How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Ireland 2020 - 2021
How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Ireland: Your Ultimate Guide
Ps: All images featured in this post were captured by Bruno Rosa
The Essential Timeline for a Destination Wedding in Ireland
Regardless of where you are coming from, when you arrive in Ireland for your big day, ensure that you have every one of your documents in order. The Irish border control may want to see your passport, marriage visa, acknowledgement from the Registrar of Civil Marriages, and all of the supporting documents that you used to acquire these forms. I’d recommend keeping a sturdy folder with organised documents in your hand luggage (don’t check this with your baggage!) so you are ready to go with anything that they might ask you for on arrival.
Tip- Bringing your flower girl or ring bearer from abroad? If you will be travelling with children, review the full list of Irish requirements for travelling with kids under 18 years old.
For couples who are considering seeing the Giant’s Causeway, Titanic, or historical Belfast during their honeymoon, keep in mind that this is a separate visa. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and you will need a UK visa to visit the country. There are some beautiful sites here and it definitely might be worth the extra step, but do make sure to plan ahead for this.
If you are travelling on an Irish wedding visa, you will also want to keep in mind that they are typically issued for one single entry. This means that you can’t explore other parts of Europe then return to Ireland, so be sure to ask for Multiple Entry visas if wider travel is in your plans.
If you are planning to stay in Ireland after you get married, there are several steps to take. If your spouse is Irish, look into the Join Family Visa. If your spouse is not Irish but is a Swiss, EU, or EEA citizen, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with EU Treaty Rights. Finally, if your spouse is a legal resident in Ireland but not a citizen, check out the Join Family Visa.
How to Get Permission to Get Married in Ireland
The Civil Registration Service Offices requires:
- Passport for both parties
- Passport photos for both parties
- Birth Certificate for both parties (If you are not Irish, your birth certificate must have an apostille stamp from your embassy, with the exception of those from Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, or Latvia)
- Original final divorce decrees documents, if relevant
- Original dissolution decrees for civil partnerships, if relevant
- For ended Irish civil partnerships or marriages, a final decree of nullity and a letter from the court is needed
- If you are a widow/er, you will need your deceased spouse's death certificate and previous civil marriage certificate
- If you are living in Ireland as a foreigner, you will need evidence of immigration status (typically a GNIB card)
- If you are living in Ireland or intend to reside here after the wedding, you will also need your PPS number
In addition to getting these official documents from your local government offices, you will want to have some basic details on your planned nuptials. Here are some questions that they are likely to ask you before providing you with the essential documents that you need to get married in Ireland.
- Are you going to have a civil, secular, or religious ceremony?
- What is the date of your planned wedding?
- Where is your wedding venue?
- Who is your officiant?
- What are the names and dates of birth of your two witnesses? (Note- these can be wedding vendors (like yours truly!) if you are eloping in Ireland with no guests.)
It can definitely feel like an overwhelming process to get all of your ducks in a row in order to get approval from the Irish government, so don’t be shy about calling them for more information. You definitely don’t want to arrive at the appointment missing any essential info or send in an incomplete application. It will set back your timeline and just cause you unnecessary frustration. Instead, just find the phone number of your local office on the site and give them a call whenever you are unsure. Many people have destination weddings in Ireland, and the workers in these offices are patient and ready to help, so don’t be shy!
Special Requirements for Foreigners Getting Married in Ireland
Finding the Perfect Venue for a Destination Wedding in Ireland
Having a Non-Religious Wedding in Ireland
How to Get Married in Ireland at a Church
Here is what to expect in terms of requirements for getting married at a church in Ireland:
- Your long form baptismal certificate- Ask your church for this; it must have been issued less than six months ago.
- Your confirmation certificate- Again, ask your church for this; it must have been issued less than six months ago.
- Letter of Freedom to Marry- You need to get an official letter from every parish you have lived in since turning 18. If you have moved a lot or are coming from abroad, you can also opt for an Affidavit from a Commissioner of Oaths. This is something that may be available from your home county.
- Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form- The priest would provide you with this form, which confirms that you are free to marry and that you understand the nature of marriage.
- Dispensation- If one of you isn’t Catholic, you have to get approval from the local bishop to be married in a Catholic Church. The church can inform you on the level of difficulty to expect here.
- Pre-Marriage Course- The majority of Catholic churches will require you to go through a pre-marriage course and obtain a certificate of completion. This is typically done through Avalon or Accord, but can usually be done abroad.
- Fee- This varies considerably from church to church. If you are getting married outside of your regular church, it can be up to €500.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Date in Ireland
Planning a Budget
Industrial Space WeddingThe world has been loving industrial spaces for a while now. In fact, it has started to seem like every hot new bar or restaurant that opens is in an industrial space. As a wedding photographer in Ireland, I have started to notice that brides are embracing these types of spaces for their weddings too!
Ireland’s top wedding blog, One Fab Day, has put together a gorgeous selection of the best industrial wedding spaces in Ireland. Tracking down cool potential wedding venues in Dublin like The Guinness Storehouse and Smock Alley, and picturesque spaces like The Andrews Gallery and The Bridge at Titanic in Belfast, these industrial wedding venues are perfect for modern couples.
As a wedding photographer, one reason that I adore industrial spaces is that they are completely blank slates. Creative couples can come into these spaces and totally customise them in a way that you could never do a well-established space like a castle.