Your Essential Guide to the Types of Celebrants and Ceremonies for Getting Married in Ireland

So you’ve decided to get married and got engaged! Congratulations! You are getting married in Ireland? Another congratulations! Although it does get cold here in the winter! Ireland is one of the hottest trending destination wedding locations on the planet right now! With our abundance of glorious romantic medieval castles, mansion house estates and luxury wedding hotels, it will be a tough choice for any couple to choose your wedding venue!

But if you don’t know all your options for the types of Celebrants and ceremonies available in modern Ireland and choose your Celebrant wisely, you really could end up with a disaster waiting to happen for your ceremony, that your guests will be talking about for all the wrong reasons! Do you want that to be your big day? I didn’t think so!

Number 1 question – would you like a church wedding, or a non-church wedding?

Church wedding – if this is for you, what an amazing day you will have! Decide on your church then ask your Priest what happens next. A word of caution – be prepared in advance. Last minute bookings for church weddings are not really a thing. If you are not part of an Irish Church congregation it can be difficult to get the date you want in the church you want. However there is a lovely little Catholic Church on an island surrounded by mountains, most popular for weddings due to its idyllic location. Church weddings obviously can’t be conducted on Sundays of course, and so they often must be booked well in advance.

Non-church wedding proceed to question 2.

Question 2 – for your non-Church wedding, there are a lot of choices depending on your beliefs and wishes. Would you like:

a) A standard government non-spiritual Registry Office ceremony conducted by a govt Registrar, or

b) would you like a personalised unique ceremony as unique and special as you are created & conducted by a Celebrant who is authorised to conduct a legal marriage? If this is you, then proceed to question 3.

If you really want a minimum of fuss (and expense) and a completely non-spiritual government marriage ceremony in the Registry Office is more your thing, contact your local HSE Civil Registration Office for advice and ask for a Civil Ceremony (the common name for a Registry Office marriage in Ireland). For a small additional fee, the Registrar can conduct your Registry Office marriage ceremony at an approved venue of your choice.

Pros:

  • The reason people choose this option is that it provides you with a short and simple, no fuss wedding.
  • You don’t need to make any decisions at all about the ceremony design.
  • There will be no religious wording that may not fit your beliefs as this is a completely non-spiritual ceremony.
  • There will be no surprise talk about the beliefs of an organisation in the introduction and welcome of your ceremony. This ceremony is completely not attached to any beliefs.
  • You only have one decision to make, you can choose between short version (about 10 minutes) or long version (about 12 minutes) and don’t need to make that choice until you arrive for your ceremony.
  • You don’t need to worry about picking up, or bringing your “Green folder” containing your marriage license (MRF) for signing during your ceremony, the Registrar will do this for you.
  • You don’t need to worry about or lodging your signed Marriage License (MRF) back at the HSE office after your marriage ceremony, the Registrar will do this for you.

Cons:

  • If you would like a personalised unique ceremony that’s like nobody elses’s, this is not the option for you.
  • If you would like a ceremony with spiritual elements of your choice, such as handfasting, this is not the option for you.
  • If you would like to speak to your Celebrant before your ceremony day, this option is not for you.
  • If there is a chance you might be late for your wedding, this option is not for you.

Question 3