Religious Ceremony Reqs | Catholic
Getting Married? What you need to do for a Catholic Wedding
If you are getting married in either Ireland or the United States you will have to take care of the civil preparations before the church wedding.
- If you are planning to get married in the Republic of Ireland you will need to notify the Civil Registrar at least three months before the wedding. The receipt of civil notification should be forwarded to the Parish priest or officiating priest in advance of the wedding. This is not required in the North of Ireland.
- If you are getting married in the United States you will have to have your marriage license issued prior to the wedding ceremony and provide it to the priest. If a civil marriage has already taken place, please supply that information.
The following documents are needed in preparation for your wedding in Ireland, the United States or wherever the wedding is being celebrated:
- Baptismal Certificates these must be issued within six months of the wedding
- Confirmation Certificates
- Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form this must be filled in with the priest of the parish where you have resided for the past six months. Both parties must be present to sign.
- Self Testimony this is usually misnamed the Letter of Freedom.
- Witness Testimony Form two witnesses must sign this in the presence of your local priest to testify that they know you and that you have not been married.
- Pre-Marriage Course Certificate
- Civil Marriage Certificate If a civil marriage has already taken place, please bring your certificate.
You, your intended and your two witnesses will need to meet with your local priest to complete the above. Your priest will supply the pre-nuptial enquiry, self testimony and witness testimony forms.
You will need to bring your ORIGINAL baptismal, confirmation and pre-marriage course certificates when you meet to complete the paperwork. Photocopies will not be accepted.
NOTE: You must disclose if you have ever been married previously, whether civilly or within another faith and regardless of whether the marriage has ended or not.
If you have been previously married, you will need to request a dispensation to remarry within the Catholic Church. Failure to request this dispensation will result in your marriage being null and void in the eyes of the Catholic Church.