Archive for July, 2014

Outdoor wedding ceremonies legal

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

From the Irish Government News Service:
Department of Social Protection confirms that civil marriages may be solemnised outdoors in a place open to the public
Tánaiste – “The option of an outdoor wedding will be welcome news for couples who wish to celebrate their wedding day in a way that is most meaningful to them”

The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., has today (15th July 2014) confirmed that marriages can be solemnised outdoors in a place that is open to the public.
The notification, solemnisation and registration of marriages are governed by Part 6 of the Civil Registration Act 2004. Section 51(2) (c) of the Act provides that a registered solemniser “…shall not solemnise a marriage unless the solemnisation takes place in a place that is open to the public”. The Tánaiste said: “There has recently been some uncertainty about the definition of ‘a place that is open to the public’, and in order to clarify the matter, my Department sought advice from the Attorney General. This legal advice has clarified that the definition does include outdoor venues. This will be welcome news for couples wishing to celebrate their wedding day in a way that is most meaningful to them.”
In order to protect both parties to the marriage, the outdoor venue should be readily accessible to the public to avoid the possibility of coercion, fraud or lack of capacity on the part of a party to a marriage, to prevent marriages taking place in secret, and to provide an opportunity for objections.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection published the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 on 10 July, 2014 and she will bring forward a Committee Stage amendment to this Bill in the Autumn to further clarify what constitutes an outdoor marriage to ensure that the public policy objective of the provisions of section 51 of the 2004 Act remain intact.
The Tánaiste concluded: “I have just published the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill 2014 and I will be bringing forward a Committee Stage amendment to this Bill in the Autumn to further clarify what constitutes an outdoor marriage in a place that is open to the public to ensure that the public policy objectives regarding the solemnisation of marriage are upheld. I believe that solemnisers will take a common sense approach to this determination and ensure that the outdoor venues selected are readily accessible to the public.”
Source: MerrionStreet.ie Irish Government News Service