Guidelines Concerning Paperwork for Marriages

There is so much preparation and planning for every wedding it can be easy to overlook some of the important legal aspects. This page provides you with some guidance on the necessary preparations in this regard. It is probably a good idea to have all the paperwork completed at least 2 months before the date of your wedding. There are two important parts to preparing the official paperwork when getting married in Ireland: the civil obligations and the Church procedures. These are detailed below.

Civil obligations

The State introduced new laws on August 1st 1996 which requires a minimum of 3 months notice to be given to the Registrar of Marriages. This is a minimum period for all marriages in Ireland. For weddings taking place in Bushypark, you contact the Registrar of Marriages, Shantalla Clinic, Newcastle Road for the necessary documentation.

Church procedures

A minimum of Three Months Notice must be given to the Church. The following Church documents are needed for each person:

  • A Baptism and Confirmation Certificate which must be dated within 6 months of the wedding.
  • A Pre- Marriage Course Certificate (Courses are conducted throughout the country by Accord. The Accord branch in Galway is located at Arus de Brun, Tel 091 562331)
  • A Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form. This is an extremely important document and is completed in your presence by the priest in the parish where you are presently residing. A separate form is completed for each partner. The purpose of this enquiry is to ascertain your freedom to marry and seeks to discover that you understand what Christian marriage involves. You will then be asked to sign this private and confidential document under oath.
  • In the case where one partner is not a Roman Catholic, a Letter of Dispensation from the local Bishop is also required. In the case where the couple reside in another country, the papers are sent from the Diocesan Offices in the place they reside to the Diocesan Offices in the Diocese in which the Marriage is being celebrated.

It is a good idea that when you are meeting with the priest to complete the Pre Nuptial Enquiry Form that you bring to him your Baptism and Confirmation Certificates, the Civil Notification of your intention to marry and your Pre Marriage Course Certificate.

Wedding Papers for all marriages that take place in St. James' Church should be sent to The Parish Office at 24 Presentation Road, Galway.