Congratulations on your decision to marry!

It is a big commitment, but one that will hopefully help you grow together in love. In marriage, a husband and wife are called by God to be the image of the unbreakable bond that exists between Christ and his Church. Christian marriage is a relationship of love – but with God at the heart of it. That faith dimension is what enables couples to stick together, in times of joy or sorrow. Listed below are some of the details required in order to get married in the Church.


Book the Cathedral and hotel as early as possible. Some people book up to two years in advance. Minimum six months. (See requirements for Civil Registration below)

Do not assume anything!
Check with both the Cathedral and hotel before booking either to make sure that the desired time and date is available. You may also need to ensure that the priest celebrating the marriage is free on the desired date. 12pm. is the earliest time!

Saturday is the most popular day for a wedding, times fixed for Saturday weddings are 12pm and 2pm. Times for a Saturday wedding may be altered within six months of the marriage date, providing that no other ceremony is booked for the Cathedral on that day.

Pre-Marriage Courses

Pre-marriage courses are an essential part of preparation for Christian marriage and they are obligatory for all couples who wish to marry in the Cathedral. Couples often comment that completing the course was well worth while.

A number of options are available:

Accord offer courses in Tuam.
For more details contact 094 9022214 or by email

Accord, Galway: 091 562331.

Esker Retreat House, Athenry offers residential ‘Engaged Couples Weekends’ (Friday night to Sunday lunch time). Details of these weekends which take place on a monthly basis, (Twice in March / May) are available from 091 844549, Email:

Mount Argus: This is a one day course (Saturday). Details can be obtained by contacting Angela O’Rourke 01 2964257. Website:

Marriage Documents

All of the above courses can be heavily booked. It is advisable to book as early as possible. Very often only a very limited number of dates are available. It is never too early to complete a Pre-Marriage Course. Papers are completed some time after the Pre-Marriage Course, usually inside two months of the Marriage date.

The enquiry form is completed in the presence of a priest of the Parish where each party normally resides.  This form is confidential to the priest and the party involved. Each party must obtain a recent copy of their Baptismal Certificate and a copy of their Confirmation Certificate, from the Parish where they were baptised and confirmed respectively.

If either or both parties lived away from their present address for a period of time a ‘Letter of Freedom’ may be required. Alternatively a ‘Statutory Declaration’ may be filled out in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths/Solicitor. Individual cases can be discussed with your priest who will advise you.

You should also bring to the priest who completes the bride's papers, the Certificate received on completion of your Pre-Marriage Course and the MRF received from the Registrar of Civil Marriages.

Please Click Here for a printable version of the Statutory Declaration. The Statutory Declaration is a legal document, whereby a person is declaring that he/she has not been married before.

Planning Your Ceremony

Couples may choose Scripture Readings from a number of books available or from booklets of other couples. You may wish to discuss this with your own priest. Many couples opt to have a booklet, this is completely at your own discretion.

Flowers for Marriages are provided by the couple. When two marriages take place on the same day couples sometimes co-ordinate flowers and share the expense. Musicians for the Church are chosen by the couple. There are a number of local organists and soloists and groups who are accustomed to providing music at Marriage Ceremonies.

The Marriage Candle is provided by the couple. There are a number of options including the candles which couples receive at some Pre-Marriage Courses. Wedding candles are available from several retailers including florists, bookshops and gift shops sell personalised candles. Stands for marriage Candles are available at the Cathedral.

Rehearsals should be booked at the Church where the marriage is to take place. The rehearsal usually takes place in the evening of one of the days preceding the wedding, and should be arranged at a time that suits everybody involved. The handiest time is usually the evening directly before the wedding so as to easily facilitate members of the bridal party who may be travelling, however, this is up to yourselves. Book the rehearsal as soon as you know the time.