Your celebrant or solemniser has one of the biggest responsibilities of your wedding day.   If you have chosen your celebrant or solemniser correctly, your wedding ceremony will be exactly as you want it to be. 

Knowing the difference between a celebrant and a solemniser is essential for anyone who wants to be legally married in Ireland.

You should choose your celebrant not only by their kindness and obvious dedication to their role, but also by their ability to provide you with the wedding ceremony that you really want.

The biggest challenge facing couples who want to be married in Ireland with a non-church wedding right now is finding correct unbiased advice – so they can choose the right celebrant or solemniser who can provide the wedding ceremony that they really want, the wedding ceremony of their dreams.

As a result- many couples who want to be legally married in Ireland with a unique & personalised ceremony designed to suit their own wishes are being wrongly advised about their choices for legal marriage ceremony in Ireland. 

Some of the myths being told to couples by those who don’t know any better may include:

  1. If you choose a Secular or Religious marriage solemniser. as your celebrant, the design of your wedding ceremony will be very restricted because they have such strict rules to obey.
  2. Or that you won’t be able to find a Secular or Religious marriage solemniser who is available on your wedding date because they are ALL booked up so far in advance
  3. You won’t find a registered solemniser availabe on your wedding date because they are all booked up for at least 2 years, because there just isn’t enough of them registered and celebrants are working towards becoming registered as well.
  4. Or the modern trend now sweeping Ireland is that to ensure your ceremony is unique and designed your way, you must choose a celebrant who isn’t a Secular or Religious solemniser., and attend the HSE office on a separate day with your witnesses to “sign the legal marriage documents” or to “register your marriage”.  What they really mean is that if you don’t go to the HSE office on a separate day for a registry office marriage you won’t be legally married.
  5. Or that here in Ireland, a celebrant doesn’t conduct legal marriages, that in order to have your wedding ceremony designed and created your own way you must book a celebrant then book the HSE registry office on a separate day with your witnesses to “sign the legal marriage documents” or to “register your marriage” to be legally married.  What they really mean is that if you choose a celebrant who isn’t registered to solemnise marriages, you will need to also have a registry office marriage with your witnesses on a separate day.

Now there are some valid circumstances where a non-legal wedding ceremony with family & friends here in Ireland may be the best choice for some couples. 

This includes:

  • Couples where one or both spouses-to-be weren’t actually born in Ireland,
  • Or where the couple are living abroad.

In these cases it may be very difficult, costly or just near impossible to obtain the identification documents required for both spouses-to-be, to be legally married in Ireland.

But for couples living in Ireland, who don’t have any trouble obtaining the identification documents required, who really want to be legally married with a beautiful unique & special ceremony designed to suit their own beliefs and wishes, the incorrect advice given to couples in these circumstances that their best choice is a registry office marriage on a separate day with a 2nd fake non-legal wedding with their family & friends is highly un-ethical and a real tragedy! 

Just imagine being tricked into having a fake wedding with your dearest family & friends when what you really wanted was a real legal wedding with your dearest family & friends as witnesses!

For couples who want to be married in Ireland with a unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony designed to suit their own wishes and beliefs it is just not necessary to have two separate wedding ceremonies.  There are thousands of registered solemnisers who are able to conduct a marriage ceremony to the couples wishes and beliefs.

No matter which type of ceremony, celebant or solemniser is best for you, you should interview your celebrant or solemniser before booking them, to determine if they are the right person for your needs.  

Speak with them personally on the phone (or even better- by video chat, to interview and ask questions, you can tell so much about a person’s character and ability to provide what you want from a quick chat to them to ask a few questions:

Celebrant or Solemniser interview checklist:

  • How eager are they to go out of their way to ensure that your ceremony is every bit as special as you deserve? 
  • Are they sincere and genuine is there an obvious sales pitch in there?
  • Do they put your wishes first – is their priority always to put your mind at ease to ensure your wedding ceremony is stress free? 
  • If you want to be legally married in Ireland – are they a HSE registered solemniser of marriages and able to conduct your marriage as a legal marriage ceremony?  Or would you be required to attend the HSE office on a separate day with your witnesses for a registry office marriage as well?
  • Always listen to your first gut feeling about any prospective celebrant and you can’t ever go wrong.

There is no “one size fits all” description of the types of legal marriage ceremonies conducted in Ireland.  There is a 4th type of marriage solemniser not described in the marriage act because it is a subset of the Religious solemniser.  An interfaith celebrant or solemniser will provide you with the most flexibility with your legal marriage ceremony design options, because they are registered to conduct all ceremony styles including non-religious, civil ceremonies, humanist ceremonies, spiritual ceremonies and mixed faith ceremonies, or you can create your own ceremony style.

I am registered to solemnise legal marriages in Ireland.  I can help you to design, create & conduct a unique & personalised non-legal wedding ceremony or a fully legal marriage ceremony depending on your ceremony needs, no matter how big or small. 

Your ceremony also will not be attached to any Religion.   The evidence of this is printed on your legal marriage certificate.  Through my helpful advice and ideas gained from over 30 years of professional experience in my homeland Australia, I will inspire you to discover your own unique ceremony style no matter what that might be. 

Your ceremony style may include civil ceremony, humanist ceremony, spiritual ceremony and mixed faith cermony or an combination of any style, and created to suit your own wishes and dreams all the way and limited only by your imagination – no matter how big or small your wedding ceremony dream may be.

I have price packages suit the requirements of every couple.  Please don’t hesitate to give me a call to find out how easy it is to have the unique & personalised marriage ceremony of your dreams no mattert how big or small.

I would be honoured to work with you.

Sharon Q.

Registered Solemniser

SHAI Registered Sound Therapist, Yoga Alliance RYT200 Registered Yoga & Meditation teacher, MBII Registered Positive Mind Coach, Community Volunteer, Musician,
Visionary, Creator of dreams = Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister

Tel: +353 (0) 858 313 43

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