The Insider's Guide to getting Married in Ireland

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An Introduction to tying the Knot in the Emerald Isle

Couple getting married in Ireland Celtic wedding bands Celtic wedding in Ireland

Picturesque, passionate and poetic, Ireland is becoming increasingly well-known internationally as an exciting destination for those who are looking for something a bit different for the location of their special day. With it's wild western coastline and plenty of luxury Irish castles to choose from, The Emerald Isle is asserting itself ever more strongly as a first-choice destination for anyone who is considering a wedding abroad.

Ireland has a strong tourism industry supporting millions of visitors each year, so there is no shortage of amazing destinations to choose from. No less importantly, the people of Ireland are famed for their warm and welcoming nature (known here simply as 'good craic'), so you should expect great service and a friendly atmosphere whichever region of Ireland you choose.

But planning a wedding can be a major undertaking even when it's right on your own doorstep. Where do you even begin when organising the biggest day of your life in a country you might not know very well?

Where the Law stands on Foreign Weddings in Ireland

It is worth noting that it is very difficult to get married in Ireland with only one set of return flights: you are likely to require at least two trips - one for planning, one for marrying. Also, unlike certain Caribbean destinations, for example, Ireland does not really have a 'package wedding' industry which will take care of every detail on your behalf. A certain amount of leg-work on your part will be unavoidable.

Celtic wedding at an Irish Castle

To be married in Ireland, you must be at least 18 years of age and must not be married already. Also, regardless of nationality or residence, anyone who wishes to marry in Ireland must give at least three months notification to a registrar, in person. This means that a pre-wedding reconnaisance trip to Ireland will be an essential and unavoidable part of your planning. On this trip, the registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form, only once they have received/seen:

  • € 200 notification fee
  • Passports, birth certificates for both parties
  • Divorce decrees, civil partnership dissolutions, or death certificates of previous spouse / civil partner (if applicable)
  • Personal Public Service Number (Irish citizens only)

Further information about getting married in Ireland

Popular Choices of Wedding Venue in Ireland

Church Weddings in Ireland

The majority of church weddings in the Republic of Ireland are catholic ceremonies, and this section will focus on those. There is plenty of local variation so, for further information about protestant weddings in Ireland, contact your preferred protestant church.

The golden rule for anyone wishing to get married in an Irish church is start early, plan ahead. The process can be quite bureaucratic, especially if you are planning from abroad, so get organised and keep on top of the details.

The specifics of how to arrange a church wedding in Ireland can vary significantly from region to region and even church to church, so it is important to make contact with your preferred church as early as possible to find out what may be required in terms of preparation and paperwork. You may be required to meet with the priest well in advance, so be sure to factor this into your plans. The priest is under no obligation to perform or even allow church weddings for individuals who do not live in the local parish.

You will be required to:

  • Be a confirmed Catholic (there are exceptions to this rule so ask your priest)
  • Give notice of the wedding at least three months before the big day
  • Meet with the local Civil Registrar of Marriage to notify them of our intention to marry, and to obtain a obtain a Marriage Registration Form
  • Provide a baptismal certificate, confirmation certificate and a letter of freedom from each parish which you have lived in during your adult life.
  • Complete a marriage preparation course

Find out More

Luxury Castles, Manor Houses & Hotels

The stunning setting of Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara

Perhaps the second most popular choice of wedding venue in Ireland, after its many churches, is its impressive range of luxury castles and manor houses. Although Ireland remains a deeply religious nation, secular weddings are increasingly popular and civil ceremonies are very common at most hotels, castles and estates throughout Ireland. The same services are also available at local registry offices.

One of the things which makes hotels and castles so popular for weddings in Ireland, apart from the amazing backdrops, is the support provided by venues' in-house wedding teams. Working full-time throughout the year to create the perfect wedding for many couples, wedding-team staff will have dealth with it all before and will be able to answer many of your questions, not just relating to the venue but to do with Irish weddings in general.

Find out More

The Irish Wedding Directory

See notes about wedding suppliers

Couple celebrate their wedding by an Irish Castle Tomasz Kornas,Wedding Photography Weddings in Dublin

Dublin and Ireland's East Coast

Wedding Band : Men in Black

Wedding Venue : Glendalough Hotel

Wedding Photographer : Tomasz Kornas

Wedding Photographer : Mike Curran

Wedding Photographer : EF Creative Wedding Photography

Wedding Photographer : Pawel Bebenca

Wedding Florist : Irish Florist

Wedding Band : The Moogs

Wedding Band: Ian Henrick

Wedding Bands : Award Winning Irish Wedding Bands

This is a new resource which we are now working to expand. If you have any suggestions for businesses or organisations which you think should be mentioned here, please let us know.

Irish Couple celebrate their wedding Married in Ireland Butterfly Photography

Galway and Ireland's West Coast

Wedding Car : Wedding Cars Ireland

Wedding Venue: Claregalway Hotel

Wedding Photographer : Ian Mitchinson

Wedding Band : The Lewd Tunes

Wedding Band : Rain Dance Live

Wedding Photgrapher : Mercone Photography

Wedding Photgrapher :Mike Patterson

Wedding Photgrapher :Mrs RedHead

Wedding Photgrapher :Butterfly Photography

This is a new resource which we are now working to expand. If you have any suggestions for businesses or organisations which you think should be mentioned here, please let us know.

Derreen House itself. This photo is from a previous trip as alas we didn't get time to go in this time around, so much peninsula to see in on weekend! Irish Wedding party flees T-Rex Eddie Hennessy Photography, Cork Wedding Photographer

Cork and Ireland's South West

Wedding Photographer : Hennessy Photography

Wedding Photographer : David Clynch

Wedding Venue : The Imperial Hotel, Cork

Wedding Photographer : Hilary Herbert

Wedding Photographer : John McGarry

Wedding Car Hire : Cork Wedding Cars

Wedding Florist : Ruby Harte Floral Design

Wedding Florist : Bloomsday Flowers

Wedding Photography: Donagh Glavin

Wedding Photgrapher :Butterfly Photography

This is a new resource which we are now working to expand. If you have any suggestions for businesses or organisations which you think should be mentioned here, please let us know.

Rock of Cashel, the seat of Kings for 900 years. Photo copywrited by the National Monuments Service Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Kilkenny and Ireland's South East

Wedding Venue : Pembroke Hotel

Wedding Photographer :Diamond Photography

Wedding Photographer : Anna Frins

This is a new resource which we are now working to expand. If you have any suggestions for businesses or organisations which you think should be mentioned here, please let us know.

Donegal & Sligo

Harvey's Point, Donegal

Wedding Venue : Harvey's Point, Donegal

Wedding Car Hire :Peter McLean Wedding Cars

This is a new resource which we are now working to expand. If you have any suggestions for businesses or organisations which you think should be mentioned here, please let us know.

Scneic View of Antrim, Northern Ireland Chris Huston, Northern Ireland John Taggart Photography, Northern Ireland

Belfast and the North

Information in this article relates primarily to the Republic of Ireland which may not apply to Ulster.

Wedding Cars: Perfect Day

Wedding Photographer: Chris Huston Photography

Wedding Photographer: John Taggart

Wedding Cars: Ideal Wedding Cars

Wedding Venue: Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Wedding Band: Klass

Wedding Band: Haste to the Wedding

Wedding Band: Bitz 'N' Pieces

Wedding Cars: Champagne Moments

Wedding Band: Ceili Band

Wedding Bands:GH Entertainment

Wedding Photographer:Shine Pics

This is a new resource which we are now working to expand. If you have any suggestions for businesses or organisations which you think should be mentioned here, please let us know.

Plan your Big Day slowly and Carefully

In planning your wedding abroad, you are advised to speak to specialists before making any bookings. You should also keep reading around the subject from as many sources as you can. This article is provided for informational purposes only and is intended as a guide. We would always recommend that extensive research is undertaken before booking a wedding abroad. Please note that we are not responsible for the content of third-party websites or for the quality of the services they advertise.

Choosing the right region of Ireland for your Wedding

Each region of Ireland has its own unique character so it's important to choose the right one for you and your wedding guests. The below links will guide you through the different areas of Ireland, giving you a flavour of what each Irish community is like. After your wedding, your guests might like to consider exploring the rest of the country with a group to of Ireland. Guests can choose to get a flavour of all the regions with the all-inclusive Iconic Scenes of Ireland Tour; build on your wedding theme with a tour of Ireland's luxury castles, manor houses and estates; or customize your own private tour of Ireland, bepoke and tailored to the needs of your group.

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