How Much Does a Celebrant Cost in Ireland?

How Much Does a Celebrant Cost in Ireland?

The cost of a Celebrant in Ireland varies greatly for many reasons.  Factors which may affect the cost of a Celebrant in Ireland include:

  • the type and style of ceremony you choose
  • travel distance to the ceremony venue
  • what is included as standard, and what can be added for extra cost
  • how competent, experienced (and in demand) the Celebrant is
  • how much the Celebrant must charge in order to pay their bills
  • If Celebrancy is a sideline or hobby to a regular paying job – their fee may be less
  • If Celebrancy is a sideline to a much higher paying career role – their fee may be more

Celebrancy is my career and no matter what kind or type of ceremonies I create & conduct,  I am always honoured to be part of such a special day in people’s lives. 

With over 25+ years experience in the art of ceremony & celebration, I know what an important decision it is to choose your Celebrant.   I also know how everyone has different needs for their ceremony.  So I have developed a range of VIP Packages to assist you in choosing a package which best suits your needs. 

With every ceremony I create & conduct, you are my VIP.

I Would be Honoured to Work With You

Special days are made by special people .. and you are one of them Sharon.
Thank-you so much for helping to create a wonderful day that we’ll never forget..
how you told our story was romantic, funny and just magical.  Thank-you.
GN (the groom)
Legal Marriage
Maryborough Woods Hotel Cork City
Essential Advice on Why My One Ceremony Per Day Option is Your Choice

Essential Advice on Why My One Ceremony Per Day Option is Your Choice

In my homeland Australia it’s not unusual for Civil Marriage Celebrants to conduct 2, 3 or even 4 or more personalised and unique ceremonies in the same day, especially on weekends.  When I get to conduct more than 1 ceremony in the same day here in Ireland, I am absolutely thrilled with the extra excitement it brings to the day!

Others claim to have a 1 ceremony per day policy for all ceremonies they “perform” – so they can “ensure your ceremony has their full attention”.  This implies that others (like myself) who won’t hesitate to conduct more than 1 ceremony a day, won’t  be capable of providing their full attention.

This claim is false on so many levels.

The most experienced and capable Celebrants (like myself and many others) won’t hesitate to conduct more than 1 ceremony a day if requested.  Here’s a good question:

Would you ever trust a hairdresser who won’t ever book more than one client per day because they won’t be able to give each client the full attention they deserve ? 
Does that sound like a suitably experienced professional who is able to deal confidently and competently with the unexpected should it arise on your big day?
I didn’t think so.

If you prefer that I don’t book any other ceremonies on your special day for any reason at all – that’s not a problem.  You can choose my Exclusive VIP option – which guarantees that I won’t conduct any other ceremonies on your big day.

Many ceremonies I conduct will naturally fall into this category anyway due to their exclusive country location, which makes it impossible to conduct more than one ceremony per day, or being on a peak day, ie. when there is more traffic on the roads making it not at all ideal for more than one ceremony per day.

Celebrancy isn’t a performance you can rehearse and perform, because it’s never about acting on a stage.  Celebrancy is real and when it’s at it’s best, it’s an authentic role which is now so fundamentally missing from our modern society, who have so drastically turned away from Religion on such a vast scale.

Despite the many reasons this cultural shift is happening, what Religion did for ceremony is that it preserved a certain level of authenticity and dignity by turning any ceremony into a meaningful and spectacular community event.  When Religious ceremony is done well and with true honour and dignity held by a wonderful facilitator (and there are/were plenty of good ones!) Religion kept the Spirit and magic of ceremony alive!

For a ceremony without the Spirit and magic, is nothing more than a speech.

Now society is going full circle with the return of the art of ceremony to its indigenous roots – where the ceremony was never defined by doctrines of a Religion, but was instead defined by the wishes and requirements of the couple to get them off to a wonderful start and help to ensure their successful future together.

Celebrancy remains an essential community skill which is all about capturing the true Spirit and character of the couple and creating the special magic of the moment for them and their guests in the celebration of their new lives together.

No matter what kind of ceremony I create & conduct, the smiles at the conclusion of the ceremony is what makes all my efforts worthwhile,

With over 30 years experience in the art of ceremony – I have the expertise and experience you need to ensure your ceremony exceeds your expectations.

What is a Spiritual Ceremony as Your Marriage Ceremony ?

What is a Spiritual Ceremony as Your Marriage Ceremony ?

This is one of those questions which can have a different answer depending on which expert you ask. As a former College Lecturer I am confident I can explain the answer in a generic kind of way, I’ll do my best to keep it as short and simple as possible!

If you don’t agree with my explanations – that’s wonderful too, as it shows you are a free-thinker proudly exercising your own free will to decide what you believe for yourself based on your own life experience and what you believe is right, rather than taking any advice and information provided to you by others.

At the very least you will have some more food for thought, and further understanding about what a Spiritual Ceremony means for the majority of people here in Ireland who have some form of Spiritual belief but who would not necessarily classify themselves as being Religious.

If we are to go back to basics and define ceremony into it’s most basic form, you would have two ceremony types:

  1. Spiritual or
  2. non-Spiritual

The reason I placed Spiritual first at No.1 is not that it is any more important than a non-Spiritual ceremony but that a Spiritual ceremony is believed to be the first and oldest form of ceremony which has existed since the oldest original of ancient times. Ancient times when the world was at peace and everyone lived in harmony with nature and the land with their creation stories, which became the blueprint for modern Spirituality as we know it.

The original reason for holding ceremony in such ancient times, was to create a Spiritual connection to the Divine Creator and bring about a Divine blessing for a certain intention and/or outcome to occur.

For example in ancient Ireland there were annual ceremonies on the Celtic Calendar celebrate the seasons and invoke a Divine blessing from the Creator for example for an abundant harvest of crops along with various blessings on the people and their lives at certain times of the year.

Many people around the world have revived those ancient traditions and they are celebrated to this day. Here in Ireland for many families and communities, those spiritual ceremonies of the Celtic Calendar never stopped and have continued since time began.

In the case of a marriage ceremony, the Spiritual intention of the original ancient marriage ceremony was to create a connection to the Divine Creator (or Great Spirit) in order to invoke a Divine blessing of good wishes for the couple and good luck for their marriage.

Whereas others here in Ireland and around the world, who don’t believe anything unseen or magical is possible will refer to ceremonial traditions simply as “superstitions” – and that’s OK too because in modern times we are all encouraged to have our own free will.

The abolition and hijacking of indigenous Spirituality which occurred during the Middle Ages when Religions were introduced, meant that indigenous Spirituality including ceremonies became an essential part of Religious doctrines, which required that ceremonies had to be conducted a certain way.

In the modern times we are in now going back full circle – people living in Ireland are no longer required to follow a Religion in order to exist in society. Instead people are encouraged to have their own free will and beliefs about what Spirituality and the meaning of life is for them.

Because of this we now see the wonderful introduction of the non-denominational and non-Religious legal marriage ceremonies, along with completely non-Spiritual ceremonies for those who don’t have any Religious beliefs or any belief in Spirituality of any kind. Along with mixed faith and unique personalised ceremonies to suit the couples own wishes.

So in a nutshell – a Spiritual ceremony is any non-Religious ceremony created to suit the free will and Spirituality of the couple, rather than the Spiritual beliefs and rules of a Religion.

In its most basic form – a Spiritual marriage ceremony is a non-Religious ceremony with Spiritual elements included to suit the beliefs and wishes of the couple. Most often departed loved ones are welcomed to the sacred space of the ceremony along with the wedding guests and made to feel very much part of the celebrations.

There may also be a memorial candle lit and placed either on the ceremony table itself or on a nearby smaller table placed to the side of the ceremony table. Any such memorial candle may also be accompanied by cherished photograph of the departed.

Depending on the wishes of the couple, a Spiritual ceremony can also be designed with a Religious feel. This can be done by including Religious elements of the couples choosing, which can also include mentioning God where appropriate – which can be really wonderful for a Religious family, where their adult children don’t wish to be married in a Church.

As a non-denominational Holistic Minster, I am not required to wear vestments or robes or be addressed with a Religious Title during a ceremony unless the couple request it. Every marriage ceremony I create and conduct is designed to be unique and special to suit the beliefs and wishes of the couple every time.

Can A Celebrant Conduct a Legal Marriage Ceremony in Ireland ?

Can A Celebrant Conduct a Legal Marriage Ceremony in Ireland ?

Not all Celebrants in Ireland are authorised to conduct legal marriages, and here’s why.

Here in Ireland there is an abundance of Celebrants who are HSE registered Marriage Solemnisers like myself and therefore duly authorised to conduct legal marriage ceremonies.  However there is also a growing number of Celebrants who are not authorised to Solemnise legal marriages.

It’s very disturbing that some of the unauthorised Celebrants are using manipulative trickery in order to get their bookings from unsuspecting couples, like:

  • Using a misleading job title of “Registered Celebrant” to entice you to make contact with them.
  • Once you have contacted them, they will use more manipulative trickery like telling you that there is a shortage of Solemnisers so you won’t find one available on your wedding date because they are booked up for at least two years. (not true)
  • Or that if you choose a Registered Solemniser as your Celebrant your ceremony design will be restricted by the rules of the organisation the Solemniser belongs to.  (partly true but very much depends which Solemniser you choose)
  • Some may tell you that to be legally married in Ireland with a unique & personalised non-Church ceremony, you must book them as your Celebrant for a non-legal wedding with your family & friends,, and “do the legals” with your witnesses in the Registry Office on a different day. (not true)

Every couple who wishes to get married in Ireland, must know the truth about their options for legal marriage in Ireland – only a Registered Solemniser can conduct a legal marriage.

There are 3 types of Celebrants who can legally marry you in Ireland:

  1. Priest or Religious Clergy from a Religion or Religious Order, with or without a belief in God
  2. HSE Civil Registrar from the Registry Office
  3. Non-denominational Religious or Secular Solemnisers who don’t belong to a designated Religion or Religious Order.

I am in the number 3 type.  I am a non-denominational Minister and I am duly authorised by the State to Solemnise legal marriage of any style to suit your wishes. 

The best personnel to provide information to the public regarding getting legally married in Ireland are Registered Solemnisers, who have a full working knowledge of the Marriage Act.

If you wish to be legally married with personalised and meaningful ceremony created to your own wishes, without any need to attend the Registry Office on a separate day with your witnesses for a Registry Office marriage, you must choose a Registered Solemniser like myself as your Celebrant.

Some important facts are:

  • There is absolutely no shortage of Marriage Solemnisers in Ireland.
  • If you wish to be legally married in Ireland with a personalised ceremony of your own style, your celebrant must be duly authorised and recognised by the HSE as a Registered Solemniser of Marriages.  (like myself)

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for an obligation-free quick chat to answer any questions you might have.  I would be honoured to work with you.

What is a Marriage License?

What is a Marriage License?


How Do We Get Our Marriage License?

I am often asked this question by couples when they first book me, after which I carefully explain that in modern Ireland the Marriage License is known as the “Marriage Registration Form” or “MRF” for short.   But many people still prefer to refer to this printed document as their Marriage License. 

After all it does make a lot of sense, as their Marriage License/MRF is that “sacred” piece of paper which allows them to be legally married on their chosen wedding day!

What is the Marriage License/MRF For ?

In order for a marriage to be legally recognised the marriage must registered with the HSE Civil Registration Office, as for births and deaths.   The Marriage License/MRF is the printed document signed during your marriage ceremony by the 5 people who are signatories to the marriage as evidence of the legal marriage. 

Those five signatories to your marriage are:

  1. Your authorised and registered Solemniser/Celebrant
  2. The couple who are getting married
  3. and their two witnesses, who are both over the age of 18 years old.  

Once signed during the marriage ceremony, the Marriage License/MRF becomes the legal evidence that your marriage was conducted in accordance with the Marriage Act, by a Celebrant who is correctly registered with the Government and duly authorised to Solemnise marriages. 

Once your ceremony has concluded, your signed Marriage License/MRF must be returned to the HSE in order to finalise the proper registration of your legal marriage.  My general advice is to return this signed Marriage License/MRF to the HSE immediately or as soon as possible within 30 days.

How Do We Obtain A Marriage License/MRF ?

The process of registering your marriage with the HSE commences firstly by booking an appointment to attend any HSE Civil Registration Office of your choice to “Notify your Intention to Marry”, also known as your “HSE Notification Appointment”.

The non-refundable fee for this is currently €200, and this must be completed at least 3 months before your intended wedding day and no more than 12 months before.   

For urgent and unforeseen circumstances there is a procedure to waive the 3 month minimum notice period.  Although I am an expert in this area, I will never provide specific advice on how that is done without first chatting to the couple, because each case is so different and in most cases the waiver of the 3 month minimum notice period just may not be possible.

If all required information has been provided at your HSE appointment, including your required ID documents, your Marriage License/MRF will be provided to you in a Green Folder at the conclusion your “Notification of Intention to Marry” appointment with the HSE. 

Can the “Notification of Intention to Marry” Appointment be Booked Online?

In most cases your “Notification Appointment” can be booked online.  The HSE have provided the following handy link on their website for doing just that:

For couples residing overseas – the HSE does have an online/email/remote procedure for notifying your intention to marry, which requires an in-person meeting at some point much closer to your wedding date,   The HSE are always best to advise on this procedure, as ID documentation requirements can vary from one country to another and many couple’s circumstances are different.

Where Does the Term “Marriage License” Come From?

The term “Marriage License” is generally used in the USA to describe the piece of paper signed by the licensed Officiant, the couple and their witnesses during the marriage ceremony.  So it’s no suprise that American couples getting married in Ireland will always ask questions about to to get their Marriage License. 

But did you know, the term “Marriage Licence” can be traced all the way back to the Irish Marriage and Registration Act 1856 !  Something I discovered myself while conducting detailed research of the Marriage Act and its origins.

So it’s no wonder the term “Marriage License” is still used here in Ireland when referring to the MRF or Marriage Registration Form, because it is essentially and historically the same thing.

For all questions relating to booking your “Notification Appointment” including what documentation you must provide at your Notification Appointment, please contact your chosen HSE Civil Registration Office.

The HSE have provided a handy contact details lookup tool here on their website:

So there you go – have you got your Marriage License yet?

Rev Sharon Q.

Non-denominational Celebrant & Holistic Minister
from Australia, now based in Cork City, Ireland since 2013


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!