couple at Cliffs of Moher

Ireland Elopement at the Cliffs of Moher

Baochau and I were roommates for 3 years and got really close throughout college. She’s since become one of my best friends and I love her dearly! She was even a bridesmaid in my wedding back in 2017 :’). So of course when Baochau got engaged, I was STOKED for whatever plans she was envisioning!

I remember how badly Baochau wanted to elope to somewhere beautiful. Although their plans were constantly changing from the beginning of their engagement to the day they legally got married, one thing stood true: these kids were wild about each other and they wanted to get married. 

As legally eloping in Ireland as a non-EU citizen involves a lot of time spent at the embassy, they instead opted for a pre-honeymoon celebration in Ireland as their unofficial elopement! Their trip was followed by legal ceremony and intimate reception at the Houston Rodeo with all their friends and family to celebrate.

A week or so leading up to the trip, we had concerns with all the rainy weather Ireland was predicted to have. But, we decided to embrace it! We experienced 60mph winds, flooding, sideways rain that turned into sleet and hail, even snow! It was definitely an interesting trip weather wise, but a day I’ll never forget! I’m so grateful for my sweet friends who allowed me to come along to photograph their crazy journey into marriage.

Baochau started the day off getting her make up done by the super sweet Miss Mercy while Chris decided to hit the gym. This gave me plenty of time to check out The g Hotel and Spa’s wonderful breakfast. (They had fresh pineapple and grapefruit juice!! I mean come on!).

Baochau and Chris got rings to commemorate their time in Ireland together at Fallers, a local jewelry store in Galway. Baochau got a traditional Irish Claddagh ring, which represents love, loyalty, and friendship to wear alongside her more “normal” engagement ring and wedding ban. Chris opted for a ring inspired by the Ardagh Chalice, a treasure of the Irish Church believed to date back to 8th century AD.

After Baochau was done getting her make up done, she finished up her hair while I steamed her dress and veil. They both dressed, and it was finally time for their first look with each other in their wedding outfits! I think they are both puh-rettyyyy snazzy lookin’! We took advantage of The g Hotel’s awesome sitting rooms for some indoor portraits before heading out to the cliffs.

Then it was off to the Cliffs of Moher! The weather probably changed 87 times from the minute we left the hotel to when we finally arrived. Even though the drive was a bit hectic because of the weather, the views were unbelievable. And we saw so many lil sheepies! (Unfortunately, I couldn’t snap a picture while driving, but I saw them and that’s what counts.) 

When we were getting out of the car to make the trek up to the top of the cliffs, we were literally blown away by the insane 60+ mph winds! We attempted to try to push through the strong winds, but we got hit by hail 30 seconds later. So… back to the car it was! We waited for the weather to clear up a little bit, then pushed on to make its to the cliffs. 

We were so thankful for the amazing staff that were working at the cliffs. When we walked in the visitor’s center to get a map and wait out some of the rain, one of the men at the visitor’s desk was kind enough to arrange a buggy ride for Baochau to O’Brien’s Tower! Unfortunately he couldn’t take all of us, so Chris and I worked our way to the top while the weather was still decent. We didn’t even make it halfway before the dark clouds rolled in and it went from a nice, sunny, windy day to doom and gloom. (And if you look closely, you can see the little buggy by the tower with Baochau in it!)

Needless to say, we definitely made it, and my camera was safe and dry (thank God!). However, Chris and I were freezing and soaked. The super kind workers that were at O’Brien’s Tower were so accommodating! They cranked up the heat and gave us paper towels to help dry ourselves off.

Finally, the weather cleared for 5 seconds so we could take some shots! We had to shoot in between the spells of rain, sleet, and hail, along with literally fighting the wind to stand, but the photos were well worth it. You can see the sun peeking out of the clouds here and there, but we mostly worked with the moody goodness we were given. I mean- DAAAAANNNNGGGGGG! Do you see these?! 

In between all the running in and out of the tower, we explored all the way up to the top! There are several different view points to see the different islands and towns that neighbor the Cliffs of Moher. It was super interesting to see and explore!

Finally, we had an incredible pocket of sun for a few brief minutes. We ran out to grab some photos while the sun was shining big and bright on the cliffs. It looked like an entirely different day when the clouds cleared. Check out those cliffs showing off for us!!

After a few adventures into the breaks in bad weather, we decided it would be best to leave instead of continuing to explore due to the severity of the weather. Without the wall barrier at the top of the cliffs, we could have easily been blown over the side (yikes!). We figured, “why not enjoy our drive back to Galway and get a pint or two of Gunniess instead?!”

Was I a little sad that we didn’t get to explore even more? Of course. Did I fall on my tush (repeatedly) and make a fool out of myself because the wind kept knocking me down? Duhhh. But were the insane views, sweet Irish people we met, and laughs we had braving the super unpredictable weather worth it? HELL YEAH THEY WERE.

On the way back to Galway, we decided to do a quick jump out of the car for a photo at this beautiful look out! The Irish countryside was showing off and looking real good, so why not, amirite?!

We headed to Chris and Baochau’s favorite bar they came across during their time in Galway. The Quays Bar is super cool with stained glass and live Irish music to enjoy. We decided to have dinner there in their restaurant on the lower level of the pub. I had the beef and Guinness stew which was absolutely deeeelicious. I could have had a gallon of that stew and it wouldn’t have been enough. After we ate, we sat at the bar to enjoy the live music and enjoy some drinks. Chris and Baochau had the amazing idea of capturing some of the ambiance of the bar, and they came out even better than I could have imagined! Luckily, Quays has so many levels to it. I truly enjoyed playing around, getting different views all while we enjoyed a pint and the mesmerizing music. 

On the way to our last stop of the night, we had to get just a few shots of them being all lovey dovey in the street. I mean look at how precious they are!! 

Our last stop of the night was Murphys Ice Cream. Now… when I tell you this ice cream will rock your world I mean it. Chris and Baochau had already been before and befriended one of the super friendly workers, so they promised him they’d be back in full wedding attire! And booooy did they deliver! They even kept the shop open for a bit so we could chat and enjoy our ice cream with them. They were incredibly friendly and made me some fabulous combo of ice cream based off my love of caramel. It! It was the perfect end to one magnificent day.

Ireland was absolutely phenomenal. Although it was a quick trip, I am so thankful Chris and Baochau asked me to be a part of such a special time in their lives! :’) Catch me dreaming about the Irish countryside for years and years to come. 

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