Planning a Civil Wedding Ceremony
So you’ve got the ring, and decided between you that a church wedding is not for you. So what to do next?
First things first, deciding what size your wedding is will really guide your decision making. Most locations will have a maximum capacity which will rule out a number of options.
But the beauty of Ireland’s recent relaxation of Civil Wedding ceremonies is that you can pretty much get married anywhere, with a few general conditions:
1. The location must be a public space
2. If outdoors, the space must be attached to a premises
3. The location must be approved by the county Registrar
So public halls, gardens, libraries, historical buildings, art galleries – picture a building that you fell in love with recently and take it from there. Here’s a few tips:
- First stop is St. Camillus Hospital in Limerick City the most hassle free, and busiest, destination for a Civil Weddings in Limerick and Clare.
- Nearby de-consecrated Kilkishen Church was recently renovated into a beautiful cultural centre and function hall, it is available for ceremonies and can be booked through their website here.
- Shannon Heritage run two beautiful castles in the locality: Bunratty and Knappogue Castles. Both are available for civil weddings in certain circumstances, and Bunratty even has the pretty-as-a-picture Ardcroney church on their grounds, now de-consecrated.
- Limerick’s Civic Trust and the Limerick Georgian Society both have a number of spaces available for private functions, such as the Culture House on Pery Square, and the beautiful St. John’s Church, now a performance space for Dance Limerick.
MAKING IT OFFICIAL
The actual official marriage can be a bit of a minefield that needs to be navigated by the couple for their particular needs. Here are some handy links that explain the ins-and-outs of legalising your marriage:
- Citizens Advice – Civil Marriage Ceremony
- HSE – How To Get Married in Ireland
- WeddingsOnline – How to Register Intent to Marry
Of course a celebrant is a big part of the ceremony, but to make the marriage legal on the same day, they must a registered solemniser, who will usually travel to a location for a small fee. Just keep in mind that you must register your intent to wed at least three months in advance. Alternatively many celebrants will look after the legal side of the marriage, just make sure to have this conversation when you are booking someones services.
- Official Register of Solemnisers
- WeddingsOnline List of Celebrants
- Brides of Limerick List of Celebrants
TIME TO CELEBRATE!
So this is the fun part, a great opportunity for you and your fiance to create a celebration that represents you as a couple!
Of course our beautiful restaurant Gallagher’s of Bunratty has such as unique interior that very little needs to be done in the way of decor, but if you want to put your personal stamp on it, getting a florist on board to help decorate our space is a great first step. There are three local florists that we work with that would be familiar with our restaurant:
Co. Clare is rich in musical talent, so you will be spoilt for choice. The addition of a piano in our restaurant is a great opportunity for soothing live music during your meal (our pianist is available for private functions), while our bar/performance area is the perfect location for an Irish sing song. We suggest acoustic performer(s) such as small bands, folk music and/or soloists, as our space is relatively limited so a full wedding band might be superfluous. The wonderful Sixmilebridge Folk Club has a full roster of local talented musicians, alternatively check out the WeddingsOnline directory for more ideas.
While we have made every effort to ensure the information here is correct at time of publishing, please check with the relevant officials regarding any queries you may have.