What really happened
In the long version of the answer to this question, yes, some changes have indeed been made to the rules of holding weddings on The Cliffs of Moher in October 2016. Here is an exert from an email we received from the bookings administration at The Cliffs of Moher on 25/10/2016: "The management team have decided that we will no longer offer wedding packages to couples. We are simply far too busy as a tourist site to be able to accommodate tailored packages to wedding parties."
However, couples can still hold their ceremonies with us if they wish. They would need to go to the main car park across the road from the visitor centre, pay for their general admission here, and then proceed as normal visitors. There is no need to let us know about this in advance or pre-book tickets, they simply pay the public rates at the kiosks.
They can have the ceremony somewhere along the walkways, once it doesn’t disturb other visitors or block the paths.
If you have any wedding parties with 10 or more people they can make a group booking in order to avail of the cheaper, pre-booked rates.
I’m sorry that we can no longer work with you on wedding blessings however it was just putting too much strain on the daily operations so it was no longer feasible to offer this service.”"
What it means
So what does this actually mean for those of you dreaming of a wild elopement or wedding on The Cliffs of Moher?
Previously, The Cliffs of Moher were offering three different wedding packages to couples. These included:
a DIY ceremony with no assistance whatsoever from The Cliffs staff,
a Semi-Private Area around O’Brien’s Tower and
a Private Hire of O’Brien’s Tower for 2 Hours where the area was sectioned off from tourists during this time.
Couples used to have to notify The Cliffs of Moher bookings office and pay the appropriate fee depending on which package they preferred.
By booking either of the three packages, couples and their guests could also avail of the exclusive coaches-and-taxis-only entrance, which meant you could get dropped off right in front of the entrance to the Visitors Centre rather than go through the main visitors car park across the road. However, as per the comment above, these packages have now been suspended.
How it affects you
With the recent change to the rules, wedding parties will not be able to book priority access via the coach and taxi entrance. Instead, the couples, their guests and suppliers will now have to access the site as regular visitors, park in the main car park across the road and pay an entrance of €6 per person. If the total group exceeds 10 people, you can still avail of the pre-booked group rate of €3 per person (or €2 per person if arriving after 4pm). In reality, this is the only ‘significant’ change that was made. Everything else about the process of arranging and hosting weddings on The Cliffs of Moher remains exactly the same.
The only possible issue we can envisage with the altered system is that since the wedding parties no longer have to notify the centre about their upcoming ceremony, it’s possible that there may be several weddings taking place on site on the same day. However, if you’re not too worried about seeing another bride on the cliffs besides yourself, then it wouldn’t be much of a problem! The truth is, even if people don’t host their actual wedding ceremony on The Cliffs of Moher, they often still come here for photos. This is not something you had to notify the bookings centre of previously, so there was always a risk of running into another happy couple.
The good news
Is there any good news to this change? Yes! Previously you could only have a wedding on The Cliffs of Moher after 4pm in the months from May to September. Now you are no longer limited to this timeline! Though may we offer a friendly word of advice? We still recommend leaving your intimate wedding ceremony on The Cliffs of Moher until later in the afternoon to avoid the busiest peak hours.
What to do next
Now that we’ve established that you can indeed still have your dream wild intimate wedding in Ireland, just like all the blogs posts you’ve seen online about weddings on The Cliffs of Moher, how do you go about making that dream happen? We’ve perfected the planning process for small weddings of The Cliffs of Moher and created the perfect wedding packages for Ireland! In this package we’ve included everything you’ll need for a stress-free and memorable wedding on The Cliffs of Moher: ceremony officiant, photographer, hair and makeup, flowers, music and of course our assistance with every element of the wedding planning process.
Send us an enquiry with us and let’s begin planning your big day together!