Living Abroad but getting married in Ireland – How to register your marriage

Ireland is a beautiful wedding destination for those coming from abroad to enjoy our stunning countryside. A lot of Irish people who live abroad also return home to get married. The legal process regarding registering your marriage is not straightforward and is going to be that little bit more complicated if you are living abroad. Here are some top pointers that you may need for registering your marriage in Ireland so that you can get ready for the big day. 

 
 
 
  Photo Credit: One Fab Day
 
You are required by law, to give notification to the state of your intent to marry at least 3 months before you wish to marry. If you are living outside of Ireland you can send your notice to marry by post to the Civil Registration Office or Health Service Executive. You must contact the office first and speak with a registrar who must agree to giving you ‘special notice’ and the registrar will advise you accordingly. They will then send you a postal notification form for you to fill out and return to that same office. You only need to send back the notification form, no other documents are required at that time. The form may only be used with prior agreement of a Registrar in cases where one or both of the parties to the proposed marriage are living outside the State. Final divorce decrees / death certificates (where relevant) must be received in respect of all previous marriages.
 
  
 
No date of marriage (religious or civil) will be agreed until all paperwork is deemed to be in order by the Registrar. This process may take additional time in cases where a foreign divorce is involved. Such cases will require the divorce to be examined to determine whether it is recognisable under Irish law and thus establish whether the relevant party is free to marry.
 
 
 
Photo Credit: Balybeg House
 
  
 You will only need to send the notification form to the Registry Office, no other documents are required. They will then set up an appointment with you at least 5 days before the wedding in which you will need all relevant documents for the Marriage Registration Form (MRF) to be issued. These documents are as follows:
 
  
  • Passports
  • Birth certificates
  • Final decrees of any previous divorces
  • Death and marriage certificates of any deceased civil partner 
  • PPS numbers
  • Original copies of any dissolution of civil partnerships
  • In the case of annulment – final decrees of nullity and a letter from the court to show that no appeal was lodged
  • Fee of €200
 
 
Some additional information may be required by the registrar if a divorce was granted outside the state. In this case the registrar must see whether this is recognised by Irish law and will advise what to do. On contacting the registrar initially express any worries or ask any questions to ensure that you bring everything that you need with you on the day of giving notice.
 
 
 Information regarding the wedding:  
 
  • The proposed date of wedding 
  • The names and dates of birth of both witnesses  
  • Whether it is a religious or civil ceremony 
  • Details of the solemniser  
  • Details of the venue (if choosing a civil ceremony at a chosen venue rather than in at the register office).  

Photo Credit: Style Serendipity

 
Some websites that you might find helpful:
 

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