Marriage comes as a gift from the hand of God. The Catholic vision of marriage is rooted in Sacred Scripture and is expressed in the teachings and practices of the Church. It has these main elements:
Marriage unites a couple in faithful and mutual love Marriage opens a couple to giving life Marriage is a way to respond to God’s call to holiness Marriage calls the couple to be a sign of Christ’s love in the world
It is important to remember that you two are the most important people at your wedding. Together you bestow the Sacrament of Marriage on each other, in the presence of God, the Church’s minister (priest or deacon), and the assembly.
If you are engaged and planning to get married we offer our congratulations and we look forward to working with you. Initial enquiries should be directed to the parish office: 01707 654359 or Email and a wedding date may be set after meeting with the Parish Priest. Please contact the Parish Priest to arrange an appointment. Normally you should start making enquiries no less than six months before the proposed wedding date. Please remember that it is important to approach the church first before making your plans for a reception venue. No dates will be confirmed until you have met with the Parish Priest.
- A currently-dated baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptised dated not more than six months before the wedding date. For those baptised in other Christian Churches, a certificate is also required.
- If Our Lady & St Vincent is not your regular church of attendance, or you live outside the parish we will need a letter from your local Parish Priest or the Priest of your church of regular attendance, confirming that he has no objection to you being married in this church. It is also helpful if you can give the reasons why you wish to marry here.
- You also need a confirmation certificate.
- The Law of England & Wales requires notice to be given to the local Registrar of Marriages. This notice should be given not more than one year, and not less than 21 working days, prior to the wedding date. The Register Office is at 19B St Albans Rd East, Hatfield. AL10 0NG. Tel: 0300 123 4045. You need to ring for an appointment.
- A Declaration of Freedom to Marry for each party, notarised by a Commissioner for Oaths (Solicitor).
- A Marriage Course certificate (see below).
- If one of you is not a Catholic, certain conditions have to be fulfilled. The officiating Priest/Deacon will give you the relevant details.
- If Our Lady & St Vincent is your parish, and you are planning to get married in another parish, you will need a letter of permission from the parish priest and the preparation and paperwork is done here. If you have a situation that you would prefer to discuss with a Priest, the parish office will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.
Please note you must not have a civil marriage (Registry Office) performed prior to the Church wedding unless by special arrangements with the church.
Order of Service
You may choose to have a Nuptial Mass, or a Wedding Service without the celebration of the Eucharist. Please consult with the Parish Priest or Deacon helping you, before printing. To help you to prepare an Order of Service please consult (click) the following:
There is a choice of readings and music to be made in either case. The readings are listed in the respective Order of Service, so please click on one to view them.
There are marriage preparation sessions in various local parishes and details are available from the parish office.
The music provided can be from our Parish organists. Musicians may be contacted via the parish office.
Flowers are provided by the couple(s). Please contact the parish office to liaise with the parish flower team.
The use of cameras and video equipment is acceptable under certain conditions. Musicians are entitled to double fees if a recording is made.
For the sake of the environment please do not use confetti of any kind either inside or outside the church.
Fees and Donations
It is usual for a gift offering to be made to the Church. If you are a UK tax-payer, this can be gift-aided (an envelope will be provided). The officiating Priest/Deacon will give you the relevant details. If Our Lady & St Vincent is your parish, and you are planning to get married in another parish, you will need a letter of permission from the Parish Priest. There is a Chancery fee of £50.00 for all the relevant Church paperwork.
Should you require further assistance or clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. It is our wish to make your Wedding Day as memorable as possible.