Here are the Requirements You Need for a Catholic Church Wedding

When we talk about wedding planning, more often than not we think about the wedding theme and color, the venue, and the dress. But a crucial part of planning that you can’t overlook are all the requirements you need to get married. We’ve already tackled the legal prerequisites needed, so today, we’re going to talk about the requirements needed for a Catholic Church wedding (yes, these are different). Kutchie Zaldarriaga of Getting Married Philippines provided us with a list we’ll be sharing with you.

Requirements You Need for a Catholic Church Wedding Photo: Catilo Photography


New Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates

Both you and your groom have to get your baptismal and confirmation certificates from the churches you were baptized and confirmed. The new certificates must have a validity of six months, as well as a “FOR MARRIAGE PURPOSES ONLY” annotation. Take note that you will have to be submit these two to three months before your marriage date. (*Although some churches may request these upon your application.)


Marriage License

You can get this from the city or municipality hall of any city where you or your groom currently live. This must have a validity of 120 days or four months. If you were civilly married, make sure to bring a certified true copy of your marriage contract from the National Statistics Office (NSO).


Canonical Interview

You and your groom must attend a canonical interview at least one to two months before your marriage date. This is usually conducted by the parish priest or assistant. You will usually be given an interview schedule once you fill in an application and pay the reservation fee. Make sure to show up on your scheduled interview date, or the church might cancel your application and reservation.


Certification of Attendance to a Pre-Marriage Seminar

Usually after your canonical interview, you will be given schedules of a Pre-Marriage or Pre-Cana Seminar that both of you have to attend. If either you or your groom are based abroad, a certificate of attendance from your local parish will suffice.


Wedding/Marriage Permit

This is also called a Certificate of Freedom to Marry. You can request a wedding permit from both of your parishes, and submit them to the parish of your chosen ceremony venue.


Wedding/Marriage Banns

The forms for the wedding banns will be provided during the canonical interview. This must be brought to both you and your groom’s respective parishes, and returned after three consecutive Sundays. (*Some parishes may have other requirements for wedding banns like an ID picture.)


New Birth Certificate and Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)

You can get these from the National Statistics Office (NSO). (They have an online option too!) If either one of you is a foreigner, make sure to get a Certificate of Freedom to Marry from the embassy and a parish priest.


List of Names and Addresses of Principal Sponsors

These are your ninongs and ninangs–make sure to include their full names and addresses when you submit this to the church. You will need at least two principal sponsors. Take note that some churches might have a maximum number of principal sponsors, and might have fines if you exceed the maximum.



While this is not a requirement for ALL Catholic church weddings, many priests require both you and your groom to go to confession at least one week before your wedding. This is so that the both of you will be in a state of grace when you wed each other.


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      1. Hello po, my fiance is a chinese national and hindi po sya catholic pero ako baptized catholic po. Possible po bang pumayag ang church na magpakasal kami kahit hindi sya Catholic?

  1. My husband is dutch and we already has a civil marriage. We would like to get a church wedding but he is not catholic. Can we have his baptism before our marriage ceremony? And what are the requirements. Please help. Thanks. 🙂

    1. yes, he can be baptized. please ask your preferred church for the requirements. what i know is it’s the same with baptizing a baby.

      1. I wanted to comment as i have known. He needs to attend some seminars for baptism. It is different from a baby or newborn as u haved said he is not a catholic. Ask the church where u wanted be get married.

    2. There is a MIXED MARRIAGE or INTERFAITH MARRIAGE. No need for your him to be baptized. To be baptized is not a requirement in order to get married in the Roman Catholic Church. Kindly approach the church of desired place of marriage for more information.

      More power and God bless…

  2. if both parties are from the same diocese, no need. but if one is from another diocese, yes, there is. check which you belong to. (if groom is from diocese of manila and bride is from makati).

  3. My fiance is an ofw so we only have less than a month to prepare for our wedding, i need some advice on how can i start my preparation for the church wedding.

  4. If man is non catholic Christian and a woman is catholic, they can be married in church of catholic or not? He is a Muslim. He is from other country. He wants to marry with me in church of catholic.

    1. Yes, they can be married in the Roman Catholic Church as long as their freedom to marry will be established. They can ask for a dispensation for MIXED MARRIAGE/INTERFAITH MARRIAGE. Proceed to the desired Roman Catholic Church for proper advise.

  5. He wants me to got married in catholic church but he is non catholic Christian. He is from at other country and He is a Muslim. We would like to get wedding in church but he is non catholic. Can church allow us to our wedding is on church?

  6. Yes, you can be married in the Roman Catholic Church as long as your freedom to marry will be established. You will ask for a DISPENSATION from MIXED MARRIAGE/INTERFAITH MARRIAGE. Proceed to the desired Roman Catholic Church for proper advise.

    More power and God bless…

    1. Hi… just want to clarify po about marriage banns? Is it necessary to attend every mass pag Tawag po ng names nmin? 😓😁

      1. hindi po. ipopost po dun sa church nyo yung mga names/pictures nyo. it’s like notifying the people that the person in the post is getting married and if they wish to stop the wedding for some reason they could come to the church.

  7. hello poh.. i am working abroad and plan to get married next Dec 2019, but only allowed to have a 1 month vacation. my concern is about the interview and seminar… possible poh kaya na mgawa yun atleast less than a month?

    1. Same dilemma here! And what if I’ver never had a kumpil done before (Catholic but was Christian-schooled), do I need to have one done?

  8. Hi My parents are getting married sa church this November 2018. May I ask if all the requirements stated above still applies even though they did Civil Wedding already 25 years ago? Thanks!

  9. Hello can i asking
    I come from another country , but i have girl is philipine
    so what i must prepare to going to marriage in catholich church here ? im also catholic , can u give me detail what is the procedure and what document i must bring from my country ?

  10. Is it true na you cant have church wedding in less than a month preparation? Do Churches really require 1 month preparation for a wedding?

    1. Hi Jo-Ann,

      There are certain requirements that the Church requires the couple to accomplish like marriage banns, pre-cana seminars, etc. It will be best if you inquire directly from the Church you’ll get married in and request for a list of requirements and the schedule/timetable so you can gauge if it’s possible to accomplish everything in less than a month. You can also let them know your special situation so they can advise you properly.

      Happy planning!

  11. Good day! May i know how many days to get bride’s permit from parish? Im getting married in a different parish. Thanks!

    1. Hi Faye,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Different parishes have different timelines for processing permits. It would be best if you inquire directly from the parish you’re getting married in to be sure.

      Happy planning!

  12. planning to get married on feb 2019, if mag start kami after i give birth to my son ng end of september o kaya end of october. posible kaya matapos namin lahat ng requirements before feb?

    1. Hi Dyiselanne,

      It’s best if you list down all the requirements that you would be needing then inquire the timeline with your Church so you can gauge if it’s feasible.
      Happy planning!

    2. Hi. I’m getting married this October and 2nd week of August lang kami nag asikaso ng documents namin. We were able to process everything. Ours is mixed marriage because I’m not catholic but my fiance is and sa catholic church kami ikakasal. Pero almost the same naman ang requirements. I would suggest na unahin nyong asikasuhin yung mag take time to process talaga. For example, marriage license takes 10 days to be released. Pag nag apply ka for Marriage license, you need CENOMAR (takes 14 days to be released pero depende sa city or municipality nyo) , NSO birth certificate (14 days din bago ma release), cedula/barangay certificate, pre-marriage seminar certificate (ito yung family planning and responsible parenthood seminar na binibigay ng government). Once na submit mo na yung requirements, wait ka na lang for 10 days sa marriage license. While waiting for the marriage license, start nyo nang asikasuhin and requirements sa church. They require baptismal certificate within 3 months validity annotated na for marriage purposes, certificate of confirmation for marriage purposes din, marriage BANNS, pre-cana seminar and schedule for canonical interview. If pareho kayo ng parish, mas madali. Maraming holidays sa December so I would suggest to start early para hindi ma stress.

  13. Hello! I need help. My fiance works abroad and can only come home every 6 months. The Marriage license is only valid for 120 days (4months). We also can’t apply on the month of our wedding since he can only come home ONE WEEK before our wedding day. They said it takes at least 10 working days to process it and BOTH of us should be present in applying the license. HELP! 🙁

    1. Hi Donna, for special cases like yours, try bringing it up with the City Hall. They might have a special arrangement or consideration for you. Hope it works out well!

    2. Hi Ms. Donna can I ask po if kamusta yung sitwasyon nyu? Same situation po 1week before the wedding siya darating so we only have 7days for the marriage license.

  14. Hi. Me and my husband (we are already civilly married in PE Qatar) are getting married in church on Dec.28, 2018. My husband is already in the Philippines. As for me, I’m still here in Qatar and will be coming home on Dec. 22. Is it allowed that my husband alone can attend the pre-cana/seminar before the wedding or is there any consideration for such cases?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jo-Anne, you can directly inquire in the parish you’ll be getting married in for options. Let them know your situation so they can give you alternatives. We hope it all works out!

  15. Hi may I ask if we can do the seminars and pre Cana interview in our nearest church but the real venue of our wedding is outside my city where I live? Will that be okay for them because we’re still undecided where the wedding will be held in. Thank you

    1. Hi Mary, we think this should be okay but just to be sure, it’s still best do double check the requirements of the Church you’ll marry in once you’ve decided. Happy planning!

  16. Hi Good Day, Pwede na po ba kami mag proceed ng preparation sa church like for the pre Cana and seminars, while yung marriage license namin is hinihintay na lang namin na marelease?
    Thank You!

    1. Hi Harryann, thanks for your inquiry. Yes you can start undergoing the Church preparations because you’ll be needing the seminar certificate to complete your marriage license requirements too. You can double check the list of requirements you need just to be sure you don’t miss out on any. Happy planning!

  17. hi! what if the groom is in abroad? and he can only come back within the month of our planned wedding date, can we still process all the requirements without his presence in the Philippines? thank u!

    1. Hi Sherlyn, there are some requirements that you’ll need to accomplish together, like going to the seminars. It will be best to inquire directly in the Church you’ll marry in. Let them know your situation so they can recommend the next best steps. Happy planning!

  18. please help me…. please show me an example of “permit sa kasal if hindi sakop ng parokya ang mga ikakasal” because I went to our parochial church but then, they’re insisting that they can’t give a requirement for church wedding like that.

    1. Hi there, if you’re getting married in a Church that’s not your parish, you’ll need to get permission from your parish to be submitted to the Church you’ll marry in. You can clarify if this requirement is the same with marriage banns. If yes, they should give you a form for this which you’ll submit to your parishes. After a minimum of two weeks, you’ll get the forms back to be submitted to the Church you’ll marry in. It’s best if you clarify the requirements with your Church just so you don’t miss out on any submissions. Hope all goes well!

  19. Good day,

    If we are already married in civil (Philippine Embassy in other country) do we still need the MARRIAGE BANNS?

  20. hello po.may expiration po ba yung cenomar at new birth certificate from NSO foor marriage purposes?kung meron po,for how many days po ang validity?

      1. Hello Good day po. Tanong ko lang pod kung ano ang mga requirements for wedding na pwede ako lang ang pwede mag process kasi ang fiance ko 1 month before our planned date pa ang uwi nya from work sa barko. Thank you po.. Please help. Pwede din po ba mag pa schedule ng seminars from church and DSWD para pagdating nya attend na lang kami?

  21. if i got marriage bann how long is it valid or until when can i use it?
    for example, kumuha ako ng June (2019), napublished na sya for 3weeks, pwede po b un if ang Wedding is February (2020) of the next year?
    please help, OFW ako and june and february lng vacation leave ko.

    1. Hi there, it will be best to check with your Church regarding this matter just to be sure. The wedding banns are usually done a few months before the actual wedding so you need to confirm with your parish regarding its validity. Thanks!

  22. Hi naka’bed rest kasi ako so I cant attend seminar sa munisipyo (supposedly today). Need ba ng marriage license before makapagpareserve ng date ng kasal sa church? Kasi kung next week pa ko mag’attend ng seminar, mauusog din yung date ng marriage license. Iba iba kasi ang sinasabi ng matatanda na procedure dito sa amin. Thank you.

  23. Hi! about sa confirmation certificate po, kasi yung guy hindi pa siya nag confirmation at sabi ng church dito sa Pilipinas he could do it a week before the that ok? or he really need to submit it 2-3 months before wedding? thanks

    1. Hi Jhen, if the Church said they will allow it 1 week before, then it’s allowed. But it would always be best to finish all your requirements earlier if possible. Thanks!

  24. hi..! me i ask if my groom he could arrange all the requirements for our wedding because i was in saudi arabia and my groom is in the philippine? we want to get married when i come back home for vacation 2 months. Thankz..!

  25. Hello, pede na po ba kami magpareserve ng date sa simbahan if we are planning to get married by next year April?

    1. Hi Airra, it usually depends on the policy of the Church. Some Churches allow it and some only allow six months before the wedding date. It’s best to check with them directly. Thanks!

  26. Hello! Can you guys help? Do you have requirements if the couple is both American Citizens? Although the Bride was born in the Philippines, she is a naturalized american citizen. Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. Hi Ice, we currently don’t have a complete list of requirements to answer your concern. You can directly inquire with your church or city for the requirements. Thanks!

  27. Hi! My fiancee is based abroad and he will be coming home one week before our wedding date. Is it possible to have our Canonical interview a week before the wedding?

    1. Hi Tin, there might be a special consideration for your situation but it’s best if you inquire directly with the Church you’ll marry in to be sure. Thanks!

  28. We are civilly married already and we’re planning to get married in a catholic church. Do we still need to get a marriage license?

    1. Hi Joann, since you’re already married by the city, no need to get a marriage license, but it’s always better to double check also with your Church. Thanks!

  29. i just to ask, how if we are both ofw and we wanted for a church wedding at the same time we only have limited time to stay in philippines, is it fine to process all the requirement here in uae? So that when we arrive in philippines we will just only get married.

    1. Hi Marcy, there are requirements that have a certain time frame for approval. You can inquire directly with the Church or with the city where you’ll marry in for their recommendations. Hope all turns out well!

  30. Hi.

    My partner and I are both Catholics and would like to have a beach wedding. Are priests allowed to do a beach wedding ceremony?

    1. Hi Kathleen, Catholic weddings require you to marry inside the Church. If you really want a beach wedding, maybe you can have your reception there instead? Another way is to have a simple wedding inside the Church then have your vows and reception on the beach. Happy planning!

  31. Hello,

    I have a really big dilemma. Me and my hubby has been married since January 3018. We are in the middle of planning our catholic wedding for next year April. However, we planned on a garden wedding instead of in the church as this is what we both wanted. We heard priests wouldn’t marry outside the church premises, are there exemptions to this?

    1. Hi Lovely, I’m afraid this is true. Catholic wedding are always held inside the Church. You can opt for a garden reception instead after your Church ceremony. Happy planning!

  32. Hi…i would like to inquire if the church offers special precana as my fiancee is based in Germany? What are the requirementd for interfaith marriage? Kindly explain further about wedding banns. Ty

  33. Currently I am working and a resident here in Qatar and decided to get marry here. One of the requirements of the Catholic church here is Freedom to Marry and as per them we need to get it from the priest of the parish where I was baptized. My sister went to our church and they said that they are not issuing this one. They advised us to check from Manila Cathedral personally.But I will not be able to go home to process this one because of my work. Is it possible if my sister will go there and take it instead of me. I will just give authorization letter. Also I have spoke to one of the admin in church here there is no way that they can give this certificate here. Only in the country of origin. Please advise.

  34. Hi there. Can i have a church wedding if one of us is not baptized or has a different faith? I was born Catholic, baptized at nag confirmation na. My partner is a foreigner who was never baptized and although he wants to give me a church wedding someday to make me and my family happy, he isn’t comfortable being baptized. He is happy to do pre cana interview and everything else necessary. He has never been married here or anywhere else. We have a certificate of relationship and have applied for partner visa here in Australia. What other requirements does he need from here to get married? We plan to be civilly married here in Australia someday and later on na ang church wedding back home sa pinas. Thank you. Just thinking forward.

  35. I want a Catholic Church wedding but can this be done even if it is outside the Catholic Church like for example if I plan to have a beach wedding or a garden wedding? Thanks

    1. Hi Chona, Catholic weddings are required to be done inside the Church. What you can do is book a Church that is close to a beach or garden venue then you can have your reception there. Happy planning!

  36. Hello po! My boyfriend and I are planning to get married in civil rites first and later on in the Church so as we could have ample time and resources for the latter. Is there any “considerations” or exemptions as to the requirements if ever the couple is civilly married first before getting church wedded? Thanks a lot in advance and Godbless!

    1. Hi Genevieve, if you’re already civilly married, you only need to accomplish the Church requirements once you get married in the Church. Double check with your Church just to be sure. Thanks!

  37. Hi, this is a great read. I just want to hear your advice. Situation: Civil married, planning to have church wedding (convalidation). 1st attempt: August 2016, got my baptismal cert as required but due to many reasons it was cancelled. Years passed, cert got lost (not valid now right?) so, requesting a new one this year. To our surprise you can’t get a 2nd issuance of baptismal for marriage easily. They are now requiring a CENOMAR and affidavit of loss besides our initial documents – civil marriage certificate, IDs etc. I am represented in the Phils because both me and my husband resides abroad and was planning to have our wedding abroad too. As you can see it was quite tedious, is it really reasonable to submit CENOMAR despite the marriage certificate presented? I find it really frustrating and incredulous.

  38. My husband and I have been civilly married since 2014. We are planning to gave a Catholic wedding August 2020. He is still a Filipino citizen with a US green card, but I am a Filipino-american (filipino parents, but born and raised in the US). I keep hearing different information about requirements for the wedding. I hope you can clarify. Do we need a PSA issued wedding certificate? (We never reported our wedding to the Philippines Embassy here). Do we still need other requirements (wedding banns etc)?

    Thank you in advance!

  39. Hi,..Is civil wedding and church wedding having different requirements?.is marriage license required in church wedding?..

  40. Hi! Im civilly married in UAE and planning to get a church wedding in the philippines this May. Can you tell me what are the requirements needed to apply for church wedding Thanks and Godbless

  41. Why new baptismal certificate and has validity? I already took my baptismal certificate since how many years now but its still fine, i kept it carefully.What’s wrong with the old one and can’t be used? Its still the same information there written as long as its readable , clear and neat.

    1. Hi Ana, the baptismal certificate should be issued with a “for wedding purposes” seal. The certificate expires every 6 months.

  42. Hi, just want to know after marring in the church, sila naba ang nag p-process nang marriage certificate sa Civil Registrar para magkaruon nang copy sa NSO? Many thanks! I hope someone will reply to my concern. TY 🙂

  43. Hello po ask ko lang what if dual citizen fiancé ko (american, filipino) and hindi po siya na baptized dito sa philippines is it possible po na payagan kami ikasal sa church? Thank you

    1. Hi Anne, thank you for reaching out. It will be best to ask your parish if you’ll be allowed to get married given the circumstance. Thank you!

  44. Is it possible to have a church wedding without the marriage getting registered because of a US fiancee visa that is approved and we want to marry in church here in the Philippines before going to the US for the civil wedding?

    1. Hi Chelsea, all church weddings here in the Philippines need to be registered. You can consult with a wedding planner to be sure. Thanks!

  45. Hello po, my fiance and i were planning to get married here in Philippines po, his an catholic like me, his living in US but his n italian, anu pong requirements or documents he need to bring po? Salamat po

  46. Hi.Just wanna know if a diocese priest can allow couples to have a church wedding during Sundays? Thanks

  47. Hi planning to get married, my baptism is from a different country, will the church allow my only baptismal certificate, there is no way for me to get latest baptismal certificate abroad?

    1. Hi Glenn! Thank you for the inquiry. It would be best to consult your chosen Church on this matter. Generally the requirements for all are the same, but given the current situation, some Churches are more understanding when it comes to their requirements.

  48. Hi! This is a very helpful post. My fiance and I are both Roman Catholics, though we’d like to get married in an outdoor setting – where our reception will also be held. What’s the process for this? Is this possible?

    1. Hi Janelle, thanks for your inquiry. Catholic weddings are required to be done inside the Church. What you can do is book a Church that is close to a garden or outdoor venue, then you can have your reception there. Happy planning!

  49. hi if in case we are already married abroad, and just want to have a church wedding in ph, do we still have to submit al those requirements like marriage license, baptismal certs , seminars and so on?

  50. Hi

    I am going to get married in next 6 months, however i do not have or have mis-placed my confirmation certificate…I have been baptized in a different parish & confirmation was done from a small place in a village…what can I do to provide confirmation on my baptism certificate

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