Here’s our Step-by-Step Wedding Legal Requirements Process when you want to get married in a Catholic Church for non-civilly married couples. For those who are already civilly married (in your City Hall or through the Philippine Embassy where you are based), you can skip the civil requirements and just focus on your Church documents. The process will take a while, but even if you are based overseas, you can still do them. Just read our post below on what you’re supposed to do.
You can also check how we did it HERE to give you an idea.
- Compute the validity of the documents depending on your desired wedding date and your availability. Documents typically don’t have expiration dates but directly inquire with your church and municipality since rules vary. For the complete list of Wedding Legal Requirements in the Philippines, 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 don’t know the phone number of your City Hall or Church, just google it. At this time, almost all the contact info is readily available online. It’s highly advisable to contact them directly so you can get first-hand information.
- If you are based overseas, inquire with your parish about the requirements for the Certificate of Freedom to Marry (1 year valid upon issuance unless the Church states otherwise). This is required for everyone based overseas for more than 6 months. You can check it further HERE.
- Get Baptismal certificate with Marriage Annotation (3-6 months valid upon issuance unless the Church states otherwise) and Confirmation certificate with Marriage Annotation (3-6 months valid upon issuance unless the Church states otherwise) from your designated churches in the Philippines where you were baptized and where you had your Confirmation rites. If you haven’t done your Confirmation or Kumpil, you can check our separate blog post Express Kumpil in Manila for more information. Anyway, be sure to keep an extra copy of your Baptismal and Confirmation certificates with marriage annotation in case you will need to submit for your Pre-Cana Seminar (1 Day or 3 Days or more) since some Churches require that. 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 the 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 with Marriage Annotation, Confirmation certificate with Marriage Annotation, Pre-Cana certificate and Certificate of Freedom to Marry) to the Parish/Church where you will be married through a courier or representative (wedding coordinator or family relative) but inform your Parish/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). Ask the other requirements like SPA or formal authorization letter if a family relative or representative will get your Marriage Bans for you.
- While doing the steps above, you can apply your PSA/NSO Birth Certificate and PSA/NSO CENOMAR ONLINE. Be mindful that there is no expiry but usually 6 months validity for both certificates upon issuance depending on the end-receiver which is the City Hall and/or Church. Once you acquire them online, they can be delivered to your house after a few days depending on your location or if you want the traditional way, you can ask a representative to do it for you at a local PSA office (this will require a letter of authorization notarized by the embassy etc).
- Once you’re in the Philippines, file for Marriage License (filled application form from the City Hall, photos if needed, Cedula or proof of residence, original PSA/NSO Birth certificate and PSA/NSO CENOMAR) in you/your fiance’s City Hall which will need personal appearance, 10-11 days processing, 4 months/120 Days Validity. (1 Day)
- Attend the compulsory Family Planning Seminar (by appointment) (Half-day or 1 Day)
- Submit approved marriage license to the church, list of Primary Sponsors to stand as official witnesses (compulsory of 1 pair) , list of music etc. to complete your documents. Wait for Canonical interview schedule that your church will give you if you haven’t done it yet. (1 Day)
- Do your Confession if you hadn’t done it yet. (1 Day)
- Wedding day!
- After that, make sure to ask your church coordinator and/or coordinator about the processing of the marriage certificate (waiting period).
** Note: PSA/NSO Marriage Contract usually takes a minimum of 4-5 months depending on how fast your Church has submitted your original marriage contract to the City Hall (min 3 weeks) and the turn over of the City Hall to PSA/NSO (min 1 month).
For the complete list of the legal documents that you will need to secure, please check it HERE.
Getting all the legal documents is possible even if you’re an OFW or based overseas! To know how we did it, please check it HERE.
What to have an idea how to obtain a Certificate of Freedom to Marry from your church overseas? Please click HERE.
You haven’t done your Confirmation ceremony yet? Don’t worry, you can check Express Kumpil in Manila HERE.