Although the rich countryside of the Emerald Isle is probably its most defining feature, what many people forget is Ireland is an island, and with that comes a unique and breathtaking coastline that equals (often even rivals) any countryside estate and castle. The Irish coast is over 900 miles of absolute stunning natural beauty: from turquoise and cobalt blue waters, to rocky cliffs soaring up hundreds of miles into the heavens, to pristine white sandy beaches and soft green grass, the variety you will find if you travel along its border is astounding. And is an exquisitely beautiful place to hold your dream destination wedding in Ireland.
The eastern side has a romantic softness about it: hills of tall, green grass and carpets of yellow and purple wildflowers rolling gently down to the sea, this side of the coast is dotted with charming light houses, easy to climb rocks, and calm, silver-blue waters of the Irish Sea. Dublin Bay is a quietly bustling seaport full of boats and sails, perfectly picturesque for the lovers of sea-fair and nautical themes. Howth Head offers a spectacular vista point view of the Bay and Irish Sea, an easily to navigate through trail with huge pay-off on pictures for your dream elopement and intimate wedding ceremony. We’ve had the distinct pleasure of planning and coordinating a few breathtaking elopements and weddings here, and earnestly hope to do more in the future.
The southern coast can best be described as “a mix of charming sea village and urban industrial.” For those looking for a more industrial and moody vibe, consider exploring Waterford. Known for its crystal (Waterford Crystal), today the town’s distinguishing element is Waterford Castle. But, outside of this castle-island, you’ll find the beauty in the lines and color and that coveted “raw urban” vibe of downtown Waterford. For the couples looking for a more industrial aesthetic, quirky details and an edgy retro-chic element, consider Waterford. Conversely, farther down the southern coast brings you to the charming brightly colored sea villages Ireland is also known for. Kinsale is the Irish version of California’s Pacific Grove or Sausalito; it’s a quiet, sweet seaside town to do some fantastic shopping, walk along the streets, pop in for a perfect glass of wine, and enjoy the serenity and peace of a quiet seaside village. The brightly colored buildings are a delight and inspire, and the small bay can offer lots of picture opportunities. This is perfect for a casual, intimate wedding for the boho bride who enjoys a great glass of merlot watching the sunset.
The southwestern corner is one of the most spectacular and breathtaking in all of the world: The Ring of Kerry takes you on a tour into Ireland’s past, through lakes and countryside, snaking through veins of rocky inlet and arms reaching out into the sea, where ancient stone circles are nestled between mountains and waterfalls, and white sandy beaches soft as a blanket embrace you as you take in the sunset on the horizon. This is one of Ireland’s prized possessions. The southwestern corner offers everything for a wedding, including comfortable upscale lodges to country estate homes, a variety landscapes to hold outdoor ceremonies and a central location to airport and sight-seeing. The southwestern corner is for the couple looking to really embrace and incorporate nature, everything about the natural beauty that Ireland has to offer, but most of all, an undeniable sense of adventure. This area is big and bold and requires a couple’s hearts to match that, to embrace it, and make it their own. One word to describe this part of Ireland: epic. Waterlily Weddings has had the pleasure of planning and producing a few weddings and a vow renewal in this area, including in and around Caherdaniel, Kenmare and at the Uragh Stone Circle. And we are looking to do much, much more.
The western coast is perhaps Ireland’s most famous — the Cliffs of Moher and the wild, insanely beautiful Burren are a commanding force, soaring high above the Atlantic below. It is no wonder why so many people come to the cliffs to visit every year. In many ways, the western coast is the epitome of destination wedding in Ireland. It’s romantic, memorable, indescribably beautiful, everything you’ve imagined it to be and more. It’s one of those places that you see it and build it up in your mind, then when you physically see it for yourself beyond exceeds your expectations. But if you can venture off the coast and towards the islands, you’ll fine the delight that is the Aran Islands. Beautifully preserved, quintessentially Irish, the Aran Islands are a window into Ireland’s history and culture and a must visit. We’ve had the pleasure of planning a gorgeous and perfect intimate wedding that was recently featured on Martha Stewart Weddings on the Aran Islands. Check out our BLOG and the Cliffs of Moher Inspiration for more information!
Yet, if you travel a little bit more north, you will find one of Ireland’s hidden gems. In the north, the rocky cliffs continue to soar and jet out into the water, caves large and small just waiting to be explored as the white wives crash gently below, a place of supreme serenity and connection to Ireland’s spiritual past where ancient stones and ruins dot the coastline up to the purple mountains of Mt Eregal. Donegal is one of the most spectacular areas of Ireland. Less people live here which really enables the natural beauty to thrive. It is one of those places where time seems to stop, and you are the only people in the world. Much of Ireland’s ancient Celtic past is preserved here in stone circles, stones, and ruins. The natural beauty is wild and there is an undeniable sense of freedom here that is palpable. This area is for the adventure seeker, the wild-at-heart.
The Irish coast is the destination for the adventurous couple. For those looking to incorporate Ireland’s ancient past, who wish to be inspired by the natural beauty, and create incredible memories, the coast is worth considering for your dream destination wedding. The coast calls to the adventurous soul, the soul that thrives to seek, to explore, whose wanderlust could never be quenched.
We can work in a variety of aesthetics here, from upscale elegant to a relaxed rustic vibe. Contact us today for more information. And make sure to check out our BLOG and PORTFOLIO for some weddings, inspiration and more.
Photos by Katie Farrell Photography