Getting Married in Ireland & The Catholic Church

AA few weeks ago I told you the basics of how to get married in Ireland and outside of the church. Easy enough really. Now I’ll get into the church.

Firstly I’d like to say that I know the first thing most people think of when planning a wedding is the party but please, please, please don’t underestimate the power and emotion of your wedding ceremony. This is the goal remember? To get married.

 The Catholic Church wedding party waiting outside And here is how to do it within the Catholic Church. This applies to all marriages within the Catholic Church even if you are coming to Ireland from abroad. This applies to everyone!

Catholic Church – this is the most common location for a marriage ceremony in Ireland {was there ever any doubt?} so the church and the registration office will work in conjunction with each other.

To begin, talk to your local parish priest. By local I mean either where you grew up or where you live now and attend church. This may be a different priest than the one in the church you want to get married in. That is ok! You need both of them!

Check availability at the church you want and book it. Be sure to get any policies and guidelines of that particular church and of course take note of the priest there who will be marrying you. If you plan on using your home parish priest or family priest for your ceremony let the church know. Then contact the Registry office in the county of your chosen church and arrange to meet the Registrar and give your 3 months notice to take care of all of your civil requirements.

With your priest, you must fill out a prenuptial enquiry form and also produce the following documents.

1. A copy of your Baptismal Certificate

2. A copy of your Confirmation Certificate

3. A Letter of Freedom from each parish you have lived in since you were 18.

4. Evidence of a premarriage course

These forms indicate that you are a full member of the Church, and that there is no record of you having been married previously in Church.

 The Catholic Church bride in black and white

If your home church is not in the county or country you wish to marry in, all of these documents must be sent from your home church to the bishop in the diocese you wish to marry in and then sent on to the priest in the church you will get married in.

Some people’s personal circumstances are more complicated and require further permission. Always meet with the priest and discuss your situation. In brief these are the common situations.

Inter Church Marriage is when a Catholic wishes to marry a Christian of another denomination. In this case, you must ask for a dispensation from their local bishop and promise to ensure that any future children will be baptized in the Catholic Church and brought up in the faith. This promise is also by all Catholic couples.

Inter Faith Marriage is when a Catholic wishes to marry a person who is not baptized, or who is a member of another faith, they also must seek a dispensation from the bishop.

The bottom line is really to start as early as possible and keep the lines of communication open with your priest and the church you want to get married in.

Here is another really good resource for Catholic Weddings, Getting

Again, most of this works very efficiently but check in regularly to make sure all has been received by the necessary people. And please note that this is a general guide and outline. Do what your priest and church says to do!!

Not catholic? I’m not done yet!! There is more to come………..

PS Thanks to Woodard Photography for the beautiful photos.

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