Your Essential Irish Wedding Checklist

Your Essential Irish Wedding Checklist

Be Your Own Wedding Planner

Are you recently engaged and ready to begin planning your big day?  Congratulations!  Are you the kind of person who likes to be super-organised?  Planning your wedding can be super-easy if you make yourself the right list to work from. 

Essentials – To Do First

First things first.  You will need to make an appointment with your nearest HSE office to lodge your Intention to Marry form.  This will cost you €200 and must be done at least 3 months before your wedding date, and no more than 12 months before.  You will be asked to complete the “Capture of Data” form to take with you to your appointment.

For the “Capture of Data” form you will need the following important details:

  • Your HSE Registered Celebrant/Solemniser.  (pick me!)
  • Your wedding date.
  • Your wedding venue
  • Your two legal witnesses 18+ years of age

If all your details are complete, at your Notification appoinetment you will receive your “Green Folder” containing your official Marriage Registration Form (MRF).  This is the document to be signed during your ceremony and returned to the HSE office within 30 days to complete the registration of your marriage.

Essentials – Once Your Wedding Date is Confirmed

Once you have confirmed your wedding date with both your celebrant/solemniser and your venue, you can proceed and book the remaining essentials.

  • The Dress
  • Bridal Party
  • Cake – Wedding Cake
  • Ceremony Music/musician(s)
  • Flowers – you may wish to include: Bridal bouquet, Bridal party flowers, Mothers of the bride flowers, Ceremony table flowers (this can double as a decoration for your head table at the reception)
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Honeymoon
  • Invitations –  Calligrapher ?
  • Photo Booth
  • Photographer
  • Reception Music/Wedding band
    Tip:  You will save a lot of money if you book your wedding band direct.
  • Suits
  • Videographer
  • Anything else you want to include

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your requirements may be,

Please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day..

I would be honoured to work with you. 
Non-denominational ceremonies of all styles.

Wedding Ceremony Design – When is the Right Time for that Kiss?

Wedding Ceremony Design – When is the Right Time for that Kiss?

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Designing your personalised and unique marriage ceremony with the help of a creative celebrant sure can be lots of fun!   Adding your own special touches and ceremony ideas.  But one question that sometimes asked is where in the ceremony do you have your first kiss as a married couple?

Some may advise you to have your kiss right after your marriage vows. The reason for this is because that’s when you are technically married.

But I don’t recommend this myself.  I believe that for maximum meaning to your ceremony and for maximum effect, it’s much better to have your first kiss as a married couple at the very END of your ceremony.  Right after you are pronounced married. 

If you can imagine the moment, your ceremony has been so beautiful and it’s about to come to a close, and I say to you “I now pronounce you husband & wife, (or married), you may seal your marriage with a kiss!”.

As you are kissing and your guests stand and cheer, your final music starts playing, your photographer is snapping away, that’s the magic moment in your ceremony that you just don’t want to miss!  That, to me – is the essence of a true 5-star ceremony.

But remember, there is no right or wrong way, Where you kiss in your marriage ceremony is completely up to you, It’s your ceremony and you are the design director all the way.

If you would like to kiss after your marriage vows, there is no reason why you can’t kiss again at the very end of your ceremony if you really want to kiss right after your marriage vows.   But – it doesn’t ever have the same effect.

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your requirements may be,

Please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day..

I would be honoured to work with you. 
Non-denominational ceremonies of all styles.

How to Legally Celebrate with 50 guests When the Limit is now 25 but 50 at the Ceremony

How to Legally Celebrate with 50 guests When the Limit is now 25 but 50 at the Ceremony

Couples getting Married in Ireland were overjoyed to hear the news of.an increase in marriage ceremony guests from 6 to a massive 50! But there was a catch – there is a maximum of 25 for the reception and celebrations after! What a Dilemma!

How cruel can this be? How can you remove 25 people from your ceremony guest list for the celebrations after without offending them? There is a solution – and it’s right there in front of you. You don’t have to remove anyone from your ceremony guest list either!..

What you do is have your ceremony at say, 12 noon, followed by your photo shoot.  Then two separate celebrations, each with 25 people. One celebration with 25 people for an earlier meal say 2:30pm, followed by a 2nd celebration for a later evening meal maybe at 7pm.

How you run both celebrations is completely up to you! Your wedding venue may even give you a discount for doubling your guest numbers!  What a day!  How lucky are you to have 2 celebrations!

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your requirements may be,

Please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day..

I would be honoured to work with you. 
Non-denominational ceremonies of all styles.

Essential Advice for Your Enchanted Beach Wedding in Ireland

Essential Advice for Your Enchanted Beach Wedding in Ireland

My homeland Australia is renowned for its beach weddings. Here in Ireland it is possible to be legally married on a beach, but only if your chosen wedding venue has direct access to the beach from within their grounds. There are a number of glorious wedding venues in Ireland which satisfy this criteria.

In Ireland a legal marriage ceremony must be conducted at a location recognised by the Marriage Act, which is open to the public without hindrance, also with a building and a postal address.. The location does not need HSE inspection & approval, unless the marriage ceremony will be a Registry Office marriage ceremony (Civil Ceremony) conducted by a Civil Registrar.

For many couples getting married in Ireland who dream of a beach wedding, its not always that simple. Especially if they already have their favourite beach in mind which does not have an adjoining wedding venue! But there is a dignified solution, and here it is:

Option No.1

Here in Ireland it is possible to be legally married on a beach if your chosen wedding venue has direct access to the beach from within their grounds. There are a number of glorious wedding venues in Ireland which satisfy this criteria. 

Another very popular oceanside venue where you can be legally married is Hags Head, or Tighe Na Grá at the Cliffs of Moher and there are many more including those with direct access to a beach ceremony location.

Option No.2

Have 2 ceremonies on the day, and enchanted commitment ceremony on the beach, followed by a legal marriage ceremony at a. nearby location. I have conducted beach weddings many times using this method, and I can say from experience that it is a wonderful experience for your guests!

  • Your first ceremony is a commitment ceremony at the beach. This is complete with your choice of ceremony traditions which may include reading your own personal vows written to for each other and kept as a surprise, exchange of friendship rings if you wish, and of course the beautiful celtic handfasting.
    What could be more enchanting for a beach wedding here in Ireland to include the celtic handfasting? At this non-legal handfasting ceremony you are declared hand-fasted, you are not declared or pronounced married..
  • Next, have your legal marriage ceremony at a nearby location, approximately 1 hour later. Your handfasting chord can remain tied around your two wrists for this ceremony if you wish, as a symbol of your handfasting ceremony and removed when signing documents. Or your handfasting chord can be laid onto the altar as a decoration.

It’s not an offence to have a non-legal ceremony before a legal marriage ceremony – what is an offence is to include any ceremony parts from the Marriage Act in a non-legal ceremony (including do you take each other to be husband/wife/spouse) if the couple aren’t already married, and to pronounced a couple as being married when they are not really married at all.

Anyone can have a commitment ceremony without being legally married, in ancient times this was traditionally done as part of an engagement celebration, as long as they are not pronounced married in the non-legal ceremony.

.By including the handfasting in their non-legal beach commitment ceremony and declaring the couple handfasted, rather than married, is a very easy way to ensure that the handfasting ceremony complies with the Marriage Act.

Option No.3

Have 2 ceremonies with your legal marriage ceremony first, but on a different day and later on another day, have your non-legal beach wedding with all your guests.  Your legal marriage ceremony attended only by your two witnesses.  Honestly I can’t see the point of doing this – why would you ever want to have a fake beach wedding, when you are already married?

I am from Australia where every wedding ceremony is a legal marriage ceremony, because you can be legally married anywhere. But divorce rates are also much higher in Australia. So having some restrictions on the location of your marriage isn’t really such a bad thing. Being married the day before your big wedding ceremony day is a very European thing and something which as an Aussie, I just find very strange indeed!.

But if this makes perfect sense to you and you feel it is the best option, then just go for it! At the end of the day its your wedding, and what matters is that you have the wedding you have always wanted.

Conclusion

My Option 1 format for beach ceremonies where the beach ceremony is not a legal marriage, is what makes sense to me, but may not make sense to everyone. Which doesn’t mean that its either right or wrong.
Some couples may prefer to have legal marriage ceremony first, followed by beach ceremony eg. at sunset.
It’s all about what the couple really wants. I hope that makes sense!

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your requirements may be,

Please don't hesitate to get in touch so I can answer any questions you might have - and to find out if I am available on your big day..

I would be honoured to work with you. 
Non-denominational ceremonies of all styles.

Postponing or Canceling Your 2020 or 2021 Wedding – Refund of Booking Deposit

Postponing or Canceling Your 2020 or 2021 Wedding – Refund of Booking Deposit

If you are one of the many thousands of couples in the unfortunate situation of having to postpone or cancel your wedding for any reason arising from the changing pandemic restrictions, during 2020 or 2021 – thanks to the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) 2019, you could be entitled to a full refund of your booking deposit and all monies paid in advance to a service provider for your original wedding date.

In everyday life, when a couple organises and books their wedding, the separate contracts with each service provider for the various aspects of their wedding ceremony and celebrations after are deemed (by the consumer law) to be a contract to provide a service at a certain place on a specific date.

Ordinarily (outside a government declared emergency such as a pandemic) if a couple wishes to postpone / cancel / change their wedding plans for any reason, and there are no compassionate circumstances, eligibility for a refund of booking deposits and monies paid in advance is determined by the contract agreed to with a supplier.

However – thanks to the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) 2019, if there are compassionate grounds – it may be a different story. A couple who are postponing / cancelling / changing their wedding plans for any reason arising from the pandemic may very well be entitled to a full refund booking deposits and monies paid in advance.

There is more – a couple who are postponing / cancelling / changing their wedding date for any reason arising from the changing pandemic restrictions – are not under any obligation to re-book a supplier for a later date, if doing so is not in their best interests, for any reason including financial hardship.

The reason is that any consumer contract which puts the consumer at a disadvantage for reasons which were clearly beyond their control, is most often considered an unfair contract and cannot be enforced – even if the couple have already agreed to the contract in writing.

There are varying circumstances which make a contract an unfair contract, which couples in this situation would be very wise to investigate. But one thing is for sure – thanks to the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) 2019, if a couple postpones / cancels / changes their wedding plans for any reason arising from the changing pandemic restrictions, they may in fact be due a full refund of booking deposits and all monies paid in advance.

There are exceptions to this rule for work already completed / items purchased in preparation for the wedding day which cannot be on-sold to another couple within a reasonable time frame (14 days). Such as:

  • Ceremony – design consultation & preparation of a custom-made ceremony
  • Flowers
  • Food & perishable items
  • Invitations & Stationery – already printed or special paper ordered
  • Jewellery – custom made or materials on special order
  • Purchase of clothing – custom made or on special order
  • Purchase of shoes on special order
  • Wedding cake
  • Any other special items ordered / made or work already completed in preparation for the wedding day which cannot be on-sold to another couple within 14 days.

In the case of a custom made item or an item on special order, a refund may not be possible where work has commenced and expenses already incurred. In some cases you may be required to pay for the item in full and take delivery of the item.

If you have postponed / cancelled your wedding from it’s original date and you are in dispute with a supplier regarding an amount of money to be with-held for work already done, for which receipts are not applicable or cannot be provided, you are advised to contact Consumer Protection Ireland for further advice, as you may have an unfair contract according to the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) 2019.

Online purchases special note: If you have made first contact with a wedding supplier online, such as through their website or social media, ie. without ever meeting them in person (even if you have spoken on the phone) there are further contract obligations required by the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) 2019 which your supplier may not have fulfilled (such as not advising you of the 14-day cooling off period) which could make your contract an unfair contract.

If you have postponed / cancelled / changed your wedding plans during the pandemic restrictions and a supplier is claiming that your booking deposit is non-refundable, and/or that you must book them for another date, you should read every detail of the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC) 2019 which you can find here:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/consumers/consumer-contract-law/unfair-contract-terms-directive_en

For advice regarding your rights to a refund for any reason – pandemic or no pandemic – please contact a lawyer with experience in Consumer Law who will provide you with 30 minutes free advice to assess your case. Your local Credit Union provides free legal advice. Advice from any other source may not be in your best interests.