Italy has always been one of the top picks for a destination wedding venue. Not surprising at all because when a couple thinks of a destination spot, they imagine Italy’s mountainous landscape, its fresh Mediterranean climate, the country’s historic buildings, and its rich flora and fauna that complete the elements of a picturesque wedding.
However, you can’t just pick the first venue available or the cheapest events place you see on the internet when you decide to get married in Italy. You can’t even rely on photos, descriptions, or reviews that you read because they won’t show you you the whole picture of what these venues offer.
We, the planners behind Peach Perfect Weddings, understand this predicament so well, having planned over 50 weddings since 2014. We’re lucky enough to have a chance to stay at six high-end wedding locations in Italy that breathe authentic regional traditions in all corners. Based on our actual and personal assessment of these venues, we’re comfortable to recommend them in out elopement package.
So if you’re one of those brides who have long decided in your heart to say your ‘I do’ in the surreal grounds of Italy but doesn’t have time to personally look into these venue options, what we’re going to feature for this series of posts are not just pictures and descriptions. We will instead give you complete details directly from us, wedding planners, who personally stayed inside these venues.
We embarked on this adventure to find out if these venues are your best options for a destination wedding in Italy. The first leg of our series would be a gorgeous fairytale hotel in Milan. Here you go!
This 5-star hotel in Milan located on the doorstep of the city’s fashion district, is known for its elegance and a palace-like vibe. You can choose from among its 77 rooms with designs inspired by princesses and princes, and all our childhood fantasies.
We say this because of certain noticeable features like glass dividers embedded with floral designs, Snow White-inspired mirrors, large and classic chandeliers, and silver curtains. You wouldn’t normally see these things elsewhere, right?
Some of the additional memorable elements inside Château Monfort are wide marble staircases and brick ceilings that exude a truly classy ambiance.
Weddings here usually take place at the Hall of Enchantment that’s perfect for a fairytale occasion. It is a 118-sq. m hall with lavish travertine floors and intricate floral patterns embedded on the wall, reaching up to the ceiling. If you are rooting for a religious and a more solemn ceremony, the Catholic Church located 100 meters from the hotel is the perfect venue for you.
If you imagine a whimsical outdoor elopement ceremony in a garden, there is a special area around Château Monfort’s glass dome that could be a perfect spot for your elopement or intimate wedding. It can accommodate 20-25 people.
The Lounge Bar Mezzanotte is ideal for wedding receptions because of the elevated area in front that can serve as your stage during the program. It is spacious enough for the couple, the musicians, the host, and some of your guests who will say their meaningful speeches.
The dome-shaped opening at the ceiling is covered with glass that lets all the light in at daytime. This area also gives your guests the chance to adore the Italian starry sky at night.
The smaller Rubacuori by Venissa restaurant, which is another option for the reception, has a distinct beauty in itself. It’s divided into three rooms with chic and shabby wallpapers, delicate chandeliers, and antique furniture. One of these pieces of furniture is a cabinet that displays the finest Italian wines. The restaurant is definitely smaller than the Lounge Bar, but is more relaxed and casual.
You see, here at Château Monfort, you don’t need to go further. In fact, you don’t need to leave the venue because you can do literally everything inside the walls of this five-star hotel, from preparation to reception. As they say, weddings are naturally stressful, but you know, you can make yours an exception by picking the venue wisely.
It is not urgent. Some of us naturally have the reluctance of getting an insurance. Whether it’s a car, health, or life insurance, we think it’s not as important as buying your immediate needs for the next couple of months. We don’t see the urgency of getting one so we easily shrug it off and dump the idea.
It would be a lengthy discussion to go into the details of insurance benefits. That’s not what this writeup is all about anyway. This is a wedding blog so we’d like to tell you about a unique type of insurance that covers all unexpected “disasters” during weddings. Yes, a wedding insurance! If you’ve not heard of it, we’ll gladly walk you through the details of these contracts and why they are essential for destination weddings.
What does Wedding Insurance Cover?Vendor-related problems
“I can’t make it to your wedding. I am so sorry.” Imagine hearing this from your photographer a week before your big day and right after an accident she just encountered from her last project. How can you blame her if she’s in the hospital, suffering from pain and injuries? The sad part is, you have no one to blame yet you’re in deep trouble. Even if your photographer returns the deposit, it would be too hard for you to find a replacement just a week before your wedding at a price that is not double the rate or even higher. Now imagine hearing that from other wedding vendors.
Some brides encountered this problem before that’s why we have what is called a wedding insurance that covers the costs of vendor-related problems such as this. Whether you’re having a bespoke destination wedding or an elopement ceremony, an insurance will be your safeguard.
This contract covers all unfortunate events happening before and during your wedding. Aside from vendor-related problems, wedding insurance also saves couples from mishaps like missing wedding rings, lost suit of the groom, and one as tragic as seeing your wedding dress in flames.
What if the venue you rented becomes inaccessible on the day of your wedding because of extreme weather conditions or other causes beyond your control? Change of date and rebooking with vendors often require additional fee and worse, some of your wedding vendors may not be available on the new date of your wedding. This will force you to book another at a higher price. Wedding insurance also covers these unexpected events by giving you a reimbursement for all the additional costs you need to incur.
When someone gets hurt during your big day, you won’t have to spend your honeymoon fund to answer for hospitalization bills or property damage. Wedding insurance will reimburse you for every single cent you spend on such expense.
Why is it Essential for Destination Weddings?
Generally, wedding insurance is important in all kinds of weddings. But what makes it more essential for a destination weddings are the following.
You’re an alien in that country
As simple as that. When you choose to marry or elope to Ireland, Italy, or any place outside your own country, you have no idea how wedding industry works in that place. You have scarce knowledge and zero relationship with vendors, making it extremely difficult to solve an unexpected problem.
Imagine when a cab that’s supposed to take you to your destination wedding venue does not show up. You will be forced to hire someone else immediately and you’ll settle for anyone who offers the same service even if he charges triple the price of your original cab driver. Doesn’t sound like a wonderful start for a happily ever after, right? Wedding insurance can save you from that disaster.
Liabilities are covered
When you’re outside your own country, you’ll be under the legal jurisdiction of the state where you are. You follow its laws and regulations, including those referring to personal liabilities. With an insurance for your destination wedding, expenses for any accidents or personal injuries will be covered so you won’t need to go through the complexities of appearing before foreign courts. Your local insurance company will take care of absolutely everything, including the payment of anyone affected by the untoward incident.
In the chaotic world of weddings, getting your big day insured is a safeguard that you won’t be hopeless when something really bad happens. Having planned so many weddings for the past few years, we understand the need to have this layer of protection for your big day. In fact, in the consultations which are included in our Elopement Packages, we help clients find the best insurers for their wedding.
Unconventional Adventure. We think nothing describes an elopement better than the combination of these two words.
To defy the rules of how weddings are supposed to be is already an adventure that only an independent-minded and strong-willed person can accept. Just imagining the reaction you’d get from friends, workmates, and relatives when you tell them they’re not invited on your big day is not for the fainthearted.
But aside from facing the challenge of receiving negative criticisms from people, an elopement is a positive adventure because you can travel to a destination spot with your groom and get married in that dreamland of your choice.
Once you get to that place with the love of your life, all the negativity you had to endure would be gone in an instant. Just think about eloping to Ireland, France, Germany, or Thailand and the panoramic views you’ll witness as you say your “I do’s.” And this, you can do by choosing a complete Elopement Package that includes all the essentials to pull off a wonderful elopement ceremony.
However, the question of whether to elope or not should be weighed with so much wisdom. You should take some time to brainstorm with your partner and seriously consider the pros and cons of an elopement.
To help you see the bigger picture, let’s discuss the details of an elopement and have a full grasp of what this unique option presents. The following points are based on an infographic made by The Wedding Band Shop‘s John Cunningham.
To Elope or Not to Elope
Is the idea of a big wedding just not your thing? Perhaps super spontaneous types always looking for an unconventional adventure? Make sure to have a long hard think about whether its the right decision for you. Learn what to keep in mind when planning an elopement now.
The Pros and Cons
Pro: It’s Far Less Expensive
Avoid the costs of having a massive reception with a ton of guests, large venue, decorations for a large space, and other related costs.
Con: Potential Hurt Feelings
In an ideal world, people will be happy to let you do your own thing; but unfortunately, the real world isn’t that easy. You may have to deal with some annoyed friends and family.
Pro: You Call the Shots
Elopement puts you and your partner back in control. You can make your own decisions without family and friends getting involved.
Con: Fewer Gifts
If you want to receive amazing and touching gifts from family; it’s likely it won’t be as plentiful if you choose to elope.
Pro: The World is Yours
Rent a little cottage in the country or exchange vows on a beach in Thailand; the possibilities are endless.
Con: Less Extravagance
Smaller weddings are often less glamorous affairs due to unorthodox locations and fewer attendees. If fancy soirees are a passion of yours, an elopement might not be the best option for you.
Pro: Only VIPs are Present
If you do decide to bring a few friends and family, they are going to be the ones who matter most to you and your spouse.
Con: You’re Dependent on the Photographer
With the advent of high-quality cameras on smartphones, you can build a great photo album just from photos that friends and family take.
It can be hard to truly share your special moment with 200 people watching you. With an elopement, you can focus more on your special moment.
Con: Fewer Witnesses to Share the Memories
With fewer people, there will be less people to reminisce with about your amazing day. Everyone can see the video but they will never truly know how amazing your day was.
Questions before you Elope
What’s motivating your decision?
Some brides dream of having the day where they walk down the aisle with all eyes on them, but not all women are like that.
However, some people may let family frustrations or arguments about wedding planning push them into elopement.
Take a step back and ask yourself if you really want to elope or if the stress of wedding planning is influencing your decision.
What does your partner want?
It’s about arriving at a mutual decision with your partner and finding some middle ground. It’s the type of scenario where you shouldn’t be making unilateral decision.
Always ask your future partner where they stand on a big wedding vs. eloping and make the decision together.
Have you considered all the options?
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and more modest ceremonies could suit you.
Perhaps you could have an intimate ceremony and invite more friends and family to pick up the party later that night.
Is there a chance you’ll regret your decision?
Facing friends and family after the wedding and honeymoon may be something with which you’re uncomfortable.
If you’re unsure about your decision to elope, take a weekend away to clear your mind of all the wedding talk.
Whatever path you choose, you want to be sure you made the right decision.
From Engaged to Eloped: Do’s and Don’ts
If you’ve decided to go for it, well done you! Here’s what to keep in mind for a perfect elopement.
Do: Take care of all the legal details
Find out if you need a license and how long everything will take. You may need to get a city hall appointment and there may also be a requirement for witnesses.
Don’t: Downplay your elopement
Just because you’re eloping that doesn’t mean the day is any less special. It’s still your wedding and there is every reason to be excited and celebrate just as much.
Do: Hire a local planner, photographer, and videographer
You shouldn’t be completely on your own. Hire professionals locally to help you with your day.
Don’t: Be afraid to ask vendors for special pricing
Because your wedding is a smaller scale with shorter time commitments, many vendors will offer special rates for elopements.
Do: send marriage announcements
A marriage announcement is the perfect way to let people know what came of your engagement. It’s good to let friends and family know you eloped as they might be expecting an invitation. You can also showcase intimate photos of your special day on the announcement!
Don’t: Forget the budget
Even if it’s just the two of you, the expenses can still quickly get out of hand. It’s still important to sit down and discuss where money is being spent. Spend enough to have an amazing day but be a small but sensible.
Find something you like. Pin it. And poof! It’s in your Board. No cost. No hassle.
How every bride hopes wedding planning is just like pinning pegs on Pinterest, right? Unfortunately, that’s not even one-tenth of a percent in this long and stressful journey of wedding planning. Choosing the venue, selecting a theme, and finding the perfect wedding gown are only few of the tiny pieces in this whole ordeal of planning your dream wedding.
What makes conventional weddings so stressful?
Even with all these elements prepared, you still have to work on a lot of other things like selecting a reliable hair and makeup artist, meeting photographers and videographers, arranging hotel accommodations for your family, and checking on each of your hundreds of guests to make sure they will get to the venue on time. Oh, and did we mention the legal paperwork you have to personally take care of?
Selecting the venue is one of the most stressful aspects of wedding planning because your budget does not always correspond to the rental fee for the place that can accommodate your immense number of guests.
This problem gives birth to other issues such as the amount and price of food needed to feed your guests, the price of the groomsmen and bridesmaids’ attire, and the fee for venue styling which is usually more expensive if the place is bigger.
With all these things to think about after the proposal, a bride-to-be is off to a real battle! And most of them become so consumed to the point of being jaded when their big day finally arrives. So if you’re just starting out with wedding planning, we tell you, don’t do it alone!
You’ll need more than just a wedding planner, but a team that will take care of all the items in your wedding checklist and those that you probably even forgot to put there!
Why elopement is a wiser option
Now, what if we tell you that you can actually ditch all these stress-causing elements of a conventional wedding and just opt for an elegant, memorable, and genuine ceremony where only the real essentials of a wedding are present? What if we tell you that this heartfelt wedding of yours can happen in a destination spot with breathtaking views at a price that will definitely fit your budget? A price that will give you real value for your money?
And what if all you have to do is to pick a destination where you want to say “I do,” and then let the experienced warriors of wedding planning manage everything for you? Will you take it?
A lot of couples actually did and boy did they enjoy every minute of their big day. So close all your wedding apps right now and focus on what we are about to say. Here are the reasons why more and more brides-and-grooms-to-be are choosing to elope to Ireland, Italy, and other destinations instead of stressing themselves out in planning a conventional wedding.
Elopement is Legal!
What a relief, right? We’re really surprised to hear couples asking if an elopement is actually a real wedding. Some of them think that elopements are just symbolic ceremonies that are not recognized by the state. Woah! Wait! This is a misconception.
While you can opt to have an elopement ceremony that does not have any legal effect at all, an elopement can also be one that legally binds you and your loved one as an officially married couple.
At Peach Perfect Weddings, we provide help with legal paperwork to ensure that your elopement will be considered legal back to your home. We can even provide witnesses to your ceremony to avoid any loophole as regards the binding effect of your elopement.
So if the question of legality is what keeps you from going for an elopement, then we tell you, there’s no cause for worry. By complying with some legal requirements, your elopement will be legal whether you hold it in your country or wherever.
You can sit back and just wait for The Day to come
Eloping these days is not limited to saying your “I do’s” with just the two of you and the officiant in a place where no one can find you. We have to break the misconception that elopement is similar to a “secret wedding.”
The truth is, it could be a ceremony with the bride and groom plus a few select guests, including the couple’s immediate family and a few of your friends. We’ve written earlier about the basic idea of an elopement to make sure you understand what it really means.
So here’s why you can sit back and relax until The Day comes – Elopement Packages literally include all the essentials of a wedding that you’ll need in order to pull off a memorable elopement ceremony. The inclusions of these packages are the following:
Ceremony Location & Set-up
Bouquet & Boutonniere
Hair & Makeup
Photographer (And you can be sure they are the skilled, tried, and tested ones!)
Officiant / Celebrant
and yes, even the Musicians for the ceremony!
So all you have to do before the wedding day is to pack all your things, fly to your elopement destination of choice, and let the trusted suppliers chosen by your wedding planner do everything for you.
Well, we don’t mean that too literally. What we’re saying is that with Peach Perfect Wedding’s elopement packages, we will do all the face-to-face meetings with these wedding vendors, make all the arrangements on-site for the location setup, and ensure that the accessories you’ll need will be complete on the day of your wedding. We take all the stressful part so you can prepare yourself (and preserve your sanity!) for The Day.
Wedding planners offering elopement packages are experts when it comes to finding the right suppliers. Peach Perfect Weddings has worked with many of them and will definitely choose those who will give you the wedding that you deserve. In fact, it’s also for our sake that we pick trusted and experienced wedding vendors who won’t give us a hard time planning a perfect wedding for you.
So stop trusting your instincts that this could be the right photographer, stylist, or makeup artist. By choosing our elopement package, you are also hiring a team of established wedding professionals who work together to produce the perfect wedding experience for you.
Your wedding budget will certainly fit
How will it not when you have only a small handful of guests to feed, a small venue to rent, and a few gowns and suits to pay? When you opt for an elopement, your multiplier for all the wedding essentials will be a smaller number. Budgeting will be more of a subtraction rather than infinite multiplication which normally happens when you choose to have a conventional wedding.
Fewer people in your wedding, fewer mistakes
Another cause of a headache with wedding planning is deciding who to include on the guest list. Certainly, not all of your friends can come. You really have to choose only those closest to you. In the process, you can’t help but worry about how the others would feel.
But take it from wedding planners like us. The more guests you invite in your wedding, the more latecomers and the more awkward moments seeing some guests not enjoying the whole thing.
Less is always more and this is the central idea of an elopement. Not that we are against big weddings but couples of Peach Perfect Weddings who chose to elope did not need to deal with all these guest-related issues.
You’ll get the intimacy your wedding deserves
Lest you forget, your big day should be about you, not about your family, friends, or guests! It’s about time we get this right. Bride, don’t stress yourself out! You know in your heart that you are getting married to officially tell your groom that you are his’ and vice-versa.
More and more couples are starting to realize this so they choose to elope to Ireland, France, or Germany because they know that with this option, there’s a guarantee that their wedding will get the intimacy it deserves. Just imagine these:
All the unnecessary elements will be gone.
There will be no awkward moment with a guest who needs to leave early or who is obviously not enjoying what’s happening.
You can be sure that these are the ones who really want to stay until the end
who will listen to every word in your vow
who genuinely celebrate with you
and who will be excited to say their heartfelt speeches for you and your spouse?
You can give yourself, your family, and closest friends a wedding feast that you all deserve
It will be a ceremony with only the two of you or with a small group of important people with whom you can be who you are. Based on our experience as wedding planners, that is what a truly perfect wedding means.
It’s a honeymoon and wedding wrapped-in-one
Finally, you don’t have to set a separate budget or a different schedule for your honeymoon! The elopement package of Peach Perfect Weddings may include add-ons for hotel accommodations after the day of your elopement and even tours and activities in the destination you’ve picked.
Imagine visiting the breathtaking shooting locations of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland, or dining in several popular restaurants located in France, or drinking the most delicious wine you’ve ever tasted in a fine Italian restaurant with the view of the Tuscan hills. Aren’t these the best honeymoon experiences you can have?
Wedding planners from Peach Perfect Weddings know that these things are the best that you can have for a honeymoon. Trust us on this because we don’t only research online, describe the places based on websites or online photos, or call the managers of these venues for details.
We spend several months every year checking these venues out personally to have the feel of what our couples are about to experience for their elopement and honeymoon. Our Instagram photos can attest to that!
As we’ve said, you can extend your destination elopement to a few more days for you to have an unforgettable honeymoon in these iconic places that others can only dream of visiting.
Step 1: Contact Peach Perfect Weddings… and leave the rest to us. Done! Okay, you probably came here to get some actually useful information on how to organise your elopement or intimate wedding in Ireland yourself. Well, you’ve come to the right place! At Peach Perfect Weddings we have helped couples from all around the world tie the knot with an elopement or intimate wedding in Ireland. We would love to share our experiences and hopefully let this guide inspire you to elope to Ireland.
About this guide
How will it help me plan my elopement?
There are many great guides on how to plan your elopement or small wedding in general, so in this article – whilst still covering the entire process – we will focus on what is specific for elopements in Ireland.
We are particularly proud to offer you first-hand information based on all that we have learned over the years from planning elopements for our amazing couples. Peach Perfect founder and dedicated wedding planner Yana takes care of all of them and can share all her tips on planning a successful elopement in Ireland with you.
It is worth noting that even though we offer Elopement Packages, it does not mean that we sell a generic service to fit all sizes. Just like each and every couple is different, no elopement is exactly like the other. This is why all of our Packages are customisable and leave room for your own wishes and ideas. In this article, we will talk about the typical elements we encounter in each elopement.
Do I really need a guide?
Why do I need a plan? Shouldn’t elopements be spontaneous and simple?
Yes, you do need a plan! Even if “elopement” and “planning” don’t sound like natural friends at first, being prepared will ensure that you are relaxed on the actual day of your wedding, knowing that everything is taken care of.
But no need to worry, planning an elopement is still definitely easier than planning a “normal” Wedding for dozens, if not hundreds of guests. At Peach Perfect Weddings, we also organise destination weddings for parties of up to 200 people. A wedding like this takes approximately 250 hours to plan for a first-time bride. That’s over 6 months if you were doing it as a full-time, 40-hours a week job! Avoiding all that stress and time is actually one of the main reasons so many couples now choose to elope. For an intimate wedding just for the two of you, or maybe with a few of your nearest and dearest, the amount of time and stress is (luckily!) significantly lower than that. With a professional wedding planner, the planning will be very relaxed for you. You share how you envisage your Wedding day and your planner will make your vision become reality. Simple as that! For those couples who prefer a hands-on approach, you can absolutely plan your elopement on your own. Just be prepared to put in some more time and effort.
When is the best time to elope to Ireland?
What is the “safest” time of year in terms of weather?
Generally speaking, there is no better or worse time to elope to Ireland. Each season has its pros and cons so this will depend on your personal preferences and requirements. For example, if you absolutely want an outdoor wedding and want to minimise the risk of rain as much as possible, it’s best to consider eloping during the least wet months of the year which are between April and July. Contrary to popular belief, whilst summer in Ireland tends to enjoy higher temperatures the average rainfall is actually higher. The wettest months of the year are August, October and December!
The other side of the coin is tourist activity. If you wish to elope in a popular place like the Cliffs of Moher then it’s best to avoid the peak tourist season which usually runs from May to September. If privacy during your ceremony is important to you and you don’t want to fight your way to the pub afterwards, then it’s also best to avoid eloping during the weeks around St. Patrick’s Day!
But what if it rains?
Can we still have an outdoor ceremony if the weather is bad?
Rain in Ireland is an unavoidable and totally unpredictable thing. But once you embrace it, it can be a lot of fun! Think colourful wellies under your wedding dress and romantic umbrella photos! In most cases you can postpone the ceremony for half an hour or so and hope that the sky clears up. We usually advise all our couples to book a nice hotel which can serve as an alternative ceremony location if the weather is particularly bad. Our tip: Don’t try to predict the weather because it can change in a moment. So come prepared for the worst (torrential rain) and hope for the best (glorious sunshine). We always advice your brides to wear practical shoes, their hair tightly up against the wind and always have a pretty cover up in case the weather plays tricks on you!
Type of Ceremony
What are the different ceremony types? Which one is right for me?
The type of ceremony you choose will have an influence on your ceremony location. In Ireland, you have the choice between a Civil, Religious, Symbolic, Humanist, Spiritual, Secular wedding (more info on the different types here). If you are opting for a legally-binding marriage, that will be recognized back home, your ceremony location must fulfil two requirements:
It must have a postal address or identifiable landmark (i.e. it cannot simply be on a random beach or in an open field!)
It must also be accessible to the public (i.e. not on someone’s private property)
So whilst a castle ruin in a field is OK as long as it has a name or address, an empty beach wouldn’t be suitable because you can’t pinpoint the location precisely. To overcome the hurdles and restrictions that entail a legally-binding elopement in Ireland, many of our couples choose to have a Symbolic blessing ceremony where they exchange vows and rings but sign the dotted line at home where the process may be simpler.
What are the most beautiful ceremony locations in Ireland?
When eloping with just the two of you or with a handful of guests, your venue options are much wider and often free to use! With a big wedding, you would need to hire out a space to host the 100-or-so guests you’ve invited, but an elopement can usually take place in a remote outdoor location for free. Specifically, in Ireland, these ‘venues’ can be anything from an abandoned castle or church ruins to cosy little cottages, beautiful fields, forests and breathtaking cliffs or beaches. When choosing an outdoor location, keep in mind to have a plan B ready in case the Irish weather strikes. Be sure to check out our article about 9 places for elopements and small weddings in Ireland for more inspiration!
Number of people
How many guests can I invite for my elopement?
Although traditionally an elopement is just for two people, our couples often bring their nearest and dearest friends and family to witness the moment. Having a couple of guests is also useful if you are having a legal ceremony, as you are required to have two people over the age of 18 to witness the marriage taking place. Typically we consider anything up to 20 guests to be an elopement as this is the number you can still comfortably bring to a pub or reserve dinner for in a local restaurant. Groups of more than 20 people require more organisation and typically need special wedding venues reserved in advance that have the appropriate capacity.
An elopement for two also has its own perks! Couples decide to elope with just the two of them out of various reasons, but mostly because they realised that all they really need for their perfect day, is to be together. If you are planning your wedding to be legally binding, we can provide Witnesses as part of your elopement package. For the couples planning their elopement on their own, why not ask your photographer and videographer or musician to be your witnesses? After all, they will be present at your ceremony anyway!
Flowers & Music
I want to have flowers and music for my wedding day. How does that work? With an elopement in Ireland, there’s no need to budget for elaborate centrepieces or ceremonial arches (except you want to!). The beauty of nature is your wedding decor! Of course, to make your special day as festive as possible some flowers are still advisable. With our Peach Perfect Elopement Packages, we always include a bouquet for the Bride and matching buttonhole for the Groom, made according to your preferences and matched as closely as possible to the reference picture you send us.
So, what about music? Take it or leave it! – Whilst a traditional wedding most definitely requires at least some music to keep the guests entertained, with an elopement you can forego this expense in favour of partying at the local pub. Most pubs in Ireland host live music nights at least once a week, but usually almost every night during the summer and holiday seasons. We believe that music is very important to set the mood for your ceremony, so in our Elopement Packages we always include a live music element.
Getting from the airport to your destination and arriving in style at your ceremony.
Unless you plan to stay in the Dublin area during the whole of your stay in Ireland, you really can’t get away with not renting a car. Public transport in Ireland is very poor in general. There are only three train lines from Dublin to Belfast, Tralee and Cork. There is a national bus network but when travelling long distances you will usually need to make several changes and the entire journey can take twice or three times longer than if you were driving a car. We can arrange for an airport transfer for you and your guests, should you want to. When it comes to getting your ceremony location, it gets more interesting. Arrive in style with a vintage Bentley or let a classic horse carriage drive you to your ceremony spot – whatever best fits your style!
At Peach Perfect Weddings we travel a lot… As your wedding date will most likely be influenced by flight prices and availability, here are our best tips for booking your travel to Ireland!
What are best airports to go to for different regions?
There are two international airports in Ireland that have flights to and from the USA: Dublin and Shannon. Flights to Dublin are more regular and from a bigger selection of US airports, however, if you are getting married in the West of Ireland then be prepared for an additional 3-4 hour car journey after you land. For couples who only spend a short time in Ireland to get married on the Cliffs of Moher or in another location in the West of Ireland we advice flying directly into Shannon Airport.
When are the cheapest flights?
Flight prices to Ireland usually correlate with peak tourist season of May to September. We recommend to do some research and set flight price alarms on Skyscanner.com. We personally use Skyscanner to plan all of our trips because it allows you to search flights by months instead of specific date. The search result will show up a bar graph of the lower flight prices for each day and you can see at a glace which travel dates are the most budget-friendly!
But don’t rely solely on flight comparison websites or even your travel agent… Sometimes the cheapest way to travel is via an additional city! And we’re not just talking about short stopovers to change flights. If coming from afar, take a 1-2 day city break somewhere where you can fly to for very cheap and then take another flight a day or two later to your end stop. For example, sometimes flying to London UK can be much cheaper than flying to Ireland directly. Whilst flights from London to anywhere in Ireland can cost less than the price a taxi ride to the airport if you book far enough in advance!
As a real-life example for the purpose of this article, we did a comparison of a one-way direct flight from New York to Dublin on 4th August 2018. A direct flight from NY to Dublin would cost you €223 per person whilst a flight from NY to London is only €137 with an onward flight to Dublin on 6th August being only €28! Yes, you have to consider additional accommodation and airport transfer costs, but if your time frame allows you to see an additional city on your journey and save money on your overall cost of travel to Ireland, then why not?
How much will it cost me?
Before you add a single guest to the table, the fixed costs of a wedding in average are about €10,000 for things like Officiant, Venue Hire, Photographer and Videographer, Flowers, Music for the ceremony and party, Invitations, Hair & Makeup for the bridal party, etc. This is not even counting the wedding attire yet! Of course, then you also have to feed and water the guests! The average spend per head is around €100. So if you have 100 guests to feed, you can see how the math works against your wallet here.
The cost for an elopement for the two of you or even with a few guests is much more wallet-friendly. Yes, you will..
So that your life isn’t the only one changed forever on your big day!
We are very proud to announce, that Peach Perfect Weddings has partnered up with Brides do Good, a unique bridal shop with a big heart!
Every day, countless women all around the world celebrate their Wedding Day as one of the most beautiful and memorable moments of their life. For every bride, this (hopefully!) once in a lifetime event marks the beginning of something new. The next chapter in one’s life.
But for just as many young girls in several countries, the same event marks the early end of an already short childhood. Every year 15 million girls under the age of 18 years are forced into marriage because of cultural and economic reasons. 15 million girls for whom “wedding day” won’t rhyme with “happily ever after” but with shattered hopes and the robbed chance to finish their education and improve the life of their family and their own.
The UN has set the goal to end child marriage worldwide by the year 2030 and luckily there are charities that support that cause.
Brides do Good has got all your wedding gown needs sorted. It offers the bride-to-be an amazing selection of gorgeous designer dresses at reduced prices. And the most important thing: they donate up to two-thirds of their sales to charities working to end child marriage!
The social enterprise is supporting an eight- communities-wide Plan International programme in the Asyut region of Egypt. A £563 donation to this initiative from just one dress purchase pays for a year of home visits to families with girls at risk of child marriage.
A recent $3,500 donation to Too Young to Wed (TYTW) will allow the Samburu Girls Foundation to sponsor 30 girls returning to school. These teenagers previously attended literacy and photography workshops organised by the American charity, where they gained key community leadership skills.
By buying your dress with Brides do Good you are supporting programmes keeping girls in education, informing communities of the dangers of child marriage and helping child brides recover from their trauma.
Thanks to Brides do Good’s fully transparent model, you’ll know exactly how the funds donated from your life-changing purchase are invested to end child marriage.
Best of all, their curated collection of gorgeous dresses is available up to 70% off. Think vintage Valentino for £350, Maggie Sottero for £980 and Amsale for £1,500. Other designers stocked include Monique Lhuillier, Elie Saab, Ian Stuart and Vera Wang. It’s the bridal couturiers list dreams are made of.
Spontaneous brides-to-be will love how easy it is to shop the collection 24/7, with ready- to-wear frocks delivered the next day to most European countries. You could even get your dresses delivered straight to your elopement or wedding location free of charge. Talk about making the bride’s life easy!
And because Brides do Good is a true chain of love, after your big day, you can contact them to resell or donate your gown, so another bride can buy it and additional funds can go to end child marriage.
You can change a young girl’s life for the better – with one dress.
Elopements are fast becoming a popular alternative to the ‘traditional’ way couples enter into marriage. Since the opening of Peach Perfect Weddings in 2014, over 60% of our couples chose to elope to Ireland over the hassle of executing a big event. The ever-green landscape, rich history, warm culture and a accommodating marriage laws for foreigners makes Ireland an ideal country for eloping… even despite the rainy weather!
With so many stunning locations to get married at, how do you choose just one? To give you some inspiration and ideas for your own elopement in Ireland, we’d love to share with our favourite and most popular places to elope and small wedding venues in Ireland. And yes, we have elopement packages or can organise a completely bespoke elopement at any of these locations.
Cliffs of Moher & O’Brien’s Tower
The Cliffs of Moher is undoubtedly the most popular place for elopements and counts to one of the most scenic and unusual wedding venues in Ireland. And why wouldn’t it be? The setting is remarkable and the breathtaking photos speak for themselves. The Cliffs are situated on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare and are suitable for legally binding wedding ceremonies held outside O’Brien’s Tower.
Being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, The Cliffs of Moher welcomes over one million tourists each year. Hence, it isn’t be best choice of location for those couples seeking a private elopement ceremony. If however, a crowd of curious onlookers doesn’t phase you, then an elopement on the Cliffs of Moher is truly a unique and magical experience.
The best time to elope on the Cliffs of Moher (in terms of how busy the site will be, as well as weather considerations) is on the cusp of the tourist season, from mid-April to early May and late September to early October. If eloping in the summer time, consider a late afternoon or evening ceremony to avoid the site’s busiest hours.
Moher Tower at Hag’s Head
Hag’s Head marks the most southerly point of the Cliff of Moher and is the end of the Cliffs of Moher Walking Trail. However, due to the distance between both locations and the restricted access to Moher Tower (the landmark of Hag’s Head), we have chosen to include it as a separate elopement location of its own.
Access to Moher Tower at Hag’s Head can be gained on foot, by walking 1.1 km from the designated car park. For those not wishing to walk, the tower can be accessed directly by car – via the local farmer’s private road – for a small fee.
So why choose the Hag’s Head location over The Cliffs of Moher? Firstly, it offers closer access to the spectacular cliff edge, making for even more breathtaking wedding photographs. And most importantly, Hag’s Head has a slightly lower footfall than the official Cliffs of Moher visitor’s site. Meaning you will have fewer eyes on you during the ceremony. Similar to the main Cliffs of Moher site, best time of year to elope to Hag’s Head is April-May and September-October.
Muckross Abbey in Killarney National Park
Muckross Abbey is an old abbey ruin located in the heart of Killarney National Park in County Kerry. In it’s inner courtyard surrounded by cloisters, the Abbey houses an ancient yew tree. This elopement location is perfect for couples who wish to get married in a historic monument. And even though the Abbey is not consecrated, it offers a great compromise between a civil and religious wedding.
The park itself spreads out over 25,425 acres of land and contains a variety of awe-inspiring features such as Ross Castle, Muckross House with it’s beautiful gardens, a second castle in ruins, a waterfall, three lakes, mountains and several acres of dense woodland which are home to a variety of wildlife including deer. Without a doubt the park provides plenty of beautiful backdrop opportunities for your wedding photo-shoot!
It is worth noting that Muckross Abbey is a prominent feature of Killarney National Park and attracts visitors throughout the year. In the peak summer months the number of people visiting the Abbey at any one time is around 20-30 people, hence it is not advisable for those couples looking for completely privacy during the elopement ceremony.
Blasket Island Heritage Centre & Slea Head, Dingle
Blasket Island Heritage Centre is a museum which honours the memory of a remote community that used to live on the Blasket Islands until they were forced to evacuate in 1953. The centre is licensed to hold Civil marriage ceremonies and is a great indoor ceremony location for couples wishing to elope to Ireland in the colder months.
The Blasket Island Centre is also only a 10 minute drive from Slea Head, Ireland’s most south-westerly point (the closest you can get to America from the mainland!) which offers stunning views of the ocean and a spectacular rugged coastline. Ceremonies at the Blasket Island Heritage centre require privatisation of a park of the museum for a small fee, meaning it is perfectly suitable for couples looking for a more private ceremony location.
Castle Ruin in Dingle
This small tower castle ruin sits on a hill overlooking an intimate rocky beach. The castle is privately owned by a local resident whose back yard grounds encompass the castle. However, access to the castle for general public is forbidden. Due to the private property element of this elopement venue, it is only suitable for symbolic ceremonies. This is because the Irish law requires that any couple getting married in Ireland must choose a ceremony venue that is accessible to the public, i.e. not a private home. At the same time, this ensures total privacy for your elopement ceremony. Couples seeking to hold a symbolic ceremony at this castle ruin must request prior access from the owner and pay a small usage fee.
This small wedding venue in Ireland – a charming little castle in County Limerick – is ideally equipped for intimate elopements with your nearest and dearest people. The castle is licensed for Civil wedding ceremonies and offers a beautiful backdrop for a romantic outdoor elopement underneath the huge willow tree or using the ornate ivory wrought iron arch. The castle can sleep up to 10 people in 5 bedrooms and can host receptions for up to 20 guests indoors. The highlight of this elopement venue is it’s proximity to Adare village, which has been repeatedly awarded the title of one of Ireland’s most beautiful towns thanks to it’s colourful thatched roof cottages lining the streets.
One of the best hidden gems of County Kerry, Ballycarbery Castle is a beautifully weathered ruin of a former palace. The remains of the castle is still an impressive structure of four storeys tall, with ample greenery covering the walls. It sits on a hill surrounded by acres of green fields and the North Atlantic Ocean is just a stones throw away. It’s proximity to the ocean means ample photographic opportunities, including the Kerry Cliffs of Portmagee . The Kerry Cliffs may not be as famous as the Cliffs of Moher but they are equally picturesque (and less crowded!). Ballycarbery Castle is suitable for an outdoor elopement which can be legally binding Humanist, Spiritual or Secular ceremony.
St Finbarr’s Oratory
Finding an intimate and cosy setting for a Religious elopement ceremony can be challenging. Luckily, St Finbarr’s Oratory is a tiny romantic chapel that can only seat..
Your best friend is getting married. They’ve announced the engagement and maybe even the date. Everyone is happy for them. You’ve heard them talk about what they want to do. They might be thinking about doing it in their home town, or finding a good destination wedding package in France. Either sounds great to you.
One day, he calls you and asks, “I’d like you to be my best man.” And you say yes.
Now what do you do?
The best man does a lot more than just stand next to the groom. You’ll be involved in a lot of the work leading up to the wedding. You should expect to work with the bride and groom, as well as their all-inclusive wedding planner if they have one. There will be a lot of details to manage from the time you agree to serve until the happy couple leaves on their honeymoon. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
Serve as a personal assistant
You’re the groom’s personal assistant during the months leading up to The Day. Make sure you know their travel plans. Help put together the hotel block and other details for everyone coming.
Coordinate the groomsmen’s outfits
Help coordinate the groomsmen’s outfits. The bride will probably have some specific requests both for style and color. Even if you’re wearing tuxedos, you’ll need to know the collar style, colors for ties/cummerbunds (or vests), and the like. Coordinate a groomsmen’s fitting, if you can.
Coordinate everything with the groomsmen
Coordinate everything with the other groomsmen. The groom himself probably shouldn’t have to deal with those details. You’ll want to make sure that travel accommodations are set for everyone.
Coordinate with the bridesmaids, too
You can even plan carpooling for most of the wedding party from the airport if not everyone will need to rent a car.
Set up the bachelor party
You’ll probably have some form of bachelor party for the groom. Find out what and who he wants to come. Make all the arrangements—make sure all the attendees pay their fair share of the costs.
Be on top of directions
Make sure you know how to get from the hotel to the wedding site to the reception venue.
Be at the wedding rehearsal
Most folks don’t participate in many weddings. The rehearsal is important—most of you will be in an unfamiliar place. You’ll walk through the ceremony, whether it’s going to be a short plain one or a full nuptial Mass.
Be at the rehearsal dinner
You’ll probably be able to relax some at this event, because at most weddings, you’ll be giving the toast at the reception. Do what’s asked of you, and help with any cards and gifts brought by guests to this event.
On the wedding day, help the groom pass the time until it is time
Where you are lodged will influence what you do. Even a simple walk in the park is relaxing. Just remember that it’s your job to get him to the wedding site on time and sober.
Make sure the groom is completely dressed before you leave the hotel
Straighten his tie. Carry his wallet and keys. Continue to be his valet until you stand in front of the family and friends. Take charge of the rings; they should be in a secure pocket.
Make sure everyone’s ready
Get to the wedding site early—45 minutes at least. You want to coordinate with the wedding planner and the site manager. Once everything’s set, take the groom and groomsmen into a back room. It’s ok, if you all want, to have a drink before—but keep it to one.
Coordinate the ringbearers and ushers
Make sure the ringbearers, if any, have the rings, and the rings are tied to the cushion. If the other groomsmen have been asked to serve as ushers, make sure they are in their places.
During the ceremony, do as you’re told
You’ll be standing by the groom. The officiant may have instructions for you, including where to sit (if there’s time for you to sit), and when to stand. At the end, you will probably walk the maid-of-honor out of the wedding site.
You are a witness
At some point, you, the maid-of-honor, and the couple will sign the marriage certificate as witnesses.
Work with the photographers to make the picture-taking as painless as possible
Pictures are necessary, some at the wedding site, and many at the reception. If the wedding site is the same as the reception venue, see if the caterers can provide the wedding party and family with some hors d’oeuvres and/or drinks—pictures will go faster.
At the reception, you’re kind of the host
You’ll need to do some work to make sure that everyone is taken care of. Help people find their tables. Be charming.
You will be expected to dance with the maid-of-honor, and possibly the other bride’s attendants. Enjoy the dancing throughout the reception.
You will have to toast your best friend and his bride. Do not try to wing it—that’s the quickest way to have stage fright. Be thinking about what you want to say in the months leading up to the wedding day. And practice.
Take charge of the gifts
Make sure to take charge of gifts, especially of envelopes. The couple may want you to deposit any checks—keep a record of who sent what. Coordinate with the families on other gifts—the parents may end up taking them home.
To Decorate or not to Decorate
Some people enjoy having their car decorated before they drive away; if you’re at a destination wedding, though, you’ll have a limo—or will be staying at the wedding/reception venue. Play this one by ear.
Coordinate with the groomsmen on outfit returns
It might be easier to collect them all the next morning and return the clothes in one trip.
You are there to support your best friend. Be supportive and have fun.
All aspects of a wedding are personal. You put your heart and soul into choosing the most beautiful dress, flowers, arrangements and venue so the day is as special as it can possibly be. But when it comes down to it, what’s really important is the fact you are making a life-long commitment to the person you love. And that moment you look into your partners eyes, say your vows and make all those special promises is one that will dust your soul with magic.
The romance of it all is intoxicating and amongst all the planning and months of waiting, it can be difficult to find the headspace to tap into the core of your emotions, and get everything down on paper. Where do you start? What should you say? How can you possibly put into words how much your partner means to you? When you get it right, you’ll feel so excited to share those special words with your loved one.
In this post I will be giving you just a few tips to help you write your own vows, you can do it!
Are you allowed to write your own vows?
First and foremost check you’re actually allowed to read out your own vows. Some religious officiants may want you to read a specific set of vows. And sometimes officiants will want to hear your vows beforehand, no matter how accommodating or friendly they are.
Think, but don’t think
One of the problems many people have when they set aside time to write their vows is brain-block, sometimes felt as complete despair. You get your quiet time, your pen, your paper and BOOM….nothing. This is completely normal.
You will need to think at some point, but let that happen when you’re at the editing and refining stage. Rather than sitting down and saying ‘now I am going to write my vows’ why not write on a notepad (phone or paper) every time you get a thought or idea that could work. Perhaps you’re munching through your morning bacon and cheese croissant and you remember the first time you saw your fiancee was in the queue for a croissant in Paris, jot it down! Or perhaps you’re out for drinks and you hear a song that reminds you of the first time you danced together on a night out, laughing uncontrollably at the semi-professional moves he thought he was impressing you with. Whatever the thought, however random, jot it down.
What does marriage mean to you?
Remember vows aren’t designed to be written like a love letter, they are designed to be promises that you will keep forever, for better for worse. For this reason, you need to think about what marriage means to you. It’s likely to mean lots of different things, like always being there through the roughest of times and the happiest times, and always seeing the best in each other, no matter how difficult. The meaning of marriage can also have very individual attachments. Like agreeing to disagree over whether or not chocolate ice cream or mint choc chip ice cream is better. Or always agreeing to change the light bulbs, no matter what. So approach this meaning with both the deepest of feelings, and the lightest of feelings as well and you should find what you write down gives you lots of potential material for your vows.
Do lots of research into vows other people have used, songs, religious vows and take a look at the most common set of vows people read out to each other – ‘for richer for poorer’ etc. You can find inspiration from these vows and even incorporate some of the words or meanings into your own vows. You may find inspiration in the most unusual of places, but if something has struck a chord with you, it’s worthy of your attention and consideration.
What’s your style?
When you have lots of ideas written down, see if you have already got a style forming. Are you trying to be incredibly romantic? Poetic and funny? Cute and sweet? Again knowing exactly the sort of tone you’re going for will make it much easier to shape your vows, and swap and change words if they don’t quite feel right. For example if you’re going for romantic and funny, you may have ‘I promise to love you with all my heart, every single day’ and you could add ‘even when the football is on and you’re getting in the way of the TV’.
Remember you’re being watched
Obviously, you’ll have full focus on your beautiful partner, but at the same time you must remember you’re being heard by all your friends and family, and theirs. You don’t want to cross the line and cause offence during your big moment so think carefully about any vows that could make guests feel uncomfortable. If you’re unsure, seek advice from a friend or family member.
Keep it short and sweet
Remember you’re getting to the very heart of why you want to marry this person, you’re not telling your life story. You want your vows to last a minute or under and you should know when you practise out loud if you’ve gotten to the heart of what you want to say. If you feel you haven’t and it’s way too long, this is where you will need to get editing. And remember to keep everything you have gotten rid of, just in case you change your mind and want to put something back in.
Words may sound amazing on paper but they’re no use if you can’t say them out loud. You have to speak the words and imagine you’re saying them to your partner. Something that reads well may simply feel uncomfortable to say, or you may find the sentence sounds like it means something completely different when you speak it. Don’t be afraid to read them out loud to a family member for a second opinion if you think you need one, just make sure the family member is the kind and listening type, not the critical, non-emotional type. You need encouragement and constructive criticism, not crushing banter!
It’s not an easy process but it’s an important and rewarding one. You have it in you, you just have to find it!
Remember getting started is the hardest part, but you will get there eventually and your vows will be great – “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”.
This and many other pieces of advise are part of our full destination wedding planning. Contact us if you are interested to find out more.
We’ve heard it one too often where couples feeling overwhelmed with planning a traditional wedding just drop everything and elope. Celebrities have been known to do this. In fact, there is a growing trend wherein couples fly off to some foreign destination, tie the knot in secret and celebrate with families and friends when they get back home.
What is an elopement?
It is when a couple decides to tie the knot in secret oftentimes at a distant location, sans the fanfare that traditional weddings usually entail. Wherein elopements used to mean just the couple and a witness, nowadays it could mean a much smaller wedding party. You can still have your family and closest friends around, it just means that you there will be less pressure for you to invite everyone!
Why do people elope?
There are many reasons why couples choose to elope rather than have a traditional wedding. Here’s a few reasons we have heard:
Save or Splurge? A traditional wedding can get really pricey. The Knot has established that an average wedding cost is around $30,000 USD. That is a lot of money especially if you still have to factor in your honeymoon and that down-payment on that dream home. Couples pick elopements over traditional weddings as a choice to start a new life together on a financially sound footing.
Travel to a dream destination to tie the knot…why not! With the huge savings that couples are making from deciding to do an elopement, the dream of saying “I Do” at a romantic destination is now a reality. A scenic Amalfi Coast backdrop, a quaint English countryside cottage, or how about somewhere in the city of lights, Paris or Rome? All these and so much more are now viable with the savings you will be making from choosing to elope.
With modern day elopements, you can still have your dream wedding with flowers, beautiful gown, and festive receptions but less the stress and expense of a typical wedding.
Elopements have now become a trend because couples want to take full control over their wedding day. It is their way of saying “No” to a lot of drama that is oftentimes associated with traditional weddings and “Yes” to tying the knot in the manner in which they want to. If you want a secluded wedding or can only afford a simple nuptial, then elopement is for you.
Where to Elope?
Once you have decided on eloping, it is time to pin down on where you will do it. We highly recommend any European destination. With an exquisite range of locations, Europe is high on most couple’s list of destinations for an elopement. Choices for venues can range from historic landmarks, to breathtaking landscapes to idyllic beaches, to luxurious hotels and so much more. Not only is it a top destination for weddings, but it is also a perfect setting for a memorable honeymoon right after!
Tips to consider when eloping
Way before packing your bags, find out the legal and local requirements. Save yourself the heartache from finding out you are not legally allowed to wed in the destination of your choice. Get all your documents and visas sorted out and do your research.
Hire an experienced wedding planner who knows the ins-and-outs of getting married in the locale you have chosen. They can guide you through all the legal requirements and also vet for vendors you would need for your wedding day.
Hire a local photographer and videographer who can take stunning photos and videos of your elopement. This way you have something to share with everyone else at home.
Don’t hesitate on splurging on that intimate reception. Since it is just the two of you or maybe a little bit more, it won’t hurt to have an authentic gastronomic experience while abroad.
By all means, try to incorporate your own personal style into your elopement. However, if you just want something simple and less expensive, elopement packages are also an option. Most of our packages can also be tailor-made to suit your needs and style!
Don’t limit yourself to popular venues. With the help of a seasoned wedding planner, you can find your own piece of romantic haven without the high cost that most popular destinations demand.
Last but not the least, don’t feel guilty about eloping. You have a very good reason for choosing to do so. People who truly love you will understand.
If you would like to learn about our elopement packages or how we can organise a fully bespoke elopement for you, please contact Peach Perfect Weddings.