There are 4 distinct categories of Marriage Celebrants in Ireland:
- Religious celebrants who represent a Church
- Civil Registrar employed by the Civil Registration Office
- Non-church Religious/Secular Marriage Celebrants who conduct ceremonies according to the criteria setout by the Secular or Religious organisation they represent.
- “Lay” celebrants who are not registered to conduct legal marriage ceremonies.
I am a non-denominational Registered Solemniser of Marriages in category 3, registered to conduct non-denominational legal marriage ceremonies of all styles and beliefs without discrimination.
Marriage Celebrants must be HSE Registered
In Ireland, not all celebrants are registered to conduct legal marriages. A marriage celebrant can only become registered to conduct legal marriages if they complete the strict training requirements and fulfil the criteria setout by the organisation they belong to, and are correctly registered with the HSE.
I am correctly registered with the HSE as a Solemniser of Marriages. With me as your celebrant, your marriage will be fully legal on the day.
Getting Married in Ireland – Step by Step
To get legally married in Ireland, here are the main four steps to consider, you know all the rest:
1. Choose Your Celebrant/Solemniser
In order to be legally married in Ireland you must choose your own marriage solemniser. (pick me!). Either a priest, or a non-church celebrant. There are several types of non-church celebrants, and that’s where the confusion begins. The legal name (in the marriage act for a marriage celebrant, is a Solemniser of Marriages.
A solemniser is a celebrant who is HSE registered to solemnise marriages. In Ireland not all celebrants are registered to solemnise marriages which can be very confusing. I am registered to solemnise marriages anywhere within the Republic of Ireland.
For essential advice on choosing your celebrant/solemniser, please see my blog article “Essential Tips for Choosing Your Ceremony Officiant”.
2. Choose Your Wedding Venue
You really are spoiled here in Ireland with a multitude of beautiful wedding venues to choose from. You can choose from the many castles, mansion houses and luxury hotels, or arts centres, and approved cultural sites throughout the country.
Once you have booked your solemniser and venue, the next thing is to contact your HSE office right away to lodge your notification of intent to marry.
3. Lodge your Notification of Intent to Marry (with HSE office)
Contact your nearest HSE Civil Registration Office and book an appointment to lodge your Notification of Intent to Marry form, or NOIM. The non-refundable fee for this appointment is €200. This can be done up to 12 months in advance of your wedding date, and should be at least 3 months before your wedding date, but my advice is to do this right away as soon as you have booked your solemniser and your venue.
Any less than 3 months notice and you will need a court order. If you have experienced a unique situation and require your marriage in less than 3 months please call me for advice as there are circumstances where this is granted and there are circumstances where it is not, but it is not appropriate for me to post that advice here, each situation is different.
For most HSE offices you can make your appointment online. If you email the HSE office most convenient to you they will advise how to make your appointment and what documentation they need you to bring with you for your situation. Again it is not appropriate for me to advise what documents you need to bring as each situation can be different and usually is.
At your HSE notification appointment if you have provided all the necessary information your marriage license will be printed and given to you in the all-important “Green Folder”. You are required to bring your “Green Folder” with you to your wedding ceremony as your marriage license will be inside and will need to be signed during your ceremony.
You should also be well on the way booking all your suppliers who are going to come together to make your big day happen!
4. Get Married – It’s Your Big Day!
.TA-DA !! Your big day is here! You are getting married! Remember to bring your green folder and MRF to be signed during your ceremony. Congratulations!
On the next business day (or as soon as possible within 30 days) return your completed MRF to the HSE Civil Registration Office to complete the registration process.
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.
A ceremony created to your own style, as unique & special as you are.
Celebrant & Registered Solemniser,
RYT200 Registered Yoga & Mediation Teacher,
SHAI Registered Sound Therapist, Musician
& non-denominational Holistic Minister