How Many Wedding Guests Can I Have During Lockdown ?

How Many Wedding Guests Can I Have During Lockdown ?

 With pandemic restrictions now being extended in Ireland, anxious brides are now asking the dreaded question – how many wedding guests can we have now?  What are the maximum numbers allowed?  Does it include the photographer and our ceremony officiant?

There is so much misinformation about this subject online. In fact, just about everywhere this sugject is mentioned has got the answer completely wrong. Why? Because they don’t have a deep enough understanding of the marriage act or it’s interpretation.

I like to get my information direct from the most reliable source, so I contacted the GRO in Roscommon, and this is the advice that I received:

  • The act of marriage cannot ever be considered a social gathering.
  • Social gathering restrictions do not apply to a legal marriage ceremony itself, but they do apply to any non-legal wedding ceremony and any celebrations after a wedding or marriage ceremony.
  • Each wedding venue has the discretion to enforce their own health & safety policy regarding the maximum number of wedding guests.
  • All public health guidelines in force at the time must be followed.

This means that any limit on maximum numbers for a legal marriage ceremony is defined only by the health & safety policy of your chosen marriage venue.  I hope that helps make things a bit clearer for you.  If you have any questions at all please don’t hestitate to get in touch.

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,

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.

5-Star Ceremonies
with Rev. Sharon Q.

Inspiring Teacher, Musician, Ceremony Officiant,
Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister
Registered Solemniser of Marriages

Tel: 085 831 3437

The Celtic Handfasting Tradition

The Celtic Handfasting Tradition

Above: Aoife & Jimmy’s wedding
at Ballyvolane House
Photo by

Braided handfasting chord fully handmade by me
to the bride’s choice of colours

The wedding tradition of celtic handfasting has seen a resurgence since Prince Wiliam and Kate tied the knot as part of their lavish wedding ceremony in London in 2011.

Handfasting is a rural folkloric and neopagan ceremonial spiritual custom, gaining in popularity as modern couples seek to incorporate ancient traditions in their ceremony.  Iinitially found in Ireland, Scotland and western European countries, the handfasting is a ceremony in which a couple hold a commitment ceremony by tying the hands with woven or braided chord.

Above:  Aoife & Jimmy’s wedding
at Ballyvolane House
Photo by


The handfasting ceremony was believed by many to be firstly conducted as an engagement ceremony,  a temporary binding of one year and a day.   If after this time the couple wished to stay together, the handfasting was repeated a second time as a marriage ceremony, and the couple were married for seven years.

If the couple wished to stay together after this time, the handfasting was repeated for another seven years or as a permanent marriage, depending on the couple’s wishes.  Hence the term “seven year itch”.

In ancient times, the handfasting ceremony was conducted according to the local traditions.  In modern times, a handfasting ceremony is part of a traditional wedding ceremony, and is written to suit the requirements of the couple.

There are unlimited variations in the ceremony wording, from the short, modern format lasting about 3-4 minutes, to the longer traditation format lasting anything from 10 minutes or longer.

If I am conducting your ceremony and you would like to make your own handfasting chord, I can give you creative ideas and explain some simple methods of making various styles.

Pictured are two of the many braided handfasting chords I have personally handmade.  If you are unable to make or purchase your own handfasting chord I am happy to make you a handfasting chord in your choice of colors.

In the first example, each of the 5 strands of the braided chord are individually twisted to make the separate chords before being tied and braided together in a 5-part braided chord.  Each end of the chord is then wrapped to form a tassle at each end.  Each custom-made braided chord takes approx. 4 hours to make by hand.

Retail price of the 5-part braided handfasting chord as pictured above (top) is €69.50 (or approx. €20 materials only price if I am conducting your ceremony) which includes your very own choice of 5 colors, the symbolic meanings of your chosen colors for reciting in your ceremony, organza bag and postage anywhere within Ireland (if I am not conducting your ceremony).

In the second example, twisted chords of varying thickness are wrapped together and stitched in place, tassles made for the ends and sewn in for a very effective look.  This type of chord takes about 3 hours to make and costs around €15 in materials.

The Irish Wedding Coin Tradition

The Irish Wedding Coin Tradition

It is believed that the Irish tradition of the wedding coin has its roots in the Brehon law, when the groom would gift his new bride with a coin to represent that from this point forward, everything he owns would be equally shared.

There may be variants of this tradition depending on which family and region of Ireland, and availability of coins.  Some believe that once the wedding coin is gifted to the bride, it should be put into the bride’s shoe to ensure prosperity in the marriage.

The wedding coin can also be handed down from parents to eldest child, or first son, or so forth.  The great thing about wedding traditions is that you are free to make your own variation of the tradition in order to make it meaningful to you.

I have written some beautiful words for a wedding coin ceremony on a number of occasions, each ceremony unique and individual to the couple.  I will include the wedding coin ceremony wording here very soon!

What is an Interfaith Minister in Ireland ?

What is an Interfaith Minister in Ireland ?

The word “Interfaith” doesn’t always mean religious.  Interfaith describes an inclusive philosophy which welcomes people from all walks of life, regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs (or none) without discrimination of any kind.

An interfaith Minister is a modern Spiritual teacher who also creates the most beautiful non-denominational tailor-made ceremonies to suit the requirements of the people.  An Interfaith Minister is able to create any style of ceremony from spiritual through to humanist style ceremonies, non-religious or mixed-faith ceremonies and everything else in between. With your choice of ceremony ideas and traditions included, to create your very own ceremony style. 

The modern interfaith Minister really is the Rolls Royce of ceremony officiants & celebrants due to their extensive experience and the diversity of the beautiful & meaningful personalised ceremonies they create & officiate, they really can offer you the most flexibility for your ceremony options.

There is no shortage of Interfaith Ministers in Ireland, although the biggest challenge is finding them as they don’t all have a website.  I am very fortunate that I was once a Software Engineer and Website Developer, so creating my own website comes naturally to me. 

The first thing is to do is find an Interfaith Minister who you really like (please pick me!) so you will need to interview them ether on the phone, or face to face, either in person or on Zoom.  That’s right, you need to interview them, they will be working for you!  Your ceremony is one of the most important parts of your special day, there is a huge difference between a good ceremony and a great ceremony.! 

I am a Spiritual Humanist, registered member of Enchanted Ceremonies and Earth Spiritualist Foundation.  With me as your ceremony officiant / celebrant I guarantee that you will have one of the greatest ceremonies you could wish for.  Every ceremony is my ceremony of the year.  I will work with you every step of the way to design the ceremony of your dreams, no matter how big or small, to ensure that your ceremony exceeds your expectations.  

You can read more about the legal requirements of getting married in Ireland right here in my article Legal Info

If you have any questions about getting married in Ireland please don’t hestitate to get in touch to find out if I am available on your chosen date.  I would be honoured to work with you.

Rev. Sharon Q.

Tel: 085 831 3437
Registered Solemniser of Marriages
Modern Spiritual Teacher, Musician,
Spiritual Humanist, Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister,
Visionary & creator of dreams

Modern Couples Getting Married in Ireland are Now Choosing an Interfaith Minister to Marry Them and Here’s Why!

Modern Couples Getting Married in Ireland are Now Choosing an Interfaith Minister to Marry Them and Here’s Why!

Interfaith Ministers are wedding celebrants supercharged and are the latest trend for modern couples getting married in Ireland.   This is because Interfaith Ministry is a modern style of Ministry that has been sweeping the world for its inclusive philosophy which welcomes people from all walks of life without discrimination or dogma, and Ireland is no exception. 

The Interfaith Minister is a modern spiritual teacher who has completed extensive studies in the areas of spirituality, world religions, human culture and interfaith ministry over many years.  This means that their skills and experience as authentic practitioners of the art of ceremony are impeccable.   The inclusive and interfaith philosophy which Interfaith Ministers abide by means they welcome people from all walks of life, without discrimination, 

So it’s thefore no surprise that Interfaith Ministers are now the celebrant of choice for modern couples in Ireland who believe that a unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony should be one of the most important parts of their special day.

Interfaith Ministers, like many Universalist organisations are not required to wear vestments or robes, unless they wish to do so for special cultural celebrations or VIP occasions.  They may wear an interfaith stole for their ceremonial duties but only if requested to do so by the couple or the family.

The non-denominational ceremonies created & conducted by Interfaith Ministers are designed to suit the unique requirements of each couple regardless of their belief in spirituality, religion or not.  This makes a marriage ceremony conducted by an Interfaith Minister truly charming and special no matter if its a shorter or longer ceremony, because each ceremony is designed to suit the unique ceremony style and requirements of the couple.

For couples who would like a unique & personalised, meaningful and special wedding ceremony in Ireland, the modern Interfaith Minister really is the Rolls Royce of ceremony officiants & celebrants. 

It is well known by those who have experienced one of the beauitful ceremonies led by Interfaith Ministers that the beautiful ceremonies they create & conduct are some of the most unique & special wedding ceremonies in the world.;  Because they are also inspiring and modern Spiritual teachers, a beautiful ceremony led by an Interfaith Minister certainly has an added air of unique graciousness, which really adds to the uniqueness and importance of the occasion even for a non-religious wedding ceremony..

Because of their genuine desire to help others throughout their life, Interfaith Ministers are generally those who hail from the caring, teaching, natural therapies or even formal ministry professions who felt a calling to further study in the area of spirituality and human culture in order to fulfill their wish to serve the community..

Due to the inclusive and interfaith philosophy of the interfaith body they are affiliated with, an Interfaith Minister is able to conduct unique ceremonies of any secular,, spiritual or religious style or any mixture of anything in between to suit the couples requirements.  This means Interfaith Ministers really can provide couples getting married in Ireland with the most flexibility for their ceremony design options and also with the locations they can be married at. 

It comes as no surprise that so many modern couples in Ireland are now choosing an Interfaith Minister to marry them with a beautiful unique & personalised ceremony designed to suit their own wishes and unique ceremony style, a ceremony which is also meaningful & special and among the best in the world.

Intefaith Ministers are most widely known for their beautiful and meaningful spiritual ceremonies but the inclusive philosophy they abide by means they are equally at home conducting secular and non-religous ceremonies for people from all walks of life.

What About the Legal Bits?

Interfaith Ministers are also HSE registered solemnisers and duly authorised to solemnise marriages in Ireland.

What this means for you is that with an Interfaith Minister as your ceremony officiant and celebrant your beautiful wedding ceremony will also be fully legal on the day if that’s what you want.

What Does it Cost ?

Costs vary between Ministers as some charge for travel and some don’t.  There is no extra cost for a legal marriage ceremony,, it will be the same cost as a non-legal ceremony.  

My own costs depend on time taken, and start at €295 for a micro-wedding of up to 10 people in total within 5kms of Cork City centre.  This is a much simpler ceremony as no PA system is needed so the amount of time spent on the day and preparations the night before are greatly reduced.  Average cost within 25kms of Cork City is €495 depending on the venue and what options are chosen.  For ceremonies conducted over 25kms from Cork City and beyond the average price is €595.  For this you can expect a unique & fully personalised ceremony and around 30 hours of time spent to provide you with a VIP ceremony experience.  A ceremony rehearsal the night before of up to 2 hours is €100.  There are other options for a simple and straightforward ceremony.  Please take these estimates as a guide only, – for an accurate quotation to suit your needs please get in touch for a quick chat to determine your exact requirements.

There are others who are charging a lot more, but please keep in mind that they may have more costs to cover including child care, that I don’t have to consider.

* All prices are current as of 1st July 2020 and are subject to change.

If you’d like to know more about the legal requirements for getting married in Ireland, please see the Legal Info page.

Marriage During Pandemic Restricted Periods

The value of Interfaith Ministers has become increasingly widespread for couples wishing to be married during pandemic lockdown restrictions.  This is because Interfaith Ministers are able to travel unrestricted to conduct a legal marriage throughout Ireland as Religious personnel and essential workers, where other marriage solemnisers who are not Religious personnel may not be permitted to travel during stricter lockdown restrictions.

Interfaith Ministers also have access to a many more venues for legal marriage during strict lockdown at times when hotels and other wedding venues may be closed to the public.  So if there are strick pandemic lockdown restrictions in place and your solemniser is unable to marry you, and you still want to be legally married if you already have your Green Folder, all you need is an Interfaith Minister and your two witnesses. 

The Interfaith Minister, like other Religous solemnisers, will have access to a number of additional venues which can be used for the purpose of legal marriage when hotels and other venues are closed due to pandemic restrictions.  You may wish to obtain permission for a ceremony during strict lockdown restrictions but your Interfaith Minister will be able to best advise you of any technicalities.

For information regarding the ceremonies conducted by an Interfaith Minister you should consult them directly as there is a minefield of wrong information being propagated online regarding the ceremonies conducted by Interfaith Ministers.

Peace of Mind

All Interfaith Ministers belong to a body with strict quality standards and a community of like-minded people working to support the community.  This is your guarantee of peace of mind that if the unexpected should happen, no matter what the circumstances you will have the benefit of a backup Interfaith Minister of equal calibre and kindness at no extra cost to you if your chosen Minister is not available due to unforeseen circumstances.

How to Find an Interfaith Minister

Many don’t have websites or social media presence because they are well known in their local communities through their ministry work..  This is where Google can be your friend.  You can search for “Intefaith Minister Dublin” or “Interfaith Minister Cork” or “Interfaith Minister Killarney” or what ever area you would like to be married, and you will find some..  Or ask your nearest holistic natural therapist for advice, because you just never know – they be an Interfaith Minister.

I create & officiate beautiful unique & fully personalised ceremonies to celebrate all of life’s special milestones for people from all walks of life.  I can create a ceremony for any occasion worthy of celebrating..

No matter if you would like a plain and simple ceremony, meaningful and special but without any fuss – or that fairytale ceremony with all the enchantment and magic,   I will work with you to help you to discover your unique ceremony style, and create the unique & very special ceremony of your dreams. 

Please feel free to browse my website for more information about the work I do, and of course please don’t hesitate to call me for a chat, and to see if I am available on your big day.  I would be honoured to work with you..

Rev Sharon Q.

Interfaith Minister, Modern Spiritual Teacher, Professional Musician, Registered Natural Therapist, Yoga & Meditation teacher, Community kindness volunteer, Visionary & creator of dreams.

Tel: 085 831 3437