This question is causing a lot of confusion with couples in Ireland, due to misleading information being given to the public by those who don’t have an accurate working knowledge of the Marriage Act in Ireland.
Can a celebrant conduct a legal wedding in Ireland? The answer is – it depends entirely on which celebrant you are talking about. A celebrant is a general term meaning a person who conducts a ceremony and could be Priest, Pastor, Minister or a “Lay-Celebrant”. A “Lay-Celebrant” is a celebrant who does not belong to an organisation.
All celebrants listed on the Government “Register of Solemnisers” are duly authorised and registered to conduct legal marriage ceremonies in Ireland. There are some celebrants in Ireland who are misleading the public by advertising themselves as a “registered celebrant”, when they are not listed on the “Register of Solemnisers” at all. Instead, they are registered with an industry trade association which does not give them any authority to conduct a legal marriage ceremony.
If you see a Celebrant advertising as a registered celebrant, the first thing you need to clarify is this – are they listed on the Register of Solemnisers? If the answer is no, you should stay well clear as they are not acting in your best interests by advertising as a registered celebrant.
The following are some of the misleading claims seen in various places online :
- A celebrant wedding is not legally binding – this is only true if you choose an unregistered celebrant.
- With a celebrant wedding, you must “do your legals” in the Registry Office. There is no such thing as “do your legals” in the Registry Office. If a celebrant tells you this, it means that they are not registered to conduct legal marriages. If you choose them as your celebrant and you want to be legally married, you will need to attend the Registry Office on a separate day with your witnesses for a registry office marriage.
- Religious or Secular Celebrants conduct their ceremonies according to strict rules of an organisation – With the diversity of religious bodies in Ireland, it is impossible to generalise with a statement of this nature. There are many Religious or Secular celebrants in Ireland who are non-denominational (like myself) which means they don’t represent a particular Religion. Instead, they welcome people from all faiths (or none) regardless of their belief – without any discrimination.
Only a Celebrant (like myself) who is listed on the Government’s “Register of Solemnisers” is duly authorised and registered to conduct legal marriages, will have the relevant experience and expertise to accurately answer all of your questions about getting married in Ireland.
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, you have found the right place.
If you would ike a ceremony as unique & special as you are, created to suit your own style, 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 Holistic Minister,
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser,
RYT200 Registered Yoga & Meditation Teacher,
SHAI Registered Sound Therapist,
& Professional Musician