How Can I Have My Marriage Abroad Recognised in Ireland?

In last week’s blog post, we wrote about the legal formalities involved in getting married in Ireland. As we wrote then, the legal aspects of planning your wedding may not be the most exciting, but they are important. This is no less true if you’re planning a wedding abroad.

For some couples, a foreign wedding can be nothing less than a dream come true. But what are the practical implications of getting married abroad? If you’re planning to get married in a different country, you should be aware of the relevant legal considerations. In this week’s blog post, we’d like to provide some useful information that anyone considering a wedding abroad should bear in mind.

Your Marriage Will be Registered in the Country Where it Occurs

Most importantly, if you’re getting married abroad, your marriage will be registered in the country where it occurs. This means that you must adhere to whichever legal formalities are necessary for registration of marriage in your chosen wedding destination. These formalities will almost certainly be quite different to those in Ireland, so make sure to do your research. When planning a foreign wedding, one of the first things you should do is find out how marriages are registered in your destination country.

Once you’ve obtained a foreign marriage certificate, this will usually be accepted in Ireland wherever you need to provide evidence that you are married. However, you are still bound by Irish rules on capacity to marry. In other words, if you would not have been entitled to get married in Ireland, your marriage abroad will not be recognised in Ireland.

The Citizens Information Board has published detailed information on Ireland’s capacity to marry rules, which you can find here.

Certificate of Freedom to Marry

In order to get married in some foreign countries, you may require a Certificate of Freedom to Marry. This may also be called “Certificate de Coutume” or “Certificate of Nulla Osta”. If you’re not sure whether you’ll require a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, you should contact the marriage registration office in your destination country to find out.

Irish citizens living abroad may apply for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry at their nearest embassy, or apply online to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Irish citizens living in Ireland who require a Certificate of Freedom to Marry may apply online to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

You can apply for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry here.

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