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How To Get Married Legally in Ireland

Congratulations on your engagement, and also your decision to get married in Ireland. You won't regret it (because Ireland is awesome). We know you're dying to say 'I do' but it’s super important to ensure that you meet all of the legal requirements to get legally married in Ireland so that it can all be smooth sailing straight to the altar. In this blog, we'll guide you through the process!

1. Who can get married in Ireland?

In November 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote. This means that both couples of the same sex or opposite sex can marry in Ireland, and both partners need to be 18 years of age, not married or legally in a partnership with someone else, and have no other reason they can't be married. And you don't have to be resident in Ireland to get married here, either!

2. First thing's first!

All marriage notifications are handled through the Civil Registration Service in each county. But before you can give notice to the Civil Registration Service, you need to book your wedding venue. You also need to decide whether you will have a religious, humanist or secular marriage, or a civil marriage ceremony, and book a registered solemniser (such as a celebrant, priest etc). Here is some more detailed info for each type of ceremony:

Religious ceremonies

If you want a religious wedding ceremony, it needs to be performed by a registered solemniser of that specific religion, and take place in a place of worship like a church. You'll need to contact the church/mosque/place of worship to get information on how to get married there. Usually they'll have a paperwork you'll need to fill in and documents you'll have to provide. Hey, we never said it was easy! But it will be worth it😉

Secular ceremonies

Civil ceremonies

3. Meeting the legal requirements

In Ireland, you and your partner must be at least 18 years old and free to marry. This means that both of you can't be married, in a civil partnership or have any other legal barriers to marriage. You and your partner must give at least three months’ notice (up to a year in advance) to the Civil Registration Service in the county where you will get married - like the Civil Registration Office in Dublin, or Meath, for example.

4. Booking your appointment

Once you know where you're getting married, when and by who, you can book an appointment online here

If you can't attend the notification appointment at least three months before you want to get married (because you're living overseas, or you have another reason), you'll need to contact the Civil Registration Service in the county you're getting married. You can their contact info here!

5. The notification appointment

If you live in Ireland, or can be in Ireland a minimum of three months before you marry

If you don't live in Ireland, and/or can't be in Ireland a minimum of three months before the wedding

To make the process quicker, you can download a Capture of Data document (don't forget to fill it out in block capitals!) and present it to the Registrar on the day of your appointment.

Identity documents

  • Valid photo ID

  • Photocopy of the photo page of your passport

  • Birth certificate (original and photocopy) - non-EU applicants need either an Apostille on the document or attached to it (Hague Convention parties), or authentication by your country's Embassy (non-Hague Convention parties). To see if your country is a Hague Convention party member, click here.

  • Proof of address (original and photocopy, dated within the last 3 months)

  • Your PPS numbers

Ceremony details

  • The type of ceremony (civil, religious or secular)

  • Name and address of your wedding venue

  • Name of registered solemniser

  • Names and dates of birth of two witnesses (aged 18 or older)

Other documents

  • If you're divorced, you need an original or certified copy, and photocopy, of your divorce decree

  • If you're a widow or widower, you will need the original and photocopy of any civil marriage/civil partnership certificates and civil death certificate of the spouse or civil partner who has died

  • If you're already in a civil partnership together (registered in Ireland), you'll need to contact the Civil Registration Service directly to discuss this, and then bring along the original and a photocopy of the civil partnership certificate.

  • If you have a civil annulment, you will need the original and photocopy of the civil annulment court order and a court letter and photocopy confirming that an appeal has not been lodged against the nullity order

Non-EU citizens

  • If either of you isn't a citizen of Ireland or another EU member country, you have to confirm your immigration status as well. Bring along one of the following:

  • Original letter from the Department of Justice and Equality confirming your immigration status

  • Refugee or asylum card from the Department of Justice and Equality

  • Immigration visa or stamp or Irish residency permit

  • Passport - if you are a UK citizen

You'll also need to bring along the notification fee of €200. If you are a same-sex couple who are already in a civil partnership that is registered in Ireland now wish to marry, you can pay a reduced notification fee of €50. Amazing.

6. The marriage notification appointment

Exciting stuff - it's the big day (well, almost): the day you meet the Registrar at the Civil Registration Service office. When you meet them, you will need to sign a declaration that you are free to marry and know of no reason why you cannot legally be married. After this is done, the Registrar will give an acknowledgement to both of you and your priest/celebrant/whoever is marrying you to confirm everything. Then, you'll pay the notification fee, and if everything's in order, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form AKA The Green Folder. You need to guard this folder like your life depends on it because you'll need it to get married and make your marriage legit!

7. Your wedding day

On your wedding day, you and your witnesses need to sign The Green Folder (MRF). You'll then get a marriage certificate and bam! You're legally married in Ireland 🙌

8. Registering your marriage

I know, I know! You're not 100% finished yet - you will need to register your marriage in Ireland, and exactly how depends on the type of ceremony you have.

  • For civil marriages, the Registrar who married you will do it all for you 🙏

  • For religious or secular marriages, you have to bring The Green Folder to any Civil Registration Office within 1 month of the date of marriage. Usually, you can just walk-in and drop off the folder but just call in case! Here's the info.

Okay, now you're really done and you can fully enjoy being married! Woo! 🎉


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