How to Legally Elope in Ireland - Loco Love Photography

How to Legally Elope in Ireland

Hi, I'm Alisha!

I’m Alisha, Leesh, and lovingly known as Loco Leesh (she/her). I wear many hats as your elopement photographer. I’m also here to be your guide, planner, resource, best friend and hype woman. I'm here to laugh, cry, and occasionally dance alongside you. I'm also a barefoot hippie veteran. Betcha never saw that coming! What really sets my soul on fire is connecting with people on a deeply personal level *My Pisces is showing*. I’m here to tell you that you have permission to DREAM BIG on what you think your wedding day should look like. Because your crazy love deserves to be captured in an authentic way. 

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November 9, 2022

Hello, my lads and lassies, I see you’re considering having an Irish destination elopement but have no idea how to get married in Ireland as a U.S. Citizen. My name is Alisha and I’m here to help break down how to legally elope in Ireland. Unless you’re a lawyer and love this kind of thing…I’m guessing that figuring out the logistics isn’t a top priority when you could be focusing on other fun things that go into planning your elopement. It can be very overwhelming being a foreigner and trying to figure out how to legally elope in Ireland. It basically comes down to two choices. One is easier than the other. One is more “official” than the other.

First things first, the biggest difference between these two choices is that you get to either sign your marriage license at home or sign it in Ireland. The first question I have to ask is, is that something that matters to you on your wedding day? Your answer will help dictate how you navigate these two options.

Option one: Symbolic Wedding Ceremony in Ireland

You can either get legally married in your country of origin and do a symbolic ceremony in Ireland (meaning you’ve legally signed your marriage license in the place where your home address is). Then it’s all legally taken care of and your elopement will still be treated like your big day. You’ll still wake up on the day of your elopement, get ready, do a first look with your spouse (if that’s your thing), go on an adventure to an epic location in Ireland, exchange personally written vows, do a traditional handfasting, seal the deal with a kiss, pop some champagne and get the best photos ever!

Pros:  It’s much easier to go this route. It’ll be less of a legal/logistic nightmare to take care of it in the U.S.

Cons: You can’t say that you were “legally” married in Ireland. But who cares? If it’s a technical hang-up for you, then that’s your provocative but you can still say you eloped in Ireland because you’re choosing to acknowledge that as your special day.

Option two: Obtain Your Marriage License in Ireland

This option requires more legwork in regard to paperwork, but at the end of the day, you officially say you were married in Ireland. Again, you’ll wake up on the day of your elopement, get ready, do a first look with your spouse (if that’s your thing), go on an adventure to an epic location in Ireland, exchange personally written vows, do a traditional handfasting, seal the deal with a kiss, sign your marriage license, pop some champagne and get the best photos ever! Okay, let’s get into the details. There are a few things that need to happen in order for your marriage to be signed, sealed, and delivered. 

You must apply to get married in Ireland at least 3 months before your wedding day. The specific term is called a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). You can either go in person or attend an appointment over the phone. Make sure you have all forms of ID (birth certificate and passport) on hand and readily available. You can book an appointment here. The marriage notification fee is €200 and is non-refundable. To register your marriage license is absolutely free in Ireland but to order a certificate it is €20.

For your marriage to be legal, your ceremony has to be performed by a solemnizer (similar to what we know to be an officiant). To make the ceremony itself official in Ireland you have to make two declarations during the ceremony:

  • That you do not know of any impediment to the marriage
  • That you accept each other as husband/wife/spouse
  • You must have 2 witnesses present who are over 18

The place your hold your ceremony matters (legally)

Two other things to consider for your marriage to be considered legal in Ireland is that the place you get married must be:

  • Open to the public (cannot be private property)
  • Must have a physical address

The requirements with the second option can limit the epic locations you get hitched at in Ireland. Of course, you always have the option to file your marriage license at home. It all depends on what truly matters to you for your wedding day. If signing your marriage license on Irish soil is important to you, then we can easily make that happen. But if you don’t care about a piece of paper on your big day, then there is that freedom as well. In order to fully understand how to legally elope in Ireland, I recommend doing your own research. After all, I’m not a lawyer and this is in no way legal advice. 🙂

As always, I’m here to help plan and capture your epic Ireland elopement. Need some Ireland photo inspiration? Check out this honeymoon portrait session in Benbulbin, Ireland.

My Ireland Elopement Packages start at $4,500 and include:

  • Options of 4-Hour, 6-Hour, and 8-Hour Packages
  • 100+ Page Elopement Planning Guide
  • Unlimited Guidance & Consultation Calls
  • Custom Timeline
  • All Travel Fees and Expenses, including permits & visa applications-Minus something extra like a helicopter ride 😉
  • Vendor Recommendations
  • Location Scouting of The Best Locations in Ireland
  • Upgrade to 1:1 Vow Writing Consulting (pst did I mention I have a background in copywriting?)
  • Discounted Photo Album Design Services (with creative and romantic storytelling of your gorgeous elopement)
  • Gallery Slideshow
  • 500+ Culled and Edited High-Resolution Photos
  • Digital Gallery with Printing Rights
  • Surprise Gift From Me

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    Our first experience working with Alisha was on an elopement styled shoot. I knew from that day on she was going to be the photographer to capture our wedding day. Alisha said "yes" to absolutely every crazy idea and vision I had for our wedding day. She literally hiked miles and woke up before the sun to make it happen. Alisha is completely in her element when photographing, she knows how direct a shoot without being bossy, she captures every angle without being in the way and doesn't make you feel like you're even behind the camera. Alisha pours her entire self into every shoot she does, she doesn't stop until everything is perfect. It put me at ease knowing Alisha was paying such close attention to detail when it came to the location scouting and capturing every single photo imaginable. Working with Alisha was a breeze, she's communicative, fast and detail oriented. Not to mention, an incredible photographer. We were blown away when we got our wedding gallery within a month of our wedding, with over 700 beautiful photos. Our families cried happy tears all over again reliving those memories. If you're wondering, "is it worth it?" The answer is 100% ABSOLUTELY yes, hire Alisha, you won't regret it.

    — Katie & Kevin

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    We absolutely love Alisha! She gave us the best photos EVER! She planned everything to the smallest detail. It was so easy and she made sure we had everything we were looking for. My husband and I even flew back to get wedding photos done! Alisha braved the cold winter for us. We are so thankful to have memories in the best photos ever. I can’t say enough about her. Not only is she an AMAZING photographer but such a good person! We will definitely be having plenty more sessions in our lifetime :)

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    My fiancé and I could not feel more fortunate to have crossed paths with Alisha while searching for a photographer for our engagement shoot. Let me tell you, this girl is a GEM. I talked to at least 50 photographers during my search and Alisha is the only one that I felt truly cared about what we wanted. We met up at sunrise on the day of our shoot and I can truly say that it was a flawless experience! My fiancé and I were exhausted and nervous, but immediately upon meeting Alisha, we felt comfortable and excited. Her positive energy is contagious. I tend to be awkward and never know what to do with my hands, but she was so patient and guided us every step of the way, giving us prompts and making us laugh the entire time. It felt like we were leaving the shoot with a new friend. WE ARE OBSESSED WITH OUR PHOTOS. In short, Alisha 10000000% exceeded my very high expectations. She’s incredibly talented, creative, caring and personable. You can tell she has a huge heart and is passionate about what she does. 

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    Alisha is the consummate photographer that you want capturing your special day. We used her (twice!) for engagement photos and she was the first we asked to be our wedding photographer. From the moment we engaged her for the big day, she was all about us. From a welcome care package that frankly knew us almost better than we knew us, to her wedding guides, assistance in finding other vendors, and of course her amazing skill behind the camera Alisha was the perfect choice for our wedding photography. On the day of the big event she took great photos and had creative ideas for shoots in and around the venue. She’s given us keepsakes that we are thrilled to treasure forever and proud to frame and hang on the wall. Book her now.

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    Where do I even start!? Alisha was an absolute dream to work with!!! She was so flexible with us and our last-minute cancellation due to covid. We had originally planned to meet her in Vegas for our anniversary shoot in March and we ended up canceling our trip a week out due to the virus. She was so understanding and even offered to refund our deposit. We knew we still absolutely wanted to shoot with her so we scheduled another trip to Colorado this time and she met us there for an amazing sunrise shoot at Great Sand Dunes Natl Park. The whole experience was incredible and Alisha was so amazing and personable, we felt like we had left and made a new friend! She sent us sooo many sneak peeks just a few days after the shoot and Then probably 100 more photos a few weeks later. They were absolutely stunning. She is easily one of the best humans I’ve ever met and not to mention an extremely talented photographer with a clear passion for her clients and her work! We can’t wait to shoot with her again!

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    I have never done a couples shoot but I fell in love with Alisha's work on social media. I was beyond ecstatic when I found out she was traveling to Minnesota. Where do I begin? From the moment I spoke with Alisha, she easily made me feel comfortable and confident. She responded back to my questions and concerns within a timely manner and was easily accessible. Her talent and passion for photography is truly admirable! It’s so evident that she genuinely cares about each and every couple that she works with. Alisha has a gift for detail and seeing things differently than everyone else. She took some breathtaking pictures that will always have a special place in my heart! Alisha doesn't just take photographs, she creates beautiful works of art that don’t just capture smiles but our souls, and to be a part of her art is an absolute honor. Not only is her work stunning, but she is a great person to be around. She is professional, patient and outgoing and I cannot wait to book with her again! Thanks for the memories, laughs and for creating such an enjoyable experience.

    — Miriam & Jaime

    “She made everything perfect! 10/10 recommend”

    Alisha was super professional and friendly throughout the entire process of our engagement shoot. I was super indecisive on where to have our shoot and she gave me multiple choices. She even went to the spot before hand to scope it out for us. My fiancé hates getting pictures taken but he loved natural and fun our experience was. Alisha made us our own playlist to listen to throughout the shoot which made both of us feel super comfortable. We ended having our shoot in Breckenridge and made a weekend out of it. Honestly, one of the most rememberable and amazing weekends we could ask for. Alisha communicated with us throughout everything and was SO fast getting our sneak peak photos and album to us. She even sent us a little gift that we appreciated SO SO much. I would highly recommend Alisha for any photography session whether its an adventure shoot or a wedding. She made everything perfect! 10/10 recommend :)

    — GRACE & JAKE