Arranging a Marriage
Congratulations on your decision to get married. It’s an exciting time with lots of wedding planning ahead!
To arrange a marriage please contact the Parish Office +353 59 86 38391 – 3 months notice is required.
While you need only give three months notice of your intention to marry it is common practice for a couple to book the church a long time in advance. So it is important to contact the Parish Office to make sure that the church is available on the day you require.
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 here for Course details. Marriage Preparation Course.
While we will do everything we can to ensure you get the course you would prefer, it is advisable that couples book at least 2-6 months in advance in order to avoid disappointment. Due to the popularity of our courses, many of them tend to get booked up very quickly.
The sacrament of Matrimony celebrates a couple’s commitment to share the whole of their life together and to show the love of God to each other, to their children and to others through their relationship. Christian marriage is the place where husband and wife, children, family and friends meet God.
The Church rejoices in your decision to get married and offers its continued support to you as you journey together. The Church (the people of God) sees your marriage as a sign of God’s love among us. As ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage to each other you choose to live your married lives within the community of the Church.
The Sacrament enriches your lives in a very special way but it also enriches the community in which you will live. You become witnesses for Marriage to all with whom you make contact. Your parents, family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours celebrate your entry into Marriage and by their attendance at your wedding ceremony offer their continued support to you for your future.
Your decision to get married is a sign of your love and of your desire to be together as husband and wife. ACCORD in helping you to prepare for your Marriage is privileged to be part of your journey and offers you its continued support throughout your married life.
All couples intending to marry are expected to participate in a marriage preparation course. The courses are prepared and presented by married couples and are a lovely way for you as a couple to take a look at your own relationship. This is time for yourselves, and time that will be really well spent.
For further information about Accord Pre-Marriage Courses in the Athy Parish area, please ring Accord at 01 5053112
or book online on the Accord website.
You may also find the following links helpful www.together.ie
State Requirements for Marriage
The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the our district is :
Phone: (01) 678 7114
or at www.groireland.com
Requirements for Civil Registration
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:
- photo identity (preferably a passport or driving license)
- names and dates of birth of witnesses
- name of the church where they wish to be married
- name of the priest who will officiate at the marriage; this presumes that the celebrant is a registered solemniser and that he has agreed to officiate at the marriage.
- if either party has been previously married, they must provide the civil registrar with an original divorce decree or a death certificate if widowed.
When all the civil requirements have been completed satisfactorily the couple will receive, from the registrar, a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). 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.
While all of the above business can be done with any civil registrar, it may be useful for you to know that the name, address and telephone number of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the parish of Athy is: Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Unit 5, Joyce House, 8/11 Lombard Street, Dublin 2. Phone: (01) 678 7114
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:
- meet one of the local parish clergy
- book the church where you wish to marry
- meet a civil registrar at least three months before the wedding to give notice of your intention to marry
- receive the Marriage Registration Form (MRF) from the civil registrar
- bring the MRF to the solemniser
- make the verbal declaration of no civil impediment in the presence of each other and before the solemniser and the two witnesses at the beginning of the wedding ceremony (or not more than two days beforehand)
- return the signed MRF to any civil registrar not later than one month after the wedding
If you have any further queries regarding your Church Ceremony, please contact the Parish Office.
“The course was very well organised and it actually gave time as a couple to think about what whe’re undertaking and it brought us more together”
Theresa Barry, Co. Kerry
“I found the course was beneficial. I thought the facilitators that conducted the course were fantastic and made the course enjoyable and everyone feel very comfortable.”
Grainne O’Sullivan, Co. Roscommon