Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and the person who makes or breaks your ceremony is your celebrant. You know, that all-important person who not only helps you to design & create your dream ceremony in your own unique style, but who also goes out of their way to do everything necessary to make sure your ceremony runs smoothly on the day – who conducts your ceremony with such flawless professionalism no matter what unexpected situation arises, that there is no doubt in your mind (or the minds of your guests) that you chose the right one. But just where and how do you find that right one?
Your first step is to know what kind of wedding ceremony you really want – do you want a unique & personalised legal wedding ceremony created to suit your very own requirements and style? Or do you want a non-legal wedding ceremony because you will already be married abroad without anybody knowing?
How to Find Your Solemniser / Celebrant
If you are using Google to find your celebrant and you want to be legally married in Ireland, you need to use the word “solemniser” (instead of celebrant) followed by the location of your wedding venue or the location near where you live, which ever is most important to you. For example “solemniser cork” or “solemniser dublin” will yield you so many results you will be overwhelmed.
We have made it so much easier for you by taking the guess work out, by providing you with our very own “Little Black Book” of recommended solemnisers who we have worked with for many years, who we know and trust so well that we love to recommend them to others. You can tell by their many testimonials from many happy couples they have worked with over the years, that you will find the right one for your needs. You will find our recommended solemnisers all over Ireland here on our website.
But first, you should read the following important advice.
According to the Marriage Act, there are three types of legal marriage ceremonies and three types of legal marriage celebrants here in Ireland. The three types are Civil, Secular or Religious and the prices do vary greatly depending on the type of ceremony you would like.
Now to the good stuff ..
HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
1 – Civil Celebrant
Your cheapest option will usually be a civil registrar for a civil ceremony or registry office marrage conducted by a Civil Registrar in the registry office. There is generally no charge for a registry office marriage. There may be a cash payment required on the day, from around €40 or more, but this will depend on the Registrar allocated to you. Most registrars do not require a cash payment on the day and in most cases a civil ceremony / registry office marriage will be free of charge at a registry office.
If you would like a Civil Registrar to conduct a civil or registry office marriage ceremony at any venue of your choice, this can be arranged for extra cost. The fee for this is usually around €170 to €300 , depending on the distance required to travel to your wedding venue. This extra cost is to pay for their time, and will be payable equally for ceremonies conducted during office hours or those conducted outside office hours and on weekends.
HSE Civil Registrars are forbidden from conducting civil ceremonies / registry office marriages with any spiritual and/or religious content, the civil ceremony or registry office marriage must be strictly non-spiritual and non-religious including ceremony music.
The civil ceremony is a great choice for those who are on a strict budget, or for those who don’t want any superstitious or spiritual elements in their ceremony and just don’t want the extra bother of working with their celebrant to create a unique & personalised ceremony. The civil ceremony / registry office marriage is a great low cost and simple no fuss option and for this reason it is a good choice for many couples getting married in Ireland.
2 – Secular or Religious Celebrant
This is where things can be very confusing for modern couples getting married in Ireland who would like a unique & personalised legal marriage ceremony, with or without any spiritual or religious design ideas of their choice.
With the diversity of beliefs held by secular and religious bodies registered to conduct marriages here in Ireland, it is NOT possible to generalise by saying that all religous ceremonies must be conducted to suit strict rules of a Religion, or that all secular ceremonies are non-spiritual and non-religious.
The most widely publicised Secular ceremony in the past decade has been the Humanist ceremony. Humanism is a movement which doesn’t allow its members to have any belief in any superstitions or spirituality of any kind which suits the beliefs of many people now getting married in Ireland. Because of their non-religious beliefs and rules, celebrants who are registered members of the Humanist movement are registered as “Secular” or non-religious solemnisers.
Because of their non-religous and non-spiritual beliefs, members of the Humanist movement are the only registered solemnisers (besides the HSE Civil Registrars) who are permitted to conduct legal marriage ceremonies in Civic buildings such as a City Hall.
HSE Registrars and Humanist solemnisers are also currently the only solemnisers permitted to conduct legal marriages in public buildings managed by the OPW. (Office of Public Works)
There is one Secular solemniser, who is not permitted to conduct ceremonies in civic buildings because the beliefs of his Secular governing body allow him to conduct ceremonies to suit the couples beliefs and wishes, including ceremonies with spiritual and/or religious elements, such as celtic handfasting. Although he is a Secular solemniser he is not permitted to conduct ceremonies in civil buildings.
So the boundary between Secular (non-religious) and Religious (including spiritual) solemnisers and marriage ceremonies is not as clear as it might seem, due to the diversity in the beliefs and ceremonial practices of Secular and Religious bodies.
The only clear boundary is the Civil ceremony, HSE Civil Registrars are forbidden from conducting civil ceremonies with any spiritual and/or religious content, so they just don’t. This is why HSE Registrars and Humanist solemnisers are the only solemnisers permitted to conduct marriage ceremonies in Civic buildings.
Registered Solemnisers who conduct spiritual ceremonies are not permitted to conduct legal marriage ceremonies in Civic buildings, so generally (with one exception) solemnisers who conduct spiritual ceremonies of any kind must be registered as Religious solemnisers.
Interfaith Ministers & Celebrants
The good news for modern couples getting married in Ireland, is that right in between Secular and Religious ceremonies is a 4th ceremony type which includes both secular and Religious ceremonies.
This is the unique & personalised Interfaith Ceremony created & conducted by an Interfaith Minister or Celebrant, a registered solemniser who creates & conducts unique & personalised, non-denominational ceremonies according to the wishes and beliefs of each couple. This means the Interfaith Minister & Celebrant is registered to conduct both secular and religious styled ceremonies, including spiritual ceremonies, mixed faith ceremonies, non-religious ceremonies and everything else in between.
This freedom of choice with your ceremony design really makes the Interfaith Minister & Celebrant the Rolls Royce of wedding celebrants in Ireland for modern couples who want a unique & personalised ceremony to suit their own beliefs & wishes.
The price for a unique & personalised ceremony with your choice of Interfaith solemniser ranges from €295-€700+ depending on the solemniser chosen, type of ceremony required and if travelling charge and any other costs are included.
Some Interfaith Ministers & Celebrants have a tiered approach to their fee structure with a fee package to suit the amount of time spent, while others will have a one-fits-all fixed price no matter how simple or complex your ceremony requirements may be.
This includes all Ministers of Religion, all those affiliated with registered Churches, Temples, Ministries and Spiritual Missions, including Pagan ministries, along with all Interfaith Ministers & Celebrants as mentioned previously. Prices vary greatly depending on the celebrant/priest/minister and the chosen venue.
Essential Advice for All Couples
If you would like to be legally married in Ireland, with a unique & personalised wedding ceremony created to suit your very own beliefs & wishes, there is absolutely no shortage of experienced and caring Interfaith Ministers & Celebrants, who are also legally registered to conduct & solemnise legal marriages.
If your wedding celebrant is an Interfaith Minister or Celebrant, and a legally registered solemniser of marriages, your unique & personalised, beautiful wedding ceremony will be fully legal on the day with absolutely no need to attend the registry office on a separate day with your witnesses for a registry office marriage.
The price of your solemniser depend enitlrely on who you choose. Interviewing prospective solemnisers is essential for your re-assurance that you have chosen the right one. The fee charged does not always indicate the level of experience and quality service provided.
We have made it so much easier for you by taking the guess work out, by providing you with our very own “Little Black Book” of recommended solemnisers who we have worked with for many years, who we know and trust enough to give our highest personal recommendation. You will find our recommended solemnisers all over Ireland here on our website.