Dublin City Hall wedding is always a really unique celebration. Originally built in the 18th century as the Royal Exchange, it has an impressive history and even more impressive interiors. The famous Rotunda never fails to take your breath away. So many couples dream of saying their vows in this elegant hall that dates get booked many months in advance!
Dublin City Hall Wedding Ceremony
So what’s involved in getting married at the Dublin City Hall? First, you’ll need to contact the HSE to inform them of your intention to marry, minimum 3 months beforehand. This is a standard procedure for any wedding in Ireland. You will then be able to choose between holding a Civil ceremony (Mon-Fri) or Secular ceremony (Mon-Sat). If you opt for the latter you’ll need to organize your own registered Secular Solemnizer from the Humanist Association of Ireland.
Dublin City Hall Wedding Cost
- It costs €1250 to get married at the Dublin City Hall, including a deposit of €550 to secure your date.
- The hire fee includes approximately 3 hours at the City Hall – 1 hour prior to the ceremony to decorate the venue and allow the guests to take their seats, the ceremony itself and an hour after for a drinks reception and photographs. The City Hall closes at 5pm, so don’t plan your ceremony too late!
- The City Hall will also provide an antique table and antique chairs for the bride and groom, along with 200 black fold-out chairs for the guests laid out in theatre style. If you’d prefer to use different chairs, there are several hire options recommended by the City Hall.
- There is a PA system that you can use to play music from your device.
- The main thing that comes along with your Dublin City Hall wedding is, of course, the inimitable architecture and atmosphere of the historic Rotunda, clad in marble, surrounded by beautiful statues and filled with light.
Do’s and Don’ts for Dublin City Hall Wedding
Every couple want to make their wedding day look as personal as possible, and the Rotunda is certainly a beautiful place for it. You’ll have an hour before the ceremony to put your own stamp on the space. You are welcome to
- use encased lanterns for candles,
- hang aisle markers,
- place flower arrangements on tables, and
- dress ceremony chairs.
However, being an official building, the City Hall has certain restrictions that you might want to consider before hiring it for your wedding ceremony.
- There are no open flames allowed on the ground (you can still light candles for the ceremony).
- You can’t bring balloons or inflatable decorations (have a look at the height of the Rotunda dome, and you’ll see why!).
- You’re not allowed to bring confetti, rice and loose petals.
- Don’t attach anything to the floor or walls.
- No pets allowed.
Drinks Reception at Dublin City Hall
The hour after your ceremony is normally dedicated to a drinks reception when your guests have a chance to get some refreshments and catch up with you. Whatever catering company you choose to go with, there are a few common sense rules to follow in regards to hosting your reception in the City Hall.
- Cooking and gas cylinders are not allowed on site but food reheating is permitted. More often than not couples choose cold canapes.
- Alcohol is allowed, with the exception of draught beer.
- Any vendors working at the Dublin City Hall are required to have public liability insurance for the amount of €6.5 million. Make sure you check that your vendors are covered for it, including your photographer!
Photos at Dublin City Hall
One of the main reasons so many couples dream of a Dublin City Hall wedding is, of course, its unique aesthetic. Capturing the fantastic surroundings in photographs is certainly one of the highlights! Besides documenting the ceremony itself, it’s great to spend a couple of minutes afterwards to capture the beauty of the Hall. The drinks reception is normally held in the East Wing of the Rotunda (to the left of the entrance). This leaves the West Wing the perfect space for photos. The Rotunda is filled with light from all over, making it ideal for natural photographs. You’ll have access to the staircase in the West Wing for more angles. I also recommend to my couples to let all the guests leave the City Hall first so you can have the space to yourself for some stunning shots.
Dublin City Hall is probably one of my favourite places for family photos! The West Wing is absolutely perfect for group photos, and they are quick and easy to do while the rest of your guests enjoy their drinks in the East Wing. Then just before you leave you can round everyone up for a fun group shot!
Can We Get Some Photos Around Town?
The City Hall has such an amazing central location that you are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to couple photos. I love this area of Dublin with so many cool and different spots nearby! You can go around the corner to Dublin Castle (also a great quite spot for your first look). Across the road are the narrow streets, graffiti and cobblestones of the Temple Bar. Just a short walk away are the gorgeous views of the Liffey.
Or you can head east through colourful Dame Lane, past the iconic shops and cafes of George’s Street and Arcade, and enjoy some nature at the beautiful St Stephen’s Green or the secret Iveagh Garden. So many options!
Where Do We Have Dinner?
Even though Dublin City Hall itself doesn’t cater for dinners, you couldn’t find a more central location or more choices around you. And it’s so much fun to have a City wedding, bring your guests to different locations and enjoy Dublin sights in-between the venues!
Some of the more popular evening venues after your ceremony are:
Fallon & Byrne (7 minute walk)
The Shelbourne Hotel (15 minute walk)
The Merrion Hotel (20 minute walk)
The Dean Hotel (20 minute walk)
Wrights Anglers Rest (20 minutes by car)
The Mayson Hotel (20 minutes by car)