Ireland is home to so many beautiful churches, many built during medeival times. Once you have decided which church you would like to be married in, consult with the clergy to determine who will marry you. Most churches will have their own requirements, depending on the Religion, including that you attend a mandatory pre-marriage counselling session and/or a full wedding rehearsal.
There are two options in Ireland for a non-church wedding:
- Registry Office
- Private/Religious/Spiritual Wedding
Registry Office/Non-Religious Wedding
A non-religious wedding is also known as a Civil wedding. The only place you can have a civil wedding in Ireland is the Registry office. Your non-religious or Civil wedding is conducted by a Civil Registrar in a purpose-made area of the HSE government building and is conducted Monday-Friday during business hours. At your request, a Civil Registrar may also conduct your wedding ceremony as an “external” ceremony at your chosen wedding venue, subject to extra fee and the subsequent approval of your wedding venue prior to your wedding day. The extra fee for an external Civil wedding includes the venue inspection fee and the Registrar’s overtime pay to inspect your wedding venue and conduct your wedding ceremony there.
- Great for couples who want a short, no-fuss simple ceremony
- External weddings at your chosen venue may be conducted on weekends
- Less cost than a private wedding ceremony.
- You will have the standard short non-religious government ceremony
- You won’t be able to customise your wedding vows or any of your ceremony wording
- You won’t be able to include symbolic rituals like sand-pouring or handfasting
- You won’t be able to include any religious elements of any kind (including religious hymns)
- You won’t be able to include friends or family to take part in your ceremony eg. to do a reading or sing a song.
- You will have no opportunity to speak to your Registrar until you meet for your wedding.
- You may not have your choice of day of the week, date or time unless you book well ahead.
Private Wedding (Religious/Non-Religious/Spiritual)
The private wedding is for couples who want much more for their wedding ceremony than a Registry office Civil wedding can provide them. If you would like an enchanted dream wedding ceremony fully personalised and customised to your own beliefs and wishes, then a private wedding is definitley for you!
- With most marriage solemnisers you are in complete control of the ceremony wording from start to finish (with the exception of the legal parts) – but check with this when getting your quotes – as some marriage solemnisers will not allow couples to personalise their ceremony and like the HSE Registrar, they will recycle the same wedding ceremony for every couple they marry.
- Depending on your choice of marriage solemniser, you can usually include any number of symbolic rituals like hand-fasting, or sand-pouring to add symbolism and meaning, and a powerful effect to your ceremony.
- You are not limited by time, your ceremony is usually a set fee regardless of the length of time it takes.
- Your ceremony can be completely personalised and customised to your own beliefs and wishes
- There are thousands of marriage solemnisers to choose from in Ireland, representing all different kinds of religious organisations, including Christian, Buddhist, Nature religions such as Paganism, and even Nontheistic religions such as humanism and atheism. All marriage solemnisers authorised to conduct weddings in Ireland have their contact details availabe from the public “Register of Solemnisers” available from the HSE website.
- If your marriage solemniser is experienced they will have their own PA system – a must for large rooms and outdoor ceremonies, giving your wedding a professional touch. Some marriage solemnisers will also allow you to connect your iPod to their PA system to play your choice of ceremony music.
- Many marriage solemnisers will also assist you to have a stress-free wedding day by supplying things such as ceremony altar items such as candle holders, unity candles, handfasting chord, ceremony sand and other ritual items for your enchanted dream wedding ceremony.
- A private wedding will cost you more than a Registry office wedding, but only because it will take more time for your marriage solemniser to create, prepare and conduct your unique wedding. By comparison of hourly rate the cost is the same or less than a HSE Registrar. You are paying for your marriage solemnisers time, who should be spending around 25-30 hours on each wedding ceremony. There is a lot more time required to create, design and conduct an enchanted dream wedding ceremony and make sure the ceremony is polished. In many cases your marriage solemniser will also act as your wedding ceremony planner.