Planning a Wedding

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Pre-marriage education is undertaken on a Diocesan level.
There are three steps the couple is required to attend at least six months prior to the wedding.

Ask for an appointment with the priest before booking the church for the wedding. If you are not a parishioner, speak with your parish priest.

Preparing for a Catholic Wedding

Give at least six months notice to the officiating priest. One month's notice is obligatory by law, but the longer notice requested here allows for a calm and serious preparation for marriage. Couples are expected to attend marriage preparation courses.
Sometimes people who have not been to Church for a while can be apprehensive about approaching the Church for a wedding. Since marriage can be a time of rediscovering one's faith and making a new start, you should not hesitate to discuss your situation with the priest before contacting the Parish Office to book the church.

Documents required for marriage in the Catholic Church

The Notification of Intention to Marry Form must be signed no less than one month prior to the wedding day.

Each person must obtain the following documents:
  1. Birth Certificate - Available from Registrar of Births & Deaths
  2. Baptism Certificate - A copy issued within six months, available from the parish priest where you were baptised. Send him your full name, estimated date of baptism and a stamped self-addressed envelope.
  3. If either party has been married before: -

    3.1   A Death certificate of your former spouse, OR
    3.2   A Decree of Nullity (from the Catholic Marriage tribunal) AND
    3.3   A Civil Divorce Decree

Inter-church Marriages

An inter-church marriage is one where one party is a Catholic and the other party is not a Catholic, whether baptised or not. A Catholic, even when entering an inter-church marriage must be married before a Catholic priest.

Permission can be given for a Catholic to marry one who is not a Catholic, provided that the Catholic promises to safeguard his/her own Catholic faith and to do all in his/her power to have the children of the marriage baptised and brought up as Catholic.

The partner who is not a Catholic is not required to make any promises but is informed of the expectations the Church has of the Catholic partner.

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Place of Marriage

Since the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage has an important religious meaning it is celebrated in the Catholic Church.

Marriage Annulment

Because of the clear teaching of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church does not recognise the re-marriage of a divorced person while the first partner is still living. In the same way it cannot recognise the marriage of a single person to someone who has been divorced.

Sometimes cases arise where the first marriage is, for a number of reasons, not recognised as valid according to the practice of the Catholic Church. If one of the partners has been divorced, you should discuss the precise circumstances of the situation with the priest.

Church law about the annulment of marriages can sometimes be complex and specialist advice may be required. The priest will be able to refer you to the office in the Diocese that deals with these cases.

For a brochure giving a fuller explanation and understanding of the Catholic Church's position on Annulment contact Sr Cathryn Wiles-Pickard RSM
or email:

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of this house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

- Song of Songs 8:7

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