Getting Married in Ireland
Everyone who wants to get married in Ireland must attend a Notification of Intent to Marry meeting, in person with the HSE.
You can access a full list of the HSE offices in Ireland here: List of HSE Offices
Once you have made contact with the HSE, an HSE Registrar will send you confirmation of what you will be required to provide them at your NOIM appointment.
The required paperwork
If you are not an Irish national, if you have been married before or if your required paperwork is not in English, you will need to check with the HSE office exactly what paperwork they will require. Any paperwork that is not in English will need to be officially translated and stamped accordingly.
Minimum Required paperwork
· Passport – Must be in date
· Refugee / Asylum card issued by the Dept of Justice & Equality
· National Identity card from an EU country, accepting them as a travel document
· Proof of address (In date to the last 3 months)
· Confirmation of your Civil status
· Long birth certificates
· PPS number
Data Capture Form
Each couple will be required to complete a "Data Capture Form". See link to download this from the HSE website below:
The Data Capture Form requires the following information:
· Ceremony date
· Venue name and address
· Party 1 & 2 - Forename
· Party 1 & 2 - Surname
· Party 1 & 2 - Date of birth
· Party 1 & 2 - PPS No
· Party 1 & 2 - address
· Party 1 & 2 - Nationality
· Party 1 & 2 - Place of birth
· Party 1 & 2 - Tel no
· Party 1 & 2 – Email
· Party 1 & 2 – Occupation
· Party 1 & 2 – Civil status
· Party 1 & 2 – Father’s forename
· Party 1 & 2 - Father’s surname
· Party 1 & 2 – Mother’s forename
· Party 1 & 2 – Mother’s surname
· Name of 2 Witnesses aged over 18
· Date of birth of 2 Witnesses
· Confirmation of ceremony type – Religious, Secular or Civil
· Future address of couple
For definitive confirmation of what documents you will need to bring, you should check with your local HSE office.
Getting the NOIM meeting can sometimes take a while as most of the HSE offices are always very busy. I recommend you persevere, and you will get there eventually.
3 Months Notice period
Everyone has to give a minimum of 3 months notice of their intent to marry. This means that the NOIM meeting should take place at least 3 months before your wedding date. ie If you are to be married on the 15th of June, then you will have to have the NOIM completed and have received your Marriage Registration Form (MRF) – also known as the Green Folder, before the 15th March of the same year.
Some couples get confused and believe that you have to wait until 3 months before the wedding to make the NOIM meeting. This is not the case and can cause problems if any of your paperwork is not in order. It might mean that you need to go to the Courts to get Exemption of the 3 months notice period as you miss the deadline.
When can you make the NOIM meeting?
You can make your application to the HSE for the NOIM meeting as soon as you have the following information in place, along with any necessary supporting documentation.
· Venue address
· Solemniser details, Name and Address
· Name of 2 witnesses.
· Date of birth of both witnesses
Notification of Intent to Marry (NOIM) Meeting
Once you have had the NOIM meeting, if your paperwork is in order and you have paid the €200 HSE fee, you will be issued with your Green Folder that contains the two pieces of paper, which is the Marriage Registration Form (MRF). This is the paperwork that your Solemniser will use to legally marry you on the day of your wedding.
Confirmation to others of your intent to marry
Your Solemniser and the Venue will be advised after your NOIM meeting that you have been issued with your MRF Form.
Postal application for those living abroad
Where a couple is living outside of Ireland and is not planning to visit Ireland before their wedding, they can arrange with the HSE to do a Postal Application.
The HSE will email you all of the relevant information for the Notification of Intent to Marry process, including a copy of the Capture of Data form and will advise you on a list of required documentation to support your application.
Attending the HSE office in person
If you live overseas, you will still be required to attend in person with the HSE before your wedding date. It is at this meeting that you will be issued your MRF form assuming all of your required documentation is in order. As mentioned above. The MRF form is the paperwork that your Solemniser will need to marry you legally on the day of your marriage. Look after this carefully and do not forget to bring it on the day as you will not be able to be legally married without it at your wedding ceremony.
Confirmed appointment 5 days before wedding date – Postal Applications
The HSE have a provision that couples giving Notice of Intention to Marry - VIA POST - can submit their Capture of Data form (no less than 3 months prior to the wedding date) and then attend an appointment up until 5 days prior to the wedding date.
When organising your travel arrangement to Ireland in the days leading up to the wedding - you should ensure you arrive within the required timeframe, or you might not be able to legally marry.
Please note the opening hours of the HSE office where you made your application. The HSE offices do not necessarily open from 9 to 5 daily. Business hours will vary with each office.
It will probably be best if you make a confirmed appointment with the HSE office BEFORE you fly.
Registrar officiated marriage
If you have chosen to have a Civil marriage ceremony (ie, the HSE Registrar is performing your ceremony), you will not be given a Green Folder, ie the MRF document - The Registrar will hold this and bring it on the day of your ceremony.
If either party does not speak English - then you can have a Interpreter at your NOIM appointment. You must notify the HSE officer prior to the appointment.
If an Interpreter is used during the Notification appointment - then they must also be used at the marriage ceremony (if being held with an HSE Registrar - or a Solemniser who cannot translate the legal declarations to your spoken language)
There has recently been a change in some of the paperwork requirements for people who were either born outside of the Republic of Ireland, or for any person who is or was living outside of Ireland.
You might find some old information online - so I want to mention here, to ensure you are clear with what you need.... or don't need to do;
An Apostille Stamp - This is used to authenticate mostly Birth Certificates which were issued by any foreign country.
UK born nationals (inc Northern Ireland) may not need to have an Apostille stamp on their birth certificates. Check with HSE Registrar first!
Letter of Freedom
A Letter of Freedom - in reference to the HSE Notification process. This document may be requested for any person who is or was living outside of Ireland prior to the date of marriage. The "letter" is an official statement to declare that the person was not already legally married in the country of residence. Please check with HSE Registrar.
Letter of Freedom requirement for the Catholic Church
There is another Letter of Freedom, which you get ONLY if you are getting married in the Catholic church. A Priest might request this of the couple for their own paperwork process. This type of Letter of Freedom is nothing to do with the LEGAL, HSE process. It can be confusing for couples as it is called the same name!
It is always best to check directly with the HSE Registrar to confirm with them exactly what documentation is required for your NOIM appointment
If you have any questions on any of the information above - please feel free to contact me and I will try to help