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.

Innishannon House Hotel, Co.Cork

Innishannon House Hotel, Co.Cork

If you are searching for a luxury country riverside mansion house hotel with olde world charm within a stone’s throw of Cork City, you can’t go past Innishannon House Hotel.  One of Co.Cork’s popular wedding venue destinations, the hotel is located 19km from Cork Airport (15 mins), 12 km (17 mins) from world famous Kinsale and 8km (10 Mins) from Bandon.

It’s river location with stunning gardens, offers a breath-taking selection of outdoor choices for your ceremony and picturesque photo opportunities too numerous to mention!

If an indoor ceremony is more your liking, (or as weather dictates) the classically decorated River Suite is filled with natural sunlight and has beautiful panoramic views of The Rose Garden and the Bandon River.

The River Suite comfortably seats 200 people for dinner with an additional 120 guests for afters. The hotel’s flexible approach allows couples to place their own stamp on their big day. Staff will do theif utmost to fulfil your wedding wishes, ensuring your perfect day, your way.

Centrepieces in the form of storm lamps, oriental lillies in tall vases and flowers from the garden are provided for your wedding meal as standard.

Smaller Weddings are hosted in The Frankfort Suite (max: 30 Adults) or The Garden Room (max: 28 Adults).

Given our unpredictable Irish weather, we know that you want to make the very most of a fine summer’s day! French doors open to a terrace so that your guests can soak up the sunshine. There is plenty of outdoor seating directly off the Frankfort Suite, so that your Welcome Reception Drinks can be moved outdoors when the sun shines! If you choose to have a musician, they may like to play in the Frankfort Suite where the Welcome Reception is, or they may like to move out to the terrace if the weather is fine.


All 23 ensuite bedrooms are automatically reserved on the night of your wedding. The Bridal Suite is complimentary on your wedding night (terms and conditions apply). There is a combination of double rooms, twin rooms and family rooms. The Bride and Groom are responsible for allocating all bedrooms to guests in advance of the wedding.

Accommodation in the days before and after your wedding can also be booked by guests and this is subject to availability.

There are a host of nearby  B and Bs and Hotels that can accommodate your guests when all rooms in Innishannon House are taken. Taxis for guests can be organised at the hotel reception.

Entertaining your Guests on your Wedding Day

We welcome all musicians and extras that you wish to include for your special day, including Candy Carts, lemonade stands and lawn games. Margaret Roche, Owner and Wedding Director will happily offer advice and guidance for every aspect of your wedding day.

During the Welcome Reception, musicians may wish to play outdoors on the terrace while guests soak up the sunshine!

Post Wedding Party

A Post Wedding Brunch, Party or BBQ can be hosted the next day and is subject to availability. After your Post Wedding party, relax in The Whiskey Snug for intimate post wedding Drinks! or party the night away in The Innish Bar.

Contact the hotel at any time to make an appointment with their wedding co-ordinator, you’ll be so glad you did!


Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser of Marriages

SHAI Registered Sound Therapist, Yoga Alliance RYT200 Registered Yoga & Meditation teacher, MBII Registered Positive Mind Coach, Community Volunteer, Musician, Visionary, Creator of dreams = Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister

Tel: +353 (0) 858 313 43

Essential Advice for Choosing Your Wedding Venue to be Married in Ireland

Essential Advice for Choosing Your Wedding Venue to be Married in Ireland

Are you engaged and beginning to plan your wedding, but not yet decided on that extra-special wedding venue?  What an exciting time it is for you right now!

Have you heard or read somewhere that for a civil ceremony you need to have your wedding venue inspected and approved by the HSE?  Or that you are only allowed to choose a wedding venue which is HSE approved?

I have seen this confusing information published online in various places.  I have also seen some websites of luxury hotels and other wedding venues stating that their wedding venue is “HSE approved for civil ceremonies”.    This further serves to confuse couples who don’t know what a civil ceremony means here in Ireland.  I have also seen this confusing and/or wrong information published in newspapers and online wedding blogs.  Confusing and/or incorrect information can sometimes seem like it is everywhere.

It is certainly true that for a civil ceremony you must have your wedding venue approved and inspected by the HSE,   Here in Ireland a civil ceremony is another name for a registry office marriage.  A registry office marriage is conducted by a Civil Registrar either in the registry office or at an outside venue of the couple’s choice, which can be either during or after office hours.  

With me as your solemniser, there is no need for your wedding venue to be HSE inspected and approved as it would for a registry office marriage.  Despite this, your choice of wedding venue does need to meet the same criteria as it would for a HSE registry office marriage, in order to comply with the Marriage Act, although there will be no official inspection of your wedding venue by the HSE.

As a registred solemniser I can provide you with the correct advice for choosing your wedding venue.

The first requirement is that your wedding venue must be open to the public without any hindrance (entry fee), and your wedding venue must also have a postal address.  The reason for requiring a postal address is that once you attend the HSE office to notify your intention to marry, (and pay your €200 notification fee) the HSE office will send a letter in the post to your wedding venue to notify them of your marriage and your marriage date.

Next, your legal marriage ceremony must be conducted in a dignified manner, which means the venue must have room or other dedicated space for your wedding ceremony, away from any other occupants of the building.  A good rule of thumb to use when choosing your wedding venue, is if you can’t imagine a HSE Registrar conducting a marriage there, then it just won’t be a suitable venue. 

For example in Ireland, you can’t be legally married at a remote scenic destination or in a public park or gardens, or at a ruins or other sacred site where there is no building and no postal address.  But if an outdoor ceremony at a remote destination, or in a public park or gardens, ruins or sacred site is something your heart is set on, it can sometimes be arranged as a non-legal ceremony with a legal ceremony elsewhere sometime before.  

You might ask yourself is all the extra effort really worth it for a non-legal wedding ceremony that doesn’t have any legal standing?  You might also ask yourself – won’t a non-legal wedding ceremony really just be a fake wedding?  If a wedding ceremony at a scenic destination is your dream, then no it won’t be a fake wedding and yes it is always worth the extra effort, please don’t ever give up on your wedding dream!  A wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be a legal marriage unless you want it to be, there are no rules at all regarding the location of a non-legal wedding ceremony.

I must add that there are some remote and scenic destinations in Ireland, including public parks, ruins or sacred sites which do have a building with a postal address, so if your heart is set on a favourite place or you would like some suggestions, please check with me to find out what’s possible.

It’s all a matter of having a detailed working knowledge of the Marriage Act, and knowing where those places are.

There is an abundance of luxury guest houses, hotels, mansion houses and Irish castles available to hire for your wedding reception & celebrations after, with beautiful forests or beaches on their grounds, there is even one or two wedding venues that I know of around Ireland which have spectacular clifftop views.  You really are spoiled here in Ireland for choices.

Please don’t hesitate to call me to see if I am available for your big day, I would be honoured to work with you.

Sharon Q.

Ceremony Officiant / Registered Solemniser / Lover of Unique & Personalised Weddings

SHAI Registered Sound Therapist, Yoga Alliance RYT200 Registered Yoga & Meditation teacher, MBII Registered Positive Mind Coach, Community Volunteer, Musician, Visionary, Creator of dreams
= Earth Spiritualist Interfaith Minister

Tel: +353 (0) 858 313 43