The following no-fuss 5-step guide to planning your legal marriage in Ireland. 

For a minimum of fuss and the least amount of stress, you should always stick to the following 5 simple steps, with no exception:

  1. Book your marriage solemniser or celebrant – this should always be your first step, no exceptions!  Your choice of marriage solemniser can make or break your wedding ceremony.  Ask for testimonials from recent weddings.  Make sure their website shows real wedding photos with them in them, or photos taken by them of real weddings they have done!  Not common free photos available online.  Beware of celebrants who only talk about their training or accreditation.  Training or accredition doesnt mean anything, you want to know can they do the job?  You want someone with experience.  Ask them how long they have been working in the role and how many ceremonies they have actually conducted.  Look for an extensive list of testimonials on their website, including recent weddings.  Not just two or three.  Look at the smiles on the faces of the people in the wedding photographs.  This will tell you how good the ceremony really was.
  2. Next step is to book your wedding venue.   Your marriage solemniser may hold several dates open to you for a certain time while you confirm your wedding venue.  The best marriage solemnisers are those who are the most flexible and who will bend over backwards (ha ha) to make things as easy for you as possible.
  3. Only after you have chosen your marriage solemniser and your wedding venue is to book your appointment with the HSE to lodge your “Notification of Intention to Marry” (NOIM).  This must be done at least three months before your wedding date, and no more than 12 months before.  The cost is currently €200.  There are certain documents you must bring with you, a full list can be provided by your local HSE office.  You can register your notification of intention to marry (NOIM) at any office in the country, it does not need to be the one closest to you.
  4. Make the rest of your arrangements, bridal party, invitations, ceremony music, photographer, wedding band, wedding cars, hairdresser, makeup artist, suits etc.
  5. Get ready for your big day!