10 Questions with... Lorraine Mancey O'Brien of Marry Me Ireland


With the marriage referendum on the horizon, a Yes vote will mean your calendar will be full of weddings. We talk to one of Ireland’s leading celebrates Lorraine Mancey O’Brien from Marry Me Ireland about planning your big day!


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Lorraine Mancey O’Brien

How did you get into your line of work?

Well, I sort of fell into it by accident! If you would have told me a few years ago Id be in the wedding business I never would have believed you. Most recently my background is academic, I’m an anthropologist who studies inequality and cultural changes, and whilst completing my PhD my partner caught me completely by surprise and proposed to me. I said yes – but then I wrote a list of all the things I didn’t like about weddings and it was quite extensive. We decided have a big party that would reflect our personalities and that all our family and friends would enjoy. When it came to the ceremony, we struggled to find anyone young, vibrant and professional. A year later we researched it as a business model, and found there was a need for an equality based celebrant organisation – and here we are!

What is the best thing about your job?

The fact that I never know who is going to be on the other end of the phone, the wonderful and incredible people I have met in the past year, and the excitement I feel every day for what might be coming next!

With the referendum coming up in May, what would you say to anyone who was still on the fence about voting Yes?

To me, it is straightforward. It’s about basic human rights. Ireland is my home, and I want the country I live in to afford all its citizens equal rights. I demand it of them. Academically, with my Dr Mancey O’Brien hat on, I can tell you that the results of more than a century of anthropological research on households and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilisation or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution, global research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, contribute to stable and humane societies. Ireland can only prosper by a Yes vote (So Vote Yes!)

How do you think a Yes vote would change your business?

We are working hard training new celebrants to be ready for all the wonderful couples that have waited so long for this. It will change our business in that we will be able to practice what we believe in – fabulous vibrant wedding ceremonies for everyone!

Tell us a bit about what goes in to each ceremony/ the procedure?

We are unique as an organisation. We offer a bespoke ceremony writing process that begins with meeting the couple. We get to know them, hear their story, their journey, hear about their love, and then we talk about the type of ceremony that they would like, one that fits them perfectly because it stems from their unique story. We then have a creative team that start to put it together. The couple have unlimited input into this process and we guide them every step of the way until its perfect. We also match the couple to a perfect celebrant for they type of ceremony they want and a really great celebrant sets the tone for the day – that’s our job, to frame their day with love.

What is the future for Marry Me Ireland?

We have just partnered with a company, who have Europe’s only ‘Little White Chapel’ – a pop up secular chapel that can be assembled anywhere, with no religious affiliations, and we are providing a chapel venue (like the one in Little House on the Prairie, wood beams, pews and all) with civil celebrant and ceremony – that transforms into a dining area with superb chefs, and later into a fully bespoke night club, with licensed bar! We will also be making an appearance at the Outing in October and other surprise venues throughout the year

Have you ever had any outlandish requests from couples planning a ceremony?

Outlandish to one couple is a dream to another, so no – nothing we couldn’t cater for, ceremony / venue or otherwise, we have a fabulous creative team ready for anything!

In your opinion, what makes a good marriage?

Love, respect and kindness

What advice would you give to a couple in planning their big day?

Just to remember, it’s your day – so do it your way!

What would be your perfect wedding day?

Each and every one of them is perfect, I’m in the love business, if its based in love, its perfect!



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