Civil Ceremony of Marriage

Civil Marriage

If you are getting married by civil ceremony in a Registry Office or other approved place, you should approach the Registrar of Marriages for the district in which you intend to marry for information on how to proceed. There is no requirement to live in the district where you want to get married.The registrar must be on the register of solemnisers maintained by the Registrar General. Register of Solemnisers.

As well as arranging your civil marriage ceremony there is also a requirement to give 3 months notification to a Registrar. This does not have to be the same Registrar.

Civil Ceremonies solemnised by Civil Solemnisers of Marriage can only take place on assigned appointment times from Monday – Friday (excluding public/bank holidays and weekends). 

Venue for a Civil Marriage

A civil ceremony can be held in a Registry Office or some other venue that is approved by a Registrar. A Registrar will also have to be available to solemnise the marriage.

If you want to get married in a venue other than the Registry Office you should contact the Registry Office for the district the venue is located in to arrange to have it approved. This may involve the Registrar inspecting the venue. To ensure the venue is approved in time for your wedding you should arrange for the approval well in advance of notifying the Registrar.

There will be an additional fee for a civil ceremony held in a venue other than a Registry Office.

Guidelines for the selection of a venue for Civil Marriages in Ireland

The place in which a marriage may be solemnised must be a seemly and dignified venue for the solemnisation of marriages.

The place in which a marriage may be solemnised must have adequate capacity to accommodate the numbers attending the ceremony.

The place where the solemnisation occurs is "a place that is open to the public"

" 'A place that is open to the public' means:

(a) A building that is open to the public, or

(b) A courtyard, garden, field or piece of ground that is open to the public and lying near to and usually enjoyed with the building"

Only the venues that allow unrestricted public access, without charge, will be considered for approval, subject to normal security and health and safety considerations.

The place in which a marriage may be solemnised must conform to all the requirements of any place that is open to the public in respect of planning permission, certificates of fire safety, and must meet all relevant health and safety requirements.

The place in which a marriage may be solemnised must have adequate public liability insurance cover.

The place in which the marriage may be solemnised must be accessible to all, inlcuding persons with a disability.

The place in which a marriage may be solemnised must have no recent or continuing connection with any religion, religious practice or religious persuasion which would be incompatible with the use of the venue for the solemnisation of civil marriages.

The place in which a marriage may be solemnised must be clearly identifiable by description and location.

The requirement that the marriage be solemnised in "a place that is open to the public" precludes marriages being solemnised in a private dwelling or a courtyard, garden, yard, field or piece of ground that is lying near to and usually enjoyed with the private dwelling.

 

Marriage Registration Form

If you fulfill the 3 months notification requirements and there is no impediment to you getting married, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) giving you permission to marry. You should give the MRF to the Registrar who will be solemnising the marriage before the marriage ceremony.

Immediately after the marriage ceremony, the MRF should be signed by you and your spouse, the two witnesses and the Registrar. The Registrar will register the marriage as soon as possible after the marriage.

Marriage Ceremony

The marriage ceremony is solemnised by the Registrar, who is on the Register of Solemnisers. The ceremony must be performed in the presence of two witnesses aged 18 or over. During the ceremony you and your intended spouse must make two declarations:

  • That you do not know of any impediment to the marriage
  • That you accept each other as husband and wife

Important notice

While every reasonable effort will be made to perform civil marriage ceremonies on the appointed day, the HSE accepts no liability for any loss, inconvenience or expense arising from inability to fulfill bookings for reasons of force majeure or due to circumstances outside our control

Civil Ceremonies solemnised by Civil Solemnisers of Marriage can only take place on assigned appointment times from Monday – Friday (excluding public/bank holidays and weekends). 

Interpretive Services

If either you, your intended spouse, either of the two witness or the solemniser does not have sufficient knowledge of the language in which the ceremony is being held to understand the ceremony, then it is your responsibility to engage the services of a suitably qualified interpreter.