Congratulations on your decision to get married. It is a very exciting time for, and we are delighted that you have selected our Church as your venue for the 'big day.' However, there are some rules to follow, both set by the Church and the State - they can not be ignored.
Every couple marrying in the Catholic Church are required to give a minimum of three months notice to their priest and complete a Pre Nuptial Enquiry Form. The form is completed a meeting with local priest of each party. Here's the basic guidelines you need to follow:
There are at least three forms that you need to get before going to meet your priest.
- A recently issued copy of your Baptismal Certificate
- A recently issued copy of your Confirmation Certificate
- A Letter of Freedom from each parish you have lived in since you were 18.
1 The Pre-nuptial enquiry (informally known as 'wedding papers') is carried out in the parish where the person has domicile (resident for at least six months) or quasi-domicile (resident for at least three months).
2 The Pre-nuptial enquiry is carried out in the form of a personal interview between the person and the priest. It should not be done in the presence of both parties.
3 It is essential that the Pre-nuptial enquiry be initiated no later than three months prior to the proposed date of marriage.
4 The Wedding Ceremony usually takes place in the parish church of the bride.
5 If one or both parties are from outside the parish, they must present a Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate and a Letter of Freedom to marry. The Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate can be obtained from the parish in which you were baptised and the Letter of Freedom from the parish in which you reside.
6 In the case of a mixed marriage, the forms of the baptised non-catholic or non-baptised person should be completed in the parish of the catholic party.
7 It is of the utmost importance that the party should ensure that the date and time of their wedding is suitable for the priest(s) of the parish. Contacting the priest personally should do this.
Inter Church Marriage - When a Catholic wishes to marry a Christian of another denomination they must ask for a dispensation from their local bishop. The granting of this dispensation is dependant upon the promise of the Catholic party to ensure that their future children will be baptised in the Catholic Church and brought up in the faith. This promise is also by all Catholic couples.
In the event of the marriage ceremony being held in the church of another denomination it is necessary to ask for a dispensation of Form, that is permission to be married by the rites of another church. Again this permission is granted by the diocesan bishop.
Inter Faith Marriage - When a Catholic wishes to marry a person who is not baptised, or who is a member of another faith, they must seek a dispensation from the bishop. This is called a Disparity of Cult dispensation.