So you want to learn how to elope in Northern Ireland, lass? Well we have the guide for you! First, GOOD PICK! The Irish are some of the best people around and Ireland is beeeaaautiful. We love a good green backdrop to make all your dreams come true. Let’s deep dive on one of THE BEST locations to elope in Northern Ireland – Horn Head.
Horn who? Yes, Horn HEAD! Don’t knock it until you have seen the photos. Oh by George, it’s one of a kind. When we say it’s one of the most beautiful places, that’s not just us. It is LITERALLY on a website called themostbeautifulplacesineurope.com. According to the site, the county also contains Ireland’s northernmost tip, Malin Head, which is used as a Star Wars filming location (a stand in for the backdrop of Luke Skywalker’s hideout). If you are ready to have the force at your elopement, call us ASAP.
We provide support for your ideal adventure elopement. We spend literally hours pouring over your questionnaire to get you custom location ideas, permit info, local vendor recommendations, and activities that are fun for you. We’ll send you all the resources, guides, and checklists so you can dream while we work on the details.
Before we go into what Horn Head is all about, let’s run through some of the basics on how to elope in Northern Ireland and get that marriage Facebook (and government) official.
How to elope in Northern Ireland, you will need to ensure you have the following:
- Your elopement needs to be officiated by an officiant for religious weddings, or a registrar or humanist celebrant for secular weddings.
- You must have two witnesses over the age of 18. (We count if you are keeping it just the two of you abroad!)
- Within 12 months of your wedding, you must give notice – plan for about eight weeks out from your ceremony. Here’s the form you’ll fill out, and you can read about timing here, as well as which documents you’ll need to provide.
- Apply for a UK marriage visa
Full list of marriage procedures in Northern Ireland found here to answer the big question of “how can I legally elope in Ireland?”
Another option is to get married stateside and have a ceremonial wedding in Ireland. This by no means takes out the fun of an Irish wedding, check out different Irish Traditions you can incorporate to make your wedding all berries and cream.
If you’re sold on Ireland but want to explore more options like eloping at Dunluce Castle, check out our overview blog How to Elope in Ireland. This will give you options for our elopement packages to make your wedding sealed with an Irish kiss. Also, when booking Ireland know that there is really no bad time of year to go. Summer gets touristy but all year round has moderate temperatures and a bout of rain. If you haven’t heard, rain is lucky on your wedding day and we are here to make sure you have the most fun so don’t let it deter you!
Now, back to why Horn Head is thee spot. First – it has those dramatic cliffs that just set our souls on fire. Then there is the green countryside with rolling hills and ancient stone fences. The hands down friendliest people. Last, of course, – the sheep. Yep, sheep everywhere, and we love them. Call yourself bo peep in white and let’s get some photos with our fluffy friends.
The area surrounding Horn Head is adorned with stone circles, stone tombs, and markings etched by ancient Celts in the Stone Age. An elopement at Horn Head could mean a sandy beach with the ocean and cliffs in the background or a ceremony overlooking the waves – the options are endless, and the views from the lookouts are breathtaking. You can even take an adventure drive to see the area!
But, WHERE exactly in Horn Head do you say I do?
There’s options. Now that we have the basics covered, let’s get into your love story and where to have your Ireland wedding. If you’re wondering about how to elope in Belfast, Horn Head is close by and a place that isn’t as crowded.
We are suckers for a good cliff shot. There is nothing like watching couples say their vows on top of a cliff with vast possibilities around them. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our Carlsbad Cliff Adventure Session for some cliff inspo! The cliffs at Horn Head are 180 meters tall so you feel on top of the world with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Another option is Killahoey Beach which is 13 miles from the cliff point. Killahoey Beach is known as a glorious sandy stretch looking out towards Sheephaven Bay. We LOVE a good beach. The salt, the sand, the sunsets, we could go on. One of our top beaches is in Mexico, but we are game to see how the Irish shores treat you!
Can’t choose? Us either. Let’s plan an adventure where you can explore both locations and more with our full day elopement package.
Here’s our favorite Northern Ireland wedding vendors
When choosing your vendors for your Northern Ireland elopement, we have the people for you!
Photography & Videography. You’re in luck: we (Honeybee Weddings) specialize in both photography AND videography while becoming your BFFs at the same time! Plus – you’ll get one helluva discount for getting hitched in Ireland – heyyyyy!
Hair and Makeup. For hair and makeup our number one is G&G. Not only is their work amazing, but they offer complimentary champagne, nibbles, and entry to a nightclub. Get pampered the day of and enjoy a fun evening of dancing before! The best way to make the most out of your two day elopement!
Officiant. If you plan to get married in Ireland, here are a few great officiants for North Ireland elopements, Celtic ceremonies, Humanist weddings, or check out Marry Me Ireland for a list of the right officiant for you.
Catering. You want to elope AND have a fancy celebration? We’re here for it. Clink that champagne glass and check out The Red Door Country House and Yes Chef Catering – let’s talk; we can help you envision how this could work! Planning food is especially helpful if friends and family join you for your special day or part of it.
Live Music. If music is a big part of your love story, you can book Sinead Black, a local Irish wedding singer. As she explains, “The wedding songs that you choose are the theme tracks to your beautiful day. Every time you hear one of these songs in the future you will be taken back to those very special moments.”
Bakery. Is it important to you to have a cake to cut? Drool over Selena’s Creations. We can’t wait to capture that special moment of you two celebrating over your special cake!
Pub. We won’t let you leave Ireland without a whisky, a Guinness, or a pub with a view! Lighthouse Tavern and Harbour Bar are both known for their traditional Irish pub feel with great food, friendly service, and outside eating so you can continue to enjoy the Irish views.
Check out these digs for your Irish accommodations
If you’re on the hunt for where to stay during your Northern Ireland elopement at Horn Head, there’s a few great options.
Captain’s Tiny House – this micro space is great if you want to cozy up with your love and plan on spending time in the town. Located in the heart of Dunfanaghy, you have access to a local supermarket, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, gift shops & delis. You can enjoy Tramore Beach and Killahoey Beach within walking distance. In addition, the owners run a surf school you can take advantage of. Cow-a-bunga Irish style!
TravelNest’s Holiday Apartment – Can we just say how much we love a “Holiday” apartment. Swooooon. This location provides more space and is across the street from sandy shores. Just a short walk away is Dunfanaghy S Main Street with plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, local craft shops and art galleries, and pubs. The surrounding area is a natural paradise perfect for fly fishing, deep-sea angling, horse riding, golfing, bird watching or walking.
Basically, you can’t go wrong with your Horn Head elopement!
What to do on day 2
Hiking: You know us, we couldn’t let a guide go by without mentioning that how to elope in northern Ireland should include a wondrous hike. If you are into that sort of thing. Cause we would LOVE to take you on an epic adventure elopement! Which brings us to Glenveagh National Park, about 30 minutes away. You park in Letterkenny. Yes, like the Canadian sitcom! Next, you can choose one of the many trails, there’s options for every fitness level.
Glenveagh National Park is the second biggest park in Ireland and it’s full of forests, pristine lakes, the Glenveagh waterfall, rugged mountains and the fairytale-like Glenveagh Castle. There’s also plenty of wild animals if you want a break from the sheep.
Horseback Riding: Have you dreamed of galloping on the beaches? In northern Donegal is Dunfanaghy, a small seaside town on the shores of Sheephaven Bay. That offers plenty of horseback riding options to fit your vision.
Kayaking: Join a guided coastal sea kayaking trip exploring Lough Swilly in beautiful county Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way. See dramatic mountain scenery and discover tranquil coves, catch sightings of marine wildlife as you travel along the captivating Wild Atlantic Way. One of the many joys of this trip is observing the varied birdlife as you paddle along this coastline.
Let’s get you booked!
If you are ready to adventure from top of the mornin’ to an all day elopement adventure, call us to chat! We are ready to plan your Northern Ireland elopement, including what your wedding dreams are, the location where you can feel the most you, and all those gushy, just pinch me, pot of gold moments in between.
TLDR: We can build a custom elopement package! Right now, we are creating the calendar for 2023, and are ready to make your wedding full of hearts, stars and horseshoes, as well as clovers and blue moons!