Have you always dreamed of tying the knot in Ireland? Images of green fields, castles and ocean views going through your mind? Don’t know where to begin? Here’s our quick advice guide for those planning a destination wedding in Ireland:
First things first, you will need to notify the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of your intention to marry in Ireland. Unless you are planning to make a trip to Ireland to organise everything, you can do this by postal notification. Visit this link from the HSE to find out more and the contact details for the local office in the area you wish to marry.
Next, you’ll need to decide what type of ceremony you want to have. If you would like a church wedding, again you’ll have to contact your desired church to ensure your preferred date is free. In a Roman Catholic Church, it is desired that you have some link to the parish or community that the church is based in – and you will generally both need to be of the relevant faith. The most common faith in Ireland is Roman Catholic, with a number of Protestant and Methodist churches also available. If you would prefer to have a civil ceremony, you can book this through the HSE (see above link) who perform ceremonies Monday-Friday between office hours, and require at least three months notice. During summer months they tend to be booked out well in advance so keep this in mind. You can also have a humanist solemnisor perform your ceremony; these recently became legal and give you a lot more options in terms of location, time, day and personalizing your ceremony. The venue where you choose to have your ceremony must be approved by the HSE; but once you have applied to the HSE for approval they will send the relevant paperwork to your venue.
The other option is to get married legally in your home country, and have a ‘blessing’ here in Ireland – again, there are a number of people who can perform this ceremony for you (for a fee) – try the Humanist Association of Ireland.
Don’t forget to have fun with it! Try to incorporate beautiful Irish wedding traditions such as a horseshoe for good luck, a bell to keep bad spirits away and a statue of the Child of Prague to keep the rain away!
Finally, and most importantly, hire a wedding planner! If I could give one piece of advice to any couple living abroad, it’s this. We can help you with all of the legal side of things as above, as well as travel arrangements, venue sourcing, organising catering, music, flowers, photographers and accommodation. We can also help you set out an itinerary to make the most of your time in Ireland. Contact us for a free proposal!