Getting married in Ireland is a dream for many couples, as the country offers absolutely breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural traditions, and a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, successfully navigating the process of getting married in Ireland requires some essential steps and understanding of the legal requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through each stage of the process, ensuring that your dream wedding becomes a reality. We recently had the amazing experience of shooting an Ireland Destination Wedding and spending a few weeks in the country. While we were there, we did our research! And I'm beyond thrilled to share everything I learned along the way.
A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Married in Ireland
Okay, let's get started! You may be just getting started in your destination wedding planning process, so I'm going to try and cover as much as possible specifically regarding having a wedding in Ireland. There is soooo much to consider, so be sure and create a list or Google Doc so you can keep track of all the things you need to do!
Researching Legal Requirements:
Before even diving into the wedding planning process, it is absolutely crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for getting married in Ireland (or in any foreign country for that matter). Research the necessary documents, residency requirements, and any specific guidelines related to your nationality or religion. Understanding these legalities from the beginning will save you time and prevent any potential hurdles along the way.
You can find out more info directly on the Ireland Government website here.
I know that several of our clients have chosen to legally wed at a courthouse here in the states and then go overseas to celebrate with a second wedding. It's much safer and far less complicated this way, so it may be something to consider!
Choosing the Perfect Venue:
This is a really tough one because there are SO many amazing choices and it can be really challenging when planning a wedding completely overseas. Ireland offers a diverse range of wedding venues, from rustic castles to elegant manor houses and stunning coastal settings. Consider your wedding style and preferences when selecting the perfect venue. Ensure that it caters to your desired number of guests, provides accommodation options, and has the necessary facilities for your ceremony and reception.
Also take into consideration how you see your wedding photos at the end of the journey. Because your venue, is in fact, your wedding photos.
Some popular wedding venues in Ireland include:
- Tankardstown House, Co. Meath: Located only 40 minutes from Dublin, Tankardstown House is an 18th-century luxury Irish country house in Slane, Co. Meath. It offers a blend of historic charm and modern elegance, with stunning gardens and luxurious accommodations
- Gloster House, Co. Offaly: This elegant venue in Co. Offaly provides a beautiful backdrop for your wedding. With its grand architecture and picturesque surroundings, Gloster House offers a romantic and enchanting atmosphere for your special day.
- Ballymagarvey Village, Co. Meath: Situated in Co. Meath, Ballymagarvey Village is a charming venue that combines historic beauty with modern comforts. Its idyllic setting and attentive service make it a popular choice for couples looking for a fairy-tale wedding.
- Carton House, Co. Kildare: Located in Co. Kildare, Carton House is a magnificent estate with stunning gardens and luxurious accommodations. Its rich history and grandeur provide a majestic setting for your wedding celebration.
- Luttrellstown Castle, Dublin: Luttrellstown Castle is an exclusive wedding venue near Dublin. With its elegant interiors and beautiful grounds, it offers a romantic and intimate atmosphere for your special day.
- Loughcrew Estate: One of our very favorites! Historic church ruins covered in ivy is the center ceremony spot here. We had a phenomenal time getting to work with the staff. Here is the gallery from our most recent wedding there: https://www.taylorparkerphotography.com/blog/ireland-castle-destination-wedding-loughcrew-estate/
- The Clonabreany House: Another venue that we absolutely LOVE that you won't believe how amazing it is until you can see for yourself. Check it out here: https://www.taylorparkerphotography.com/blog/the-clonabreany-house-irish-countryside-wedding-venue/
Booking Your Officiant:
In Ireland, couples have the freedom to choose their officiant, whether it be a religious minister, a civil registrar, or a humanist celebrant. Research different options and find someone who resonates with your beliefs and values. Make sure to book your chosen officiant well in advance to secure their availability on your desired wedding date.
We highly recommend our friend Daragh! You can check out his Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/ireland_wedding_planner_/
Giving Notice of Intention to Marry:
Under Irish law, couples must give a minimum of three months' notice of intention to marry so it's extremely important you do this before hopping on the plane. Schedule an appointment with the Registrar of Marriages in the district where you plan to marry and provide all required documents. These may include birth certificates, passports, proof of address, and divorce/death certificates if applicable. The Registrar will then issue you with a Marriage Registration Form, allowing you to proceed with your wedding plans.
It's also important to remember that as of 2024, foreigners will need to acquire a visa to travel to any European country. So be sure to secure those for yourselves and remind all your guests to do so as well!
Once you have fulfilled the legal requirements, it's time to start planning the specifics of your wedding ceremony and reception.
Consider the following factors:
- Picking a Date: Consider when the weather may be best for what you are looking for as you pick your wedding date
- Guest Count: Determine the number of guests you would like to invite and ensure that your venue can accommodate them comfortably.
- Catering: Discuss menu options with your venue or a chosen caterer and consider any dietary restrictions or preferences of your guests.
- Decoration and Theme: Work with a wedding planner or decorator to bring your vision to life. Choose a theme or color scheme that reflects your personal style and preferences.
- Entertainment: Decide on the type of entertainment you would like for your wedding, whether it be live music, a DJ, or a combination of both.
- Photography and Videography: Capture the memories of your special day by hiring a professional photographer and videographer. Research and book them well in advance to ensure their availability. Don't forget to consider us in the process!!
- Transportation: Arrange transportation for you and your guests, especially if your ceremony and reception are at different locations or if you have guests traveling from abroad.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you need any help finding vendors. We have so many incredible Irish friends that we can recommend to you so you'll have a great wedding experience!