Monday, March 14, 2011

Irish Wedding Week: Requirements for Getting Married in Ireland by Annie Byrne

Welcome to Irish Wedding Week! Since St. Patrick's Day is this week, we thought we would honor our Irish ancestors and give you all things Irish, from marriage requirements and customs, to photos and favors and wedding planning advice.  To get us started, our guest blogger Annie Byrne from Aislinn Events in Ireland, gives us some quick advice on what it takes to get married on the Emerald Isle.   

Photo: Woodward Photography

Getting Married in Ireland
By Annie Byrne, Guest Blogger from Aislinn Events

What better place to bring your family and friends for your wedding than a country full of fabulous scenery, historic and quaint venues, heritage, culture, beaches, great music, friendly people and simply full of fun things to do. – and I haven’t even mentioned the pubs!

Photo: Woodward Photography
This is what you get in Ireland and since you can legally marry in a church, an approved venue or in the Registrar’s office, it is easier to get married here than you may think.  I am always concerned when I see websites telling couples “how to get married in Ireland.” More often than not the information is well out of date. As your Destination Wedding Planner in Ireland,  here is the real deal.

1. There are no residency requirements for marriages in Ireland.

For couples living abroad who want to marry in Ireland, you must first connect with The General Register Office to begin filling out the proper paperwork. With prior agreement from the Registrar, your paperwork and intent to marry notification may be done by mail. However, you must also meet with the Registrar in person a minimum of 5 days before your marriage. A great time to do this would be when you come over for a scouting trip.

The following requirements are needed by all couples who want to have a legal valid marriage in Ireland, civil or religious.
  • You must have the capacity to marry each other meaning, be at least 18 years old, and not currently married. Freely consent to the marriage and observe the marriage notification process as required by Irish law as outlined below and by contacting the HSE {Health Service Executive} immediately in the county where you want to marry.
  • All couples will be asked to producePassport as ID, Birth Certificates, if either party is divorced, original final decrees in respect of all previous divorces, if widowed, death certificate of the previous spouse and the civil marriage certificate for their first marriage and the fee of €150. Additional documentation may be required in some cases and the Registrar’s office will advise if needed.
  • You will be askedthe intended date of marriage, if it is a civil or religious ceremony, the names and dates of birth of their witnesses, and details of the proposed solemniser (your officiating priest, religious leader or other legally recognized Celebrant) and venue.
  • You will also both have to complete a declaration  stating that they are not aware of any lawful impediment to the proposed marriage. This will be provided to you.

I cannot emphasize enough, if you want to get married in Ireland, whether you live here or not, start your paperwork as soon as possible.  Even if you don’t know your priest’s name or your venue yet just get started.

 Photo: David Lavery Photography 
2. Once the Registrar has approved all required details as above, you will be issued Marriage Registration Form (MRF), which is needed for any legal marriage.  Bring all documents and information requested by the Registrar the in-person meeting and a MRF can be issued to them immediately. The MRF should be given to the registrar or religious solemniser performing the marriage prior to the legal ceremony.

The Registrars are extremely busy and while I have always found them very helpful and hugely patient and efficient, be prepared with as much as you can as soon as you can.

But I’ll say it again, consult the HSE  and General Registrar’s Office for full information, links and phone numbers that you will need. Do it as soon as you know you want to get married in Ireland and it will be all down {a lush grassy green} hill from there.

Photo: David Lavery Photography
If you want to get married on the beach or a clifftop or somewhere else outside, you can do that providing you have done a legal ceremony first. But as a start, the above information should really get you going! 

Enjoy the process, Ireland is an amazingly gorgeous, ethereal, whimsical and ancient place for you to get married and oh yeah, contact me if you need any help to plan it!

Live, Love, Laugh and Dream!

Annie Byrne is an American wedding planner and coordinator based on the Dingle PeninsulaHer experience is pretty extensive with hands-on experience in all areas of hospitality, catering, weddings and corporate event management at the high end and within 5 star properties. Over the last 5 years, Annie had been involved in the planning and executing hundreds of stunning weddings and fabulous events. Opened in 2009, Aislinn is taken from an Irish word meaning “inspired vision/dream,” so very fitting for a Destination Wedding Planner in Ireland and working with your vision and dream.

What is your Irish Wedding dream? 

We can be found on Facebook and TwitterAs always if there is something you would like covered, let us know! 

Have a deLicious Day. Go with what's good!

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