Marriage Preparation FAQs

Where do we complete the Prenuptial Enquiry Form?

The Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form for each person must be completed by the local priest /deacon, (completed by the priest / deacon with each of you) for which the following are required:

  • A new long form Baptismal Certificate issued within six months of the proposed date of marriage from the parish of Baptism. Indication of Confirmation (separate certificate if not recorded on baptismal certificate).
  • While the standard way of establishing freedom has been letters of freedom i.e. a letter from any parish you have lived in since you were 18 years old stating that there is no record of you having contracted marriage in their marriage registrar, it is usually acceptable if you have lived in a number of parishes or in different parts of the world to get a signed letter by a parent(s) or brother or sister stating that, to the best of their knowledge you have never been married before in either a religious or civil ceremony in any jurisdiction. Another possibility is to swear an affidavit before a Commissioner of Oaths attesting that you have never been married religiously or civilly in any jurisdiction.
    It is always best to check with your local priest with regard to methods of establishing freedom for marriage as practices vary from place to place
How close to the wedding should we book a marriage preparation programme (MPP)?

It is advisable to book your Accord MPP at least 6-9 months ahead of your wedding. This is because programmes are booked up well ahead and also more importantly you will have the opportunity to discuss any challenges which might arise as a result of private discussion and attaining new insights into your unique couple relationship.

Do we need to bring any documents when attending the marriage preparation course?

No, all materials are supplied.

I was wondering do we have to have the state notified before we complete the marriage preparation programme?

State notification is required six months prior to your wedding date. This however is not necessary in order to attend a marriage preparation programme.

I am a catholic but my fiancé is not. Will the ACCORD marriage preparation programme be ok?

This is a question for discussion with the priest who is helping you with your paperwork and preparation. We do recommend couples of mixed faith attend one of Accord’s Inter faith programmes, please log on to or for more information and dates.

Do I have to do the marriage preparation programme in the diocese where my wedding is taking place?

No, couples are welcome to attend a marriage programme provided by any of our 49 Accord centres regardless of where their wedding will take place.

We are living abroad and plan to get married in Ireland. Can we do our marriage preparation programme here and will it be accepted?

This needs to be discussed with the priest who is helping you with your paperwork and preparation. He is responsible for the wedding and has an obligation under church law to ensure that each couple are adequately prepared for their wedding and married life. He can therefore elect to give the marriage preparation guidance to the couple himself or generally he will advise you on what form of preparation he wishes you to undertake.

Is a marriage programme compulsory in order to get married here in Ireland?

Yes, most diocese require couples to be adequately prepared for their wedding and married life. The priest who is assisting you with the paperwork and planning for your wedding will advise you on what form of preparation he wishes you to undertake.

Where can I find more information on what is required by the Church and the State before our wedding?

Please see the section on ……………………………..

Why attend a marriage preparation programme?

You have made the decision to spend the rest of your lives together so why not look beyond the wedding day organising and plan for your future life together?
This is just one step on the pathway but if a couple are open and willing to share and be honest and truthful with each other they will gain a lot from participating in the programme. Having an attitude of openness to the challenges presented by the programme activities will lead to great learning for each person.

Do we have to do the Course?

Yes, most diocese insist on good preparation prior to a Catholic wedding. This of course can be discussed with the priest who is assisting you with your paperwork and preparation. You are about to engage in a very big life commitment so it is important for you to prepare well. The overwhelming majority of couples who attend our marriage preparation programme are glad that they have come. The preferred choice of the Catholic Church in Ireland is Marriage Preparation Programmes provided by ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service.
Testimonials MPP 2024
“Overall very happy! Felt we got a lot from the course”.
“We got the chance to talk about conflict, communication and other topics we normally wouldn’t discuss.”

Do we have to stay for the full course?

Yes, you are both required to attend for the Eight Units of the full programme in order to achieve maximum benefit and also receive your Certificate of attendance.

Do both of us have to attend?

Yes, it is important for both of you to attend. There is a lot of interactive opportunities, discussion on important personal and relationship issues, structured tasks and time to share these thoughts in Couple Time.

Can we bring our baby?

Unfortunately, no. The programme gives you undivided time together to discuss and plan for a really important stage in your like. Therefore it is important that you can give your full attention to the programme content together.

Do we need to bring any documents with us?

No, just bring yourselves. All materials are provided.

When do we get the Certificate to say we have attended?

On the day you complete the programme you will receive a Certificate of attendance that you will need to bring back to your priest.

We are getting married abroad; can we do the Programme with ACCORD?

Generally yes. Many couples attend the Programme with us when they are getting married abroad but you should check with the priest who is helping you with the paperwork and planning as it is his responsibility that you are adequately prepared for Sacramental Marriage. It is important that you leave good time to get all your paperwork done as it takes longer to process when the wedding takes place abroad. So book your programme in good time – at least six months to nine months if possible.

Officiating Priest or Deacon

Any priest or deacon in good standing can officiate at weddings in the Catholic Church in Ireland, provided that they receive the necessary written permission (“delegation”) from the Administrator of the church where the wedding is to take place and that they are on the Registrar’s Register of Solemnisers.

Venue for the wedding ceremony

The Church expects that a wedding, being a solemn and sacramental event, should occur in a church, which is a sacred space. Being inside a church feels different from anywhere else; it has an atmosphere of peace, reverence and respect where all can feel welcome and it is permeated by  a sense of God’s loving presence.

The preferred option for a Christian marriage is the parish church of either the bride or the groom. In certain circumstances marriages can take place in other churches; each diocese has its own policy.