Ireland Marriage Laws

Ireland Outline

Congratulations! If you've found yourself at this page it is likely that you are either planning to be married or have been asked to perform a wedding ceremony in Ireland. The information provided below will walk you through the steps one must follow to become a minister and perform a valid wedding ceremony in Ireland.

1 How to Become an Ordained Minister in Ireland

If you haven't already, you should get ordained online with the Universal Life Church. Ordination is free and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Thousands of legally valid marriages are performed by ULC ministers around the world every year. Begin the process by clicking the big blue button below!

2 How to Officiate a Marriage in Ireland

Next, you should contact the office of your local marriage authority. Let them know that you are a minister who was ordained online with the Universal Life Church, and ask what they will require of you to officiate a legal marriage.

3 License to Marry in Ireland

After you've contacted your marriage authority, you should visit our online store to purchase whatever documentation will be required. We typically advise ministers in Ireland to get an Ordination Package. Please note that the Universal Life Church offers an international FedEx shipping option that will allow you to receive your ministerial products anywhere in Ireland. Additionally, please attempt to leave at least 1 month between the date of the wedding ceremony and your order, to ensure that you receive all of your materials well in-advance of the big day.

4 How to Perform a Wedding in Ireland

Now that you've done all of the above, you are ready to perform the wedding! While several ministers of the Universal Life Church have registered and acted as wedding celebrants in Ireland, the Universal Life Church's legal standing there is not as firm as it is in the United States and elsewhere. We are actively seeking stronger recognition, however, and would appreciate you contacting us if you think you could be of service in this regard.

At the Universal Life Church we receive several calls from wedding officiants in Ireland, after they've received their license to marry by getting ordained online, asking for guidance on how to perform a wedding ceremony. Once the legal matters have been taken care of, officiating a wedding (while a sometimes-daunting task) can be a great deal of fun. We would suggest that new Irish wedding ministers concerned about the ceremony peruse one of our helpful wedding guides. The minister training section of our website should offer a helpful refresher for more experienced ministers.

Ireland Flag

Ireland Marriage Code

Marriage in Ireland is governed by Ireland's Department of Social Protection, and while fairly straightforward can be burdensome. There are two types of marriage in Ireland, Civil and Religious/Secular. Additionally, there are a number of rules in place regarding each. All couples must attend the local clerk's office in-person to sign their marriage license, and any religious/secular officiant, before the marriages she or he perform are accepted as valid, must be listed in the General Register of Solemnisers. Currently, the Universal Life Church is not a recognized religious denomination in Ireland and no Irish ministers are officially registered as marriage solemnisers with the Central Office. However, we are currently working to increase our profile in the country; if you think you could be of assistance in this regard, please contact our office. Of course, while as a ULC Minister you cannot currently perform a legally binding marriage ceremony in Ireland, you are more than welcome to perform a symbolic marriage for your loved ones.

Marriages by religious ceremony or secular ceremony are performed according to the beliefs, rites and ceremonies of the religious body or secular body which is carrying out the ceremony and a registered solemniser may only solemnise a marriage according to the beliefs, rites and ceremony of a religious body or a secular body if he/she is a recognised member of that body.

However, all the civil requirements set out in Section 1 must first be complied with and the couple must have been issued with a Marriage Registration Form by a Registrar which they must show to the person solemnising the marriage. The solemniser must also be a registered solemniser, nominated by his or her religious or secular body, and it is the responsibility of the couple to ensure that the person they wish to solemnise their marriage is on the Register of Solemnisers.

Click here to check Register of Solemnisers

Temporary registrations of solemnisers of religious and secular marriages are possible for those who only wish to solemnise a specific marriage or to solemnise marriages for a specific period of time.

The venue for a religious or secular marriage is a matter for the authorities of the church or religious or secular body under whose auspices the marriage is being performed.

All marriages, civil, religious or secular, must take place at venues which are open to the public.

The ceremony must be performed in the presence of two witnesses who are both over 18 years of age. Both parties must make two declarations: - a) that neither of them knows of any impediment to the marriage; and b) that they accept each other as husband and wife.

At the end of the ceremony, the solemniser, the couple, and the witnesses must all sign the MRF. The completed MRF should be given to a registrar (not necessarily the registrar who issued it) within 1 month of the ceremony, so that the marriage can be civilly registered. Please note that you will not be able to obtain a civil marriage certificate until such time as the MRF has been returned to a Registrar and the marriage is civilly registered.

View the Ireland Statutes on the official state site
⇓ Show the rest