Each couple has ultimate reponsibility for all arrangements regarding the civil aspect of their marriage. See here a summary of the basic steps that couples need to take.

It is possible for a Church wedding to ‘double’ as a civil ceremony and so a couple should not need to go through a separate civil ceremony to be married legally in the eyes of the State. However, the proper notification needs to be in place (see below) in order for a church wedding to be registered with the State.

Appointment – Notice

Once a couple has a confirmed booking for a Church wedding, the couple should contact their local Registration Office to make an appointment to meet the Registrar to give him/her their marriage notification.

While only three months notice is required by law, couples are advised to contact the Registrar well over three months before their intended date of marriage to ensure they can get a timely appointment.

Fee and documents to bring

When attending the Registrars office in relation to the notification, the couple must also pay the notification fee of 150 and provide the Registrar with evidence of their name, address, age, marital status and nationality.

In general, all couples will be asked to produce:-

* Passport or driving licence as ID
* If either party is divorced, original final decrees in respect of all previous divorces
* If widowed, death certificate of the previous spouse and the civil marriage certificate for their first marriage
* Their PPS Numbers (where either or both of the parties have one)
* Fee of 150 as above

In addition to their personal particulars, the couple will be requested to provide details in relation to their proposed marriage such as

* the intended date of marriage
* whether they require a civil or religious ceremony
* the names and dates of birth of their witnesses
* details of the proposed solemniser (celebrant) and venue.

It is strongly advised that couples bring all documents and information requested by the Registrar to their notification meeting, so that the entire process can be completed in one meeting and the MRF can be issued to them immediately.

Declaration of no impediment

The couple will also both have to complete a declaration of no impediment stating that they are not aware of any lawful impediment to the proposed marriage

Marriage Registration Form (MRF)

When the Registrar is satisfied that all required details have been provided and that the couple are free to marry, he or she will issue them with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) based on the information they have provided. This is a critical document as it is effectively the civil authorisation for the marriage to proceed.

All couples wishing to marry in Ireland must first be issued with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) and any marriage that takes place without a MRF having been issued cannot be civilly registered.

The MRF should be given to the priest solemnising the marriage prior to the ceremony. The priest will complete the MRF immmediately after the ceremony and then give it back into the couple’s care. It is their responsibility to return the completed MRF to the Registrar’s office.

Minimum Age of Marriage

From August 1, 1996 (under the Family Law Act, 1995) the minimum age at which a person, ordinarily resident in the State, may contract a marriage valid in Irish law is eighteen years of age.

The above is a short summary only click the following link for more detailed information available from the General Registers Office http://www.groireland.ie/getting_married.htm