Engaging the Service of a Celebrant or Registered Solemniser

The Green Folder - Marriage Registration Form - Celebrant Ireland - Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more - Darren & Cliff Fota House, Cork

What do we need to do to be recognized as legally married? 

You will need to contact your local Irish Civil Registration Service (HSE) to notify the State of your intent to marry.  Notifications can be taken only by prior appointment with the Registrar. While three months’ notice is required by law, couples are advised to contact the HSE well before the 3 months before their intended date of marriage.

You can contact the HSE using the following link.  Alternatively, telephone or call into your local office.


  • Depending on the circumstances of the couple, this will determine what documents the HSE will require at your Notification of Intent to Marry (NOIM) meeting.
  • You will need to provide photo ID, proof of address, long birth certificate and the names and dates of birth of your two witnesses.
  • Once the preliminary documents are completed and accepted, the HSE will issue you with an MRF (Marriage Registration Form).  This meeting will need to be in person and both of you will need to attend. Don’t forget to take all original documents with you to the NOIM meeting.
  • The MRF, document is extremely important – as it is this legal paperwork which you both (along with your two witnesses and your authorised Solemniser) will sign on the day of your wedding ceremony.
  • Once the MRF document has been signed by the marrying couple, their two witnesses and the Solemniser – the MRF must be returned to the HSE office within 30 days of the wedding date, to be processed and your marriage registered.  Once the HSE has entered details into their system – the couple can order their official Irish Marriage Certificate.

PLEASE email me – any questions in regard to holding a Legal wedding ceremony – please contact us.  It is extremely important that you both understand exactly what is required of you, and of what we can offer to you in our service.



Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more - Legal wedding ceremony - Signing the Marriage Registration (MRF Green Folder

We have already completed our legal documentation privately, and just want to hold a ceremony with our family and friends.  We don’t want them knowing we’ve already signed the legal stuff!

That’s completely acceptable if you have already completed your legal paperwork, for whatever reason, whether in Ireland or perhaps in if you reside outside or Ireland, in another country. This would mean that the ceremony performed would not be a legal wedding – but rather more of a “Commitment”, “Wedding Celebration” “Wedding Blessing” or “Renewal of Vows” ceremony.

Please discuss this with your Celebrant so that they can explain to you exactly what would be done during the ceremony, and the type of wording which could be used on the day.  There can still be a “Witness Signing” on the day, but it would have no legal standing.  See below.



Do we get a marriage certificate on the day?

For non-legal ceremonies, Yes, we have a commemorative parchment certificate which we can offer as a memento of your day.

This is not a legal marriage certificate / document, it is only a commemorative keepsake from the day.

During your ceremony, the couple and their two witnesses sign the certificate - which makes for a lovely photo-opportunity during the ceremony too!

For Legal wedding ceremonies – it would be the MRF documents, provided to you by the HSE, which would be signed during the ceremony.  It is the couple’s responsibility to return the MRF to the HSE within 30 days of the date of marriage (to register your marriage). Once the MRF is returned to the HSE office for processing – you can then order the official Irish Marriage Certificate from the HSE.

Our Spiritual Earth is categorised as “Religious” in the HSE Register of Solemnisers.  Your Marriage Certificate from the HSE will detail your ceremony as follows:

“According to – “the rites and ceremonies of Our Spiritual Earth”.

Wedding flowers - Bride's bouquette at an Irish Wedding Celebrant led ceremon by Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more

How is our booking confirmed and when is the balance paid?

Your ceremony date is confirmed when we receive a Non-refundable €200 booking fee and a signed copy of our Agreement and Terms and Conditions document.

The remaining balance outstanding is paid at the time of the Couple Coaching Session.

For ceremonies booked within four weeks of the ceremony date – full payment must be made at time of booking.

Please ask for a copy of our TERMS and CONDITIONS Agreement for full details.

How do we book our ceremony with you?

From your initial query, if your date is available, I will pencil your names into my diary, and confirm this to you by email.  This initial query can be held in the diary for two (2) weeks only.  If you do not advise me, in writing, for further commitment – the query is removed from the diary, and the date released.

Please note that only once a booking fee and signed agreement are received is a booking fully confirmed and your date secured in the diary.

How far in advance should I confirm our Ceremony with you?

Many couples want to book 12 months, or more, in advance. As long as your chosen date is available, then I am happy to accept bookings up until 2 weeks prior to your wedding date if your date is available.

Please contact me directly to discuss – especially if your wedding is to be a legal marriage as the appropriate HSE paperwork (MRF) will need to have been completed by you and made available to me.

Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more FAQs

Can we have our ceremony on the weekend?

YES, I work seven days a week.  I only ever hold one ceremony per day, so the choice is yours as to your wedding ceremony starting time.

Ourdoor wedding by a lake - West Cork by Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more

Can our ceremony be held anywhere?

You can hold a NON-LEGAL ceremony wherever you might like it to be – at your own home, a hotel, a park, the beach, or other venue.

LEGAL WEDDING ceremonies must, by law, be performed in a place of a fixed address – and which are open to the public.  You cannot hold a legal ceremony on private property.  If in any doubt, ask me– or contact the HSE office directly, and they will advise you.

We really want our ceremony to be personalized.  How can we do this?

I encourage you to personalize your ceremony as much as you wish. The more you personalize your ceremony, the greater experience it will be for you and your guests. Choosing rituals, readings, poems, music, etc that represent who you are as a couple is most effective.  I also have some lovely ways which give your ceremony a very personalized feel.

I’ll go over details with you once we start all the preparations for your ceremony!

Unity candle ritual at outdoor wedding, Tankardstown, by Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more

We would love to write our own vows but are a little unsure of what to do!

It is the most wonderful way to personalize your ceremony – to write your own vows.  No-one can say these words better than the two of you.  I have lots of information to help you write your vows and can personally give you guidance and help along the way if you’d like.

Caroline McCarthy Registered Solemniser & Celebrant – Gay Wedding - Ireland Cork & Kerry Munster Getting Married in Ireland Celebrant Cork Munster – Readings for a legal wedding

Does it matter if either of us have been married before and now divorced?

It makes no difference to your ceremony that this is not your first marriage.  You do, however, need to provide required paperwork to the HSE when putting in your Notification of Intent to Marry.  Please contact the HSE for your own requirements.

We have our own children who we would like to include in our ceremony.  Can we do this?

Absolutely!  If you have children, I have meaningful ways to include them in your ceremony!  I will talk with you to discuss the age of the child/children and suggest various ways they can participate in your wedding ceremony.

How to include your child children in your wedding ceremony. Wedding at Ballyseede Castle, Trallee, Co Kerry by Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more

Can we have a religious, spiritual, humanistic or secular style of ceremony?

This is completely your choice too!  Many prefer a "spiritual" not "religious" ceremony, or perhaps something completely secular (non-religious or Humanistic style).  I like to create inclusive ceremonies and I am open to all beliefs and none.   I welcome and unite people from all faiths, or none, with an interest in personal and spiritual inspiration.

City Wedding - The Imperial Hotel, Cork - Unity Candle and Handfasting rituals by Caroline McCarthy Celebrant & Registered Celebrant Ireland - Cork Kerry Tipperary Limerick Kildare and more

Can we include elements of different religions and religious traditions into our ceremony?

Yes! These make for interesting, rich, meaningful ceremonies. I work with you to put together a ceremony that truly reflects your beliefs. I am quite willing to include religious wording, readings, prayers, music or other traditions and customs into the ceremony schedule where-ever I can.  Feel free to talk to me about the vision you have for your ceremony.

Something’s happened, and we need to change the date of our ceremony – is this possible?

I have no problems changing dates, if your alternative date is available.  In this case, your deposit will be forwarded to your new date when available. I will work with you to find a suitable alternative if not.

If you have any questions and they are not covered on this FAQ sheet – please contact me to clarify any information.  I have tried my very best to answer the most common asks… but there’s always something different out there!

So please do contact me directly and I will be more than happy to talk with you about anything which you might like to know.