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Getting Married

A young couple is getting married soon and being the "ate" in the chapter, they asked for my assistance since they don't have an idea where to start. These are the moments when you are forced to learn something not for yourself but for others. While there are a lot of readily available information found in the internet, I wanted to be sure. And so I went to the office of Our Lady of Light Parish in Cainta (where they initially want to get married). The first thing I asked was the availability of schedule. I was informed of the available dates and times and was asked if I already have the required documents. He then gave me this sheet of paper which contains everything that needs to be prepared before the wedding date. He assumed I was the bride. I politely told him that I'm just doing a favor for a friend. :)

And because every time I log in to Facebook, I see people getting engaged and changing their relationship status (my News Food is so full of love, relationships, and romantic stuffs), I thought it would be helpful if I post a sort of "wedding guide". :)

For this post, let's assume that the wedding venue is the Our Lady of Light Parish Church in Cainta, Rizal. :) By the way, it has a very interesting history which you can read up here: Cainta Association.

Initial Requirements
1. New copy of Baptismal and Confirmation certificates with annotation "FOR MARRIAGE PURPOSE ONLY" (validity: 6 months)
  • For Non-Catholics: Baptismal or Dedication Certificate from the pastor or minister with annotation "FREE TO MARRY"
  • For widows and widowers: Death Certificate of the deceased spouse
  • For separated: Certificate of (Church) Annulment (Philippines) or Divorce (abroad)
  • For foreigners: Legal Capacity to Marry from the embassy; For Japanese: Call Msgr. Esteban "Bong" Lo for interview (Contact Numbers: 895-9062, 895-9561)
*Sacrament of Confirmation may be availed at the parish upon presentation of Certificate of No Record from your home parish and payment of Php500.

2. Marriage License from city or municipal hall (validity: 4 months)
*If civilly married, submit certified original or true copy of Marriage Contract

*To secure a marriage license, the following are needed:
  • Certified copy of NSO Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Residence Certificate
  • Parental Advice (for 21 yrs. old to 24 yrs. old)
  • Parental Consent (for 18 yrs. old to 20 yrs. old)
  • Pre-Marriage Counselling (from DSWD and MHD) - now what is MHD?
  • Divorced Paper/Annulment Paper (if divorced/annulled)
  • Death Certificate (if widow/widower)
  • Barangay Certificate
  • Legal Capacity to Marry issued by the embassy (if foreigner)
  • Photocopy of Foreigner's Passport (if foreigner)
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
    *You can have your certificates delivered by applying online via: 

3. Reservation Fee. Go to the parish office and reserve your preferred date and time. Reservation fee is Php1,000 (deductible, non-refundable, non-transferable).

All of the above initial requirements need to be prepared and submitted at least a month before your wedding date. 

Next Steps
a. Submit the initial requirements and fill out the application form. Bring 2x2 photos of the bride and the groom.
b. Upon submission of the documents, you will be given a schedule for canonical interview and pre-cana seminar. (Some churches allow the Discovery Weekend and the Singles Engagement Retreat as substitute for Pre-Cana.)
c. Submit the following documents at least a week before the wedding date:
    • Marriage Banns (obtained from the parish after application)
    • Disparity of Cult (for Mixed Marriages)
    • Marriage License
    • List of Principal Sponsors (maximum of 10 pairs, first pair should be Catholics)
    • Full Payment
d. Avail the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Other Guidelines
a. All submitted documents must be original or authenticated and English or Filipino translated
b. The bride and groom must prepare all the necessary materials for the wedding. The Bible and the Unity Candle will not be used during the ceremony.
c. The Entourage must be at the church at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
d. Throwing of rice, coins, flowers, and the likes is not allowed inside the church. This can be done outside. 

Wedding Packages
a. Ordinary (no decorations) - Tuesday to Friday 
  • Wedding Rites only: Php1,000
  • With Mass & Carpet: Php2,000
b. Special (with mass, flowers, carpet, tulle, candles, and chandeliers) - Tuesday to Saturday: Php5,000

c. Special with Garden Set-up: Php8,000

Additional Charges:
  • Choir: Php600
  • Use of Electricity (for video): Php300
*Packages include priest, lector, commentator, sacristan, ushers, and seminar fees. Fees may change without prior notice.

The Entourage
  • Best Man
  • Father - Groom - Mother
  • Principal Sponsors
  • Secondary Sponsors
    • Candle
    • Veil
    • Cord
  • Groom's Man/Men
  • Bride's Maid(s)
  • Flower Girl(s)
  • Ring Bearer(s)
  • Maid(s) of Honor
  • Parents of the Bride
  • Bride
Again, these are all applicable if you're getting married at Our Lady of Light Parish. I'm not really sure with other parishes but I guess the procedure and the requirements are almost the same. Best thing to do is to consult the parish office and to really allot time to prepare. Avoid stress by minimizing the "last minute preparations." :)

One final personal note: Prepare not just for a successful wedding (because it's just a one-day thing) but for a successful marriage (because it's a lifetime commitment). More than having a grand ceremony, pray and work hard for a happy, healthy, and holy married life. :)

Source: Pinterest

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