Ireland's Marriage Laws
How do we Register our marriage?
In Ireland, all couples must visit a HSE Registrar to register their Intent to Marry, NO LESS THAN THREE MONTHS prior to their intended wedding date. At this meeting, you will be asked for the names and details of both spouses, both witnesses (over 18 years), your chosen Solemniser ( Daragh Doyle - One Spirit)), your venue and your intended date. You will then be given your Marriage Registration Form (MRF) usually in a green folder, which you will bring with you on your wedding day. I will request this in advance of the ceremony in order to check and confirm that all details are correct. During the ceremony it will be signed by myself, both spouses and both witnesses, and it is your responsibility to return it to the HSE Registrar’s office within 30 days of your ceremony.
Further details are available from the HSE website:
How to get married in Ireland
If you want to get married in the Republic of Ireland, contact your local civil registration service by phone or email. You need to give them at least 3 months' notice that you intend to marry. This is the law in Ireland and it applies to all civil, religious and secular marriages.
You cannot get married until after the 3 month notice period. Your marriage date can be in any month or year after the 3 months.
Civil registration services are closed to the public for walk-in services, except in Letterkenny, Stranorlar, Sligo and Carrick on Shannon.
How to give notice and book a marriage notification appointment
Contact your local civil registration service by phone or email to let them know you want to get married. They will send you a postal notification form.
You will need to:
● complete and return the form by post or email - the 3 months' notice starts when the form is received by the civil registration service
● book and attend a notification appointment
Book the notification appointment
Book your appointment as far in advance as possible. Waiting times may vary throughout the year and from region to region.
Both of you will need to attend the marriage notification appointment.
To book over the phone contact your local civil registration office.
You can also book a marriage notification appointment online for certain areas of the country.
Notification appointment fees
The non-refundable notification fee is €200. This is usually paid during the appointment or before the appointment over the phone. It varies from region to region.
What happens during the marriage notification appointment
You will both sign a declaration stating that you do not know of any legal reason why the marriage cannot happen.
If everything is in order, the registrar will give you a marriage registration form. This is sometimes called a marriage licence.
You will need to bring certain documents and photocopies with you.
If you need to postpone your marriage ceremony
Your marriage registration form is valid for 6 months after the date you were due to marry. If the new date is within the 6 month period, your form can be amended. Contact the civil registration office that did your paperwork if you need help with this.
If you are not getting married within the 6 months, contact the civil registration office and give them your new date. You need to do this by email or post. Do this at least 3 months before your new marriage date. You will need to meet with the registrar again to get a new marriage registration form. There is no charge for this.
EU and foreign nationals
You will need to attend an interview with the registrar if:
● you are an EU national marrying a non-EU national
● one of you is a foreign national
If a couple are only marrying for an immigration advantage the registrar cannot issue a marriage licence.
Who can marry you
For a marriage to be legal, the ceremony must be performed by a solemniser
You will need 2 witnesses over the age of 18.
Documents everyone needs
Both of you must bring the original and a colour photocopy of the photo page of one of the following:
refugee card/asylum card issued by Department of Justice and Equality
● national identity card from an EU country accepting them as a travel document
Photo ID documents must be in date.
You will also need:
● the original and photocopy of your birth certificates
proof of address - original and photocopy dated within last 3 months
● your PPS numbers
If your documents are not in English or Irish you must provide translations.
You will need to provide the following information about your ceremony:
● the type of service
name and address of proposed venue
name of registered solemniser
● name and date of birth of both witnesses
● Marriage notification appointment booking form
Complete this couples data capture form and bring it with you on the day of your marriage notification appointment along with other necessary documentation.
Book a marriage notification appointment or civil ceremony online
You can book a marriage notification appointment online for a religious or secular marriage. You can do this for all areas of the country except Limerick, Clare and Tipperary North.
The couple and celebrant must arrange the marriage ceremony.
Selecting a venue
The venue must be dignified and suitable for a marriage ceremony. It must have enough space for those attending.
The venue must be either:
● a building that is open to the public
● a courtyard, garden, field or piece of ground that is open to the public and is near to and usually shared with the building
The venue must also:
● be clearly identifiable by description and location
allow unrestricted access, without charge
meet planning permission, fire safety and health and safety requirements
have public liability insurance cover
be accessible to all
● have no recent or current connection with any religion, religious practice or persuasion
If you are divorced
You will need an original or certified copy, and photocopy, of your divorce decree. If there is a stay on the divorce decree, bring this too.
Contact the civil registration service for advice if you divorced in another country.
Widow or widower
You will need the:
● original and photocopy of the civil marriage certificate(s)
● original and photocopy of the civil death certificate(s) of late spouse(s)
If you are in a civil partnership:
Contact a civil registration service if you wish to get married.
You will need the original and a photocopy of the civil partnership certificate.
Previous civil partnership
For a previous civil partnership, you will need the final decree of dissolution.
Surviving civil partner
You will need the:
● original and photocopy of the civil partnership certificate(s)
● original and photocopy of the civil death certificate(s) of late civil partner(s)
If you have a civil annulment
You will need the:
● original and photocopy of the civil annulment court order
● court letter and photocopy confirming there is no appeal lodged against the order
If either of you were born outside of Ireland
If you were not born in Ireland, you will need a birth certificate with an apostille stamp.
The embassy or consular services in the country you were born in will issue the stamp. It verifies the genuineness of the signature or seal on a document.
You do not need to have your birth certificate stamped or verified if you are from:
You will also need:
● proof of address - original and photocopy of a utility bill
PPS number - if you have a current address, or will have a future address, in Ireland
nature of ceremony - civil, religious or secular
name of the solemiser
name and address of the proposed venue
names and date of birth of both witnesses
● evidence of civil status - civil letter of freedom to marry
If one of you is not an EU citizen
Please bring up-to-date evidence of immigration status.
If you speak to each other in a language that is not English or Irish, you must provide an interpreter. You will also need to do this at the ceremony.
Interpreters must be from an independent verifiable translation or interpretation service.