When the couple have chosen the date, church and priest for their marriage (and confirmed these matters with the relevant priest or priests), they will then need to make an appointment to meet with any civil registrar in person to give notice of their intention to marry. This meeting with the registrar must take place at least three months before the wedding in order to comply with the civil requirement. The couple will be required to bring the following documentation to the registrar’s office:
When all the civil requirements have been completed satisfactorily the couple will receive, from the registrar, a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). This document will replace the current form. Without this form the couple cannot get married nor may the solemniser proceed with the marriage ceremony.
Both the solemniser and the parish priest of the place of marriage will receive notification from the civil registrar’s office concerning the marriage due to take place.
The couple must present the MRF to the solemniser before the wedding so that he can check that the details are correct before marriage takes place. This should be done as early as is convenient.
If changes are necessary – for instance, changing the name of the solemniser – the couple should contact the civil registrar to arrange for the re-issue of the MRF at the earliest possible stage before the ceremony.
After the wedding, the solemniser must ensure that the MRF is signed by the couple, the two witnesses and himself.
After the marriage has been celebrated, it is the responsibility of the couple (not the local priest or solemniser) to return the MRF to any Registrar’s Office. This form must be returned within one month of the marriage.
Legislation requires that the solemniser (the priest who officiates at the marriage) must ask the couple to make a verbal declaration of no civil impediment. It is recommended practice that this declaration be made at the beginning of the wedding, when the bride and groom arrive at the sanctuary.
In order to summarise the above legal requirements for valid civil registration of marriage, please study the following check-list of what the couple must do:
If you have any further queries regarding your Church Ceremony, please contact the Parish Office.