Can You Give us a Humanist Wedding Ceremony?

Can You Give us a Humanist Wedding Ceremony?

This is one of the most common questions I am asked by couples and also one of the most common mis-conceptions about non-religious marriage ceremonies, and here’s why:

When couples ask me if I can give them a humanist ceremony, what they really mean is can I give them a non-religious ceremony.  A ceremony without any mention of a God or deities, and without any spiritual or religious feel to the ceremony.  Followers of the Humanism movement must abide by strict rules which dictate that there must be no belief in any God, or any deities.   So a humanist ceremony won’t ever refer to anything being divine, holy or spiritual.  Also within the strict rules of the humanism movement, any belief in spirituality or superstitions of any kind is also strictly forbidden. 

I am from Australia where non-religious and humanist-style ceremonies have been a way of life for over 40 years   I have extensive experience creating and conducting non-religious and humanist style ceremonies of all kinds but I also have an added advantange.   I create & conduct truly non-denominational ceremonies, which means is that you make your own ceremony design rules without any restrictions. 

With me as your ceremony officiant you are free to include any traditional ceremony ideas of your choice.  Your marriage ceremony can therefore include handfasting, lighting candles, pouring sand, ring warming, ring exchange and any other traditional wedding ceremony ideas which are prohibited in a humanist ceremony due to having their origins in a superstitious belief of casting good luck for the couples marriage and their future together.

With me as your ceremony officiant, I can give you the most flexibility with your non-religious ceremony design options.

Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser

Tel: +353 (0) 858 313 43

Refund of Your Wedding Supplier Booking Deposit in Pandemic

Refund of Your Wedding Supplier Booking Deposit in Pandemic

Consumer Protection Ireland has provided the following guidance:

in regards to refund of booking deposits paid in advance for a wedding postponed due to pandemic restrictions:

If you have found it necessary to postpone your wedding day, and any of your wedding suppliers have not been able to change to your new wedding date with the same quality standard of service you originally booked them for, which includes the same day of the week as your original booking, you are eligible for a full refund of any part payments made in advance including booking deposits.   But only if your wedding day can’t proceed as originally planned due to government restrictions in place on that date.   This also includes government restrictions in place limiting the numbers of guests.  If you postpone your wedding to a later date, because your original date has restrictions on the number of guests, for example you had invited 300 guests but you are now limited to 100 guests, and you want to postpone your wedding date to ensure that everyone on your guestlist can attend, you are entitled to any refunds due for booking deposits paid on your original date.

However if there are no government restrictions of any kind in place on your original wedding date, you are not entitled to a refund of booking deposits if you postpone your wedding “just in case”.

According to the consumer laws in Ireland, a booking deposit is not a separate fee.  A booking deposit is a part-payment of services to be provided on a certain date. 

Direct from the Consumer Protection website:

Deposits

When you buy goods and services you are sometimes asked to pay a deposit e.g. if you order furniture or book a wedding venue.  When you pay a deposit you are paying a percentage of the price of a good or service and it means you are entering into a contract with the business.  In general and in normal situations you will be entitled to your deposit back:

  • If the business cannot deliver the goods or provide the service you agreed to purchase.
  • If the business cannot deliver the goods or service on the agreed delivery date and the new delivery date is not acceptable to you.

However, given the current situation we are in due to COVID-19 we would suggest that in the first instance you talk to the business to see if you can make an alternative arrangement that suits you both.  If not you should try and negotiate with them to see if you can get some or all of your deposit back.

If after following the above step you are not happy with the outcome and you have bought instore and the business refuses to return your deposit, you may have to take legal action. If your claim is less than €2,000, you can use the Small Claims procedure to try and resolve the issue. If you place a deposit or part payment online you have a right to cancel the contract and seek a refund, with some exceptions. For more information see our  buying on-line section.

If you change your mind about the good or service and decide not to go ahead with the contract, the business may not be obliged to refund you your deposit. If it is not set out in the terms or conditions or you did not agree anything at the point of sale, the business is not obliged to refund you the deposit.

You can read the full web page here on the Consumer Protection Ireland website:

https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/covid-19/consumer-contracts/

If your supplier contract doesn’t specifically include a pandemic “Force Majeure” or “act of God” clause, or you have no written contract with your supplier at all, and the supplier has not spent any chargeable time or incurred any chargeable expenses for necessary preparations for your wedding day, then a full refund of any money paid in advance including booking deposit is due and payable to you. 

If you contract or quotation from any wedding supplier states “booking deposit is non-refundable” that is not sufficent legal grounds for any wedding supplier to keep your booking deposit or money paid in advance if your wedding must be postponed due to pandemic restrictions in place on your wedding date, unless they have already completed some or all of the necessary work or incurred in preparing for your wedding day.

For correct legal advice regarding your right to a refund you should always refer to Consumer Protection Ireland. 

Warning on Obtaining Legal Advice from a Supplier’s own Trade or Industry Association

You should never obtain legal advice regarding refund of booking deposits from a supplier’s own trade or industry association, especially if a supplier advises you to do so.  The danger for any consumer in obtaining refund advice from a supplier’s own trade or industry association is that the association exists to support their industry members, and as is the case with one known trade/industry association known to be created and run by a wedding supplier who is refusing to refund booking deposits, their advice to consumers by trade/industry associations may not always be in the best interests of a consumer who is seeking a refund

The first place you should contact for legal advice regarding refund of booking deposits of any kind is always the Consumer Protection government agency. 

Consumer Protection Ireland is run by the Irish government and should always be your first point of contact for any questions regarding your right to a refund.   They are there to help you at all times.

You can contact Consumer Protection Ireland here:

https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/

Helpline: 01 402 5555

 

Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser of Marriages

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 Civil Ceremony in Ireland Really?

What is a Civil Ceremony in Ireland Really?

I’ve been to a civil ceremony in Australia, it was just gorgeous ..

If you have ever attended a civil marriage ceremony in Australia, you will know how wonderful it is for a couple to be legally married on any day of the week, at any location of their choice, with a unique & personalised ceremony designed & created to their own requirements, it’s truly magical!

There is a lot of public confusion in Ireland caused by the use of legal marriage terminology from the Marriage Act of Australia by those who just don’t realise that it has a completely different meaning here in Ireland, or has no legal equivalent at all.

There are individuals in Ireland who are not registered to conduct legal marriages who are confusing the public by using terminology from the marriage act of Australia which has no legal standing here.  This may be through no fault of their own, other than that because they are not HSE registered marriage solemnisers, they are not qualified to be giving the advice they are giving about getting married in Ireland.  They are not qualified to be giving this advice because they are never required to comply with the Marriage Act, so they just don’t have the detailed and in-depth working knowledge of its compliance and implementation that can only come from a registered marriage solemniser.

The individuals are claiming that they can provide you a with an independent civil ceremony designed your way, when in fact, a civil ceremony here in Ireland has a completely different meaning than it does in Australia and strict rules set by the government mean that a civil ceremony in Ireland most likely cannot be “designed your way”.

Here in Ireland a civil marriage ceremony is another name for a registry office marriage because it can only ever be conducted by a HSE Civil Registrar.   A registry office marriage (civil ceremony) does have some very strict rules set by the government of Ireland which include the ceremony must be strictly non-religious and therefore cannot contain any spiritual traditions or rituals of any kind, or include any ceremony music which may be considered spiritual or religious.

A registry office marriage (Civil ceremony) is usually conducted in a designated registry office ceremony room.  It is also possible for couples to pay an extra fee to have a registry office marriage (civil ceremony) conducted by a Civil Registrar at their chosen hotel or other wedding venue.  This can be done either during office hours or on the weekend, depending on the Civil Registrar’s availability.   When the ceremony is conducted at a venue outside the registry office some Civil Registrars will allow the couple to include spiritual elements in their ceremony such as lighting candles and the handfasting ceremony. 

A civil ceremony (registry office marriage) can be the perfect choice for couples who don’t want any ceremony fuss, who are not at all bothered what wording is spoken in their marriage ceremony as long as it is a legal marriage, they just want a non-church marriage and to have that paper signed.

If you would like a unique & meaningful, fully personalised and non-denominational legal marriage ceremony of any style, created & conducted according to your own wishes and beliefs, on any day of the week, at any location of your choice please don’t hesitate to give me a call for a no-obligation chat, to see if I’m available for your big day. 

As a registered marriage solemniser I can clarify any confusion regarding your legal marriage ceremony options here in Ireland.

I would be honoured to work with you.

Latest Advice for Hotel Weddings

Latest Advice for Hotel Weddings

 The Irish Hotels Federation has provided the following guidance:

in regards to social gatherings such as weddings for the remainder of the year.  (Please stay up to date with latest Government announcements, as this advice is subject to change)

– Weddings before July 20th, will not be permitted to go ahead. If your wedding is before this date I would advise you to contact the hotel and discuss another date.

– From July 20th onwards, small intimate weddings are permitted to go ahead, while practising social distancing and bar table service. The Irish Hotels Federation are waiting on more clarity from the government on this point. If this option appeals to you, please contact the hotel to discuss your wedding plans.

– From August 10th onwards, large social gatherings including weddings are permitted to go ahead. The Irish Hotels Federation are also awaiting clarity on maximum numbers allowed at the event and advice on how to practise social distancing from the government.

– The Irish Hotels Federation believes that from September onwards, there will be a lot more confidence in holding weddings. At this point they suggest keeping your wedding date planned from here onwards, and have a backup plan incase the government announce that they have to implement restrictions again..

As a registered solemniser of marriages I can help you to make your day extra special with a unique & personalised real, legal wedding ceremony.  Please don’t hesitate to give me a call for a no-obligation chat, and to see if I’m available for your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you.

Sharon Quigley

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser of Marriages

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

Married in Ireland – Choosing Your Ceremony Type

Married in Ireland – Choosing Your Ceremony Type

Choose Your Ceremony Type

Have you set the date for you big day?  Congratulations!   Next you will need to give some thought to the style and type of ceremony you would like.  Here is some helpful advice which will very useful for you:


a) Civil Ceremony

There is a lot of public confusion in Ireland caused by the use of legal marriage terminology from other countries which has a completely different meaning here in Ireland.  In my homeland Australia, a civil marriage ceremony is a ceremony created & conducted according to the wishes and beliefs of the couple, instead of the rules of a Religion. Yes, according to the Australian meaning I can conduct a civil ceremony but only in Australia.

Here in Ireland a civil marriage ceremony has a completely different legal meaning. A civil marriage ceremony in Ireland is a strictly non-religious registry office marriage and can only be conducted by a HSE Civil Registrar or other HSE Civil Registration Office staff.

As a HSE registered solemniser of marriages, I am not permitted to use the term “civil marriage ceremony”, “civil wedding ceremony” or “civil ceremony” when referring to marriage or wedding ceremonies. Any wedding celebrant in Ireland who advertises civil ceremonies is not registered to conduct legal marriages.

If you would like a unique & personalised non-denominational legal marriage ceremony of any style, including the Australian civil ceremony style, created & conducted according to your own wishes and beliefs, I would be honoured to work with you.

b) Non-Legal Wedding Ceremony

A non-legal wedding ceremony can be your best choice if you are living abroad.  There was once a time where the only way you could have a unique & personalised wedding ceremony was to have a non-legal ceremony plus a visit to the registry office with your witnesses on a separate day for a legal registry office marriage.  In the past 10 years times have really changed regarding legal marriage in Ireland and non-legal wedding ceremonies really are a thing of the past.  Other than living overseas there really is no other reason (other than mis-information) why you would need a non-legal wedding ceremony in Ireland.  These days there are so many government registered marriage solemnisers who are able to create a beautiful unique and fully legal wedding ceremony for you.

If you are living overseas you may find it much less complicated ( and much cheaper ) to be married at the registry office in your country of residence.  If this is the case, maybe you don’t want your family & friends in Ireland to know that you are already married that’s OK too.  Your secret is safe with me and nobody will ever know.  The only requirement I have for a non-legal wedding ceremony in Ireland, is that you must be legally married before your non-legal wedding day.  This is not a legal requirement in Ireland (like it is in my homeland Australia) but is my own requirement based on my own high standard of integrity and ethics. 

 I believe that every couple has the right to a dignified celebration of their marriage as a married couple and I would never agree to conduct a non-legal ceremony unless the couple was already legally married.  Imagine all the fun and excitement of your wedding day celebrations, it would certainly be lost if you were not already married.

c) A Unique & Personalised Legal Marriage Ceremony

If you want the most flexibility with your ceremony design options, including ceremony wording and music, your best option is a marriage solemniser of your choice to create & conduct your unique & personalised fully legal marriage ceremony on any day of the week, at any wedding venue of your choice.  I am a registered solemniser, fully authorised to conduct unique & personalised ceremonies which are unique & completely personalised to suit your requirements.

If you would like a non-denominational ceremony of any style, unique & personalised to your requirements, please don’t hesitate to call me for a quick chat so I can answer any questions you might have about getting married in Ireland.

Sharon Quigley

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser of Marriages

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