on your decision to get married.
It is a very exciting time for,
and we are delighted that you have
selected a church in Banagher Parish
as your venue for the 'big day.'
However, there are some rules to
follow, both set by the Church and
the State - they can not be ignored.
Every couple marrying in
the Catholic Church are required
to give a minimum of three months
notice to their priest and complete
a Pre Nuptial Enquiry Form. The
form is completed a meeting with
local priest of each party. Here's
the basic guidelines you need to
There are at
least three forms that you need
to get before going to meet your
• A recently
issued copy of your Baptismal
• A recently
issued copy of your Confirmation
• A Letter
of Freedom from each parish
you have lived in since you were
1. The Pre-nuptial
enquiry (informally known as 'wedding
papers') is carried out in the parish
where the person has domicile (resident
for at least six months) or quasi-domicile
(resident for at least three months).
2. The Pre-nuptial
enquiry is carried out in the form
of a personal interview between
the person and the priest. It should
not be done in the presence of both
3. It is essential
that the Pre-nuptial enquiry be
initiated no later than three months
prior to the proposed date of marriage.
4. The Wedding
Ceremony usually takes place in
the parish church of the bride.
5. If one or both
parties are from outside the parish,
they must present a Baptismal and
Confirmation Certificate and a Letter
of Freedom to marry. The Baptismal
and Confirmation Certificate can
be obtained from the parish in which
you were baptised and the Letter
of Freedom from the parish in which
6. In the case
of a mixed marriage, the forms of
the baptised non-catholic or non-baptised
person should be completed in the
parish of the catholic party.
7. It is of the
utmost importance that the party
should ensure that the date and
time of their wedding is suitable
for the priest(s) of the parish.
Contacting the priest personally
should do this.
When a Catholic
wishes to marry a Christian of another
denomination they must ask for a
dispensation from their local bishop.
The granting of this dispensation
is dependant upon the promise of
the Catholic party to ensure that
their future children will be baptised
in the Catholic Church and brought
up in the faith. This promise is
also by all Catholic couples.
event of the marriage ceremony
being held in the church
of another denomination
it is necessary to ask for
a dispensation of Form,
that is permission to be
married by the rites of
another church. Again this
permission is granted by
the diocesan bishop.
When a Catholic
wishes to marry a person who is
not baptised, or who is a member
of another faith, they must seek
a dispensation from the bishop.
This is called a Disparity of Cult
1. From 1 January
2004, new legislation on marriage
has been in force. The Church has
no involvement in this process;
it is strictly between the persons
getting married and the registrar
for the District.
2. The couple must
notify the Registrar of their intention
to marry by completing a Marriage
Notice Form (available from the
Registrar's Office, The Guildhall)
or download a form at :
At some time prior
to the date of the marriage the
parties may be requested to attend
at the Registrar's Office to finalise
the arrangements and collect the
marriage schedule. After
the wedding the marriage schedule
has to be returned to the Registrar's
Office within 3 days.
3 The completed
Marriage Notice Form must be returned
to the Registrar for the district
in which you are getting married
at least fifteen days prior to the
date of marriage. Parties can notify
the Registrar up to one year prior
to the date of marriage.
4 Once the Registrar
has received the Marriage Notice
and there is no impediment to the
marriage and the person to perform
the Ceremony is an approved Officiant
or Celebrant (i.e. a priest of the
diocese of Derry) a Marriage Schedule
is prepared for collection by the
parties at the registrar's office.
5. Just to emphasise,
it is your responsibility to
produce your Marriage Schedule to
the Celebrant at least three days
before the wedding.
6. A marriage cannot
take place without a Marriage Schedule
7. It is your responsibility
to return the signed Marriage Schedule
to the Registrar’s office
within three days of the wedding.
If you are visiting
Northern Ireland to be married and
you are a citizen of a country that
is not a member of the European
Economic Area, you will need to
apply for a visa before you travel.
If you do not get a visa the registrar
will not be able to take your notice
of marriage and you will NOT be
able to marry in Northern Ireland.
If you are already
in the UK, and you are a citizen
of a country that is not a member
of the European Economic Area, you
will need the approval of the Home
Secretary to be married here. For
further information visit the Home
Office website at :