Planning Your Wedding Day – Key Steps
Congratulations on your decision to share in the Sacrament of Marriage in the Parish. Sometimes couples are uncertain as to the procedures they need to follow and this leaflet is to give you some indication of the things you need to do.
Step 1. – Contact the priest
Contact the parish office and see if the date is available for your wedding.
Make an appointment to see the priest, complete the booking form and bring that with you to him. There is a need to give at least six months notice.
Download the Marriage Booking Form here.
Couples who are from outside the Parish must bring their own priest to marry them and there is a charge of £150 for the use of the church which should be made payable to the Parish of Antrim.
Step 2. – Marriage Preparation Course
It is recommended that you attend a marriage preparation course. This is an invaluable way of preparing for your marriage that gives you the opportunity to reflect and think about your decision. Accord run various marriage preparation programmes in Ballymena and elsewhere in the diocese with special provision made for those entering into an inter-church marriage.
Contact details: www.accordni.com.
Accord office Tel: 028 3833 4781.
Inter-church couples: Accord Tel: 028 9023 3002.
Step 3. – Civil Requirements
- The couple needs to obtain 2 Notice of Marriage forms from the Registrar’s office.
- They need to complete these and ask the priest who is marrying them to sign the forms.
- The forms are returned to the Registrar’s office at the Civic Centre. This must be submitted no sooner than 12 months and no later than 31 days before the date of the marriage.
- The Registrar’s office will advise as to when the Marriage Schedule can be collected.
- Bring the Marriage Schedule to the priest in advance of the wedding, usually at the wedding practice. No marriage can take place without this Schedule.
- Return the signed Marriage Schedule to the Registrar within 3 days of the wedding. For further details see www.groni.gov.uk
Step 4. – Church Requirements
After you have completed the Pre-marriage course, the couple should make a new appointment to see the priest to complete the Pre-Nuptial Enquiry forms. They should do this at least 4 months prior to the marriage.
They will need to bring with them:
- A long form of the Baptismal Certificate that should be issued within 6 months of the date of marriage from the parish of baptism.
- Proof of Confirmation, normally this will be on the Baptismal Certificate.
- Proof of freedom to marry, normally on the Baptismal Certificate or a Notarised Affidavit
- Marriage Preparation Certificate.
In some cases there is a need to seek permission or a dispensation from the Bishop in order to marry. The priest will be able to discuss this with you and will advise of any additional information that may be necessary.
Step 5. – The Liturgy
The priest will be able to advise you about the Liturgy and give you some information that may assist you.
I hope that this explains to you the necessary steps you need to take in preparation for the celebration of your marriage. If there is any further help or assistance required please do not hesitate to contact the priest.
V. Rev. Sean Emerson PP
Parish of Antrim