First the Essentials
There are 3 ways you can be legally married in Ireland:
- Church wedding
- Registry Office marriage (also known as a Civil Ceremony)
- Choose A Secular or Religious Solemniser.
A Secular or Religious Solemniser?
Choosing the right Religious or Secular Solemniser for your needs really can give you the most flexibilty for your ceremony options – BUT the amount of flexibility you will have really does depend which Solemniser you choose, This is because the organisations they belong to are as diverse as they styles of ceremonies they can offer.
Why do Solemnisers belong to an organisation? This is necessary to maintain the high standards required by the HSE. The organisation a Solemniser belongs to will define the rules under which. they conduct their ceremonies, including the quality of the service offered. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the organisation defines what type of ceremonies they conduct unless the Solemniser is required to have certain beliefs in order to join the organisation.
If you choose a Solemniser (like myself) from an organisation with interfaith principles, you will have the most flexibilty with your ceremony design options as interfaith solemnisers are free to work with people from all walks of life without any restriction on your beliefs (or none).
Modern couples wishing to get married in Ireland are now realising that they can have their unique & personalised ceremony created to suit their own wishes, and have it fully legal on the day by choosing an interfaith solemniser (like myself) as their ceremony officiant.
Provided you have completed the legal notification process and collected your “green folder”, your ceremony will be fully legal on the day if that’s what you want. There will be no need to attend a Registry Office on a separate day with your witnesses for a Registry Office marriage to make your marriage legal.
If you have any questions at all about getting married in Ireland, please don’t hesitate to call me for a quick chat, I always love to chat about your ceremony and answer any questions you might have. Or if you prefer, please see my Legal Info page.which explains how to legally register your marriage with the HSE Civil Registration office.
Getting Married in Ireland – Step by Step
To get legally married in Ireland, here are the main four steps to consider, you know all the rest:
1. Choose yourSolemniser
In order to be legally married in Ireland you must choose your own marriage solemniser. (pick me!). A solemniser is a ceremony officiant who is HSE registered to solemnise marriages. In Ireland not all celebrants are registered to solemnise marriages which can be very confusing for the public.
I am a registered to solemnise marriages anywhere within the Republic of Ireland.
For essential advice on choosing your celebrant/solemniser, please see my blog article “Essential Tips for Choosing Your Ceremony Officiant”.
2. Choose Your Wedding Venue
You really are spoiled here in Ireland with a multitude of beautiful wedding venues to choose from. You can choose from the many castles, mansion houses and luxury hotels, or arts centres, and approved cultural sites throughout the country.
Once you have booked your solemniser and venue, the next thing is to contact your HSE office right away to lodge your notification of intent to marry.
3. Lodge your Notification of Intent to Marry (with HSE office)
Contact your nearest HSE Civil Registration Office and book an appointment to lodge your Notification of Intent to Marry form, or NOIM. The non-refundable fee for this appointment is €200. This can be done up to 12 months in advance of your wedding date, and should be at least 3 months before your wedding date, but my advice is to do this right away as soon as you have booked your solemniser and your venue.
Any less than 3 months notice and you will need a court order. If you have experienced a unique situation and require your marriage in less than 3 months please call me for advice as there are circumstances where this is granted and there are circumstances where it is not, but it is not appropriate for me to post that advice here, each situation is different.
For most HSE offices you can make your appointment online. If you email the HSE office most convenient to you they will advise how to make your appointment and what documentation they need you to bring with you for your situation. Again it is not appropriate for me to advise what documents you need to bring as each situation can be different and usually is.
At your HSE notification appointment if you have provided all the necessary information your marriage license will be printed and given to you in the all-important “Green Folder”. You are required to bring your “Green Folder” with you to your wedding ceremony as your marriage license will be inside and will need to be signed during your ceremony.
You should also be well on the way booking all your suppliers who are going to come together to make your big day happen!
4. Get Married – It’s Your Big Day!
.TA-DA !! Your big day is here! You are getting married! Remember to bring your green folder and MRF to be signed during your ceremony. Congratulations!
On the next business day (or as soon as possible within 30 days) return your completed MRF to the HSE Civil Registration Office to complete the registration process.
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.
Ceremony Officiant & Celebrant
Spiritual Humanist, Teacher, Musician,
Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister,
Cork City, Co. Cork and Nationwide.
Tel: 085 831 3437