An important update on non-legal wedding ceremonies and other wedding celebrations on private properties, Gardai have confirmed just now that the 50 people limit currently in place for weddings, negotiated by Failte Ireland (on behalf of licensed hotels and wedding venues), appilies only to legal marriages and their celebrations conducted on the same day as the legal marriage, and only at hotels and licensed venues.

The reason for this because a legal marriage ceremony cannot be considered a social gathering and is therefore exempt from social gathering restrictions, but a non-legal wedding ceremony doesn’t have this exemption. Hotels and licensed venues therefore have been granted an exemption on social gathering numbers for legal marriage celebrations only, with the adjusted limit of 50 people attending the legal marriage celebrations. This extended limit applies regardless of where the legal marriage ceremony was conducted eg. this applies to both church or non-church legal marriages where the celebration at the hotel or licensed venue happens on the same day as the legal marriage ceremony.

This exemption was granted to hotels and licensed venues because they have the staff and facilities in place to ensure social distancing and other mandatory public health measures are maintained.

Non-legal wedding ceremonies on private property are not exempt from social gathering restrictions and therefore must comply with current social gathering restriictions in place, which at this time (September 1st, 2020) means a maximum of 15 people outdoors, and 6 people indoors as per guidelines at which remain in force until further notice.

If you have any questions about this ruling this can be verified with your local Gardai.

Please stay safe and keep your loved ones safe during these unprecedented times.


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