Planning Your Wedding - Information & Guidelines

Congratulations on your decision to marry in the Catholic Church. The information below is designed to help you with your preparation.

Meeting the Priest & Booking

It is customary that the priest in the bride's parish celebrates the wedding. A minimum of three months notice must be given to the local parish clergy of both of you. If the wedding is taking place in a church other than the church of the bride or groom, it must be booked with the local priest well in advance and usually there is a fee for its use. If either has been married previously in church or civilly your local priest will advise you, as it may not be possible to proceed in all such circumstances.

It is the duty of the parish priest of the parish where the marriage is to be celebrated, to establish that both are prepares and free to marry. Therefore each of you should obtain:

  • A baptismal certificate issued within the previous six months from the church where you were baptised.
  • Proof of confirmation. (A separate certificate for this may appear on the baptismal certificate)
  • Certificate of proof of completion of a recognised pre-marriage course.
  • Pre-nuptial enquiry form should be completed with your local priest.
  • A letter of freedom from parishes where you lived for longer than six months since attaining to the age to legally marry. (18 under the Family Law Act of 1995)

You will also need to participate in a marriage preparation course which is a lovely way for you as a couple to take a serious look at your own relationship. these courses are organised by Accord (The Catholic Marriage Advisory Agency). Click her for course details.

To make an appointment please contact: Fr Richard Scriven Adm., Mobile: 087-242 0033, email:

Civil Requirements

The state requires you to make an appointment to meet with any civil registrar in person, at least three months in advance, to give notice of your intention to marry. You should bring the following documents:

  • Photo identity (preferably your passport or driving licence)
  • The names and dates of birth of your witnesses
  • The name and address of the church where you wish to be married
  • The date of the proposed marriage
  • The name of the priest or deacon who has agreed to officiate at the wedding. He must be a registered solemniser, if not it your duty to advise him to arrange his registration, through the local bishop, with the registrar.

When the civil requirements have been met you will receive from the registrar a marriage registration form without which you may not get married. This must be presented to the solemniser well in advance who will check that all the details are correct before he proceeds. It is the duty of the couple to return this form, signed by themselves, the witnesses and the registered solemniser, to any registrar's office within one month following the marriage.


Booklet or an order of service can be useful but they are not an essential requirement. Your priest will assist you with its contents and he shouldn't be presented with a fail accompli.

Church Fees

Some parishes may have a set fee covering the paperwork, use of the church, cleaning after the wedding and altar servers, please ask. Where this is not the case an offering should be made to cover these services, in consultation with the priest in charge.

Marrying Abroad

If you both are resident here and wish to be married outside the country your local priest will assist with the paperwork. Approach him in good time. He will need the name and address of the church where the wedding is to take place. Bring along the name of the priest who is officiating, the name of the diocese and the name and address of its bishop. Ensure that if you are bringing a priest with you from Ireland or elsewhere that he is on the list of solemnisers out there, he may not need to be. You will need to contact the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. Remember that all paperwork relating to your marriage will forever be only available from the local registrar and not here in Ireland. 

Clogh Parish, Co. Kilkenny | Tel: 056 440 1942