The Tender Trap

Oh the joys of trying to marry in Ireland. 

As we’ve been learning over the last months, it takes several months and enough red tape to circle the country twice to legally become man and wife in this country. So just in case you’re thinking of it… here’s some helpful hints you might want to know.

First you have to declare your intent to marry. This must be done at least three months prior to your wedding day and you’ll probably wait over a month just for the appointment to get this part done. 

To give this marriage notification, we must both be present with birth certificates, passports/driver’s licenses and social registration or PPS numbers. Fair enough. But we also must provide the same for our witnesses. We also have to provide the date, time and place of our wedding, as well as our officiant’s name and information. Add to that a healthy sum of €150. All of this is for a church wedding… which is apparently different than a civil service. If you’re of two different faiths, as Frank and I are, that throws another whole monkey wrench into the works, not to mention the fact that I’m not an official resident of Ireland yet. 

Now, if you happen to be me, you might have still have some more questions to make sure we have everything we need for our June 16 appointment to declare our intent. But good luck trying to talk to anyone at the marriage registry office. The number you call reaches a local shop, which then has to transfer the call to the registry office, where you will probably get an answering machine. And this is only if you are able to get someone in the shop to answer in the first place.  

Did you know that in the state of Colorado, you can declare yourself the “officiant” and legally marry with just a ceremony between you and your spouse? So, if Frank and I were in Colorado, we could just walk up Pike’s Peak, clasp hands, promise to love and honor each other forever, and the deal would be done. Hmm…

I guess in a way it’s good that there is such a process here, though… (?) I mean, it sure cuts down on the shotgun weddings and elopements, eh? Of course, the other side of the euro is that you then have couples who live together indefinitely, buying homes, having children, and never actually making it official. But that’s probably more of an anti-establishment statement, rather than a response to the inconvenience itself. 

Ah well, to each his own. 

I won’t even start to tell you about the social pressures of having a wedding here in the first place… all the “must haves” I can live without, the pushy salespeople who have driven me to tears when I just wanted a browse, the random people expecting invitations, or the €30,000 ($45,000) price tag that comes with the “average” Irish wedding. 

Now, I know I’m being sarcastic about a lot of this and part of that could be more related to the fact that my dog just dug up my entire vegetable garden… leading me to sit here and try to make wedding phone calls while enjoying a glass of wine at 2 in the afternoon… but I think when it’s all arranged and settled, I will be happy and excited that we’re getting married here in Ireland. It’s sure to be magical, and I definitely want some official ceremony that’s done before God, friends and family to signify our love and commitment to each other. But sometimes, as many of my friends have said to me over the years, eloping just sounds like an attractive option!

*   *   *   *   *

I leave you with my latest funny observation. 

While taking a walk last week, I crossed paths with a large school group walking from their classrooms to church for mass before lunch. The teachers were trying to hush the kids as they entered the chapel, which was especially futile with a particular group of about 20 or so young boys, probably 10 or 11 in age. 

I don’t know if the boys realized or not the comic irreverence of their song as their squeaky voices rang out together: “They’re tryin to make me go to rehab, and I said, no, no, no!”

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4 thoughts on “The Tender Trap

  1. I think I just commented on the wrong post. I said that Steve and I, with under three weeks to go, are constantly tempted to do the Pike’s Peak thing. Yes, Colorado is weird, but it’s nice to have a lack of red tape somewhere.

  2. I forgot about that Colorado thing. Shoot, we should have done that!
    Good luck. Nothing wrong with a glass of wine at 2 in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s all you can do 🙂

  3. Maybe that’s why Bree and Martin got married in Colorado! I’m trying to remember if they just had an unofficial ceremony in Ireland. I’ll have to ask her. Of course, they weren’t planning on living there at the time.

  4. Pingback: 5 things to know before you move to Ireland. « View From an Irish Back Yard

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