How to get married in Ireland – The legal requirements

You have booked the hotel, agonised over the colour scheme and have the photobooth ready and waiting….but what about the legal side of  things? This article will explore the legal requirements in Ireland which a  couple must comply with before their big.


In order to legally marry in Ireland, the parties need to have the capacity to marry each other. This means:

  • Both parties must be aged over 18. Parties aged under 18 must obtain a court order entitling him/her to
  • Neither party may be currently married to or in a Civil Partnership with somebody else, other than his/her proposed
  • The parties must not be closely related to each other by blood or marriage, i.e. within the prohibited degrees of relationship.


Both parties must be able to consent to marrying the other and understand the nature of marriage.

Notification Process

The parties must make an appointment with their local Registrar at least three months prior to the proposed  date of marriage. However, it is advisable that the  parties  make the appointment with the Registrar well in advance of the three month timeframe, in the event of last minute hiccups!
Prior to attending the meeting with the Registrar, it is important that the parties get their paperwork in order. The parties will need their passports and birth certificates, PPS numbers and, where relevant, original decree of divorce/original decree of dissolution and deceased spouse’s /civil partner’s death certificate. A notification  fee of €200.00 must also be paid.
Of  course,  situations  may  arise  where  the  parties are unable to provide the Registrar with three months’ notice, for example, where one party is very sick or otherwise incapacitated. In these circumstances, a court application must be made to allow the marriage to proceed without providing the three months’ notification to the Registrar.
Following a successful notification, the Registrar will issue the parties with a Marriage Registration Form. This form should be stored away carefully until the big day, when it is handed to the person conducting the marriage ceremony. Without this form, the marriage cannot be legally registered.

Good Luck to our newly engaged readers!