What Is This All About?
All couples getting married in Ireland who wish to have their Irish wedding ceremony recognised as a legal marriage, must lodge their “Notification of Intention to Marry” or NOIM with the HSE. In order to do this in person, you must make an in-person appointment with a HSE Civil Registration Office of your choice. The fee for this is currently €200.
If you are living abroad, you can lodge your NOIM by email or by post. If you email the HSE Office most convenient to where you will be staying and ask them for advice on submitting your NOIM by email or by post. (You should never post originals of important documents as they may be lost in the post.)
There are some requirements of the Marriage Act 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 Notification Appointment
Contact your nearest HSE Civil Registration Office to book your appointment either by email, or over the phone. If you are living in Ireland, most HSE Civil Registration Offices you can also book your notification appointment online which can save a lot of time. You can also email the office directly. You can’t book your appointment online if you are living abroad. You must contact the HSE Office of your choice by phone or email.
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:
- Capture of Data Form (Download from link below)
- 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.
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!
As a valued member of the Enchanted Ceremonies group of non-denominational Celebrants, Holistic Ministers & Solemnisers, there is always a backup Celebrant on hand in case of an unforeseen emergency - this is your Celebrant guarantee!
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!
now based in Cork City, Ireland