• Fifty Miles West

Elopement in Ireland: the legal requirements to get married in Ireland

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

If you've read my guide on best place to elope in Ireland, you know that the Emerald Isle is a gorgeous island offering stunning sceneries for your elopement.


However, with that, here we come to the details of documentation you need like visas, permits, and the like. You will need to start preparing these several months ahead, depending on where you come from. Ready to tie the Celtic knot? Let's start!


What's Needed for Ireland Eloping?

First off, it is essential to see if you need any visa for Ireland at all, depending on where you are from.


If you come from North America, Brazil, South Korea, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the European Union, or some other countries, you do not need to get a wedding visa. However, to make sure, you can find the full list of countries on the Irish government website. If you do need a visa, then it's vital to plan ample time to fulfill the requirements for getting this visa before you book any travel plans.


Pro-tip, when coming to the Irish border, regardless of where you are coming from, have all your documents with you. Even if you don't need a visa, then all the wedding papers should be at hand in your hand luggage. This is in case the Irish border control wants to see your passport, marriage visa, acknowledgment from the Registrar of Civil Marriages, and all of the supporting documents that you used to acquire these forms.


How to get permission to get married in Ireland

When it comes to eloping anywhere abroad, some advanced planning is essential. However, for Ireland, that's especially the case because you will need to give at least three months' notice to get married.

So, firstly, here are the basics for getting married in Ireland:

  • Both partners are 18 years old

  • Same-sex marriages are legal

Then, the next requirement is a little trickier if you're coming from abroad. At least three months (often even more) before the elopement ceremony, you need to be physically present and pay €200 to the local government office in Ireland for the wedding approval.


Next, if both or either one of you or your partner live outside of the Island of Ireland, then you will need to make a request for a mail-in registration for your Marriage Registration Form (MRF). Now, this is something that can take some time, so, to get it on time, I suggest that you do this as soon as possible. At this point, if you already know exactly where you're getting married in Ireland, then choosing the closest office to the elopement location would be the fastest option.


The Civil Registration Service office requires:

  • Passports of the partners

  • Additional passport photos for both partners

  • Birth Certificate for both parties (however, if you are not Irish, your birth certificate must have an apostille stamp from your embassy, except for those from Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, or Latvia)

  • Original final divorce decrees documents, if relevant

  • Original dissolution decrees for civil partnerships, if relevant

  • For ended Irish civil partnerships or marriages, a final decree of nullity and a letter from the court is needed

  • If you are a widow/er, you will need your deceased spouse's death certificate and previous civil marriage certificate

  • If you are living in Ireland as a foreigner, you will need evidence of immigration status (typically a GNIB card)

  • If you are living in Ireland or intend to reside here after the wedding, you will also need your PPS number

Apart from this documentation, it is possible that you may get asked some of the following questions when filing the documents.

  • Who is your officiant?

  • What is the date of your planned wedding?

  • Are you going to have a civil, secular, or religious ceremony?

  • Where is your wedding venue?

  • What are the names and dates of birth of your two witnesses? (Note - these can be wedding vendors if you are eloping in Ireland with no guests.)

Special requirements for foreigners getting married in Ireland

If you're coming from a non-English country, then all your documents will need to be appropriated by a certified English translation. Have them translated to English in your country by a certified translator and submit the originals along with the translation.


Additionally, if you're not coming from the European Union, it happens that you may be interviewed by the local office of Ireland before your marriage request is approved. This is nothing to worry about. It's just their way of vetting the visitors of their country for applications like this.

Upon filing the request, the local office will notify you if this is the case.


Another final tip is to review your level of English. At these types of interviews, often, a very formal, legal type of English is used. So, if your English is not your first language, bringing an interpreter to your marriage notification appointment is very helpful. If not, then review the requirements online to get familiar with the language used in the office before you get there.

All in all that is it for the needed documentation on eloping in Ireland.


I know this may not be such a fun and exciting part of your elopement, but note that it is crucial in making the ceremony successful.


While it may not seem as romantic at first, getting married at home before you leave or after you come back can be the right decision, it will help you avoid all of the bureaucratic processes required to essentially get a piece of paper. And anyway even if you will have legal wedding in Ireland, you will have to file with your local government anyway.


As always, if any questions or doubts, do not hesitate to contact me. As an experienced destination wedding and elopement photographer, it is part of my job recommend eloping places and planning tips no matter where in the world you are eloping!


If Ireland is your dream elopement destination feel free to check my travel plans may be I'm already have Ireland in my schedule and all you need it's contact me and book your epic elopement in this amazing place without travel fees!


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