Marriage Licences: Everything you Need to Know about Getting Wed in Ireland


Above image credit photographer: Sun & Beau

When getting married in Ireland, it is essential you do your research around your marriage licence and the legal side of things!

There are three different ways marriage licences can be obtained in Ireland. The first way would be through a religious ceremony (Catholic, Protestant etc), humanist (non-religious) or civil (through a state representative). Being aware of these different methods will make it a bit clearer on the overall process.

Make sure you contact the relevant offices before booking your wedding venue so you can ensure everything is finalised before the big day.

Keep reading as we delve into each type of ceremony and what you will need to do before your wedding day.

Humanist Wedding Ceremonies & Marriage Licences

  • Humanist ceremonies are seen as more of a celebration, and can be very flexible and led by the requests of the couple. Humanist ceremonies can also consist of poetry, readings, traditions, music and vows. Make sure to contact a few celebrants as they will have their own individual template that they follow.
  • You should contact the celebrant directly to start planning your wedding, as they will be the one you will be contacting going forward. You will find the contact details of the celebrants on several hosting websites online.
  • Make sure to give notice to the Civil Registar of Marriage at least three months in advance for marriage licences.
  • Furthermore, there are requirements to adhere to on venues and locations for a humanist ceremony to be legally binding. Make sure to chat to your celebrant about where you want to get married and they’ll discuss how to make it happen.

Interfaith Ceremonies & Wedding Licences

  • A wedding ceremony with multiple faiths is also known as an interfaith ceremony.
  • Each couple must also give notice to the Civil Registrar of Marriage a minimum of three months in advance.
  • Again, you should contact a celebrant directly.
  • As with a civil ceremony, there are specifics on venues and locations for an interfaith ceremony to be legally binding. Make sure you chat to your celebrant about where you want to get married and they’ll discuss how to make it work.

Civil Ceremonies & Marriage Licences

  • For civil ceremonies, make sure to contact your registry office at least three months in advance.
  • Two witnesses over the age of 18 will be needed to witness the marriage take place.
  • Venues outside of the registry office will need to be fully licensed to host in the specific venue and room.
  • Registars perform only outside the registry office on prescribed days and times. This also means there will be an extra cost.
  • Civil ceremonies are performed by registars only mid-week. They do not perform the ceremony at the weekend.

Catholic Wedding Ceremony & Marriage Licences

  • It is so important that you give notice to the Civil Registar of Marriage atleast three months in advance to receive your Marriage Registration Form.
  • Policies on getting married in a Catholic church vary, so it is vital you visit the parish prior and discuss with the priest of the parish your interest in getting married there. They have no obligation to grant your request, and might even instantly say no if you are not frequently visiting already! There is also no guarantee that they will be able to hold a date for your wedding.
  • In order to get married in the Catholic Church, you will need a baptismal certificate, confirmation certificate and a letter of freedom from each parish you have lived in since the age of 18.
  • You will also have to complete a Marriage Preparation Course and provide the cerificate in advance to the wedding.

Still looking for your ideal wedding ceremony venue? Make sure to check out our online wedding directory for all local suppliers in Ireland!

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