A couple who are planning to tie the knot in Ireland must adhere to a number of regulations for the marriage to be legally recognized by the state. Regardless of the kind of ceremony the bride and groom are planning to have in Ireland, the state must be provided with three month's notice of intention to marry. It is, in most cases, required by the state that the notice be given in person to a local registrar three months in advance of the marriage; however, in very restricted circumstances (maybe the bride and groom are undocumented and can't travel before the wedding) then an allowance may be made to meet the registrar a number of days before the marriage. Also, postal notifications will be permitted in special circumstances. Couples should contact their local registrar as soon as possible to decide on the best method of registration. Each couple must also pay a *150 notification fee and provide the registrar with evidence of the bride and grooms names, addresses, age, marital status and nationality as well as details on the intended date of the marriage. The registrar will also require the names and dates of birth of marriage witnesses (two are required), details of the proposed ceremony officiator (priest or minister) and the venue. When the registrar is satisfied that the bride and groom have provided all the required details he will issue a Marriage Registration Form, allowing the couple the freedom to proceed with the marriage legally. The General Register Office in Ireland will be able to advise the bride and groom of the registrar in their local area. The address is General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon, Ireland. Call 011-353-90-663-2900; fax 011-353-90-663-2999, or visit www.groireland.ie. For a wedding to be considered legal in Ireland, the ceremony needs to be either civil or religious (only Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Society of Friends and Jewish communities are considered religious and legal.) If the bride and groom wish to marry through a religious ceremony then the specific denominational authorities need to be contacted for advice on how to proceed. A civil marriage may take place at the office of a Registrar of Civil Marriages, or at a venue which has been agreed between the couple and the Registrar and approved in advance by the registrar. The bride and groom are subject to extra fees for civil marriages at venues other than the registry office. Upon notification to the registrar of the wedding, the couple will be advised on fees that are due. The ceremony must be performed in the presence of two witnesses who are over the age of 18.
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