Get informed about our latest news and events

Civil Ceremonies: A learning curve

Now that the intros have been done let me get down to the nitty gritty… The Dish Dolly basically came about as a few weeks ago I was honoured with the monumental task of organising my sister and her fiance’s wedding next year! As she lives in Melbourne, Australia with her partner Pete, it was the easiest thing to nominate me to get on with the prep until she is home for a trip at Christmas.
Well, let me tell you what a learning curve it has been so far for myself and the rest of the fam. Venue is booked, caterer is chosen, marquee has been earmarked. My sis and Pete are getting all the paperwork signed and filed for the registrar. And this is where it gets interesting. As I have discovered, there seems to be a lot of confusion around Civil ceremonies and no one site to get all the info required. Some forums say the HSE has to conduct all civil ceremonies, others that you can’t have a civil ceremony at a weekend. Through several phone calls, online research and a bit of digging around I think I have cracked it! Here’s my “What I’ve learned so far” guide to civil ceremonies in Ireland:
A celebrant can be any individual that has completed the course and can conduct a ceremony as you want it. This ceremony is not legally binding so the paperwork needs to be signed and another ceremony conducted prior to your wedding day in your local registry officeFor the ceremony to be legally binding it is a solemniser who needs to be booked. This can be an individual from the HSE registrar, a priest, a humanist or a spiritualist through various bodies and communities across the countryIf your venue is not already pre-approved by the HSE fear not! This is only a requirement for a solemniser booked through the HSE. For a solemniser that is a friend, a humanist or a spiritualist the venue does not need to be vetted so you can essentially get married anywhere you wantContrary to popular belief (and plentiful info on forums, social media pages and wedding blogs!) a civil ceremony can take place on weekends and bank holidays. It is only solemnisers booked through the HSE that work Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. No need to do a pre-ceremony in a registry office!For couples living abroad your intent to marriage still needs to be lodged with the registrar in your county in Ireland. This needs to be done at least 3 months in advance of your wedding day but can be done via post or email. The registrar will email you all the necessary forms. Copies of your birth cert etc can be scanned and emailed but physical copies need to be lodged once you are back in the countryFor non-Ireland residents intending on getting married here an immigration interview will need be conducted at the latest 2 weeks before your ceremony so you need to be in the country. The non-resident also needs to get an apostile stamp on their birth cert and both the bride and groom need a letter stating they are free to marry from their country of residenceHumanist celebrants/solemnisers book up way in advance so this should be top of your list of priorities once planning begins. Spiritualists also book fast but probably aren’t in as high a demand so there’s a bit more lee-way in booking time.
These are probably the biggest learnings regarding the actual ceremony so far/ I hope that these tips help you on your way to planning a super day with all your friends and family!
Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.