Congratulations on your decision to get married. It’s an exciting time with lots of wedding planning ahead!
While you need to 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 look at participating in a marriage preparation course which is a lovely way for you as a couple to take a look at your own relationship. The Civil Authorities also have state requirements which must be fulfilled.
The following are the procedures which must be followed for all marriages in Balyna Parish
- Go to a priest in the parish of the bride at least THREE MONTHS before the date on which you plan to marry. The priest will begin the process of filling out Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Forms and advise you about the various documents that you need to collect.
- Please refer to the State Requirements page on this website for further information about notifying the Registrar and obtaining a Marriage Registration Form (MRF).
- In line with Kildare & Leighlin Diocesan Policy, weddings are not permitted in Balyna Parish on Sundays or Holy Days.
- If one of the parties is under 18, permission from the Bishop’s Office in Carlow will be required. This will only be granted in special circumstances. It is not envisaged that anyone under 17 will be given permission.
- You will need to get a Certificate of Baptism from the parish in which you were baptised and a Certificate of Confirmation from the parish in which you were confirmed. These documents should be issued no less than six months prior to the date of marriage. In practice, this means that you will need to get new ones.
- If you have lived somewhere else, other than your present parish, since you were sixteen, then you will need to get a Letter of Freedom from each parish in which you lived for more than six months to state that you did not get married while you lived there. Any priest from the parish (or parishes) where you lived will supply you with this document.
- If you have been married before or have taken religious vows, you will need to supply a Death Certificate or Confirmation of Annulment in the case of the former and a Document of Dispensation in the case of the latter. These documents must be original and not photocopies.
- In Kildare & Leighlin Diocese, it is recommended that all couples who are getting married should attend a Pre-Marriage Course . You can get an application form from a priest in your parish. It is better to attend the Course well before the date of the Marriage. If you require further information about Accord Pre-Marriage Courses in the Kildare area, please ring Newbridge Parish Office at the following number 045-431695. At the end of the final session of the Pre-Marriage Course, ask the organiser to give you a document to state that you have completed the Course. Please give this Certificate of Attendance to the priest.
- The marriage ceremony should normally take place in a church in the bride’s parish. If the couple have a good reason for getting married elsewhere, the bride should inform a priest in the parish where she is now living to give her the necessary Letter of Permission to get married outside the parish. Obviously, in this case, the couple will need to make arrangements for the use of the church in the parish where they intend to get married.
- Normally a priest from the bride’s parish officiates at the marriage ceremony, assuming that the ceremony takes place in the bride’s parish. If you wish to have some other priest (e.g. a relative or friend) officiate, inform the priest in the parish where the ceremony is to take place and he will give the necessary delegation. In Civil Law, it is now a legal requirement for the solemniser (the priest who officiates at the marriage) to be on the ‘List of Solemnisers’ submitted by each local Bishop to the Registrar-General.
- It is now a diocesan regulation that visiting priests are required, on request, to produce a valid up-to-date Celebret. If you ask a priest friend or relation to officiate at your marriage, please inform him of this requirement.
- All diocesan priests in the Republic of Ireland are on the State’s ‘List of Solmnisers’. In order for a priest from oversees to be placed on this list in a temporary capacity, it is necessary for him to contact the Diocesan Office in Carlow and the Diocesan Chancellor formalise matters with him.
- Ask the priest who is to officiate at your wedding to help you with the task of creating your marriage ceremony. There are a variety of prayers, blessings, readings, etc. Read through these together and choose the ones you prefer. Choose the person(s) who will read at Mass, person(s) to read the Prayers of the Faithful and the people to bring up the gifts at the Offertory. Rehearse the ceremony in church with the priest before the wedding day.
- Church use for marriage is a free service for Balyna parishioners. Couples who are not from the parish will be charged €200 for the use of one of the parish churches for marriage. Please pay this fee upon booking your wedding. All couples are expected to pay the priest an equivalent of one day’s wages on the day of the marriage. The sacristan should be paid €50 for his/her services and a small offering (€10) to the servers is also recommended.
- If you want to get the Papal Blessing, you will need to get a written statement from the priest that you are both practising Catholics. The priest will advise you how and where to apply. It can take up to ten weeks.
- The three churches in Balyna Parish remain open from approx. 9.00 a.m. until approx. 6 p.m. every day. If your florist or musicians need to use the churches outside the normal opening hours, then you will need to make contact with the relevant sacristan: Clogherinkoe Church: Pat Byrne (086) 0743856, Broadford Church: Tom Fox (046) 9551029, Johnstownbridge Church: Ger Mooney 086 0685623.
- Make arrangements regarding music and singing with the organist and singer of your choice. If you wish to hire one of our local church musicians, please contact Joan Saultzs (organist) at 086 8092098, Ethna Higgins (choral singer) at (046) 9551264.
- With regard to preparing your Wedding Booklet, Wedding Invitation Cards, Thank You Cards etc, we are happy to recommend a local printer “Designer Weddings” at 0876933454 and email@example.com, Facebook.com/DesignerWeddings and www.designer-weddings.net.
- With regard to flowers the Parish is happy to recommend local florist Denise Kane (Flowers by Denise) at 0868436692, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Flowers should be brought to the church on the eve of the wedding.
- Alcohol consumption is not allowed on church grounds.
- Please note it is Parish Policy that confetti or rice should not be used either inside the churches or on church grounds.
- In respect of Health and Safety and Safeguarding Children, strictly no candles are allowed in the church, except for the candles on the altar. Please make sure your florist is aware of this rule.
- It is the bride’s privilege to be late for her wedding! Fifteen minutes or so has become normal practice. To delay by three quarters of an hour or more is a bit unfair on everybody!
If you have any further queries regarding your Church Ceremony, please contact the Parish Office, Broadford 046 955 1203 Monday to Friday 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.