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Q: How to get a speedy exotic marriage for atheists ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: How to get a speedy exotic marriage for atheists
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: jpduff-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 28 Feb 2006 04:16 PST
Expires: 06 Mar 2006 12:40 PST
Question ID: 701808
I am an Irish citizen and I want to marry another Irish citizen in
Dubai or some other exotic location easily reachable by direct flight
from Dublin airport.

I want to find out if this is possible in Dubai and if so what steps I
should take to comply with local rules and get our certificate. If not
then what other location I should try?

Background: neither of us are religious and we do not want to get
married in a church. A foreign marriage cert is accepted by the Irish
state. We want a speedy marriage (next few weeks) - in Ireland several
months notice must be given.  Neither of us have been married before.
Technically speaking, we are both Catholics.

For the wedding we would like either a marriage in an office with zero
ceremony or something very simple outdoors with no hint of church
about it.

I want to minimise the risk of an admin disaster. I do not want to
jump on a plane to some city for a few days and find that I have to
give 7 days notice or that I am missing some piece of documentation or
that I am obliged to marry in a church, or that the administration
takes weeks to do anything or has lost my forms.

We want to get married alone with our child (aged 3). (Some countries
might disapprove of the notion of us having a kid before marriage).
Often witnesses are required. Is it easy to round them up off the

I want to spend as little money as possible yet it shouldn't feel
cheap. I guess I will put a limit of $15K and a target of $7K

Here are some locations I thought of:
Hong Kong 

Neither of us will consider the USA.

We are thinking of going away for about 5 days.

The answer to this question should take the form of detailed
instructions on how to get a marriage cert in one of these locations.
I do not speak Arabic and the Dubai court service website is not in
English. Maybe a call to a consulate would help.

I would prefer a location reachable by direct flight and most of the
locations mentioned above do not meet this requirement. It is not a

Maybe the  answer would be to advise me that it is too complex to
arrange this without paying an agency to handle the admin and
recommend one that doesn't cost too much.

Thanks for your help!

Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 28 Feb 2006 07:05 PST
Dubai is a tough cookie - according to some sources, they haven't got
non-religious ceremonies there, others say that there are, but the
regulations are nowhere to be found!

I can answer about the other places, though, and offer some.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 28 Feb 2006 07:55 PST

You two sound pretty adventurous!

It's tough checking each and every country, especially where the
information is not available in English.

However, you can definitely tie the knot in Iceland.  

The procedures are laid out neatly here:

Click on "English" and then on "Civil marriage" to see how it works. 
In a nutshell, though, you need about six weeks of lead time to take
care of all the paperwork.

A third party (e.g.  your best man, or best woman) will have to sign
some of the papers, but does not need to be present at the actual
ceremony, which takes place in an office, and takes only a few
minutes.  Your child should be no problem.

Unfortunately, though, there do not appear to be direct flights
between Dublin and Iceland, although connecting flights are certainly
available and they're pretty reasonably priced.

You should be able to manage a marriage in Iceland well within your budget.  

Let me know if this sort of information is useful, and what other
information you would like to have at this point.


Clarification of Question by jpduff-ga on 28 Feb 2006 08:40 PST
I want to get married ASAP so the ideal place would have no notice
requirements - like a same-day marriage joint in Las Vegas.

Dubai has a large wedding/honeymoon industry. It's a kind of Las Vegas
of the middle east so there must be a lot of visitors getting married
there. Dubai is said to be a bit soulless but
-it is a direct flight from Dublin (good when you have a 3yr old kid) 
-and it is always sunny
-and it is very first world so little chance of something going wrong

I want to go somewhere beautiful and unusual and far away from my
friends and family. The wedding will just be for us. Nobody has an
inkling we are considering this - we have been together 9 years. If I
don't do it quickly, my wife-to-be is likely to tell someone and then
I'm screwed when the family mafias on both sides force us to have a
traditional white wedding for 50K. A wedding neither of us enjoy where
we carry out all manner of hypocritical ceremonies just to pacify the

We intend to just get married and come home and invite everyone to a
party when we get back.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 28 Feb 2006 09:16 PST
Hello again,

I'm afraid you're sort of painting yourself into a corner, here.  

There are a limited number of direct international flights out of
Dublin, and many of these are to European destinations.

You may be able to arrange a fast marriage in Amsterdam...the
consultate says allow five days for the paperwork to clear (but
considerably longer if one or both of you are divorced).

For the precise details, though, you'd need to contact the consulate directly.  

Are you sure you don't want to consider the US as a possibility?  New
York is anything if not exotic...

By the way, I did not see any direct flights from Dublin to Dubai
(Bahrain, yes....Dubai, no)...where did you hear of this flight?

Let me know what you think,


Clarification of Question by jpduff-ga on 28 Feb 2006 09:39 PST
I would prefer direct flights but will accept indirect flights if I
have to. Most destinations I thought of require indirect flights. Aer
Lingus is doing Dublin-Dubai in a few weeks time.

Most important is a quick and easy marriage certificate.

There are many charter flights from Dublin, possibly investigate these?

Neither of us will consider the USA. Sorry but this is non-negotiable
and yes NY is great.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 28 Feb 2006 11:40 PST
Hello again,

I'm continuing to research this.  But in the mean time, I'd like to
know what you think of Amsterdam as a possibility.

As I mentioned earlier (see above), paperwork can be handled in about
a week, so you should be able to make it happen quite quickly.


Clarification of Question by jpduff-ga on 28 Feb 2006 16:03 PST
OK I am going to speak to my lady. I like Amsterdam and we have both
been there before. It is very beautiful and fits in with our
anti-authoritarian sensibilities. Also practical as it is close and
they are very well organised people and the Dutch speak great English.
Will give you an answer in a short time when I have talked to my other
half. We have been there befoe during our courtship. We could probably
afford the best hotel.

A few more ideas: 
Paris: romantic and close and I'd say we could sort out the residency
requirements if need be. As an EU citizen I don't need a carte de
séjour and I have a friend there who could probably organise a utility
bill which is all I think it takes.

Germany is right out- I should have said.

Lithuania, Latvia and Poland are all readily accessible from Dublin
due to the large number of immigrant workers from these states.

Where did people traditionally travel in Europe for quickie weddings?
I know there is some grim place in the UK called something like
"Gretna Green" used by couples in a hurry in the old days of Victorian

Clarification of Question by jpduff-ga on 28 Feb 2006 16:10 PST
In a way I would be happy to go somewhere really odd(even with an
indirect flight via London or Paris) eg Chad, Mauritania, Liberia,
Bhutan, Cuba. (Cuba is not an embargoed country by Ireland).

So long as I knew I wouldn't be going home empty handed.

It couldn't be somewhere impractically dangerous.

Clarification of Question by jpduff-ga on 28 Feb 2006 17:03 PST
Ok just spoke to missy
The following locations are out:
(too unlikely to sort anything out in 5 days) Of course she is right.
Also she would favour somewhere with a spa.

Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
(too cold)

Amsterdam, Paris
(been there too many times so not special enough)

The following is the short-list:
Hong Kong (Peninsula hotel is great, missy has an interest in sinology)
Dubai (has some crazy 7 star hotel)
Iceland (fantastic famous volcanic spas, lovely people)
Tenerife (Hotel Botanico in Puerto de la Cruz is excellent and
Tenerife is a direct flight from Dublin)
Havana (not an embargoed country in this part of the world and a very exotic place)

What we are looking for is instructions on exactly how to marry in
these locations. Then we can make a choice.


Request for Question Clarification by richard-ga on 01 Mar 2006 07:23 PST
In case you want to use Gretna Green:

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 01 Mar 2006 08:17 PST

A bit of an update...

I have queries out regarding all the locations you asked about, and
I'll give you the full information as soon as I hear back from

From a preliminary look, though, I can tell that Spain has a residency
requirement, so Tenerife does not look do-able.

Iceland still seems the most workable destination thus far, as per my
post of Feb 28th.

I'll let you know what I learn about the others.  Stay tuned...


Clarification of Question by jpduff-ga on 01 Mar 2006 10:31 PST
These guys
claim to do Dublin-Reykjavik direct flights (charters I guess)
plus they do Havana flights with some company called Martinair (don't
know if they are direct)
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: How to get a speedy exotic marriage for atheists
From: clippedwings-ga on 01 Mar 2006 04:51 PST
I did a Google search for "Dubai wedding Irish citizens"  and found a web site for
Joe Walsh Tours company in Ireland. They claim to have extensive
experience in arranging weddings abroad for Irish citizens. I have no
idea if they are any good- but it might be worth a local call for you.
Have you heard of them?
Subject: Re: How to get a speedy exotic marriage for atheists
From: politicalguru-ga on 01 Mar 2006 06:05 PST
By the way, you were asking which country is the one with the speedy
weddings - as far as I can recall, it's Denmark.
Subject: Re: How to get a speedy exotic marriage for atheists
From: jpduff-ga on 01 Mar 2006 06:49 PST
Joe Walsh Tours is well known in Ireland. I'll give them a call and
see what they're offering. I imagine they are most keen to handle
huges cost overseas wedding parties so they may not be interested in
the 3 of us.

They mention that Mauritius and the Caribbean are popular destinations
with straightforward procedures. I know a lot of Irish people who have
chosen these places for honeymoons so I'd rather not head that way.
Subject: Re: How to get a speedy exotic marriage for atheists
From: myoarin-ga on 01 Mar 2006 18:09 PST
You missed the plane from Belfast to Iceland yesterday, but I see that
there is another one on April 1st  (haha) with a return flight on
April 8th.

You might check the weather there before you decide ...

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