Celebrant Options in Ireland

So you have popped the question or said “Yes”.  Celebrations have been in full swing and you have finally caught your breath and thought; What Now? 

The first thing most newly engaged couples think about is wedding venue.  As most venues are booked up a year or 18 months in advance, it’s important to get your dream venue booked as quickly as possible.  

Photo by Weddings by Kara

Photo of Weddings= by Kara

But there is also the small (but most important) part of your day to consider….The Ceremony.  Often the ceremony and venue decisions go hand in hand. 

There is currently a lot of choice and it’s not always easy to understand the various options you have, so Coastal Ceremonies are going to attempt to explain the options available to you so you can choose the right ceremony for you both.  A ceremony that reflects you both as a couple. 

Your Ceremony, Your Way.

Legal marriages in Ireland:

Regardless of the celebrant, or ceremony you both decide on, everyone must follow the same steps in order to be legally married in Ireland. As such, this is the starting point.

All of the information on legal marriages in Ireland is on the HSE website. Irrespective of whether you are an Irish citizen or a foreign national, anyone marrying in Ireland must give three months notification before they marry. You must make this notification in person to any Registrar.

Whatever way you choose to marry, (i.e., through a civil (legal), secular (non-religious) or religious ceremony), the registration process is the same. You are issued with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) by the Registrar, following your notification appointment, which gives you authorisation to get married.  To be legally married, the MRF must be signed after your ceremony by a Solemniser.  A Solemniser is a person who is authorised to perform civilly (legally) recognised marriages in Ireland. It includes both civil registrars who are employees of the Health Service Executive and members of the various religious denominations who are nominated by their religious bodies. Full details of Solemnisers in Ireland are here

So, if you are marrying in a church or with a Humanist or Spiritualist celebrant, the MRF is passed on to the HSE registered solemniser (Priest, registered Humanist or registered Spiritualist) who will witness the signing of this document at your ceremony.

If you choose a celebrant from Coastal Ceremonies, you can complete the legal signing at a registry office before or after your ceremony. This means that you would firstly need to arrange an initial appointment with the HSE to give notification (which everyone has to do), then later a second appointment to sign your legal document, the Marriage Registration Form.

HSE Approved venues:

If you want a civil (legal) ceremony on a beach or a cliff, it gets a bit tricky.  A legal marriage must be conducted in a HSE approved venue.  Check with your venue when booking or check what the requirements are for a venue to be approved here

Wedding Celebrants – the options *:

Coastal Ceremonies are accredited celebrants who trained with the Irish Institute of Celebrants (IIOC).  Coastal Ceremonies can officiate at non-religious, semi religious or mixed faith ceremonies. We specialise in Wedding Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, Baby-Naming Ceremonies and Vow Renewals. 

The Irish Institute of Celebrants provides professional training, offers knowledge, practical skills and an accredited qualification with ongoing training, mentorship and networking.  Accredited celebrants from the Irish Institute of Celebrants are dedicated to promoting the use of ceremony to help each client create a ceremony that reflects the couple’s beliefs, philosophy of life, personal stories and personality. 

Your Ceremony, Your Way.

Our Background: Coastal Ceremonies will ensure your ceremony reflects you both as a couple and can help you bring your ideas and vision to life and create a ceremony that you and your guests will never forget, reflecting your own beliefs, personality and style.  We can conduct many types of wedding ceremonies and include any cultural additions or traditions that are meaningful to you both, such as hand fasting, sand ceremony and so on. 

Where can you get married? We are able to conduct your dream wedding ceremony in your choice of venue with very limited restrictions.  If you want to get married on the Cliffs of Moher, in your back garden, or on the grounds of a castle, we can conduct your ceremony.  The choices are endless (almost!).

What days can you get married? Seven days a week

Can the Marriage Registration Form be signed during the ceremony? At present, under the “Marriage Provisions of Civil Registration Act 2004” IIOC celebrants have not been granted the authority to legally sign your marriage certificate. 

Humanist Celebrants:

Ethos/Background: Humanists have no belief in a god or the supernatural, relying on scientific evidence and appreciation of the world around us and the achievements of humans. Humanist ceremonies are secular (non-religious) occasions. One of the tenets of humanism is a tolerance for others who hold different belief systems.

Where can you get married? HSE Approved venue

What days can you get married? Seven days a week

Can the Marriage Registration Form be signed during the ceremony? Under the “Marriage Provisions of Civil Registration Act 2004”, Humanists accredited from the Humanists Association of Ireland are all registered solemnisers and may legally solemnise the marriage without a separate registry office. 

Spiritualists:

Ethos/Background: Spiritualists believe that when the physical body passes, the spirit body lives on and they can connect and communicate with the spirit body.

Where can you get married? HSE approved venue

What days can you get married? Seven days a week

Can the Marriage Registration Form be signed during the ceremony? Under the “Marriage Provisions of Civil Registration Act 2004”, Spiritualists are registered solemnisers and may legally solemnise the marriage without a separate registry office. 

Church weddings:

What days can you get married? Church weddings can take place most days but some parishes do not permit weddings on Sundays. 

Can the Marriage Registration Form be signed during the ceremony? All members of the clergy are solemnisers so can legally sign your marriage certificate after the religious ceremony in the church. 

HSE Registrars (civil weddings):

Where can you get married? Most popular wedding venues are HSE approved (check when booking), so HSE registrars can come to your venue and legally marry you in your wedding venue. 

What days can you get married? Most HSE registrars are only available on one or two days of the week and do not work on Saturday or Sundays so it’s important to check as soon as possible if you want someone from the HSE to officiate at your wedding.

Can the Marriage Registration Form be signed during the ceremony?  All HSE registrars are solemnisers so can sign your MRF at the ceremony.

I hope this has attempted to clear up some of the confusion around the various choices you are now faced with.  Remember its your special day, so choose the right ceremony for you both.  Think about what reflects you both as a couple, your personalities, your belief system.  There is something for everyone.  Contact Coastal Ceremonies if you want to discuss any aspects of your ceremony.  We would love to hear from you. 

Your Ceremony, Your Way.

*There are a few other celebrant options which are not included here; Interfaith ministers, other religions etc.

Some interesting marriage stats in Ireland from the Central Statistics Office  published in March 2017

  • The number of all marriages (opposite and same sex) registered in 2017 was 22,021.
  • In 2017, religious ceremonies accounted for 63% of all marriages.
  • The majority of non-religious ceremonies were civil marriages at 29.1% of all marriages.
  • There were 759 same sex marriages in 2017.
  • Over 69% of same sex couples had civil marriage ceremonies.

 

Coastal Ceremonies

www.coastalceremonies.ie 

Phone: +353 87 2452858 (Clara) or +353 87 9740546 (Orla)

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Clara
patrick@patrickmchugh.com