Can Any Celebrant Marry You in Ireland?

Can Any Celebrant Marry You in Ireland?

In Ireland there is an abundance of celebrants (like myself) who are HSE registered Marriage Solemnisers who can legally marry you.  However there is also an abundance of unregistered celebrants who cannot legally marry you. 

The only celebrants who can legally marry you in Ireland are those like myself who have completed extensive training as members of an authorised organisation and are thus correctly registered with the HSE as either Secular or Religious Solemnisers of Marriage.  Every HSE Registered Marriage Solemniser is listed on the public “Register of Solemnisers” which is available online and updated each month.

There is also a growing number of unregistered celebrants who are misleading the public with incorrect information, either intentionally, or because they just don’t have adequate working knowledge of the Marriage Act to provide accurate advice to the public.  

Even worse, some unregistered celebrants are making false and misleading claims that they are registered, by using the misleading job title of “Registered Celebrant” on their business cards, websites and social media,  A celebrant who uses the job title of “Registered Celebrant” is not registered to conduct legal marriages, because they are not registered with the HSE   Their job title of “Registered Celebrant” is nothing more than a marketing plan devised to mislead the public.

If you wish to be married with personalised and meaningful ceremony created to your own wishes, don’t fall into the trap of booking an unregistered celebrant or your wedding ceremony won’t be a real legal marriage.  With an unregistered celebrant you will also need to attend the Registry office with your witnesses on another day for a Registry Office marriage.

The following are facts every couple wishing to get married in Ireland should know:

  • There are thousands of solemnisers registered to conduct legal marriages in Ireland, there is absolutely no shortage of marriage solemnisers.
  • The only celebrants in Ireland who are registered to conduct civil ceremonies are employees of the HSE, known as Civil Registrars.
  • Ireland will not be following in Australia’s footsteps with the registration of independent civil marriage celebrants. 
  • An over-supply of unregistered celebrants will not influence the government’s stance on this decision in any way.
  • If a person wishes to become registered to solemnise marriages in Ireland they must join a relevant organisation they align with and complete their authorised training.

If you wish to be legally married in Ireland with a personalised and meaningful ceremony designed to your own wishes, you must choose a celebrant like myself who is HSE registered to conduct a real legal marriage ceremony..  My job title not only Celebrant and Holistic Minister, I am also a HSE Registered Solemniser of Marriages.

I am a valued member of the Enchanted Ceremonies group of Celebrants, Ministers and Solemnisers, by Earth Spiritualist Foundation and I would be honoured to work with you.

Earth Spiritualist Foundation is a modern and secular ministry of Celtic Christian faith, established with the following goals and aims:

  • To provide non-denominational ceremonial services to the public without discrimination.
  • To teach meditation in a secular style, along with the 6 principles of daily life for stress reduction, good health, happiness and longevity,  Many of us like myself, are also yoga & meditation teachers and holistic therapists and healers.
  • To establish a Spirituality Centre for the secular worship of the Divine within and all around us in nature and all living things and the celebration of the Celtic seasons.
  • To establish a community holistic retreat centre for the benefit of those in recovery from stress related illness of any kind.

For more information see:

Wedding Reading No.51 – True Love

Wedding Reading No.51 – True Love

True Love

By Sharon Quigley

When you find the person who you will spend the rest of your life with, you just know when that special connection is there.
Like the moments when you both think of the same thing, or speak exactly the same words at the same time.
True love means so much more than just loving another person, it is also about being loved back just as much,
so much that the two of you create an endless circle of love, so continously strong and powerful that it never has a chance to fade.
True love means spending the rest of your life with your best friend. Someone you can always count on to be there for you, through any situation – tough or easy.
True love means you don’t ever see anything imperfect in the other, because you love them so completely for who they are, and because anything about them, just gives you another reason to love them even more.
True love means never allowing the sun to set on an argument. True love is knowing you are both in it for the long haul, knowing there is no possibility of escape, because true love is the adventure that lasts forever.
Your new adventure has just begun!


Ring Warming Irish Wedding Tradition

Ring Warming Irish Wedding Tradition

Example Wording for Ring Warming

The tradition of ring warming has it’s roots in Ireland and is a custom of old.

The idea of “warming” your rings during the wedding ceremony, before you place them on each other’s fingers for life.

The power of all the good wishes flowing through the wedding rings on your wedding day is enough to see any couple through any hard times and all the good tiems, their whole lives through

In a moment, we will pass around the wedding rings, we call this a ring warming.   As there are so many people here, we will pass the rings only to those in the front two rows.

For those in the front two rows, Aoife & Peter are asking that as you pause and hold the wedding rings for a moment, that you will send your positive vibes, blessings and prayers for their marriage into the rings before passing them to the person next to you.  

We ask that those of you in the remaining rows send your good wishes for Aoife & Peter into their wedding rings as the music plays.

Once the weddings rings have made their way back to me,   Aoife & Peter will exchange the rings and carry your love and good wishes with them, as they embark on their new journey through life together.

[ Rings are passed along the first two rows while music plays]

Wedding rings are returned to the celebrant, who passes the wedding rings to the couple.

How to Lodge your Notification of Intention to Marry with the HSE

How to Lodge your Notification of Intention to Marry with the HSE

What Is This All About?

All couples wishing to have their Irish wedding ceremony recognised as a legal marriage must lodge a “Notification of Intention to Marry” with the HSE.  In order to do this in person, you must make an appointment with a HSE Civil Registration Office of your choice. The fee for this is currently €200.

If you are living outside of Ireland you can lodge your notification by post.  Email the HSE Office most conenient to you and ask them what you need to do for postal lodgement.  (You should never post originals of important documents as they may be lost in the post.)

There are some requirements to comply with, you must lodge your NOIM with the HSE at least 3 months before your wedding date, and this can be done up to 12 months in advance of your wedding.   My advice for those who wish to be married less than 12 months from now, is to book your HSE appointment right away, even if you haven’t yet chosen your wedding venue or your celebrant/solemniser.  Make your appointment a good few weeks away, giving yourself plenty of time to choose your wedding venue and your Celebrant/Solemniser.  If you haven’t yet chosen your Celebrant you may wish to read my article Can a Celebrant Legally Marry You for some essential advice that you should not be without.

How to Book Your In-person NOIM Appointment

If you wish, you can contact your nearest HSE Civil Registration Office to book your appointment over the phone. If you prefer, for most offices you can also book your notification appointment online which can save a lot of time. You can also email the office directly. For a list of HSE Civil Registration Office contacts see this page.

If you email the HSE office located most conveniently to you they will confirm what documentation they need you to bring with you for your circumstances.  Your documentation may include:

  • Full birth certificate
  • Photo ID
  • Plus anything else you are requested to bring – please ask your HSE office

It is not appropriate for me to advise the complete list of documents you need to bring to your HSE appointment as each situation can be different and usually is. Please ask your HSE Civil Registration office what documents they need from you.

At your HSE notification appointment if you have provided all the necessary information your marriage registration form/marriage licence (MRF) will be printed and given to you in the all-important “Green Folder”.   You are required to bring your “Green Folder” and MRF with you to your wedding as your MRF is the legal document which needs to be signed during your ceremony.

But What if Our Wedding is Less 3 Months Away?

If your wedding is less than 3 months away, you can obtain a court order to give you an exemption from the 3 months minimum notice. If your wedding is less than 3 months away and you would like to be legally married, please call me for advice as there are circumstances where the court order is granted and there are circumstances where it is not, so it is not appropriate for me to post that advice here online.

You should also be well on the way booking all your suppliers who are going to come together to make your big day happen!

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your ceremony wishes may be, you have found the right place.

If you would like a ceremony as unique 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!

Rev. Sharon Q.

from Australia (in Ireland since 2013)
Non-denominational Holistic Minister
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser

5 Essential Tips for Your Ceremony Table Centre-piece

5 Essential Tips for Your Ceremony Table Centre-piece

Believe it or not, this essential detail is sometimes forgotten!  But not any more, not with me anyway.  Not since I arrived at three separate weddings within a few weeks of each other, to find the ceremony table completely empty each time.  Each time I improvised and cut some fresh ivy and flowers from the gardens outside (with permission) to make a lovely fresh arrangement, which was certainly beautiful.

But I have now made it my responsibility to ensure this never happens again to any of the couples I work with.  The last thing you want to see is an empty ceremony table.  You have gone to so much trouble to make everything else on the day look so beautiful, and a bare ceremony table is not a good look at all.  So many times I have also borrowed a vase filled with fresh flowers from elsewhere within the wedding venue, as a ceremony table centre-piece.  Usually from a hall table somewhere within the building, always with permission from the venue’s wedding co-ordinator of course.

Even if you don’t like flowers, I have some great ideas for you to help you ensure that your ceremony table is decorated perfectly, and here are some of them.   Even the most basic solution really adds a little something special to your ceremony space.

My No.1 suggestion for your ceremony table centrepiece – if you will have a floral or greenery centre-piece for your “Top table”, (Bride & Groom table at the reception) this can serve a dual purpose as the centre-piece on your ceremony table as well – and the look is absolutley stunning!

Where do you find the floral centre-piece for your top table you might ask?  Here are my 5 essential tips:

 1. Provided by the Venue

Firstly – it’s always best to first have a chat with your wedding venue’s event co-ordinator, to find out what options they might already provide you for your top table centre-piece, as standard in your wedding package.  Some wedding venues take great pride in providing a floral arrangment for the top table made from fresh greenery and florals picked on-site from their own garden, included as part of your wedding package.  Or they may even have a standing order with a local florist. 

If your top-table centre-piece will be provided by your venue as part of your wedding package, it will definitely be most suitable for dual use as your ceremony table centre-piece so please don’t hesitate to ask your wedding venue if it’s already included.

2. Skilfully Handmade with Love

If you have a beloved family member or friend who enjoys handcrafts, don’t be shy to ask if they would like to make you a centrepiece arrangement with flowers and greenery fresh from their garden (or silk flowers) which can double as both the centrepiece for your ceremony table, and your reception top table.  You will find the florist oasis foam block for the base is readily available from your nearest craft shop, which can of course be purchased well in advance.   A beloved family member who enjoys handcrafts would be so honoured with this role, so please don’t be shy to ask.

3. Made with Silk Flowers

If you enjoy handcrafts yourself, you may wish to make your own table centre-piece from silk flowers and greenery which can be used for your ceremony table, and your reception top table.  All are available from your nearest craft shop, and you can also order online.  The advantage of working with silk flowers, is that the arrangement can be made well in advance,   It’s always good to have something you have prepared earlier!   These days the quality of silk flowers and greenery available is SO realistic – it can be very difficult to tell the difference from the real thing!

You will find plenty of tutorials on Youtube, and ideas for inspiration on Pinterest on how to make your own centre-piece arrangment.  You may also be so inspired to make your own bridal bouquet from silk flowers also, as well as other florals required on the day.

4. Florist supplied

Fresh Flowers – if you really have your heart set on fresh flowers – you can ask your florist to provide a table centrepiece for you.  This can be used for both your ceremony table, and your reception top table.  Please don’t hesitate to chat to me before speaking to your florist and I can give you some useful questions to ask.

5. Keep it Simple – the Basic Form

The basic ceremony table centre-piece which looks amazing is fresh ivy from your own garden, the garden of a beloved family member, or even garden of your wedding venue (with permission of course)

A great idea if your wedding venue has extensive landscaped gardens abundant with ivy.  I can prepare this for you on the day very quickly and easily and it looks fabulous.   One glorious summers day I was conducting a marriage ceremony a lovely 5 star mansion house, where I discovered there was no floral centrepiece for the ceremony table.   

The kind butler offered to pick the ivy for me.  He was very proud to give me an extra special tip!  For the best ivy, always pick the ivy growing up the side of a tree trunk.  The leaves will be much closer together as the ivy defies the forces of gravity to grow upwards.   This option is especially good if you are concerned that someone present may have allergies to certain fresh flowers.

Above: Silk arrangement I’ve made from silk vines of willow leaves, and eucalyptus leaves, with sprays of silk Gypsophilia inserted at various points.  Very simple but so elegant.

If you don’t have any other options, I would be delighted to bring the silk centre-piece above for use on your ceremony table (no extra cost). 

Your Special Day

If you believe your ceremony should be an important part of your special day, no matter how big or small your ceremony wishes may be, you have found the right place.

If you would like a ceremony as unique 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!

Rev. Sharon Q.

from Australia (in Ireland since 2013)
Non-denominational Holistic Minister
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser

Ideas Gallery