DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY: A SNAPSHOT

I thought writing about Dublin would be a breeze given that I’ve grown up here but it really isn’t. Where do you start, where do you finish? This post has taken so long to write and it will never be done but there’s the beauty of it all right there, a Dublin destination wedding offers so much choice and we are really looking forward to sharing all the options with you over and over again. Ireland has long been a popular destination for weddings. As a nation we haven’t been afraid to travel and nearly everywhere you go, you will meet someone who can trace their ancestry back here. For those that can’t, our heritage, culture, romantic myths and legends seem to win us over when it comes to our friends from far away. So here it is, our first guide to Dublin City that will be updated every now and then. Huge thanks to Lisa O’Dwyer for providing us with all of the wedding images today!

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

DESTINATION WEDDING LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

Marriage of Australian Citizens Abroad

Marriage of Canadian Citizens Abroad

Marriage of Irish Citizens Abroad

Marriage of UK Citizens Abroad

Marriage of U.S. Citizens Abroad

WEDDING CEREMONY REQUIREMENTS

There are a few legal requirements to consider before you start planning your wedding in Ireland. In short, you can have a legal ceremony (whether it be religious or civil) in Ireland without being resident but for it be legally binding, it has to take place in an approved indoor location. The only option to having an outdoor ceremony that is legally binding is to have a Spiritualist Ceremony. Of course if you are prepared to sort out the legalities at home, you can also have symbolic ceremonies and blessings outdoors.

Some quick facts to consider before you go about the task of planning your destination wedding in Dublin;

✈ You must be at least 18 years old to get married although there are some exceptions to this rule.  In addition, you will be tested as to whether you have “the capacity to marry”. Apart from not being already married (bigamy is illegal) you must freely consent to marriage and understand what marriage means.

✈ There is no residency requirement to wed in Ireland but you must make an appointment to notify the registrar (you can apply here) of your intent to marry with at least three months notice but it goes without saying, if you are planning a destination wedding – plan much earlier for this if you can.

✈ This can be done in person but you can also contact the registrar and request permission to complete the notification by post. Permission is usually granted and the registrar will then send out a form to be completed and returned. This is obviously a slower process than doing it in person so you should start corresponding as early as possible. A notification fee will also need to be paid. Having said all this, you will still have to meet the registrar in person at least five days your wedding day so the Registration Form can be issued. It is also irrelevant whether you opt for a church or civil wedding, this step still needs to be taken.

✈ For more specific information on applying and on documentation required, have a look here.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

CHURCH CEREMONY

If you have your heart set on having a religious ceremony in a chapel, you will still have to go through the registration process as outlined above and in the specified links. No religious ceremony is legally binding without a prior civil registration and a Marriage Registration Form. In Ireland, the form is usually completed after the mass ceremony in the church but it needs to be sent back to the registrar after one month.

CIVIL CEREMONY

You can only get married by a registrar here in Ireland between Mondays and Fridays. If you don’t want to get married in a registry office, you will need to let the registrar aware of this on application as only specific times and dates are available. I’m told that they are quite hard to get in contact with so persevere! Most venues are licensed to hold civil ceremonies but if the one you are looking at isn’t, here are the guidelines for it becoming approved. The only option for getting married on a Saturday in Ireland is to have a spiritualist ceremony. This ceremony is legally binding and you can find out more information here.

OUTDOOR CEREMONY

You only have one option if you want to have a legal civil ceremony outside but if you want to sort out the legal stuff before you arrive, you pretty much have your pick of beautiful outdoor spaces and can organise to have a symbolic ceremony instead. The only way to have a legally binding outdoor ceremony is by having a Spiritualist ceremony and you can find lots of great information here.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

WEDDING CEREMONY VENUES

CHURCH WEDDING VENUES

St Annes Church

Located on Dawson Street just a stroll away from Stephens Green you will find St Anne’s. It’s a popular tourist location so maybe not suitable if you want something a bit more private but the romanesque facade, the stained glass windows and it’s prime location next the mansion house might help you in making the all important decision.

Newman University Church

What can I say, you would nearly walk by this church if you didn’t know it was there but what a mistake that would be. The alter in this church is simply stunning and walls are decorated in marble and it’s literally walk across the road from St. Stephens Green for your wedding photographs. Probably our favourite church in Dublin City.

Saint Stephens (The Pepper Pot)

Situated on Upper Mount Street, The Pepper Pot is a bit of a landmark to say the least, you couldn’t tell by it’s nick name? Saint Stephens is not quite as close to the heart of the city as the others but is only a walk away from Baggot Street, another trendy location with great bars and restuarants.

The Unitarian Church

The Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green has been open for worship since 1863 and is a non-credal church. The best time to contact the minister is on a Sunday after their 11am service (Irish time obviously!). They will be able to check available dates over the phone with you.

For more Church options for all denominations, this website is quite helpful.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

CIVIL CEREMONY VENUES

The Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is a great space and one of the most iconic locations in Dublin with an address at the St. James Gate Brewery which has been home to Guinness since 1759. We featured it as a venue spotlight here and it just so happens to be Arthurs Day today so it’s only fitting that we feature it again as a wedding location. Follow your ceremony with a private dinner in one of their event spaces. The place is huge.

The National Gallery of Ireland

The elegantly restored Georgian house also with an address of No. 5 South Leinster Street, can host civil ceremonies for up to 40 people with drinks and canapes afterward but the National Gallery of Ireland has a a range of venue spaces for a larger dinner receptions if you need the space.

Dublin Zoo

Probably not everyone’s cup of tea but I couldn’t exclude the Zoo. Dublin Zoo is actually located in the Phoenix Park, also home to the President of Ireland and Áras an Uachtaráin – his big white house. You can hold your civil ceremony and reception in Haughton House in the centre of Dublin Zoo and wander the Zoo or the park for the most beautiful wedding pictures.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

OUTDOOR CEREMONY VENUES

This is going to be hard to pick but we have chosen three public places just for today and will definitely be adding more. These are more geared towards a couple eloping as there wouldn’t be an opportunity to organise seating etc for guests unless they are happy to stand!

Howth Pier

I owe this one to Claire from White Sage Events. Claire told me a few weeks ago about one of her destination couples who had a ceremony here and well I just thought that it was a really beautiful location. Howth is a cute little village in Dublin right on the sea where small colorful boats can be seen dotted all over the place. Be sure to involve Claire for this one, she’s a pro.

Tower Bay Beach

In Dublin county, near Fingal you will be lucky to find Tower Bay Beach, a tiny cove shaped beach with steps leading down to the strand with fabulous views all round of Lambay Island, the Dublin Mountains and Rockabill Lighthouse.

Dublin Mountains

Okay, I’m biased. I live in the mountains and I’m in love with the views I get to wake up to every morning. There are an endless number of locations around here so if you are feeling adventurous and want something well and truly away from the city but close enough to it for partying in the evening – I know just the place, send me an email!

WEDDING RECEPTION VENUES

RESTAURANTS

The Winding Stair

One of my favourite restaurants in Dublin, this little gem is right opposite the ha’penny bridge and has a perfect view of the River Liffey. The food is great but it’s the character of this once bookshop-café that sells it for me. Named after a poem by the Irish playright and poet, William Butler Yeats, The Winding Stair still houses one of Dublin’s oldest bookstores today and is a fond hangout for many Irish artists. The restaurant upstairs is atmospheric where old bookshelves have now become home it’s extensive wine collection. The food is hearty and homely with ingredients sourced from suppliers around Ireland and it can privately seat parties of up to 65 people. If it’s old Irish charm you are after without the tack, or one hell of a chocolate pud – this is the one.

Fallon and Byrne

Gosh I love this place, especially the wine cellar after a day’s shopping in Dublin. The atmosphere is cool and vibrant at this centrally located establishment and the Exchequer Room on the top floor is perfect if an urban wedding is what you are after. Fallon and Byrne can also host civil weddings which is great if you are going the legal route and want to keep things as simple as possible after that. The food is always great here and you can design your wedding menu so if you have a guestlist of 50 to 120 for your destination wedding in Dublin, then maybe you should check this place out.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide to the City

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

One Pico

My brother took me here for the first time a year ago and I’ve been back a few times since. I really enjoy its simple elegance and the general ambiance of One Pico. Owner and head chef Eamonn O’Reilly has a pretty impressive resume and a whole host of awards so I don’t really need to go on about how good the food and wine is here, the only thing I’ll say is that it’s not over the top, just the right amount of flair and panache. There is a subtle confidence to everything about this place and to me, it gives off a great vibe that’s kind of hard to explain! For destination weddings, it offers private dining for 10 – 45 in the Polo room but don’t despair if your numbers go over that. The restaurant will hold 100 and you can book it out on request.

Other Recommendations

Aqua in Howth is out of the city centre but only a Dart ride away and you can also have a civil ceremony here. It has great sea views and perfect for a lovers stroll along the pier afterwards. Il Primo is a wonderful little Italian place near St. Stephens Green that I wish I could eat in every day. Chapter One is for a once in a lifetime treat, it’s very expensive but worth it for a wedding.

HOTELS, CASTLES, PALACES & ANCIENT RESIDENCE

The Cliff Town House Hotel

The Cliff Town House Hotel is a gorgeous Georgian Town House located on Stephens Green and The Private Room is perfect for an intimate gathering. The room can seat up to 40 guests so it will suit a medium sized destination wedding in Dublin. Obviously being able to stay means that you will have a stress free wedding morning and it’s location is excellent if your guests have travelled from afar, allowing them to experience as much of Dublin City as possible.

Tailors Hall

This Georgian Guild Hall near Christchurch Cathedral is the headquarters for An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland. It’s one of Irelands more historic venues where the Hall hosted meetings for the Guild of Merchant Tailors from 1706 to 1841. For those of you that are choosing to have a destination wedding in Ireland because of its rich cultural and natural heritage, you might like to know that all profits from from hiring this venue will go to support The National Trust for Ireland  in its protection and conservation of this beautiful building.

Christchurch Vaults

The Christchurch Vault is one of the oldest structures in Dublin and has a prime location under the Christchurch Cathedral. Cool and touristy in one go. If you are going for medieval, then we think this will tick the boxes.

Clontarf Castle

We had to include one castle and although it’s not in the city centre and would very much be considered a modern venue with suitable for larger parties. If you are looking for modern comforts but beautiful surroundings then Clontarf Castle might be a right fit.

Dublin Destination Wedding

PHOTOGRAPHERS

I have to start with the lovely lady who provided most of the images for todays post, Lisa O’Dwyer. Lisa is no stranger to Fly Away Bride and we always look forward to featuring her beautiful weddings and engagement sessions. Lisa, who is from the States, shoots in both digital and film and we cannot recommend her highly enough.

Other FAB photographers that we love are; Christina Brosnan, White Tea, Aspect Photography, Dave McClelland, Studio 33, Savo Photography, This Modern Love, Photography by Brideen and Therese Ahearn. There are heaps more like Sean Curtain Photography, Magda Lukas who are all great but we sadly haven’t had an opportunity to feature (yet, hopefully) but again, if you are looking for something specific, let us know and we will point you in the right direction.

CAR HIRE

Vintage Road Star, Lazy Days and Luxury Wedding Cars

CATERING & CAKES

Cloudberry Bakery deliver nationwide and are great. So is The Cake Stand and they are in Kildare, very close by! Or.. you could hop into The Cake Cafe – one of Dublins best kept secrets! The Cake Cafe is a darling little space hiding at the back of one of my other favourite shops in Dublin, Daintree. Beautiful paper and beautiful cakes in the one place – awesome.

Dublin Destination Wedding Vendors

FLORISTS

Best of Buds and Wild Couture come highly recommended. A bit closer to Dublin you have The French Touch, Ruby and Bloom and The Informal Florist.

If you fancy an early morning wander around Dublin or want to do your flowers yourself, you can head to the Smithfield Flower Market.

MUSIC

Harper and Bow is an agency I will be launching soon and we will be specialise in harp ensembles, traditional Irish music ensembles, singers and dancers so ping me a mail. Bohemian Stings and Sound of Serendipity are two great string quartets. Encore Occasions come recommended, Connor McKeon and the Legends of Swing are a great evening band.

PLANNERS and STYLISTS

Claire from White Sage Events and Annie from Aislinn Events come highly recommended. Pearl and Godiva and The Bridal Lounge will style your day beautifully.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

HAIR and MAKE UP

Michelle O’Halloran for Hair, Ellie Balf and Katherine O’Neill for fabulous make up.

PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

TRAVELLING TO DUBLIN

Dublin Airport is the largest airport in the ROI and offers the most by way of routes and destinations. It is connected to the city by bus and taxis are also available from the taxi ranks outside the terminal buildings. Cork and Shannon airport are about 2.5hours away from Dublin City but if you are planning on travelling around Ireland first, you can always start your journey by flying into there.

GETTING AROUND DUBLIN

Dublin’s centre is pretty compact, so if you’re just planning to cover the main sights and don’t mind a bit of walking, you probably won’t need to avail of the city’s public transport system at all.

City Bikes

Dublin has one of the most successful bike rental schemes in the world. Bikes are available for hire at 44 stations throughout the city, although only 15 of those sell the three-day ticket which, unless you’re in Dublin for the long-term, is the one you want. Stations with credit card facilities are located in the main tourist areas such as St Stephen’s Green and Dame and O’Connell Streets, and once you’ve bought your ticket you can use any station you like to pick up or drop off a bike. A three-day ticket costs EUR 2, with a EUR 150 guarantee. The first 30 minutes of cycling is free, after which modest charges apply, up to EUR 6.50 for four hours.

LUAS and DART

The DART, or Dublin Area Rapid Transit, serves pretty seaside towns such as Howth, Bray and Dalkey amongst other suburban destinations. The LUAS light rail system has two main lines, the red and green and connects the major sights and shopping areas. Use the red to get to Heuston and Connolly, the green for St. Stephens Green and last minute wedding buys in Dundrum Shopping Centre.

Train

There are two main train stations in Dublin, Heuston and Connolly. Heuston primarily serves routes towards the Southwest servicing Galway, Limerick and Cork City. It also serves popular tourist locations such as Killarney and Westport. Heuston Station is connected to Connolly station via the Luas red line. Connolly then offers servies to Belfast,  Sligo and Wexford. For all the towns in between, here is a pretty good map.

Buses

The Dublin bus system is extensive and rather complicated. Dublin is quite small so it is best to explored on foot, bike or taxi. Don’t get the bus in your dress.

Taxi

Have you seen the Carlsberg ad where the guys walk out of the bar and it’s pouring rain and a line of taxi’s light up? Well, Carlsberg do taxi’s in Dublin.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

SLEEP

There are hundreds of hotels in and around Dublin City to suit every budget and comfort level. Many of the mainstream booking engines will give you a good description of what’s on offer but if we can help, let us know.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

SPEAK THE LANGUAGE

Don’t be alarmed if you hear the word “Crack” being used quite frequently. The word being said is actually “craic” and generally means good fun. We use it a lot, even when we don’t mean it but it has no reference to any sort of drug taking!

Hello! ✈ Dia duit ✈ de ah gwuitch

Thank You ✈ Go raibh maith agat ✈ Guh rev moh a gut

I’m must tell you, my friend is sitting opposite me laughing at my phonetic pronuciations.

Excuse Me ✈ Gabh mo leithscéal ✈ Guh mo lesh gail

Good bye! ✈ Slán ✈ Slawn

Yes ✈ Yes

No ✈ No

The train station ✈ An stáisiún traenach ✈ On stawshuin traynoch?! That one was hard

I want to go to… ✈ Ba mhaith liom dul go dtí ✈ Buh wa lum dull guh di …. on lehris ✈ OK don’t say those last two little words there to a stranger, they will look at you funny.

Dublin Destination Wedding Guide

If you have any suggestions you think we should add to our Dublin Destination Guide, please leave a comment or email us with your suggestions to submissions@flyawaybride.com. We love latest updates and personal experiences so keep them coming! A big thanks again to Lisa for the use of her Dublin Wedding Images!

14 Responses

  1. Lisa O'Dwyer

    Thanks so much for the fantastic Dublin destination wedding guide and for featuring some of the Dublin weddings I’ve photographed! I do have to mention that Appassionata Flowers are fantastic too. Right in Dublin city centre, and they did the colourful bouquets in the wedding above (with the bird cards). Fantastic city for a wedding!

    Reply
  2. Andy Steven

    Hi
    You can also consider Toscana Restaurant – Dame street as one of the oldest restaurant in this decade serving dishes grown only from their farm house, I think this is quite unique.

    Have a nice day
    Thanks
    Andy

    Reply
  3. Dyan Calhoun

    Unfortunately I am not a bachelor but I am a married man. I want to say your post is superb, thanks for the quite useful wedding guide information on the place, Dublin is the place where nature has shown its love at full, but don’t forget to find a Dublin Guide for all of the information you are looking for on Dublin.

    Reply
  4. Ross Meekins

    This is a fantastic little guide, unfortunately I believe I misunderstood the exact requirements to getting just a symbolic wedding? To elaborate, my fiancé and I are planning on traveling to Ireland in approximately 4 months. We plan on taking care of all the legal wedding requirements before traveling,however we would like to have some sort of symbolic ceremony while in Ireland. What exactly do we we need to do prior to and during our stay?

    Reply
    • Amy

      Hi Ross, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We love that you are coming to Ireland to celebrate. The fact that you are taking care of the legalities beforehand will certainly make it less complicated when you arrive here. Can I suggest a few options to contact for a symbolic ceremony? One is Dara Molloy who we have worked with recently and is really good (http://www.daramolloy.com) and Tom Colton also does symbolic ceremonies (http://tomcolton.com/?page_id=792). You’ll probably be better off getting in contact with your celebrant before you arrive so that they can advise you on exactly what you want for your ceremony. If you have the legalities already sorted there won’t be much to do other than figure out a date, get a celebrant you are happy with and finalize the wording and arrangement of your ceremony. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  5. Karina Molina

    First of all great site, just love it!
    Second, you know if it possible to have any kind of symbolic wedding ceremony?
    Something like that one that you can have in Cancun or Maldives hotels?
    I will be traveling to Ireland in one year andI would be extremely happy if I could have one of this wedding ceremonies ther, once I meet my boyfriend in Ireland.
    Thank you for your help.
    Lots of love from Brasil
    Karina

    Reply
  6. Sarah Carr

    Such a handy guide! I’m intrigued by the outdoor ceremonies, how would I go about organising these? Howth Pier is a place I’d love to get married! Any advice appreciated!

    Reply

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