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Celebrants and Solemnisers – What Do They Do?

Have you ever wondered what celebrants and solemnisers do? There is a difference between the types of people who can legally marry you and those who can host a non-legally-binding ceremony. Take a look below to see what celebrants and solemnisers do…

Featured image: Alex Zarodov Photography


Wedding Solemnisers

A wedding solemniser is a person licensed to conduct weddings in Ireland. Anybody performing a civil, secular or religious wedding must be in the General Register Office.

These are the different types of ceremonies in Ireland:

Religious ceremonies

Church Ceremonies: Roman Catholic ceremonies are popular, but other denominations are also included in this list! Others who can perform ceremonies in places of worship include; Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church, Baptist, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witness, Assembly of God, One Spirit Interfaith, Dublin Buddhist Centre and the Spiritualist Union of Ireland, and many more.

Interfaith Ceremonies: Many ordained Interfaith ministers are on the registered solemnisers list and can carry out legally-recognised religious ceremonies. They serve all faiths and none, don’t have their own church but instead will travel to your ceremony location.

Secular ceremonies

Humanist Ceremonies: These are legally recognised in Ireland if carried out by a registered humanist solemniser (see link below).

Celtic Ceremonies: Celtic Monk and Priest, Dara Ó Maoildhia, can legally marry couples under the Aisling Árann organisation.

Civil Ceremonies

These are legally-binding secular ceremonies carried out by a registrar. Civil ceremonies can take place in a registry office or by the registrar traveling to perform a civil ceremony in an approved room or venue (many hotels and venues have approved rooms, just ask your venue when booking).

Please note that office ceremonies can only take place during office opening hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday). For couples wishing to host their wedding on a weekend, consider taking care of the legal bit prior to your Big Day and then having a celebrant host your ceremony on the day.

Take a look at the complete list of registered solemnisers here!


Wedding Celebrant

Somebody who hosts a wedding ceremony is classified as a wedding celebrant. However, not everybody in this category can legally register your marriage. Many couples choose to have a celebrant host their ceremony on their wedding day and have a solemniser take care of the legal part prior to the wedding day.

This type of ceremony will not be legally binding because you’re already married and have had your marriage certificate signed by an official registrar. However, it’s a great option for couples who want to include a ceremony in their wedding celebration!


Wedding Celebrants, Ministers and Solemnisers for Your Irish Wedding

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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