Go civil (ceremonies!)

Civil ceremonies can be very classy. These are some tips weddingsireland has compiled to help you planning a non-religious wedding.


-North and South-


Wedding rules are quite different in the North and the Republic. In the North, civil ceremonies don’t have a restricted range of locations. Since 2004, you can apply for temporary approval for a place such as your own home, family land, etc†¦ to celebrate your non-religious wedding ceremony. We could say the choice is almost unlimited.


In the Republic, civil ceremonies are restricted to registty offices (you can check your closest one in www.groireland.ie/registrars). However, this may change in the future, as the government is discussing some liberalization of marriage law.


-Residency requirements-


Couples wishing to marry in a civil ceremony in the Republic must take into account: one party must live in the area where the couple is getting married for eight days before applying for a registrar’s certificate (15 days for marriage by registrar’s licence). The actual marriage ceremony should take place 21 days afterwards (eight days for marriage by licence).


Anyone can get married in the North regardless of where they live. Both parties must complete a Marriage Notice Form (www.groni.gov.uk) and submit it with the relevant documentation to the registrar at least 14 days before the big day.


-Humanist weddings-


The Humanist Association of Ireland can put you in touch with officiants for secular ceremonies in the Republic. This officiant can provide certificates for wedding ceremonies. www.irish-humanists.org. A woman from Co. Clare was actually the first humanist bride in Britain in 2005.


-Historic venues-


The National Trust operates some heritage sites and buildings, licensed to hold civil ceremonies in the North.


If you want to marry in the Republic in a registry office but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a classy wedding day. Why not celebrating your reception in one of the many Irish historic venues? Check out weddingsireland’s suppliers listing for castles, manor houses and the best hotels throughout the country.


(In the picture: Clontarf Castle)