Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wedding legalities: church requirements

Some women think that preparing for a wedding is "just so cool and easy peasy" when there is really more to it than choosing the perfect gown and the best photographer. There is "what flower should we give to the godparents?", "bouquet or corsage for the mothers?", "what color of table cloth and table runner should we use?", and "when's the food tasting? Oh, Thursday? It can't be on a weekend? It can't? Darn it, I need to file a leave from work".

So what i'm going to blog about today is by far the most boring part of the whole wedding preparation process: church requirements. Now I don't know if it's the same for all churches but at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay, these are the things you will need:

1. birth certificate & certificate of no record of marriage (cenomar) - original
2. baptismal & confirmation certificate
3. id pictures - 5 pieces 1x1 and 1 piece 2x2
4. parish name and address
5. interview with the parish priest
6. pre-cana seminar
7. marriage banns
8. permission from the groom and bride's parish priest
9. marriage license
10. list of entourage
11. review of marriage contract
12. confession

I have told my friends repeatedly that if they are getting married, they better be sure that they're marrying someone they really really love because just by looking at the church requirements, my gulay, susuko talaga ako 'pag hindi ko gusto yung pakakasalan ko. Hahaha! 

I'm not going to take credit. Probably more than half of those items in the list were not done by me but by Mon or his mom or my mom. Mukhang napaghalata yata ni Mon na ayoko silang gawin kaya he took matters to his own hands! So let's discuss the requirements one by one.

1. birth certificate and cenomar - these should be copies from the national statistics office. it's really easy peasy! mon just logged on to apparently, you can apply this online then have it delivered to your house. galing diba? just follow instructions in the website.

2. baptismal and confirmation certificate - these two have to be secured from the church where each of you were baptized and confirmed. don't forget to put "for marriage purposes" in the certificate. this is very important. why? i don't know. hahaha!

3. id pictures

4. parish name and address - the parish where you belong to depends on the location of your house. so the church where you attend mass every week may not necessarily be your parish. do your research. where to start? the internet of course! googling can get you so far.

5. interview with parish priest - this was scheduled by the parish secretary of Lourdes. should be done at least a month before the wedding date. ours is scheduled sometime in october.

6. pre-cana seminar - pre-cana seminars are held in churches everywhere!  it usually lasts for half a day or two half days but there are other pre-cana seminars that lasts the whole weekend such as discovery weekend and catholic engaged encounter. mon and i opted to attend the discovery weekend retreat. it lasts longer but we figured we can never be too prepared for marriage.

7. marriage banns - we need to apply this at our respective parishes. truthfully, we haven't applied for this yet. but i think the procedure is that the church will give us a document that we'll submit to our respective parishes for our names to be put on the bulletin board or announced in the mass for three consecutive sundays...or something. the parish secretary said she'll give us the document after our interview with the parish priest.

8. permission from the groom and bride's parish priest - this one i still haven't figured out yet. 

9. marriage license - to apply for a marriage license, get an application form from the civil registry office where either one of you resides. this is a bit tricky because there are so many requirements before you can apply for a marriage license:

     a. birth certificate
     b. cenomar
     c. certificate of attendance in a pre-marital counseling and family planning seminar (conducted by the division of maternal and child health at the city hall where you will be applying for a marriage license) - ours was pre-scheduled at a different date. so in other words, dalawang puntahan yun sa city hall. one to schedule and one to attend.
     d. valid id
     e. parent's consent (for 18-21 years old) or parent's advice (for 21-25 years old)

if you're residing in quezon city, here's a link where you can download a copy of the application for marriage license. look under civil registry forms.

note that even if you have already downloaded a copy of the application form from the internet, you still have to pay for the application form at the civil registry office. i think the application form from the internet is intended to prevent hassle in filling out the form at the civil registry office itself. para pagdating dun, derecho bayad na lang!

oh, and note also that the marriage license is valid only for 120 days from the date of issuance so be careful not to apply too early.

10. list of entourage

11. review of marriage contract - weeks before the wedding, the church will show you a copy of the marriage contract they have drafted. couple will review if the information written in the contract are correct (i.e. spelling of names, etc.)

12. confession - should be done the day before the wedding date. 

So there you have it, brides-to-be! I hope I was able to help you in my own little way. I know it all sounds exhausting, but once you're halfway done, it kinda feels good really!

Happy planning! :)

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