Essential Advice for Choosing Your Wedding Venue to be Married in Ireland

Essential Advice for Choosing Your Wedding Venue to be Married in Ireland

Are you engaged and beginning to plan your wedding, but not yet decided on that extra-special wedding venue?  What an exciting time it is for you right now!

Have you heard or read somewhere that for a civil ceremony you need to have your wedding venue inspected and approved by the HSE?  Or that you are only allowed to choose a wedding venue which is HSE approved?

I have seen this confusing information published online in various places.  I have also seen some websites of luxury hotels and other wedding venues stating that their wedding venue is “HSE approved for civil ceremonies”.    This further serves to confuse couples who don’t know what a civil ceremony means here in Ireland.  I have also seen this confusing and/or wrong information published in newspapers and online wedding blogs.  Confusing and/or incorrect information can sometimes seem like it is everywhere.

It is certainly true that for a civil ceremony you must have your wedding venue approved and inspected by the HSE,   Here in Ireland a civil ceremony is another name for a registry office marriage.  A registry office marriage is conducted by a Civil Registrar either in the registry office or at an outside venue of the couple’s choice, which can be either during or after office hours.  

With me as your solemniser, there is no need for your wedding venue to be HSE inspected and approved as it would for a registry office marriage.  Despite this, your choice of wedding venue does need to meet the same criteria as it would for a HSE registry office marriage, in order to comply with the Marriage Act, although there will be no official inspection of your wedding venue by the HSE.

As a registred solemniser I can provide you with the correct advice for choosing your wedding venue.

The first requirement is that your wedding venue must be open to the public without any hindrance (entry fee), and your wedding venue must also have a postal address.  The reason for requiring a postal address is that once you attend the HSE office to notify your intention to marry, (and pay your €200 notification fee) the HSE office will send a letter in the post to your wedding venue to notify them of your marriage and your marriage date.

Next, your legal marriage ceremony must be conducted in a dignified manner, which means the venue must have room or other dedicated space for your wedding ceremony, away from any other occupants of the building.  A good rule of thumb to use when choosing your wedding venue, is if you can’t imagine a HSE Registrar conducting a marriage there, then it just won’t be a suitable venue. 

For example in Ireland, you can’t be legally married at a remote scenic destination or in a public park or gardens, or at a ruins or other sacred site where there is no building and no postal address.  But if an outdoor ceremony at a remote destination, or in a public park or gardens, ruins or sacred site is something your heart is set on, it can sometimes be arranged as a non-legal ceremony with a legal ceremony elsewhere sometime before.  

You might ask yourself is all the extra effort really worth it for a non-legal wedding ceremony that doesn’t have any legal standing?  You might also ask yourself – won’t a non-legal wedding ceremony really just be a fake wedding?  If a wedding ceremony at a scenic destination is your dream, then no it won’t be a fake wedding and yes it is always worth the extra effort, please don’t ever give up on your wedding dream!  A wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be a legal marriage unless you want it to be, there are no rules at all regarding the location of a non-legal wedding ceremony.

I must add that there are some remote and scenic destinations in Ireland, including public parks, ruins or sacred sites which do have a building with a postal address, so if your heart is set on a favourite place or you would like some suggestions, please check with me to find out what’s possible.

It’s all a matter of having a detailed working knowledge of the Marriage Act, and knowing where those places are.

There is an abundance of luxury guest houses, hotels, mansion houses and Irish castles available to hire for your wedding reception & celebrations after, with beautiful forests or beaches on their grounds, there is even one or two wedding venues that I know of around Ireland which have spectacular clifftop views.  You really are spoiled here in Ireland for choices.

Please don’t hesitate to call me to see if I am available for your big day, I would be honoured to work with you.

Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser / Lover of Unique & Personalised Weddings

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

What is a modern interfaith Minister ?

What is a modern interfaith Minister ?

The diversity of Religious organisations around the world means that it is not possible to generalise by claiming that Religious solemnisers can only conduct religious ceremonies.

Those like myself who are Interfaith Ministers belong to organisations with an inclusive and interfaith philosophy which welcomes eveyrone regardless of their beliefs (or none), conduct ceremonies of all styles.

This is such a wonderful thing for modern couples in Ireland who wish to be legally married in a unique & personalised, creative &  meaningful ceremony which has been designed & created especially for them, 7 days a week!

What is an Inteffaith Minister ?

As an Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister, my role is varied and diverse.  Each interfaith Minister is free to serve their local community in their own way, we are as unique as the people we work with and the personalised ceremonies we create.. 

I am a modern spiritual teacher, teaching, meditation, yoga, personal & spiritual development, a variety of womens arts & crafts, along with inspiring womens circles to help women of all ages believe in themselves and achieve their dreams..  I also volunteer in my local community in many ways.  You can find out more about my background and the work I do in the community here on my About Page.

I just love ceremonies!  Each ceremony I create & conduct is an opportunity for me to assist you to celebrate on of life’s most significant events in a manner which is not only relaxed, but also auspicious, meaningful, dignified and memorable for all the right reasons.

I am honoured to be entrusted with such an important responsibility in people’s lives, which I never take for granted. 

If you would like a unique & personalised ceremony designed to your own requirements, because you believe that your ceremony should be an important part of your special day.  I would be honoured to work with you.

What About the Legal Bits?

As an Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister I am registered to solemnise legal marriages in Ireland for people of all faiths or none without discrimation.  This means your ceremony is designed & created to suit your beliefs and wishes, with me as your solemniser and ceremony officiant, your ceremony design possiblities really are endless.

The bonus with me as your solemniser, is that your legal marriage ceremony can be uniquely designed and created to suit your beliefs and wishes no matter what style of ceremony you require.

Non-Legal Wedding Ceremonies

Some couples living overseas will choose to have a non-legal wedding ceremony with family & friends here in ireland because it makes so much more sense in their situation to have their legal marriage in their country of residence..

Whatever your situation I can assist you with the right advice and a unique & personalised ceremony.

If you would liike to get legally married in Ireland, or have a non-legal wedding or what ever ceremony you need please give me a call for a quick chat to find out how easy it really is to have the ceremony of your dreams! 

I would be honoured to work with you.

Essential Tips for choosing your Ceremony Officiant – Celebrant or Solemniser ?

Essential Tips for choosing your Ceremony Officiant – Celebrant or Solemniser ?

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

What is our Ceremony Type – is it Civil, Secular or Religious ?

What is our Ceremony Type – is it Civil, Secular or Religious ?

Are you having trouble filling in your “capture of data form” in preparation for your marriage notification appointment, or deciding what kind of ceremony you’d like for your big day? Are you further confused by the myriad of “expert” websites with so many different and conflicting explanations of what ceremony types exist in Ireland?

That’s not surprising at all, because the explanation of the ceremony types available in Ireland do vary greatly depending on who you speak to.  The best person to consult regarding explanation of terminology in the Marriage Act is a person who is registered to conduct and solemnise legal marriages.  As a registered solemniser of marriages, I am required to abide by and therefore have a faultless knowledge of the Marriage Act of Ireland.

I will explain the three ceremony types described in the Marriage Act, and on your “capture of data form”.  The three ceremony types in the Marriage Act are Civil, Secular and Religious.

A Civil ceremony is a registry office marriage ceremony conducted by a Civil Registrar or other HSE Civil Registration Office staff, hence the name “civil ceremony”.   For a detailed description of how this differs with the civil ceremony in Australia, including why there is so much confusion in Ireland about what a civil ceremony means, you can learn more from my blog article What is a Civil Ceremony in Ireland Really?

A Secular ceremony is a legal marriage ceremony conducted by a registered solemniser of marriages who is a member of a secular organisation (an organisation who either doesn’t have a specific belief in God or who doesn’t permit their members to have a belief in God),   The organisation also specifies what kind of marriage ceremony its solemnisers can conduct. 

Because the beliefs and purpose of each secular organisation is individual and unique to that body and can vary so greatly, it is not possible to generalise by saying that every secular ceremony is non-religious.  This does not mean that a secular ceremony is non-religious, or that a secular ceremony can’t be spiritual either.   That depends enitirely on the requirements set by the secular body itself which the solemniser belongs to and what beliefs the solemniser has declared to abide by when becoming a member of the secular body.

A Religious ceremony is a general term for any legal marriage ceremony conducted by a registered solemniser of marriages who is a member of a Religious body, which either worships or otherwise permits a belief in a Divine being.  The Religious body also specifies what form of marriage ceremonies their solemnisers can conduct.

The diversity of religious bodies means that there are many who have an inclusive interfaith philosophy which allows them to welcome people from all faiths or none to take part in their activities without any discrimination of any kind. 

Therefore it is just not possible to generalise by saying a solemniser from a Religious body can only conduct religious ceremonies.  There are solemnisers who are Priests, Pastors, Ministers and Ceremony Officiants who belong to religious bodies with an inclusive interfaith philosophy which allows them to conduct inclusive ceremonies of all styles to suit the beliefs of the couple without discrimination of any kind.

I invite you to take some time to browse my website and learn more about me and my work, including some of the many testimonials I have received not only from couples I have had the honour to work with over the years, but also from their family & friends.

I would be honoured to work with you to create your unique & personalised ceremony of your dreams no matter how big or how small. 

Please don’t hesitate to call me to see if I am available for your big day.

Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser

Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister, Modern Spiritual Teacher, Musician,
Spiritual Humanist, Visionary & creator of dreams

Tel: +353 (0) 858 313 43

Are You Dreaming of an Enchanted Forest or Outdoor Legal Wedding in Ireland ?

Are You Dreaming of an Enchanted Forest or Outdoor Legal Wedding in Ireland ?

Have you been dreaming of a unique & personlised, enchanted & magical fully legal forest or outdoor wedding ceremony in Ireland but heard there is no way it can possibly be done as a real legal marriage?

Have you been bombarded with misleading information from various mis-informed sources claiming that it’s just not possible to be legally married in a forest or outdoor wedding in Ireland due to the strict rules of the Marriage Act? 

It’s no mistake that you are reading this right now, I am so happy to tell you that the above is not true at all.

I am registered to solemnise legal marriages in Ireland, which means I am required to have an extensive and faultless knowledge of the Marriage Act.  This means that I have the expertise and experience necessary to provide you with 100% correct advice regarding your choices for legal marriage in Ireland, including your magical forest wedding.

The great news for you is Yes you can have your unique & personalised, enchanted and magical fully legal forest wedding ceremony with all your dearest family and friends right there with you as witnesses and yes your legal marriage ceremony can be created in any style to suit your beliefs & wishes.   Ireland really is one of the most magical and enchanting places in the world for a unique & personalised and fully legal forest wedding ceremony and there are so many beautiful forests to choose from.

So – how is this possible?   It’s very simple – follow these steps and you are well on your way!

  1. First thing to consider is your ceremony.  For a truly unique & personalised enchanted & magical non-denominational legal wedding ceremony designed & created to your own beliefs & wishes, on any day of the week, at any location of your choice you need a registered solemniser who is duly authorised to conduct fully personalised non-denominational legal marriage ceremonies of any style.  (That’s me!)
  2. Next, you need to hire your very own wedding forest!  Yes that’s right, there are a virtually unlimited number of enchanted & magical wedding forests available for hire in Ireland, and the best part is that they all come complete with a nearby luxury guest house, hotel, mansion house or enchanted castle for your wedding reception & celebrations after!  Which also ensures you have a nearby no-fuss built-in plan B ceremony location in case of weather not agreeing perfectly!

You have come to the right place.  I would be honoured to work with you to create your enchanted & magical legal forest wedding ceremony of your dreams!  Please don’t hesitate to call me to see if I am available for your big day.

Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser of Marriages / Lover of Enchanted & Magical Forest Weddings

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