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Wedding documents and formalities

Documents required by the Church

a) Baptismal & Confirmation certificates
b) Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form (issued by a priest of your parish)
c) Documentary proof of your freedom to marry *
d) Permissions & dispensations where applicable **
e) Pre-Marriage course certificate

* . "Letter of freedom": furnish a Statement of Freedom to Marry, or an Affidavit

** Dispensation, e.g. for "mixed" marriage, or "disparity of cult" (from bishop's office)

The purpose of the documents is explained in our Checklist page

Documentation required by the State

  • 1. The couple must attend in person (together or individually) an office of the state Registrar at least 90 days in advance of the proposed wedding, to formally declare their intention to marry in the Republic of Ireland.
  • 2. The registrar's office issues a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) to permit a legal marriage to take place. (The couple must present their MRF to the solemniser before the wedding so that he can check that the details are correct before the marriage takes place. This should be done as early as is convenient..)
  • 3. The person officiating at the wedding must be a state registered solemniser appointed by his/her church. If changes are necessary – for instance, changing the name of the solemniser – the couple should contact the civil registrar, to arrange for the re-issue of the MRF at the earliest possible stage before the ceremony.
  • 4. Two witnesses must be nominated (normally Best Man & Bridesmaid)
  • 5. You will also declare before witnesses, before the wedding ceremony, that there is no civil impediment to the marriage. (The Solemniser will normally ask for this declaration of freedom to marry just before the religious ceremony begins, and have the couple sign it, with his own signature, later.)
  • 6. The couple must return their completed MRF to any county registrar's office, within one month of the wedding, for the marriage to be civilly recorded.

Registering a Marriage

Couples intending marriage are required to give notification in person, to a Registrar, of their intention to marry at least three months before their intended marriage date.
If there is no impediment to your marriage, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) which gives you permission to marry.

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