Part I

Planning a Wedding Ceremony

The Marriage Legalities

I am in the middle of updating My Wedding Planner to include some new sections and as the current edition is primarily based on a religious wedding. And so, for the next edition I want to include the other types of ceremonies!

But before I give you the to-do lists for each type of ceremony I think it is best to go through the legalities you must complete for getting married in Ireland so here goes:

Notification of Intention to Marry (aka. Marriage Licence)

  • Regardless of whether you are having a church, civil or humanist wedding you are required to make an appointment to give Notification of Intention to Marry to a Registrar at least 3 months’ prior to your wedding day.
  • Both of you need to be present for this appointment in order to receive your marriage licence.
  • This appointment can be made online at although some people find it easier to book over the phone with their local registry office
  • It is best to book your appointment in advance of the minimum 3 months requirement as dates and times are limited. This will also give you plenty of time to organise taking time off work.
  • If either of you are living abroad or are unable to attend a face to face appointment due to serious illness, you can contact your local Registrar to get permission to make your 3-month notification by post. If permission is granted, the Registrar will send you a form which you must complete and return. However, you will still have to make arrangements to meet the Registrar at least 5 days before you get married in order sign the declaration form. This is required before a Marriage Registration Form can be issued.
  • Prior to your appointment you must have confirmation of the below:
  • For your appointment, you will be asked to bring with you:
    • Photo ID for both of you
    • Both birth certificates
    • Both PPS numbers
    • Proof of address – utility bill for each of you
    • The names and date of births of your two witness who must be over 18 years old on the day of the ceremony
    • Any divorce papers from previous marriages
    • Death certification in the case of a widow/widower
  • You will have to pay the €200 notification fee and if you are having a civil ceremony there may also be an additional charge which the Registrar will advise you of.
  • There is also a Capture of Data form available online which you can complete beforehand to speed up your appointment if you wish. It can be found on
  • Check with the Registrar when making the appointment if you need any other documentation.
  • At this appointment you will be asked a number of questions to establish if you are free to marry. Once these questions have been answered and all documentation processed, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF).
  • You must bring the MRF to the ceremony on your wedding day to give to your solemniser as this will be signed by you, your other half, your two witnesses (usually your best man and chief bridesmaids) and the solemniser during the Signing of the Registrar.
  • The Signed MRF must be sent to the Registrar within one month of your wedding day for the marriage to be civilly registered. As this is a tight timeframe, it is best to get someone to send this to the Registrar on your behalf when you are away on honeymoon.

I am always getting questions on the legalities of getting married in Ireland so hopefully you find this useful! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Part 2 of this blog will be the different types of wedding ceremonies and I am going to include some of my friends weddings and their tips for planning a wedding ceremony.

Happy Planning



By | 2019-01-17T11:45:36+00:00 September 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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  1. Aoife September 10, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Excellent info. Thank you so much. I was just wondering if you can organise the appointment if you havnt yet got a solemniser yet?

    • MyWeddingPlanner September 11, 2018 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Aoife, I would say yes you can book your appointment now before having a solemniser but you would need to have one confirmed by the date of your appointment. Many, thanks, May

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