Make your wedding day special… keep it simple and sacred
May 26, 2022
Wedding venues
May 26, 2022

So you’re getting married – What do you have to do?

On one, practical level there are certain documents you must have. The first one of these is the Marriage License, sometimes referred to as ‘the banns’, which you get from the District Revenue Office (you must walk with your electronic birth certificates to obtain it). This license is only good for six months so do not apply for it until the wedding is six or fewer months away.

Other documents you will need to present to the Parish Office are copies of your birth certificates, copies of an ID and baptismal certificates which can be obtained from the church of your baptism (these also are only valid for six months).

Copies of IDs of your two witnesses will also be needed.

You will also meet with the parish priest or his representative to fill out a Marriage Enquiry form.

That is one aspect of preparation but there is another, shall we say, spiritual level. Marriage is more than a civil contract but something spiritual, a Sacrament. God, after all, instituted it (Gen 2) – it is not a purely human institution. This is why we go to a church to get married.

For this preparation, couples are asked to do a marriage preparation programme – your parish church will tell you where and when these are available. Remember, you should be in touch with your parish six months before the proposed wedding date. And remember too to pray during the time of preparation that God will guide you in all decisions, that the Holy Spirit may continue to prepare you for the life ahead, teaching you more and more how to live out the vocation to which you will be saying ‘yes’.

For vocation it is – you will be saying ‘yes’ to your partner but also saying ‘yes’ to God, to follow Christ as a disciple as a wife or husband and, God willing, a parent.

So you come to your wedding day peaceful and happy, and, yes, there may be a lot of attention and excitement over the dress and the eyelashes, particularly for the women, but do not lose sight of God in the whole thing.

Respect your guests by being on time, dress appropriately for church and enjoy the wedding ceremony, the reception, and your life together.

There are also other small but important details to consider.

  • The bride must sign not her new married name, but the name as on her ID.
  • Time management is essential. Be respectful of the time of the people in the church from the parish who are preparing the liturgy for you, especially on a weekend when there may be Masses. This is key for all people involved: bride, groom bridesmaids, groomsmen, mother giver and father giver. Everybody needs to be on time.
  • The person doing the reading must be prepped. Have the person practice before, and learn the logistics, mic system, and how to show reverence to altar/sanctuary.
  • If you are using a unity candle, once clergy approves, make sure that the candle is there, and also be aware of where and when to light the candle.
  • Make sure and follow up after to get your Marriage Certificate.
  • Decorations in the church should be removed after the ceremony. If, for example flower petals, rice etc., are strewn, they must be cleaned up and not left for church attendants/sacristan to clean up.
  • Photographers must be briefed on how they should dress and which areas they are not allowed to enter. Pictures taken outside must be done in a timely manner, considering parking if there is a Mass to follow.
  • Test piped music before with sound technicians, and if either bridegroom or bride will be singing to each other, rehearse and meet with the audio technician for the church.

Photo by Marta Branco