So you’ve decided to push through with your wedding—we are excited for you both and would love to offer some help in navigating the new world of wedding planning. With so much change happening, it is completely understandable to feel unsure whether you can pick up where you left off pre-quarantine or if you have to start again from scratch. What we do know is that the pre-requisites for marriage are there for a reason and they are there to stay. We tapped trusted wedding coordinators, Christine Ong Te of Christine Ong Te Events and Jets and Rhona of Canaan Celebrations, to clear the air on the top concerns about wedding requirements. We are sharing their expert advice and hoping we can help get your wedding planning back on track!
The expiration of your marriage license does not change, so you will have to ask your City Hall to replace or reprocess the document. One option that Christine Ong Te suggests is to consider having a civil wedding before the license expires to avoid having to process a new marriage license again.
For most legal documents with a specified validity date, you will need to secure new copies should they expire before your new wedding date. It is recommended to contact your City Hall and/or Church before taking any action to be certain. This is because different institutions have varying guidelines affected by their level of quarantine and current city protocols.
Since the lessons learned generally stay the same over time, many pre-cana certificates and seminars hold no validity dates. The same applies to your Canonical Interview with the Church; you will only have to contact your Church’s wedding director to align on your new plans. While discussing your new date, it wouldn’t hurt to double check their policy on pre-cana seminars, just to be sure!
Birth Certificates and Certificates of No Marriage (CENOMAR) can be ordered through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website and delivered to your door. There are also a variety of pre-cana seminars that offer online courses that couples can take from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Most City Halls have also opened, but we suggest trying to contact them first to check if they are ready to accommodate your needed service.
Based on recent experience, the expiration of Marriage Licenses are not waived or extended. You can try contacting your City Hall to discuss your situation. Most are understanding of the challenges of the current situation and will happily guide you through the simplest way you can replace the expiring document.
For this case, the wedding date that will appear in all your legal documents will be your civil wedding date. When you are preparing for your Christian wedding, you will no longer need to process a new marriage license. You will only need the Marriage Contract in addition to the basic Church requirements—Baptismal Certificate, Confirmation Certificate, Marriage Banns, Pre-cana Seminar, and Canonical Interview.
On Wedding Planning in General:
Jets and Rhona recommended, “should the bride and groom have requests which are opposed to or beyond the contract, they should negotiate respectfully and with courtesy. They should be open to the fact that requests can be denied.” Do remember that signed contracts are legally-binding and can be enforced to protect you and your suppliers during these times.
There is no one size fits all answer to this question, but talking to your wedding coordinator first is never a bad idea. Other questions you might want to ask yourself are “which supplier is a non-negotiable for my new wedding date” and “how much would I lose from non-refundable booking fees from each supplier.”