In Ireland it’s a legal requirement that you need to register your intent to marry with a registrar at least 3 months prior to your religious or civil ceremony.
The process involves:
- Both the bride and groom attending the registrar’s office with a selection of paperwork (passports and birth certificates as a minimum).
- The registrar then fills in a form on their computer to capture your personal details, including your PPS numbers, the place where you are getting married, the name of your solemniser (priest or registrar), your parent’s names, and the names and dates of birth of your two witnesses.
- You then both make a written declaration of no impediment to marry. This is to state you are over 18, of sound mind, and are not related to each other through blood or marriage.
- You pay the registration fee, which at the time of writing is €200!
- The registrar then issues you with a Marriage Registration Form. This is the piece of paper you sign on your wedding day to make the marriage legal. The form replaces the old marriage registers that individual churches and registry offices would keep. The Marriage Registration Form has to be returned to the registrar within one month of the wedding, and they will then issue the Marriage Certificate.
The process to register our marriage was a little more troublesome than some because we were both born outside of Ireland. We both had to get our birth certificates legalised by the authorities in the countries where were we born. I had to send mine to the UK and I got it back within a week. My fiancée on the other hand had to go to the South African embassy and apply for a new birth certificate (they wouldn’t legalise the original one), and that took just over 2 months to come back – and by all accounts, that was a speedy turnaround.
Anyway, so we both attended the registrar’s office yesterday afternoon, and we now have our Marriage Registration Form. All the legal stuff is now out of the way. So for the next 14 weeks we can concentrate on organising a wedding!