Wedding Questions Answered

It’s Your Big Day!

I have compiled the following list of questions and answers based on questions I have received over the years.  If you can’t find the answer to your question here please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please click on each question to reveal my answers:

Will Our Ceremony Be a Legal Marriage ?

Yes! I am HSE registered to conduct legal marriages in the Republic of Ireland.  Provided that you have lodged your Notification of Intention to Marry with the HSE office prior to your wedding day, and you have been given your green folder and MRF to bring for signing as required during your ceremony, your marriage ceremony will be fully legal.

Please beware, there are some ceremony officiants in Ireland who are known as celebrants because they are not registered to conduct legal marriages. They will advise you that in order to have a unique & personalised ceremony created to your own beliefs & wishes in Ireland, you must have a non-legal wedding ceremony and attend the registry office on a separate day for your legal marriage signing. This is not true at all, and is only true if you book an unregistered celebrant for your wedding ceremony, who is not government regulated. 

I am a registered Solemniser of Marriages and duly authorised to solemnise legal marriages in Ireland, which means that your wedding ceremony will be fully legal on the day.

Where can we me Married?

A legal marriage ceremony in Ireland can be conducted in any building that is open to the public;  or in a courtyard, garden, yard, field or piece of ground that is open to the public and lying near to and usually enjoyed with the building that is open to the public.

There is a multitude of beautiful hotels, mansion houses and castles in Ireland which comply with these requirements, with beautiful ceremony rooms and/or stunning gardens available for hire as your wedding venue.

If you know where to go, there are some places of great natural beauty which have a public buildings.

Are you a Civil Celebrant?

There is a lot of public confusion in Ireland caused by the incorrect use of legal marriage terminology from the Marriage Acts of other countries, when referring to non-church weddings, by those who are not aware that it is incorrect to do so.

Legal marriage terminology from other countries  has no legal standing here in Ireland and therefore no relevance, and should not be used.

In my homeland Australia, the job title “Civil Celebrant” from the Marriage Act of Australia refers to a government registered celebrant who creates & conducts legal marriage ceremonies and/or non-religious funerals.

But here in Ireland the marriage act does not contain the job title “Civil Celebrant”,  The correct job titles from the two Marriage Acts in force on the island of Ireland are “Registered Solemniser” from the South and “Officiant” from the North.  This means the job titles “Civil Marriage Celebrant” or “Civil Celebrant” don’t have any legal standing in Ireland at all regarding marriages, which means that Civil Marriage Celebrants, or Civil Celebrants don’t conduct legal marriages here in Ireland.

As a registered solemniser of marriages, I must comply with and abide by the Marriage Act at all times, therefore I am not permitted to use the job title “Civil Marriage Celebrant” or “Civil Celebrant”.

Therefore any wedding celebrant in Ireland who advertises as a civil marriage celebrant, a civil celebrant, professional celebrant or a marriage celebrant is not registered to conduct legal marriages.

Note: A civil celebrant in Ireland is a lay celebrant who conducts non-religious funeral ceremonies, but does not conduct marriages or weddings.

Can You Give us a Humanist Ceremony ?

When couples ask me for a humanist ceremony, what they really mean is can they have a non-religious ceremony.  The beliefs of the humanist movement strictly states that there must be no reference to spirituality of any kind or any reference to a God or deities, or any reference to any superstitious beliefs.   

I am from Australia where non-religious or humanist-style marriage ceremonies have been a way of life for over 40 years   I have extensive experience creating and conducting humanist style non-religious ceremonies of all kinds.

The bonus with me as your ceremony officiant is that you are also free to include any 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.  Traditional ceremony ideas are prohibited in true humanist ceremonies due to having their origins in the spiritual or superstitious belief of casting good luck for the marriage and the couples future together.

I really can give you the most flexibility with your non-religious humanist style ceremony design options, so many more design options than a humanist ceremony, your choice is almost limitless.

Can We Have a Spiritual Ceremony ?

Yes of course, your ceremony will be designed and created suit your very own requirements every step of the way.  Your ceremony can be as Spiritual as you would like it to be, I provide you with ideas and suggestions, but you are the design director all the way. 

With me as your ceremony officiant I can give you the most flexibility with your design options for your spiritual ceremony.

Can we have a civil ceremony?

There is a lot of public confusion in Ireland caused by the use of legal marriage terminology from other countries by those who don’t realise that it 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. 

Here in Ireland a civil marriage ceremony has a completely different legal meaning.  A civil marriage ceremony in Ireland is a 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, created & conducted according to your own wishes and beliefs, I would be honoured to work with you.

Can Our Ceremony Have a Religious Feel ?

Yes of course, as an Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister I can write your ceremony with a Religious feel if that’s what makes your ceremony more meaningful to you.  You are free to include Religious elements, wording and music to your ceremony as you wish, provided that it is respectful to the Religion from which it came.

With me as your ceremony officiant I can give you the most flexibility with your ceremony design options no matter what style of ceremony you would like for your big day.

Can we have a short and simple ceremony?

If you have your heart set on a short and simple ceremony, for any reason, that’s what you shall have.   You are the design director, which means your ceremony will be created exactly to your requirements every step of the way!

Can we be Married on Private Property?

A legal marriage can only be conducted in Ireland at a place that is open to the public, so this means a legal marriage is not possible on a private property.  It is believed that the reason for this requirement has something to do with an ancient law which states that an un-invited member of the public must be able to enter the marriage ceremony space to object to the marriage if the marriage is not lawful.

Although you can’t have a legal marriage on private property, you can have a non-legal wedding ceremony on a private property with a separate legal marriage with your witnesses only, at a neqrby location that is open to the public, either on the same day, or on any previous day of your choosing.

As a registered solemniser of marriages, I can advise you how to ensure that your legal marriage ceremony complies with the Marriage Act, so please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Q: How do we get legally married in Ireland?

First you should contact me right away to make sure I am available on your chosen wedding date.

Next is to read my “Legal Info” page for more information on the legal marriage notification and registration requirements.

Q: Why should we choose you?

If you believe that your ceremony is an important part of your special day, and you would like a ceremony which is unique & personalised to your own requirements.  I will listen to your requirements and understand exactly what you want.  With over 25 years experience in the art of ceremony, I have the expertise and experience to ensure that your ceremony will exceed your expectations. 

Please see my “What’s Included” page for more reasons why you should choose me as your ceremony officiant, I would be honoured to work with you.

Q: When can we chat with you?

You can call me anytime day or evening, 7 days a week (Ireland time).  See my “Check Availability” page for contact details.

I also have free calls to most international countries so if you are living abroad I can phone you at any time of the day or night to suit your timezone, no problem. If you prefer Zoom or Skype we can do that instead.

Q: How do I book a free 30-minute consultation?

See my “Check Availability” page for contact details and contact me right away.

We can have your 30-minute consultation on the phone, or we can make an appointment to meetup in person or on Zoom or Whatsapp if you wish.  I realise how important it is for you to choose the right ceremony officiant for your big day. 

No matter how big or small you’d like your 5-star ceremony to be, I would be honoured to work with you.

Sharon Quigley

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