Civil Ceremony Checklist

Civil Ceremony Checklist

If you’re planning a civil ceremony chances are it’s your first, and hopefully your last! There are endless blogs and guides for traditional weddings but not as much information about civil ceremonies in Ireland and the difference. We’ve put together the main things to remember when organising a civil ceremony in Ireland. If you’d like to host your wedding day in our wedding hotel in Kildare, we’d be happy to show you around. Contact us to arrange a visit and see where you could be hosting the day of your dreams, from ceremony to celebration.

Your Ceremony

In Ireland, there are three ways to legally marry. A marriage may be celebrated by a priest in a church or as part of a civil ceremony – a secular ceremony conducted by a registrant who works for the state or lastly, a secular or humanist ceremony – which does not include anything religious or spiritual. Each is equally valid and binding under Irish law. For a marriage to be legal, the ceremony must be performed by a registered solemniser. All parties must have the capacity to marry, be doing so of their own free will and meet the notification requirements for marriage.

Your Venue

You can have a civil ceremony in either a registry office or a venue that is approved by a registrar. You must pay an additional fee to have a registrar solemnise your marriage in a venue that is not the registry office. Having a venue approved for civil ceremonies can be a long and difficult process so choosing a pre-approved civil ceremony venue like our Kildare wedding and civil service venue is advised. Like with traditional venues, viewing several venues is advised, ensuring the place you choose is customisable to your needs. 

Intention to Marry 

Whether you’ve decided on a religious, secular or civil ceremony, couples are required to give intention to marry. You will need to fill in a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). You must give three months of notice of intention to marry to the registrar at a civil registration service. Book an appointment in plenty of time before your big day to avoid a last-minute panic! You should give the MRF, which is essentially a licence to marry, to the registrar who will be solemnising the marriage before the ceremony.

Outdoor Ceremonies

Under Church rules, Catholics must marry in a church or other appropriate place. Permission to wed outside a sacred building is rarely granted. Civil ceremonies give couples a much broader option when it comes to wedding venues. If you’re lucky enough to be getting married in the warmer months, you can even choose to hold your wedding ceremony out in the open. Osprey Hotel can host civil ceremonies in Ireland either in our beautiful new ballroom or out in the summer sun in the courtyard. We can also pivot on short notice, bringing your ceremony indoors to accommodate the unpredictable Irish weather. 

Your Wedding

Every ceremony is unique. No two ceremonies are the same and each couple has their own idea of what makes a perfect day. Standard wedding checklists work for civil ceremonies and can be customised to suit. Choosing a wedding venue with experience in hosting various types of weddings usually means you have access to a wedding planner who can give you expert advice on the order of the wedding, everything you need to have in place before the big day and anything they can or cannot provide.

After the Wedding

Your marriage ceremony must be performed by the registrar in the presence of two witnesses. During the ceremony, you and your intended spouse must declare that you do not know of any impediment to the marriage and that you accept each other as husband/wife/spouse. The MRF must be signed by you and your new spouse, two witnesses and the registrar. The celebrant/registrar will use the signed document to register your marriage as soon as possible after the ceremony. There are no fees to register but there are fees to obtain a marriage certificate.

If you’d like to host the day of your dreams at Osprey Hotel and wedding venue in Kildare, contact us to discuss your options. Our beautiful new ballroom and flexible packages suit weddings of all shapes and sizes. Nothing is too much to ask of our talented and experienced team.

Table of Contents

Keep Reading

Share The News

Select Your Dates
Sep 2019
Sep 2019
5 Great Reasons To Book Direct
  • On our official website you'll save a minimum of €10 per night
  • Complimentary glass of house wine, draught beer or soft drink.
  • No payment needed today
  • Free cancellation
  • Room upgrade priority