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:

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