Congratulations! You are embarking on a journey of preparation for marriage and the rest of your life. This is a time of great joy for you as a couple and those who love you.

At this stage, it is helpful to make contact with your priest, to decide on the Church in which you will get married and to start to think about your ceremony.

Every couple marrying in the Catholic Church are required to give a minimum of three months notice to their priest and complete a Pre Nuptial Enquiry Form. Before going to meet with the priest you will need:

• A recently issued copy of your Baptismal Certificate

• A recently issued copy of your Confirmation Certificate

• A Letter of Freedom from each parish you have lived in since you were 18.

The Pre-nuptial enquiry is carried out in the parish where the person has lived for the past six months, and is completed in the form of a personal interview between the person and the priest. It should not be done in the presence of both parties.

It is essential that the Pre-nuptial enquiry be initiated no later than three months prior to the proposed date of marriage.

The Wedding Ceremony usually takes place in the parish church of the bride.

If one or both parties are from outside the parish, they must present a Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate and a Letter of Freedom to marry. The Baptismal and Confirmation Certificate can be obtained from the parish in which you were baptised and the Letter of Freedom from the parish in which you reside.

In the case of a mixed marriage, the forms of the baptised non-catholic or non-baptised person should be completed in the parish of the catholic party.

THE DISTRICT REGISTRATION OFFICE IS LOCATED AT:  14 Magazine Street, BT48 6HH. Call us on 7137 6520 or email

Hours 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m, Monday to Friday.

For all couples having a Religious Marriage Service it is necessary to complete, sign and contact your Religious Officiant to also sign the Marriage Notice Forms.  Then you will need to submit the Marriage Notice Application Forms and if relevant the Immigration Status Statement to the District Registrar’s Office in the District where the Marriage will take place, with relevant documents (explanatory notes are attached to form), for example; Passports, Full Birth Certificates and if applicable a death certificate/ divorce paper with a Certified English Translation, where relevant.  Staff will advise.

Marriage Notice must be given in the twelve month period prior to the date of the Marriage but preferably no later than eight to twelve weeks before the date and not later than 28 days before the date of the Marriage.  A fee is payable for giving notice of a Religious Marriage.

Although you do not need to visit the Registrar’s Office to submit your Marriage Notice, either the Bride or Groom must attend before the date of your Marriage to collect the Marriage Schedule. When your Marriage Notice is submitted a date will be given of when the Marriage Schedule will be available to collect.  When the Marriage Schedule is collected it must then be given to the Religious Officiant before the date of your Marriage.  Immediately after the Religious Marriage Ceremony the Marriage Schedule will be signed by both spouses, the two witnesses and the person solemnizing the Marriage.

Thereafter you must arrange for the Marriage Schedule to be returned to the District Registrar’s Office within three working days so that the Marriage can be registered.  Your Marriage Certificate is then available for a fee

If you copy the link below into your browser you will be able to download the marriage civil partnership notice application forms:

At some time prior to the date of the marriage the parties may be requested to attend at the Registrar's Office to finalise the arrangements and collect the marriage schedule. After the wedding the marriage schedule has to be returned to the Registrar's Office within 3 days.

The completed Marriage Notice Form must be returned to the Registrar for the district in which you are getting married at least twenty-eight  days prior to the date of marriage. Parties can notify the Registrar up to one year prior to the date of marriage.

Once the Registrar has received the Marriage Notice and there is no impediment to the marriage and the person to perform the Ceremony is an approved Officiant or Celebrant (i.e. a priest of the diocese of Derry) a Marriage Schedule is prepared for collection by the parties at the registrar's office.

It is your responsibility to produce your Marriage Schedule to the Celebrant at least three days before the wedding.  A marriage cannot take place without a Marriage Schedule.

It is also your responsibility to return the signed Marriage Schedule to the Registrar’s office within three days of the wedding.

If you are visiting Northern Ireland to be married and you are a citizen of a country that is not a member of the European Economic Area, you will need to apply for a visa before you travel. If you do not get a visa the registrar will not be able to take your notice of marriage and you will NOT be able to marry in Northern Ireland.

If you are already in the UK, and you are a citizen of a country that is not a member of the European Economic Area, you will need the approval of the Home Secretary to be married here.   

MUSIC: The use of music and singing is very important in the wedding ceremony.  As we are celebrating a sacrament only church music and hymns are appropriate in the marriage ceremony.  All other songs should be reserved for other locations.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Those taking photographs or video should be aware of the sacredness of the occasion and the church and should respect both of these.  Again as we are celebrating a sacrament of the church there should be no intrusive use of photography to interrupt the Mass.

FLOWERS:  The use of flowers enhances the church, but avoid putting flowers on the altar

itself and the use of adhesive should also be avoided.