Getting Legally Married in Ireland
Every couple wanting to be legally married in the Republic of Ireland, must first contact the Government
agency; Heath Service Executive (HSE), Civil Registration Service.
The HSE must be contacted to lodge the couple's "Notification of Intent to Marry" at a pre-arranged
appointment. The Notification must be lodged no less than 3-months prior to the intended date of
You must give notice, in person, at a civil registration service. This applies to all civil, religious and
secular marriages. Both parties (of the couple) must attend the meeting.
Making Contact with the HSE
You can book an appointment with the HSE online via their website here or look up individual offices
around the country and call them to book directly. If there is some reason why you cannot attend to the
appointment in person - you can request to the HSE to make your application "via post". This would be especially applicable for people who live outside of the Republic of Ireland. When you have contacted the HSE, a Registrar will send to your requirements which you must provide to them at your appointment. This will include
Proof of address,
Civil status, etc.
You will also be required to complete a "Data Capture Form" - to take along to the appointment. This document requires information such as your full names, addresses, family names, Civil Status, Witness names, and (in regards to the ceremony itself) if the ceremony will be Religious/Secular or Civil. The date of the ceremony, venue details, and the name of the person performing the ceremony.
You can download the Data Capture Form by clicking here.
Once you have gathered all the required information, you will attend the Notification appointment at an HSE Registration office. The HSE Registrar will work through your documentation and decide as to your approval to be legally married. This documentation: MRF (Marriage Registration Form), is the actual document which the registrar will hold, and which will be signed by the H.S.E. registrar on the day of the legal ceremony.
If you have given your Notification of Intent to Marry - via Post - you still must lodge this in advance of 3-months prior to your proposed wedding ceremony, but, if you cannot attend at that time in person there is still a requirement to attend the HSE Registry office. This meeting must be done no less than 5 working days prior to your wedding date.
For couples who are living outside of the Republic of Ireland, this must be taken into consideration when
you are planning your travel to come to Ireland for the wedding.
One of the following is required by every person giving notice.
Refugee / Asylum card issued by the Dept. of Justice & Equality
National Identity Card from an EU country, accepting them as a travel document
Photo ID documents MUST be in date.
You will also need;
Proof of address (dated within last 3 months)
Note: If documents are not in English - then a translation must be provided
If you were not born in the Republic of Ireland
If your birth certificate was not issued in Ireland, you MAY need to get an Apostille Stamp. This is to
authenticate the document. Usually, you would need to contact your home-country (embassies
sometimes can help, but mostly the document would need to be sent back to the country of issue).
If you were born &/or have lived outside of the Republic of Ireland for a substantial period of time, you
may also be required to provide a "Letter of Freedom", or letter of civil status. This document states that
you have/are not married in a different country. Again, you may need to contact your country of origin
to request this document.
In both of the above cases - if you were not born in the Republic of Ireland, &/or have lived outside of
the Republic (even if you are Irish born) - it would be highly recommended that you contact the HSE and
advise the of your own circumstance. They will then advise you personally exactly what is required for
The HSE's website is available by clicking here