Firstly, we share in the joy of your engagement and your decision to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage. We pray that the sacrament may prove to be a lifelong blessing for you both, as you ask God to accompany and guide you in your vocation as a married couple.
The first thing we invite you to do is to make contact with Fr. Paddy Jones, to discuss your wedding plans. Three months is the minimum notice required, but we strongly advise making contact at the earliest opportunity, so that you give yourselves plenty of time to make all the necessary arrangements.
Contact the church where you wish to celebrate your wedding and make a provisional booking. Enquire what their regulations/expectations are.
Book a Pre-Marriage course. ACCORD, the Catholic Marriage and Counselling Service, offer a range of courses, weekends and mid-week. A course can be booked directly online at www.accord.ie. The earlier you book and participate in a pre-marriage course the better; it is never too soon and it is not a good idea to leave it too close to the wedding date.
Ask the priest of the parish, where you are currently resident, to fill out a Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form with you. To assist him with this, you should provide him with a copy of your Baptismal certificate (issued not more than 6 months prior to the date of the wedding), a copy of your Confirmation certificate and evidence of your freedom to marry. The priest can guide you on this.
Arrange to meet with the priest, who has agreed to officiate at your wedding, at the earliest opportunity in order to begin planning the marriage ceremony. To assist you in selecting the particular marriage rite, readings, prayers and music etc, you will find resources on the ACCORD website or on www.gettingmarried.ie.
If you are planning to celebrate your marriage in Iona Road Church contact the parish secretary (Tel. 01 8308257 or email: email@example.com) who will advise you on what resources are available within the parish, as well as regulations, with regard to both music and floral decoration. It is customary to make an offering in advance to the church of €300 and €50 to the sacristan. A separate offering is usually given on the day to the celebrant of the marriage ceremony.
Make an appointment to meet in person the Civil Registrar not more than 3 months prior to the wedding to give notice of intention to marry. In Dublin the Office of the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths is at Lombard St, Dublin 2. You will be required to supply the registrar with details concerning the date and venue of the wedding, the names and addresses of your two witnesses and the name of the priest (solemniser), who has agreed to officiate at your wedding. The couple will also be required to give a verbal declaration that there is no civil impediment to their marriage. They will be required to give this verbal declaration again in front of the priest/solemniser and their two designated witnesses not more than two days before the date of the wedding. In practice, this declaration is often given at the wedding rehearsal.
The Civil Registrar will present you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). You should show this form to the priest/solemniser, so he can verify the details, and bring it to the church on the day of the wedding, as this is the civil document that the couple sign, together with their witnesses, at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony. It is the responsibility of the couple to retrieve the MRF immediately after the ceremony and to return it to the Office of the Civil Registrar within a month. For further details see www.groireland.ie