What you must do before a marriage can take place

1. Confirm the date and time of your marriage with the Church BEFORE you make any other arrangements. Catholics who belong to another parish must arrange for the Banns of Marriage to be published there. If neither of you belong to Holy Family or to Sacred Heart then the permission of your own parish priest must be sought and given in writing.

2. You must both give notice personally of your intention to marry to the Registrar of the district where you live. The Registrar will issue a certificate for each of you fifteen days after you have given notice and these certificates must be presented to us before the marriage can take place. In practice we would advise you to obtain the certificates as soon in advance of your wedding date as possible. Both Holy Family and Sacred Heart are in the Wigan District. To make the registration, you will need to go to the Registrar's Office in Wigan, having made an appointment first by telephone. (Tel. No. 705000). Please note that you must reside within the district for at least seven days before you can give notice to marry. Marriages must take place within the registration district of one of the parties. Hence if neither the bride nor the groom belong to our district, a special permission must be obtained from the Registrars of the districts to which the parties belong.

3. You must provide the church with the following documents:

a. A recent copy of your Baptismal Certificate;

b. The two Certificates from the Registrar (Blue Forms);

c. A letter of ""Freedom to Marry" from their parish priest for Catholics who belong to another parish;

d. In the case of widows and widowers, documents regarding any previous marriage and their first partner's death;

e. Divorced people who, in some very exceptional circumstances may be able to marry in the Catholic Church, will need copies of their previous marriage and divorce (Decree Absolute) certificates.

f. You must give the necessary documents to the priest in good time before the marriage, so that if there are any problems there is time to deal with them.