When you’re planning a wedding you hear so many versions of what you need to do and it can get very confusing. Many couples think they have to file 3 months before the wedding when in fact you can do your paperwork as early as you want to secure your date and time. Remember the civil registrars can be quite stretched with areas they have to cover and time slots so its adviseable to book early. I phoned in January to make the appointment (both parties have to present themselves at this appointment). The registrar posted me out confirmation of my appointment (made appointment for May) plus the relevant paperwork and checklist of what we needed to bring. When I made the appointment I gave them the date we wanted and I was offered a 2pm or 4pm service so they provisionally booked in our date pending our appointment.
So heres what you need to know :
- You must give AT LEAST 3 MONTHS NOTICE of your intent to marry . This means you must present yourself at registrars with your relevant paperwork filled out, pay your fees and provide documents requested. You can however do this as far in advance as you like, we did ours in May 2016 for a wedding in April 2017
- You must BOTH ATTEND this meeting with registrar as you sign your paperwork in person.
- You must both bring photographic proof of identity ie passport, drivers licence or national ID card ( I didn’t have a passport in date so I phoned in advance to see if the new social welfare photo id card was acceptable and they said yes) Bring the originals and a photocopy of them
- You must each bring your LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE and a photocopy .
- You must each bring PROOF OF ADDRESS (ie utility bill ) bring the originals and photocopies
- You must provide FULL NAMES AND DATE OF BIRTH for each of your WITNESSES who will sign on the day of your wedding.
- You will need your PPS Number.
- Your Fees. The notification fee is €200 which you must pay at your appointment plus if you are using a civil registrar to officiate your marriage you have to pay their fee too. This depends on where your weeding is being held in relation to their offices as they will charge according to distance and time away from office etc. Ours for example was registrar in Galway city with service in Salthill so the cost of registrar is €128.35, this varies depending on where you are in country so check it out so you have your fees in order !
- All relevant forms filled out (Don’t forget to get your venue to fill out their part on this form before attending the appointment)
IF WIDOWED you will need your original marriage certificate plus death certificate of your spouse and photocopies of both.
IF DIVORCED in Ireland you need an original or certified copy stamped by the court or solicitor (it will have on it “Granted under Section 5(1) of the Family Law Divorce Act 1996) , and a photocopy of it.
IF YOU HAVE A CIVIL ANNULMENT you will nedd your Civil Annulment court order and a photocopy of it and a letter from the relevant court that no appeal was lodged against the Nullity order, and again a photocopy of it !
So whats with all the photocopies you may ask !! When you go for your meeting with the registrar the verify your original documents then they stamp and file your photocopies. The registrar will explain all the details of what happens on the day, what you’re allowed as regards readings, music etc, . You will be given a form that you must submit to the office at least 2 weeks before the wedding. On this form they ask for your estimated number of guests, whether you will be exchanging rings, whether you will have live or cd music, whether you will have a candle ceremony, the names of your readings.
You will sign the paperwork declaring you know of no reason that you can’t marry and then you’re good to go ! The meeting took about 30-45 minutes and it was nice to have someone talk us through the ceremony as civils are always so short compared to church weddings that it can be hard to get your head around it all .
So advice is….. once your date is set in stone, phone relevant registrar, make an appointment, gather your paperwork and fees and submit. Its one of the big things that you can mark off your list and the relief when you know there’s nothing stopping you getting married is great !