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.
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.