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Getting Married in Ireland and the Legal Rules

Updated on October 11, 2018
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L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles in magazines and online.

Legally Getting Married in Ireland

Whether you are marrying in a church or a registry office in Ireland there are procedures that must be followed for the marriage to become legal. I explain what you need to do in order for you to receive a Marriage Registration Form which gives you permission to marry. Everything you need to know so you can legally marry in the Republic of Ireland.

Getting Married

Marriage Rules
Marriage Rules | Source

Contract of Marriage

There are rules that must be adhered to for the ceremony to become legal.

  1. Be over 18 years of age. In some circumstances if under this age it can still go ahead if there is a Court Exemption Order.
  2. Both parties to be mentally able to understand what marriage is.
  3. Not be related to each other by blood, or in some circumstances by marriage, so that the law prohibits you from marrying each other.
  4. Both must have the capacity to marry each other at the time of the wedding. If on the day either of the parties are either intoxicated or suffering from any form of mental incapacity the wedding can be made void at a later date.
  5. Supplied the Marriage Registration Form to the person performing the ceremony.

All of the above conditions must be met by both for the ceremony to become legal. There is no legal requirement for parental consent to a marriage.

Registrar's Office

By law both parties must attend a Registrar's Office in person at least three months before the date of the wedding. This is to give official notification. This rule applies to those either getting married in a church or a registry office. It is best to make an appointment so you can both attend with the relevant documents on the day.

These are:

  1. Original birth certificate and a copy.
  2. Passport and a colour copy.
  3. PPS numbers
  4. Proof of Address – A Utility bill or bank statement no longer than three months old. Original document and a copy.
  5. If these documents are not in English or Irish then an English translation from an independent, verifiable, translation company must be provided.
  6. If either person is a widow or widower then their spouse's original death certificate and a copy. Also original marriage certificate and a copy.
  7. For those who have had an Irish divorce, foreign divorce, civil partnership dissolution or a civil partnership or marriage that was annulled by an Irish court you must inform the Registrar when you make the appointment. They will explain exactly which documents you need to bring with you.
  8. Both of you will also be required to sign a declaration that you know of no lawful impediment to your proposed marriage. This must be done in the Registrar's presence by law.

Details of the Wedding

The Registrar will also need information about the intended marriage:

  • What kind of ceremony it will be - civil, secular or religious.
  • Where and when the marriage is to take place.
  • The names and dates of birth of the two official witnesses who are to sign the Marriage Registration Form.
  • Name of the Solemniser of the marriage.

There is a fee for this service of €200. This must be paid at the time of your appointment. Once all these things have been done and the Registrar believes there is no impediment to the marriage, he will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form.

This is a legal document that allows you to marry in Ireland. If the marriage does not take place within six months of the date on the form then it becomes invalid and the couple must reapply again.

Data Capture Form

You should both download and complete the Data Capture Form and bring it with you to the Registrar. Click on the link below

Data Capture Form

How To Find a Registrar

There is a list of the offices of registrars here. Click the link below and you can book an appointment online.

Registrar Offices

You can also find your local Registrar at the HSE office.

How To Find a Solemniser

He or she is the person who carries out the marriage ceremony. They must be on a Register of Solemnisers whether it is a secular or religious marriage.

Click here for the full list

During The Ceremony

The Marriage Registration Form should be given to the person who will be solemnising the marriage before the ceremony.

Declarations During the Services

There are two declarations that must be spoken by both those getting married. It does not matter what kind of marriage ceremony it is. They are:

  1. That you do not know of any impediment to the marriage.
  2. That you accept each other as husband and wife.

As soon as the marriage ceremony is over the MRF should be signed by the couple, the solemniser and the two witnesses. The form is then returned to a Registrar as soon as possible. You will then be able to apply for your Marriage Certificate.

Marriage Documents

Where to Get Married in Ireland

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