Cathedral Church of St. Joseph


Convent Street, Swansea, SA1 2BX

Telephone: 01792 652683



You should contact the Parish Priest at the earliest opportunity to discuss your decision to marry.   We advise this contact be made prior to making any bookings for your wedding and at least 6 months from your planned date of marriage.


Some things to consider before meeting with your Parish Priest are:


Entitlement to Marry


That is, both parties being at least 16 years of age.  If under 18 years of age, permission from a parent/guardian will also be required.


Freedom to Marry


To marry within the Catholic Church you must not already be married, unless widowed.  If you have been previously married, you will first need to obtain a Catholic Church Annulment.  This is applicable if your marriage was performed within another Chirstian denomination / religion, or by a secular state authority.


If you plan to marry outside of your home parish you should request a ‘Letter of Freedom’ from your Parish Priest which will state you are free, as far as he is aware, to marry.


You will also require a ‘Marriage Licence’, which can be obtained by gving notive of your intention to marry to the local County Registry Office.


Initial Meeting


The initial meeting with the Parish Priest will take care of administrative details, so it will be handy to have key information with you such as Dates of Births, Baptisms etc.  


At this meeting, you will also be advised to make appointments with ‘Marriage Care’ for a series of four evening or two full day sessions.  These sessions are a requirement for marriage in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.


After completing the Marriage Care sessions, you will attend four meetings with the Parish Priest to further prepare you for married life.  Details of the wedding service will also be covered within these meetings.


Within the Catholic Church there are two main ceremonies relating to marriage.  Discussion with the Parish Priest at your first meeting will explore which of these services is best suited to, and most appropriate for, your needs.


Marriage Ceremony


A Marriage Ceremony is by far the most popular choice of services for couples marrying in the Catholic Church.  This service comprises of music, hymns, Scripture readings and vow taking, without the celebration of Holy Mass.


This service is often suggested for baptised Catholics who do not display a devotion to the Holy Eucharist by regularly attending mass and marriages where one party is not Catholic.


Nuptial Mass


Holy Mass is only celebrated within the Marriage Ceremony where either the Bride or Groom has demonstrated a devotion to the Holy Eucharist by regular Church attendance.  Your Parish Priest will offer a statement supporting this case.


It is possible for Holy Mass to be celebrated within the Marriage Ceremony if one party is not a Catholic, however this is usually discouraged.   It is not possible for Holy Mass to be celebrated within the Marriage Ceremony is one party is unbaptised.  If religious representatives from non-Catholic denominations are invited to participate in the Wedding Ceremony, Holy Mass may not be celebrated.


Marriage Ceremonies within the Catholic Church seek to promote and celebrate the unity of couples and the vows they make to one another.  In cases where the celebration of Holy Mass may cause some to feel distanced from the ceremony, the Church advises that the celebration of the Nuptial Mass not feature in the Marriage Ceremony.



Document Checklist


Baptismal Certificate (Bride)

Baptismal Certificate (Groom)

Confirmation Certificate (Bride)

Confirmation Certificate (Groom)

Statement of Freedom to Marry (Bride)

Statement of Freedom To Marry (Groom)

Marriage Care Certificate

Marriage Licence




Parish Priest - 01792 652683


Registry Office - 01792 636188

Marriage Guidelines

Back to Marriage