Calling all Irish citizens!
Are you dreaming of having a change of scenery for your wedding day? Can you imagine yourself tying the knot under the warm sun, celebrating on golden sands, in a stunning villa, in a magical country home or in a fairy-tale castle? If the answer is yes, then let’s get planning your destination wedding abroad!
If you are an Irish citizen and you want to host the wedding of your dreams abroad, this article is for you! We are going to give you all the information that you need, so that you will be able to host your destination wedding and then return home to Ireland as a legally married couple.
Make a note of this advice, as it will ensure the success of your wedding!
photo by Dearly Beloved Photography
It is firstly important to recognise that the legality of your marriage will be determined by the country in which your wedding takes place. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you meet all the legal requirements for the overseas country. If you fail to do this, you cannot be legally married in Ireland, so this is extremely important! For example, in many foreign countries, a wedding in a church is not legally valid, and so it may be necessary to get formally married at the town hall or wherever legal marriages are registered, and then hold a symbolic ceremony in a church or a wedding venue with your guests.
photo by Conway Photo and Film
Your marriage must be registered in your destination country, as the General Register Office in Ireland will not register marriages that take place abroad. This means that your foreign marriage certificate, with an official translation (or translated by a recognised translation agency) will be valid if you need to prove that you are married. Be sure to contact the Civil Registration Office of the country in which your wedding will be held, in order to learn how to meet the legal requirements to get married there. If you need any more help, take a look at our article about how to get legally married in Europe.
It is important to remember that you will still be bound by Irish law regarding your capacity to marry. Many countries will require you to provide a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, also known as a ‘Civil Letter of Freedom’, a ‘Certificat de Coutume’, a ‘Certificato di Nulla Osta’ or a ‘Certificato de Estado Civil’.
photo by Figlewicz Photography
In order to apply for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, you simply need to apply online to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where you will be given an online questionnaire based on you and your marriage. You will also need to make an online payment, complete and submit at least one or more Statutory Declarations and you may need to provide other supporting documentation. You will then need to post these original documents along with a photocopy of your passport to the address stated in your questionnaire. Once these documents have been approved, they will be sent back to you. The department will then send the Certificate of Freedom to Marry to you within 8 weeks of your wedding date. It is very important to note however, that applications must be submitted at least 4 months before your wedding date, and any applications submitted within 28 days or less before your wedding will require an added fee of €60 per applicant.
So, if you follow these simple steps and also ensure that you meet all of the requirements to get married set by your destination country, you will be well on your way to making the most incredible memories at your beautiful wedding abroad!