Here’s our Step-by-Step Wedding Legal Requirements Process when you want to get married in a Catholic Church (non-civilly married):
- Compute the validity of the documents depending on your desired wedding date and your availability. For the complete list, check our post HERE.
- Inquire about all the legal requirements from both your desired Parish/Church and from the City Hall where you will be getting your marriage license from. If you are overseas, you can make a call or send an email to know first-hand information.
- If you are based overseas, inquire with your parish about the requirements for the Certificate of Freedom to Marry. You can check it further HERE.
- Get Baptismal certificate (6 months valid) and Confirmation certificate (6 months valid) from your designated churches in the Philippines. Keep an extra copy in case you will need to submit for your Pre-Cana Seminar. If you can, do your Pre-Cana Seminar while you are overseas but check with your Parish/Church first if they’d allow it. Rules differ depending on your desired Parish/Church.
- Get Certificate of Freedom to Marry from your Parish/Church overseas if you are eligible to do so. If canonical interview is allowed overseas, do that as well. Take note that certain documents are needed by the church like an original copy of your baptismal and confirmation certificates (with annotation for marriage purposes) for the scheduled Pre-Cana seminar. But again check with your church first since requirements vary.
- Submit all documents (Baptismal certificate, Confirmation certificate, Pre-Cana certificate and Certificate of Freedom to Marry) to the church where you will be married through a courier or representative (wedding coordinator or family relative) but inform your church first about this to be sure and check if they would allow this as well.
- After submission of church documents, inquire if your representative can make the necessary action on your behalf to make the request for the Marriage Bans (3 consecutive Sundays done at you & your fiance’s hometown parishes).
- While doing these you can apply your NSO Birth Certificate and NSO CENOMAR online (6 months validity for both, which can be delivered to your house) or ask a representative to do it for you (this will require a letter of authorization etc).
- Once in PH, file for Marriage License (filled application form from the City Hall, photos if needed, Cedula or proof of residence, original NSO Birth certificate and NSO CENOMAR) in you/your fiance’s City Hall (need personal appearance, 10days processing, 4 months validity) and attend the compulsory Family Planning Seminar (by appointment, half day or 1 day).
- Submit approved marriage license to the church to complete your documents. Wait for Canonical interview schedule that your church will give you if you haven’t done it yet.
- Do your Confession if you hadn’t done it yet.
- Wedding day!
- After that, make sure to ask your church coordinator and/or coordinator about the processing of the marriage certificate (waiting period).