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Surprise Elopement in Ireland with Gaelic Traditions

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Monica + Charles surprised their friends and family with a wedding during an already booked trip in Ireland! Our budget savvy couple seamlessly blended rich tradition and personalization into their special day.

Monica + Charles

Galway, International
- 04/24/2023
Total wedding budget $3,850

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Flowers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Transportation/Travel
  • Officiant
  • Partner 2 Attire
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Photography
  • Total wedding budget

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

We drew from our Gaelic roots and included both a handfasting ceremony and a quaich ceremony in our wedding. Our celebrant met with us several times and personalized our wedding with our relationship story.

We also walked in to the ceremony space and celebrated after (with two different songs that represented us as a couple and how we felt about starting this new adventure together).

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

There were a couple of memorable moments of our day! We loved having the time and space to relax and get ready together.

We also loved unwinding together over the cozy dinner we enjoyed in a local pub after all of the excitement of the day.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing we did to save money was elope! We already had our trip to Ireland booked, and a year to the day out we decided to get married while we were there. Neither of us wanted to deal with the stress of a big wedding, and we both knew we didn’t want to spend a ton of money on one day.

What was your biggest splurge?

Our biggest splurge was the photography, but it was so worth it. Our photographer, Shauna Ward, is amazing and she did a phenomenal job capturing who we are as a couple and what we envisioned for our photos. We didn’t tell our families beforehand (the people who attended were part of our tour group, so they were already going to be in Ireland!), so we wanted to be able to share it with them through the photos.

What was your favorite details?

My favorite detail was having “I Wanna Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler playing as we entered the ceremony space. I also really love the antique Claddagh ring we found in an estate sale shop, which is now my wedding band.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Do what feels right to both you and your future spouse, and don’t let anyone guilt you into doing or adding anything you don’t want. Most importantly, savor the moment and enjoy the process!