Cliffs of Moher, Ireland Elopement

I was fortunate enough to meet with Yana (the wedding planner for today’s elopement) while I was in London, UK in July of this year.  Yana, born in Estonia and raised in Ireland, is a warm and down to earth person who started a destination wedding planning business over the past couple years. Along with the great images from David Olsthoorn Photography behind the lens, I think today’s elopement in Ireland is simply inspiring.

A backstory from Yana

“Krista and Joseph contacted me on New Year’s eve with a request to elope to Ireland for a blessing ceremony at the Cliffs of Moher. Like most couples opting for an elopement over the frills of a traditional wedding, these two are an open minded and fun loving pair. All they wanted was to marry each other, and to have fun doing it. Oh and to try some real Guinness, of course!

“Five months later they got on a plane from Texas and 4,500 odd miles later, they landed at Shannon Airport in the West of Ireland. K & J said their vows on the edge of the cliff on a very, very windy day.

“It was a beautiful intimate ceremony in the presence of just three of their closest friends,and a handful of curious tourists! Among all the excitement of that morning, Krista forgot her beautiful bluebell and baby’s breath bouquet in the hotel room! There was no panic however. The scenic landscape and the glowing love between them was more than enough to decorate the photographs. I recon it’s something they’ll laugh about every time they pull out the wedding album.”

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland Elopement

How did you decide on a destination wedding?

Comments from the Bride: “We didn’t want traditional, we didn’t want a wedding about everyone else, we wanted it to be about us. We have roots in Ireland and have always wanted to visit it. Ireland is not only gorgeous , but there is such a relaxed atmosphere and so much care-free fun to be had . We felt like that was fitting for us, we wanted to be able to enjoy the gorgeous scenery by day, and meet locals at the pubs by night. Plus, Ireland has so much history, it simply amazed us, and the castles for our fairy-tale wedding really helped.”

Silver peep toe bridal shoes Purple and white bridal bouquet with blue bells, white roses and thistles
Cliffs of Moher

Best advice while planning your wedding?

“The best advice I received was ‘Don’t worry about what everyone else wants, your wedding day is about you’ So many people plan wedding for everyone else, and forget what’s important . We almost planned a big wedding at home, and it just didn’t feel right. When it comes down to it, even if it upsets others, this is YOUR day and it’s important you do it YOUR way, everyone else will get over it.”

What was the overall theme for the ceremony and reception?

“Escape ! It was a relaxed celebration , escaping reality for a little while , having a fairytale wedding , with the natural beauty of Ireland as our focus.”

Bride walking up side walk during wedding ceremony at cliffs of moher groom wearing black suit and baby blue tie with pocket square
Irish harpist playing harp at cliffs of moher wedding ceremony

Wedding Music

“We had a Harpest, Tina Mulrooney, who played her own selection , and it was simply beautiful!”

Bride and groom holding hands during wedding ceremony at Cliffs of Moher Cliffs of Moher wedding ceremony with crowd watchingHandfasting ceremony at wedding reception in Ireland Bride and groom during wedding ceremony in Ireland performed by Darra Molloy

Describe the Bride’s Attire

“The brides dress was by Oleg Cassini. It was an ivory strapless satin bodice with beaded embroidery , organza ball gown skirt, and chapel train. I also wore silver rhinestone covered flats due to the amount of walking, I had rhinestone heels as back up.”
Bride and groom walking down stairs at cliffs of Moher after wedding ceremony Krista&Joseph-172Krista & Joseph standing at the Cliffs of MoherGroom kissing brides forhead. Bride wearing strapless gown and tier drop hoop earrings Bride with hand on grooms chest wearing a halo ring

Highlights from the Ceremony and Reception

“So many. First off, the views of the cliffs were astonishing. Secondly, how many people can say they hiked up a cliff in a wedding dress? That was pretty amazing.There was a traveling choir there that sang to us on top of the cliffs, so neat! Also, we had such amazing people on our team, an amazing photographer, celebrant , wedding planner and harpist, it was truly surreal. Despite the windy weather and a couple mishaps on the way, nothing could beat it. After the ceremony at the cliffs, we went to a local pub (Gus O’Connors) and had a pint of Guinness, wedding dress and all. There at the pub, we ran into the same traveling choir who cheered and sang for us again. Get this, we ran into that same choir again, in a pub in Ennistymon.”

Bride and groom dancing on the cliffs of Moher captured by David Olsthoorn Photography Bride and groom kissing on top of Cliffs of MoherBride and groom head to head on the cliffs of Moher. Brides hair done by Its U Hair Salon

Where did you go on your Honeymoon?

“We hired a private driver for the remainder of our trip . We went to Dublin,  we stayed at River Lee Hotel in Cork, then the gorgeous Killarney Royal in Killarney, and finished off at Dromoland Castle. We hiked up mountains, we rode horseback through Killarney national park, we did food tastings and just had an amazing experience .”


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