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!

 

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

Can a Celebrant Legally Marry You in Ireland?

Can a Celebrant Legally Marry You in Ireland?

This question is causing a lot of confusion with couples in Ireland.  Can a celebrant legally marry you in Ireland?  The answer is – not all Celebrants in Ireland are authorised to conduct legal marriages.  For your wedding ceremony to be a legal marriage, your Celebrant must be a Registered Solemniser of Marriages – duly authorised by the HSE. 

Registered Solemnisers are the Celebrants who represent the Government in their capacity as Solemnisers of legal marriage.  Each Registered Solemniser is required to have extensive training over a number of years along with an impeccable knowledge and experience of all aspects of the requirements of the Marriage Act. 

Celebrant is a general term which describes a person who conducts a ceremony of any kind.   Any member of the public can conduct a ceremony as a celebrant, but not every celebrant can conduct a legal marriage ceremony. 

Wedding Celebrants in Ireland can be classified into one of the following two categories:

  1.  Those who are Registered to Solemnise legal marriages, known as Registered Solemnisers, and
  2.  Lay Celebrants –  those who conduct wedding ceremonies which don’t have any legal standing, because Lay Celebrants aren’t authorised by the government to Solemnise legal marriage.   Many Lay Celebrants do indeed conduct beautiful ceremonies.  However, if you engage a Lay Celebrant to conduct your wedding ceremony, you won’t be legally married.   In order to be legally married, you will also need to attend a Civil Registration office with your witnesses on another day to be married with a Registry office marriage.

In fact in my home country of Australia, it is illegal for a Lay Celebrant to conduct a wedding ceremony for a couple who are not already legally married.   Here in Ireland (at this time) there is no such law,  however with so much confusion brought about by the surge in the number of Lay celebrants now calling themselves “Registered Celebrants”, it is inevitable that will change sometime in the not too distant future.

If your wish is to be legally married in Ireland, with a unique and meaningful ceremony designed to your own requirements, with your beloved family & friends with you as your witnesses, your best choice is to find a Celebrant (like myself) who is not only able to create a unique & personalised ceremony to your exact wishes, but who is also duly authorised and Registered to Solemnise legal marriages. 

Your ceremony will only be Religious if you are married in a Church which prohibits interfaith marriages or if your marriage is conducted by a Registered Solemniser who is required to talk about their Religion and its beliefs during your ceremony,   With a non-denominational Holistic Minister like myself as your Celebrant, your ceremony will be a non-Religious ceremony if that’s what you wish.  The true evidence of this can be seen on your legal marriage certificate, where there is no mention of any Rites & Ceremonies taking place, (as there is with a Religious ceremony) or any mention of the name of any Religion or Church (as there is with a Religious ceremony).

Your marriage ceremony can also be a Spiritual Ceremony, Mixed faith ceremony, or Spiritual with a religious feel, or any combination in between!  If your family has a Pastor, he/she can take part in your ceremony and give you a blessing, you are limited only by your imagination.

With so many Registered Solemnisers in Ireland, who can conduct legal marriages, your job is to find a Solemniser who you get along well with and who shares your beliefs. (pick me!).  The ceremonial services provided by each Solemniser is very much unique to their own character and individual style – it’s up to you to find the Marriage Solemniser who is right for you, you need to do the job interview!.

Civil Ceremony

Here in Ireland you can choose to pay an extra fee to the HSE and book a HSE Civil Registrar to attend your wedding venue outside of office hours, to conduct a Registry Office marriage there for you, also known as a “Civil Ceremony”.   This is the standard government non-religious ceremony and is perfect for those who don’t wish to have a unique ceremony designed to their wishes, and who don’t wish to include any Spiritual or Religious elements.  

A Civil Ceremony in Ireland is not the same as a Civil Ceremony in Australia, where the meaning of a Civil Ceremony is a ceremony designed to your own wishes by a Celebrant who is self employed.  The Marriage Act in Australia is very different in that regard.  Here in Ireland a Civil Ceremony is a Registry Office Marriage, a standard government ceremony, conducted by an employee of the HSE Civil Registration Office,  The Civil Ceremony in Ireland is short and simple without any fuss.  Perfect for those who prefer this option.

How to Find Your Celebrant

Some of the best ways to find your Celebrant/Solemniser include asking your friends about any memorable and remarkable weddings they have attended in Ireland, or ask your wedding venue to recommend you a Registered Solemniser who conducts a lot of ceremonies with them.  Of course you can use website search for your wedding venue and the word “Solemniser” eg. “Dromoland Castle Solemniser” and see what comes up, see how much effort they have made to ensure their website is presentable and informative.

Of course I’d love to speak with you about your ceremony requirements, I would be honoured to work with you.  But I realise choosing Celebrant is a very important decision you must make for yourself after meeting up in person, or by Zoom or by having a good chat on the phone.  You should never cut corners by missing this vital step to interview your potential Solemniser/Celebrant to make sure they are right for you.

Most of the time, couples just don’t realise that there is an abundance of Celebrants in Ireland (like myself) who are Registered to Solemnise legal marriage, and that they should spend a little more time looking for the right one.  With the abundance of Marriage Solemnisers and gorgeous wedding venues, it’s now a wonderful time to be legally 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 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

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

Surprise Announcement! 100 Guests At Weddings from August 5th

Are couples getting married in Ireland in August 2021 now celebrating yesterday’s government announcement with a sigh of relief ? Or are they distraught because they’ve already reduced their guest list to 50 and sent out expensive replacement invitations ? 

There is no point allowing yourself to be distressed over a situation such as this which you cannot control, especially for one of the most important days of your lives.   While we are in the midst of a declared pandemic state of emergency, there will be many government decisions made last-minute based on evidence they have on hand at the time.

Most couples who originally booked with me to be married in August 2021 have already postponed their weddings to 2022 long ago, so at this present time I do have good availability for August 2021 so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Read more about the latest government announcment here on RedFM

The best thing to do always is go with the flow, this situation is a very good test of our psychic strength and our ability to remain calm in any situation, it really is.  For last minute invitations, have you thought of sending an e-Invitation? 

A few years ago I prepared an e-Invitation at the request of an Irish couple who lived abroad and were inviting all their wedding guests from various places throughout Europe.  I created the e-Invitation in the style of a movie or theatre box-office ticket.  This e-Invitation has come in handy for many couples over the past year.

My e-Invitation design is shown below:

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

Your Essential Irish Wedding Checklist

Your Essential Irish Wedding Checklist

How to Get Married in Ireland

Are you recently engaged and ready to begin planning your big day?  Congratulations!  Are you the kind of person who likes to be super-organised?  Planning your wedding can be super-easy if you make yourself the a list to work from. 

Or if you are the kind of person who rather someone else do all the “legwork”, you can hire a Wedding Planner to take care of the essentials for you. 

If it is less than 18 months to your wedding date, here are the steps to follow before you do anything else:

Essentials – To Do First

First things first.  You will need to make an appointment with your nearest HSE office to lodge your Intention to Marry form.  This will cost you €200 and must be done at least 3 months before your wedding date, and no more than 12 months before.  You will be asked to complete the “Capture of Data” form to take with you to your appointment.

A link to the latest HSE “Capture of Data Form” direct from the HSE website can be found here.  The link to the this form can also be found on my secure Client Area page.

In order to complete your “Capture of Data” form for your HSE appointment will need the following important details:

  • Your wedding date.
  • Name of your wedding venue
  • Name & address of your celebrant who is a duly HSE authorised & Registered Solemniser of Marriages.   If you would like your wedding ceremony to be a legal marriage, it is essential that your celebrant is correctly registered with the HSE. (pick me!) 
  • The names and date of birth of your two legal witnesses 18+ years of age

If all your details are complete, at your Notification appointment you will be provided with your “Green Folder” containing your official Marriage Registration Form (MRF).  Your MRF from your green folder is the document to be signed during your ceremony, which must be returned to the HSE office within 30 days to complete the registration of your marriage. 

Once Your Essentials are Confirmed

Once you have confirmed your wedding date with both your celebrant/solemniser and you can proceed and book the remaining essentials while you wait for your HSE appointment.

Or, if you prefer to hire a Wedding Planner to organise the following and more, you can do that now.

 

  • The Dress
  • Bridal Party
  • Cake – Wedding Cake
  • Ceremony Music/musician(s)
  • Flowers – you may wish to include: Bridal bouquet, Bridal party flowers, Mothers of the bride flowers, Ceremony table flowers (this can double as a decoration for your head table at the reception)
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Honeymoon
  • Invitations –  Calligrapher ?
  • Photo Booth
  • Photographer
  • Reception Music/Wedding band
    Tip:  You will save a lot of money if you book your wedding band direct.
  • Suits
  • Videographer
  • Anything else you would like to include on your big day, to help make your day special.

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