Planning your wedding in the Church of Our Lady Crowned

Congratulations on your decision to get married.  You are welcome to have your wedding celebrated at the Church Of Our Lady Crowned.   We hope that your wedding day will be full of memories that you will treasure for the rest of your life.   Once your family and friends hear that you have set the date, they will start telling you what you must and must not do in preparation for the day. Some of this advice will be correct and helpful, some of it will be incorrect in regard to Our Lady Crowned Church and will only confuse you. The following has been compiled to help you prepare for your wedding at our church and the parish office 021 4551276, or email and we will be happy to answer any query you may have.

Fixing the date
When you have chosen a date and found a hotel that can accommodate you on that date, do not pay a deposit until you have checked that the church is also available. The couple must make an appointment with any Civil Registrar to give notice of their intention to marry.   This meeting must take place at least three months before the wedding in order to comply with the civil requirement.

The couple will be required to bring the following documentation to the Registrar’s Office:

-Photo Identity (preferably a passport or a driving licence)
-Names and dates of birth of witnesses
-Name of the church they will marry in
-Name of the priest who will officiate

When all the civil requirements have been completed satisfactorily, the couple will receive a Marriage Registration Form from the registrar. Without this form the couple cannot get married.
Pre-Marriage Courses
Marriage is for life.  If you’re going into something which you want to last for life, a time of reflection and preparation, is time well spent.  This is why you are asked to take part in a pre-marriage course. It is also a requirement of the Church authorities. As there are so many seeking places on these courses, it is necessary to book 6 months in advance.  The following organisations are approved by the Diocese of Cork & Ross
Cork Marriage Counselling Centre, 34 Paul Street, Tel. 021 4272277
N.A.O.M.I. 119 Patrick St (Entrance via Drawbridge St) Tel. 021 4272213
5 Main St, Bantry – Tel. 027-50272                                                                                        
Monument Hill, Fermoy – Tel. 025 31899
What kind of Wedding Service?
There are two kinds of Marriage Service. One is where the Marriage Promises are made during Mass. The other is where the Promises are made at a special service but without the Mass.  The choice of service should be made in the light of the personal faith circumstances of both parties.   Most Catholics will choose to make their Marriage Promises at a Nuptial Mass. However, where one of the parties is not Roman Catholic or a non-believer, the wedding service without the Mass may be more appropriate.  It is important to talk this decision over with the priest who will officiate.
Marriage Papers
Many couples think they only need what is called” A Letter of Freedom” – THIS IS NOT SO. The following documents are required.
-Baptismal certificate, from the Church where you were baptised, issued within 6 months of the date of the wedding.
-Pre-nuptial enquiry:   You fill out this form with the priest of your parish and he then sends it on to the priest who is dealing with your Fiancée’s papers.
-If you have lived anywhere other than your home parish for 6 months or longer since you reached the age of 18 you will need to get a simple letter of freedom from those parishes also.
-Baptismal certificate, from the Church where you were baptised, issued within 6 months of the date of the wedding.
-If you have lived anywhere other than your home parish for 6 months or longer since you reached the age of 18 you will need to get a simple letter of freedom from those parishes also.
-Certificate from Pre marriage Course.
-Marriage Registration Form
Give documents 1-4 above to the priest of your parish and fill out the Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form
In the case where one partner is not Catholic a dispensation will be needed.  The priest will apply to the Bishop for a dispensation for you.
In the case of couples living abroad, the priest in the parish of your residence will complete your Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form and will forward it to his Bishop who in turn will send it to the Bishop’s office here in Cork. Address: Cork & Ross Office, Redemption Rd. Cork
The Wedding Mass
The priest celebrating your Wedding Mass will help you choose Readings, Prayers, Rite of Marriage.  It is good to involve others in the ceremony doing Readings, Prayers, etc.

Church Fees
The Church has always been reluctant to lay down specific fees, preferring offerings on a voluntary basis. Recently, especially in the case of marriage, couples are requesting at least an indication of the fees for church services.   In view of this, the following guide regarding marriage fees is suggested.   If one of the parties is from the parish, there is no fee for the church. It is however customary to give a voluntary offering to the priest who helps you with the marriage arrangement, deals with the paperwork etc.   Should this priest also officiate at the wedding, most couples would give an offering of €150.00 to cover the paperwork, plus saying the Mass. For couples not from the Parish a donation of €200.00 should be made to the church also. For his attendance at the wedding rehearsal and the wedding ceremony the Sacristan should be appropriately remunerated.
Flowers are used for their beauty and the promise of abundant life.  They should be tasteful and not obscure the Altar or the Ambo. Flowers or ribbons may be attached to the seats but not by using thumb-tacks, Cellotape or Bluetack. Please ask your florist to make contact with the Parish Office and you will be advised where flowers are permitted in the church.
To conform to Health & Safety Regulation, the use of candles in the main body of the church is not allowed.  The use of confetti in the church or in the church grounds is strictly prohibited.
Music and song add joy to your wedding.  Where at all possible hymns that the congregation (your guests) can join in are recommended.  “In recent years certain types of love songs have been creeping in to weddings which, though perfectly suitable for the reception afterwards, are not suitable in the Church”.  (Christian Marriage, preparation and celebration, The Irish Episcopal Conference). You are welcome to bring your own musicians, provided they bring their own musical instruments and amplification.
Videos and Photography
These record your special day.  The taking of photographs and video recording must be unobtrusive; not be distracting to you, the congregation or to the priest. Therefore we would ask that you advise the photographer or video person that access to the Sanctuary is not permitted.

The signing of the Register
The register to be signed is the civil register and is not part of the Church ceremony.  For that reason we recommend that it be signed after the Church ceremony has ended.  Please remember that the signed Marriage Registration Form will be handed to you after the ceremony and it is your responsibility to forward this to the Registrar of Marriages.
Prayer of a couple preparing for Marriage
God, our Father, we need your grace and blessing as we prepare for the
Sacrament of Marriage and await the day of our wedding.
May we grow in mutual respect and in our love for one another;
That through our companionship and prayer together we will prepare ourselves rightly for marriage.
May the God of love and peace abide in us, guide our steps, and confirm our hearts in his love, now and forever.