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married couple outdoor wedding


Getting married in Ireland has evolved phenomenally, particularly in the last ten years. Previously, a couple’s only option was to be married in a church or the registry office (a civil ceremony). And the couple had to be of the opposite sex. Ireland today, is more inclusive in terms of allowing more couples to experience this joyful day of celebration in their own preferred way.

In 2011, an amendment was made to the Civil Registration Act allowing Humanists (secular) to become first legal solemnisers.  

In 2015, Ireland voted yes to equality, and yes to legalising same-sex marriages.

Some years later Entheos Ireland​ was born. "Entheos Ireland was founded to serve people who have been ostracised, marginalised or otherwise left behind by traditional faith paths on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, parental/family status or any other reason".  In a simple example, Entheos will allow people who don't want a church wedding, but might like to include some religious aspect - such as lighting a candle to remember those who have passed to do so without any restrictions. I'm a proud member of this organisation.

Along with these positive changes, the fundamentals of getting married in Ireland have remained the same.

1.   Three Months’ Notice to the State:

Regardless of ceremony type, civil, religious, or secular, you must give three months’ notice to the state. This needs to be done in person, at a civil registration service and you must book a notification appointment in advance. 

It’s important to note, that the three months’ notice only begins on the day that you both meet with the registrar, therefore book the appointment as early as possible, giving yourselves ample opportunity to have everything in order for your preferred wedding date. 

2.   Forms and Documents.  

At this meeting, you will need to have filled out a data capture form. The other forms that you need to bring are listed here, including your PPS, passport, and birth cert. If you’ve been married previously or are widowed, there are additional forms for you to bring and are also found in the link above.

These first two steps can be overwhelming, particularly if there is a lot of back and forth, so my advice is to call the registration office and talk through your personal circumstances.  They will only be too happy to advise. Make sure you take the person’s name so that if you need to call back for any further clarification, you can ask to speak to the same person. This is a happy time!


3.   Both you and your fiancé must be over 18.

This is a straight forward rule, make sure you’re of age.


4.   Pay a fee.

Getting legally married in Ireland costs €200.  This does not include the additional fee that needs to be paid to a priest or celebrant.


5.   Choose your legal ceremony.

Below are the current options for getting legally married in Ireland.


  • Non-Denominational Ceremony: This is where Entheos Ireland fits in. We carry out weddings 7 days a week. We impose no restrictions on your ceremony and you are free to have any many inclusive aspects (lighting candles to remember the departed for example) as you wish. 

  • Religious Ceremony: Getting married in a church means producing additional documentation, including a baptismal cert and completing a pre-marital course. They wedding must take place in a consecrated church or chapel, and rarely take place on Sundays.

  • Secular ceremony:  Currently, the only secular celebrants who can marry couples, are Humanists. Humanists are For many, the difference between a civil and a Humanist wedding is minimal and  “..humanists have no belief in a god or the supernatural, relying on scientific evidence and appreciation of the world around us and the achievements of humans”. This can sometimes pose an issue for some couples.

  • Civil Ceremony. These are performed by civil registrars – so technically, this could be performed by the person who interviews you at the civil registration office. Civil Ceremonies can only take place Monday- Friday, and can only take place in licensed venues.

If you have any questions on the above, drop me a line

Getting Married in Ireland: Text
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