Will you marry   me?” may be the initial question on the road to marriage but is by no   means the last. Once your family and friends hear you have set the date, they   will start telling you what you must do and what you 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 Bandon Parish and will only confuse   you.

The information   below is complied to help you prepare for your wedding at St Patrick’s   Church, Bandon, Our Lady Chapel, Gaggin and The Presentation Convent Chapel.


You must make an   appointment with any Civil Registrar to give notice of your intention to   marry. This meeting must take place at least three months before the date of   your wedding in order to comply with the civil requirement. The registrar’s   office will let you know what you need to bring with you.


When all the   civil requirements have been completed satisfactorily, you will receive a   Marriage Registration Form (MRF) from the Registrar. Without this form you   cannot get married.

Contact details:   Registry Office, Adelaide Street, Cork. Tel: 021- 4275126


Many couples   think they need only what is called, ‘A letter of Freedom’ – THIS IS NOT SO.   The following documents are required:

1. Pre-Nuptial   Inquiry Form. The priest in the parish of your normal residence will fill   this up for you.


2. If your place   of baptism was elsewhere, you will need to get a Baptismal Certificate from   your church of baptism.

(This certificate   must be issued within six months of your marriage.)

3. Letter of   Freedom in some cases. Consult the priest doing your papers about this.

4. In the case   where either the bride or groom is not Catholic, a dispensation will be   needed. The priest will organise this for you.

Situations vary   from couple to couple. It would be impossible in this short leaflet to cover   everything. It is best to contact your local priest six months ahead of your   wedding date and he will advise you on the documents needed in your case.

Pre Marriage   Courses

Couples are   required by Church authorities to take part in a pre- marriage course. It is   advisable to make enquiries about these as early as possible. The following   organisations are approved by the Diocese of Cork and Ross.

  • Cork Marriage Counselling        Centre, 34 Paul Street, Cork. Tel. 021 4272277
  • N.A.O.M.I. 119, Patrick        Street, Cork. Tel: 021 4272213
  • ACCORD Centre, Bantry.        Tel: 027 50272

What kind of   LITURGY?

There are two   kinds of Marriage Liturgy. One is where the Marriage Promises are made during   Mass. The other is where the Promises are made at a special Liturgy but   without Mass. The choice of Liturgy 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, when one is not Roman   Catholic, or a non-believer, the wedding liturgy without Mass may be more   appropriate. It is important to talk this decision over with the priest who   will officiate.

Photographs and   Video Recording

The making of a   video and the taking of photographs is no problem so long as it does not take   from the sacredness of the ceremony.

The Church   Ceremony

This should be   discussed in detail with the officiating priest.

If you intend   printing a booklet for your wedding, it is advisable to have it checked over   with the priest who will officiate. Reading should always be from the bible.   Samples are available.

The music for   your wedding must be suited to the dignity of the occasion.

There is no fee   for the use of the church.  It is however customary to give a voluntary   offering to the priest who celebrates your marriage.

If neither party   of the wedding is from the parish it is presumed the couple will invite a   priest from their own parish, a relative or a friend to officiate.  The   documentation required will be attended to by the priest in the home parish   and forwarded to Bandon.  The priest in the home parish should be   contacted several months before the wedding date.

In the case where   you invite a priest relative or friend to officiate at your wedding, he must   produce a current Celebret from his bishop or superior to the parish clergy.   Please inform him of this regulation.


If you wish to   receive a Papal Blessing, you can organise it through Veritas on Carey’s   Lane, Cork or at The Roman House on North Main Street, Cork. Organise it well   in advance of date.