Civil Ceremony in hotel- advice

We've Moved!

Our wonderful discussion forums have now moved to Facebook...

Click to join us in our HIGM ("Help I'm Getting Married") group!

george88 Posts: 8
Hi We are recently engaged and are planning to have a civil ceremony in a hotel, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on our options as I have been reading some conflicting information so if someone could clear a few things up it would be much appreciated. So am I right in thinking that to have someone from the HSE do it, it must be Mon to Fri and they have certain days and times where they come out of the office to do them? Also we would pay the 200e fee and then their travel costs? Also is it very impersonal and all legal talk or can you have someone reading a passage/poem/music ect. My preference would be to have a humanist ceremony but I'm worried about the availability of someone to do it as we are in north Donegal and most seem to be based in Dublin, can we get one from Northern Ireland to do it? Do you know how much notice they need as I was hoping to maybe get married Oct 16 but am worried we won't have enough time to arrange the ceremony. Also the cost, am I right in saying we pay the 200e legal fee and then pay the solemniser their fee and travel costs, which to Donegal I'd imagine could be quite high? Would 400/500e be about right? Also which do you book first, the venue or the person to do the ceremony and work around them?
ThatGeekBride Posts: 122
Hi :) I am not yet married but I can answer what I know so far in the prep for my civil ceremony wedding and maybe others can fill in any blanks etc. I went to the venue first and narrowed down my dates. As I am getting married in 2017 they said that I could tentatively book a date without deposit which would be held for a week so that I could go and check with the registrar - not all hotels do this but you could possibly ask for 1-2 days grace to confirm etc OR you can book the venue and then take your chances that you will find someone to do the ceremony for you. I then rang the registrar for my county - you have to book with the registrar of the county you are marrying in as far as I know. Yes it is Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 kind of hours. The only stipulation in the content of the ceremony is that there is no religious content allowed, including religious songs. According to the wedding coordinator in the hotel, HSE registrars who regularly do civil ceremonies there are very down to earth, very human and not clinical at all. You will be allowed readings and to light candles etc etc. again as long as there is no mention of god. The fee is E200 which is the legal fees, and E20 for a marriage cert (All the info is on the citizens information website btw). As for the humanists, yes you are right about the fees. Again it is E200 legal fees and the cost for a humanist varies from person to person and travel costs. According to the humanist website they all seem to be in the E400-500 mark. I have no idea about using a northern Ireland humanist, I do know that all the solemnisers in Ireland are on a list so I would GUESS that you could have a NI humanist not on the list for the ceremony but possibly have to have it legalised seperately? hope some of this helps!
supercooper Posts: 124
Humanist ceremonies can be 7 days a week same with spiritualist ones. You will find it hard trying to find a celebrant at this stage for October but you can certainly try. Just contact all of them and go from there. Yes you pay 200 to the state to register your intent to marry, everyone does that regardless of where you are getting married, then the celebrant is separate on top of that. Our humanist celebrant is charging 450 and is travelling from Dublin to Kildare. Hope that helps.
eleoc42 Posts: 199
We had our civil ceremony in a hotel with HSE registrar last year. She was absolutely lovely and a lot more personal than we had been lead to believe . . we really thought it would be an "in-and-out" job. (This seems to more the case if you are getting married in the registry office) We had two readings and our singer sang at least 4 or 5 songs so the ceremony turned out so personal and intimate .. it really was lovely. Check out the Spiritualist Union of Ireland as well as they have solemnisers all over the country . . it really is quite similar to Humanist, although I am sure someone will correct me on that :o0 We have been to both Humanist and Spiritualist weddings in the past 12 months and I really didn't notice much of a difference in the ceremony. Both really nice having said that. Good thing about them is you can get married on a Saturday or even a Sunday. Good luck and enjoy all the planning :compress
george88 Posts: 8
Thanks a million for the detailed responses, really helpful. I think because of the timeframe and our location we will try arrange it with the HSE, especially if the ceremony can made personal. Will look into the spiritualist aswell, I hadn't considered that before!
mrsshorty Posts: 67
Just adding that the fee for our HSE Civil Ceremony in hotel venue is €358. That's €200 to register the marriage with the State, €150 for the Registrars time (€50 per hour for three hours, no idea why its 3 hours but that's the quote the HSE gave) plus €8 for travel costs (it's based on miles from the HSE office to our venue and back and our hotel is only 10 minutes from their office). Also, as others have said it is Mon-Friday office hours but we were told our Registrar only does ceremonies away from the office twice a day, so we had a choice of a 1pm wedding or a 3pm wedding. We went with 3pm as it gives us and our guests more time to get ready in the morning, plus we thought the Registrar might be more in a hurry to leave if she had another ceremony to get to after ours so we didn't want to feel rushed. Hope this helps!!
george88 Posts: 8
Thanks for all the advice! Its really frustrating the HSE only work Mon to Fri!! We have decided to have the wedding on a Saturday in March 2017. One of the humanists got back to us saying he would consider doing the ceremony at a fee of 670e! A spiritualist quoted 570e! It's so expensive having to add the 200e ontop of that aswell. I have been in contact with someone who lives in Donegal that carries out ceremonies at more than half the price of the Humanist, but they're not legal so it means having to go to a registry office before or after which I'm a bit unsure of! I'd be worried our family&friends won't take the ceremony as seriously if we tell them we are actually legally married beforehand. I'm worried it won't be as special for us either. Has anyone any experience of this? I just found out this evening there's an organisation called OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers that also carry out ceremonies and they're apparently quite open to whats included in the ceremony. One of the ministers is based in Sligo so I'm hoping she is available and a bit more affordable!It's so hard to know what to do!! O:|
SunshineLove Posts: 92
I can relate a bit to your questions about how to arrange a civil ceremony. I am from Florida. My now-hubby and I got engaged in December 2014, and we set a date to be married June 2015. So, we had 6 months to plan! What I'm used to in Florida, that would have been plenty of time, and it would have been around $300 for a celebrant. So I was shocked to learn that we were "way too late" to find a celebrant, and that one costs over twice as much (600 euro)! Luckily, with LOTS of internet searches, emails, and skyping, we found a "spiritualist," Berni Brophy, from One Faith Ministries. Here's their FB page: [url:2idz6v5b][/url:2idz6v5b] Maybe they are also called Interfaith Ministries? Here's their webpage: [url:2idz6v5b][/url:2idz6v5b] And here's Berni's page [url:2idz6v5b][/url:2idz6v5b] Not only were we really fortunate to find someone available, but we couldn't have been more pleased with Berni. She worked with us over email and Skype to create our ceremony, and she met with us when we arrived in Dublin just a week or so before our wedding. She was personable and professional. She was able to gear our ceremony to our diverse needs of my husband's family being Irish Catholic but him being atheist and me being raised in an Italian-American Catholic turned Methodist family but me being agnostic and our guests being a range of cultures and religions!! Everyone felt welcome, comfortable, and connected. Our wedding was in Dublin, so I am not sure how far Berni travels, but I think she is actually in Co. Laois? (see her link above) It might be worth asking and perhaps her colleagues are available? Here's two of our favorite photos from our ceremony with Berni - the hand fasting and the ring exchange [attachment=0:2idz6v5b]Ceremony rings 2.jpg[/attachment:2idz6v5b] [attachment=1:2idz6v5b]Ceremony handfasting 3.jpg[/attachment:2idz6v5b]