In Ireland there are no rules regarding who can conduct a ceremony in a public or private place, except of course in a Church. Therefore anyone with the ability and skill to speak in front of a gathering of any size can create and conduct a ceremony, after all it’s not rocket-science.

You’ll find plenty of guides online with sample wedding ceremony scripts, and plenty of books and e-books available on the subject. Customise the wording and bingo! Bob’s your uncle. Or perhaps Uncle Bob, your best friend or a dear family member can officiate your beautiful wedding ceremony, and it would surely be some great craic!

But most would agree that weddings are an official occasion, and if you’re expecting dearest friends and family to spend their time and money to attend your wedding, you really should want them to remember your big day for all the right reasons by giving them the best experience possible.

There is no doubt that engaging the right designated official to create & conduct your unique & personalised ceremony will add a certain kind of presence and dignity to your auspicious occasion which just can’t be put into words.

With so many choices out there, we have written this guide to help you navigate the online web of confusion to find the right Celebrant/Officiant for your needs – as quickly and as simply as possible.

With so many in Ireland now offering celebrancy services, we’ve come across more than one case of an un-registered Celebrant claiming to be professional and ethical, consulted and booked by a couple for their legal marriage ceremony, only for the couple to find out when it’s time to lodge their NOIM (Notification of Intention to Marry form) with the HSE, that the Celebrant is not registered to conduct legal marriages at all.

How un-ethical and un-professional to take the booking without explaining all legal ceremony options to the couple. No wonder this practice is occurring – with so much conflicting and/or incomplete information out there.

From the growing number of unregistered celebrants claiming that to be legally married in Ireland you must attend the Registry Office on a separate day to “do the legal bits” and have your ceremony with them on another day because that’s the only way you can have a unique & personalised ceremony; to the many HSE Civl Registrars and HSE staff across the country who will conduct your strictly non-religious and straightforward “Registry Office” style legal marriage ceremony in the Registry Office or at your choice of wedding venue either during or after business hours; to the many thousands of HSE Registered Marriage Solemnisers who will create & conduct your unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony on any day of the week, at any time and at any place of your choosing – there certainly are many choices and also many reasons to be confused when it comes to getting married in Ireland !

Firstly you should consider what type of marriage ceremony you’d like to have for your big day. In it’s simplest form – your first choice is to decide a Church or a non-Church wedding. If a Church wedding is your dream – please contact your Church for guidance. If you dream of a non-Church wedding then please read on ..

For your non-Church wedding you have two choices:

  1. Legal Marrage Ceremony
  2. Non-legal Wedding Ceremony

Non-legal Wedding Ceremony

A non-legal wedding ceremony can be your best choice if you live overseas and either one or both of you have been married before. If either of you have been married and divorced when you lodge your intention to marry with the Civil Registration Office you will need to provide additional documents including copies of your original marriage certificate and divorce certificates as well as written evidence from the government of the country you live that you are free to marry.

Depending on your circumstances and how much information you are required to provide, it can be so much simpler and more convenient to be legally married in the Registry Office in your country of residence and have a beautiful unique & personalised non-legal wedding ceremony at a later date with family and friends here in Ireland.

There are a good number of ceremony celebrants in Ireland who are not registered to conduct legal marriages and are ideal to engage as your ceremony officiant for your non-legal wedding ceremony on your big day.

Legal Marriage Ceremony

However if you live in Ireland, there is no reason why you can’t have a unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony, on any day of the week, at any venue of your choice, created to suit your own beliefs and wishes whatever they may be.

With the abundance of Registered Marriage Solemnisers now on the HSE list there is absolutley no need to attend the Registry office on a separate day for a basic Registry Office marriage and have your wedding ceremony on a different day. Over 10 years ago this was the case, but times have now changed.

Many are registered to create & conduct interfaith and non-religious ceremonies, and will create & conduct a unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony to suit your beliefs and wishes of any kind, on any day of the week, any time at any place.

So if an all-in-one unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony is really what you want, here are some expert tips to guide you to the right Ceremony Officiant/Solemniser for your big day!

Firstly decide which type of marriage ceremony you would like.

If you dream of being married at one of the seemingly endless array of luxury castles, hotels and mansion houses across the country, your best choice would be to choose your Celebrant/Solemniser from an interfaith Religious body who can create & conduct a unique and personalised ceremony of any kind, tailored to suit your own wishes & beliefs.

There are several interfaith Religious bodies in Ireland offering interfaith legal marriage ceremonies. The two most popular are:

  • Earth Spiritualist –
  • Interfaith Ministers Ireland –

To find an interfaith Solemniser for your unique & personalised legal marraige ceremony, you can also let Google be your friend.

Just Google search with the words “interfaith solemniser” plus the location of your wedding venue. Eg. “interfaith solemniser cork” and voila!

As a last resort you can scan the publicly available “Register of Solemnisers”, the name of HSE document available online, which lists the names and phone numbers of all who are currently authorised and registered in Ireland to conduct legal marriages. The Register of Solemnisers also provides the name of the organisation which each belongs to, so you can investigate the organisation to ensure that their beliefs align with yours.

So no matter if your beliefs are Religous, Spiritual, Atheist – with so many choices on the Register of Solemnisers you will be sure to find a Celebrant/Solemniser for your legal marriage whose beliefs suit you perfectly!

Non-legal Wedding Ceremony

If a non-legal wedding ceremony is what you need, perhaps you live abroad and have found it easier to be married in the Registry Office in your country of residence, for whatever reason you need a celebrant for your non-legal wedding ceremony, let Google be your friend.

Just Google search with the words “wedding celebrant” plus the location of your wedding venue. Eg. “wedding celebrant cork” and voila!