Getting married is often the best day of your life. It’s a momentous day filled with love, family and friends. You want it to be perfect and there’s plenty to be organised ahead of the day itself of course. The dress, the venue, the theme, the bridal party, the food, the cars and on and on.
But apart from all of those important details, there is also the matter of the legal and religious paperwork that each couple must fill in before they can legally tie the knot.
Paperwork can be time consuming so we can help advise on what documents you need to fill in especially if you’re living outside of Ireland and are planning your wedding here. Please please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to go through a few details.
In the meantime, here are some general helpful advice on what is required. If in doubt please check with your church or registry office and check out the HSE website which has all the information you need.
For All Couples –
- To legally get married in Ireland both parties to the planned marriage must give a minimum of 3 months’ notice to a Registrar of their intention to marry.
- This has to be done in person by both of you and you’ll need to make an appointment only. You may book your appointment online or by telephoning your local registration office.
- Expect to need copies of passports, birth certs and proof of addresses for all of the below.
If you plan to have a civil ceremony, then apart from the 3 months’ notice you must also
- Make an appointment to see the Registrar of Marriages for the district in which you intend to marry for information on how to proceed. There is no requirement to live in the district where you want to get married. The registrar must be on the register of solemnisers maintained by the Registrar General.
- A civil ceremony can be held in a Registry Office or some other venue that is approved by a Registrar. A Registrar will also have to be available to solemnise the marriage.
- If you want to get married in a venue other than the Registry Office you should contact the Registry Office for the district the venue is located in to arrange to have it approved.
- Once you fulfil the 3 months notification requirements and there is no impediment to you getting married, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) giving you permission to marry. You should give the MRF to the Registrar who will be solemnising the marriage before the marriage ceremony.
If you plan to have a catholic ceremony, then apart from the 3 months’ notice you must also –
- Contact the church where you wish to get married and see if it is free.
- You’ll also then have to arrange a priest who is on the official register, if it is not your local church in which case the parish priest normally officiates.
- You may need to undertake a pre-marriage course and you’ll have to carry out a pre-nuptial enquiry form with your local priest, as well as obtaining a Letter of Freedom from your local parish.
If you plan to have any type of religious ceremony, then apart from the 3 months’ notice you must also –
- You will need to contact the authorities of the religion in question and discuss any requirements they may have.
- The person solemnising the marriage must be on the Register of Solemnisers which is maintained by the General Registrar. It lists both civil registrars and the members of the various religious bodies who have been nominated by the bodies as solemnisers.
- The ceremony must be performed in the presence of two witnesses aged 18 or over.
If you plan to have a Humanist ceremony, then apart from the 3 months’ notice you must also –
- Use a celebrant who is accredited by the Humanist Association of Ireland.