. Whilst there are a lot of steps before you reach this spot, its beauty outweighs the effort it takes to see it. It has so much scope to offer you wouldn’t need to go to any other locations. An epic location to choose. See an elopement and vow ceremony here.

Hamilton’s Seat

Do you and your partner love to hike? Have you thought about incorporating it into your elopement? If so, Hamilton’s Seat is for you. You can start off by visiting the Giants Causeway Stones, the most famous formation in Ireland, and then setting off on a 5 mile hike along the cliff path to reach Hamilton’s Seat. The walk is more than worth the views, which are by far the best in Ireland, and you’ll no doubt have the cliff to yourself, safe for the odd backpacker. The cliff formations are some of the best in the world, 100s of times better for your photographs than the Cliff of Moher, which are more famous and often filled with tourists.

White Park Bay

White Park Bay is the most picturesque beach in Ireland. It has several viewpoints which showcase the beauty of the cove along the Causeway Coastal Route, before walking down to the sandy beach edge and white cliffs. It is also worth planning to visit Dunseverick Castle ruins and falls as they are both just a short walk away. The cove that swoops around each side is breath taking. You’ll even see cows up close grazing along the beach edge. My best memory here was finding a fossil with my primary school friends, or actually it might be lighting a camp fire from flint in my early twenties with my fellow students on my art course. Toasting marshmallows is a go!

If ruins, castles, wind, and the general outdoors isn’t your thing, check out some luxurious castles and other indoor venue options in this blog post

What kind of weather should I expect?

When is best to elope to Ireland is entirely dependant on your preference. If you are looking for those dramatic, dark, magical shots, you probably want to brave the autumnal or winter months, as long as you also don’t mind rain, which is common in December and January. The sun sets in autumn and winter really are the best for golden hour shots. If it does rain on your wedding day, just try to embrace it and incorporate it, allowing your photographer to add more emotion and energy to the image. I tend to shoot at sunrise and sunset during winter elopements in order to make use of the softer light. On the contrary, if you’re hoping for blue skies and baby lambs, spring/summer is for you. Regardless of what you decide, Northern Ireland is quite mild all year round, and it is rare to experience any extreme weather conditions seen around the world.

What preparations do I need to make? 

It is a good idea to hire a planner for your elopement, who can take the pressure off and give you the best advice. However, some people prefer to get fully involved in the planning process and would rather do the research themselves. If so, a top tip is to seek out your photographer first. Wedding photographers are usually very helpful when it comes to suggestions for locations, timelines, and other local vendors, and they know what will work best with the style you are aiming for. 

For flowers, I would recommend a statement bouquet that will stand out against the natural Irish backdrop of hills and cliffs. 

Irish Elopement and wedding suppliers to get your started: 

Where should I stay in Ireland and how do I get around?

If you are looking for an authentic stay, it is a good idea to check out some of the Air BnB’s in the Causeway Coastal Route area. Some top suggestions for you to browse through are;

For a more unique stay for two, have a look at Luxury Glamping Myrtle Truck at Larchfield Estate, The Bubble den Portglenone, and converted horse box, The Oat Box

The public transport is not the best, especially for long distance travelling. Your location might be several hours away from Dublin or Belfast airport, and so the best option is to hire a car for your stay. Not only does it give you the freedom to explore at your own pace, it is the fastest and most convenient way to get around. 

Please don’t forget to get yourself travel insurance, it is always a good idea and you never know when it will come in handy! Scotland is a 25 minute flight away from Belfast so why not visit there after?

What about the legal stuff and officiants? 

For Northern Ireland, your elopement must be done by an officiant for religious weddings, or a registrar or humanist celebrant for secular weddings. You must also have 2 witnesses who are at least 18. You must give notice of your marriage within the 12 months of your ceremony, and the minimum is 28 days before and apply for a UK marriage visa, as Northern Ireland is part of the UK. 

However, if having a legally-binding ceremony abroad is too much fuss, it can be less stressful to sign the dotted line at home, saving the exchange of rings and vows to be enjoyed in Ireland at your chosen stunning location. Then you can have your celebrant and ceremony how you like in Northern Ireland, with no witnesses.

Let’s Connect


If you’re interested in booking your photography with me, simply fill in the contact form with the finer details. Let’s see if our dates match up.

I always like to have a consultation with you first. Wedding chats will usually happen over the phone or video call. This time is important to ensure we will be a good fit for one another and an opportunity to answer questions.

Similar Posts