16th December 2017
Getting Married? Here’s a Guide to the Official Paperwork
So, he’s popped the question. What’s next? This is all you need to know about the practical ins-and-outs of getting married – whether in a church or not.
TWO YEARS BEFORE THE WEDDING
1. Church weddings only: Start your Cana course
Yes, it might seem a tad early, and while there are only 10 sessions to this marriage preparatory course organised by the Church, it is advised to allow plenty of time to soak up the lessons and get the most out of it. But don’t worry if you’ve left it late: couples have also done this a few months before the wedding, and there are shorter, ‘speedy’ courses available too. For more information call the Cana Movement on 2223 8000.
FOUR MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
2. Book an appointment at the Marriage Registry Office
The meeting is to request the ‘Publication of Marriage Bans’ and the issuing of the marriage licence (please see below). It is advisable to call ahead, unless you want to spend time waiting. To book an appointment with a marriage registry official, phone on 25904209 or 25904217.
3. Church weddings only: the ‘test’
Once you have finished your Cana course, each of you must go to your own parish church to apply to take a ‘test’ which will be conducted by your parish priest. The test is a simple one – feeling more like a conversation than an examination - and it measures your commitment to the principles of a church marriage. Once both of you have passed, you must take your results to the Maltese Curia in Floriana (open every day from Monday to Saturday, except for Thursdays).
TWO - THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
4. Request the ‘Publication of Marriage Bans’ and Marriage Licence
For this you would need to go to the Marriage Registry office in Floriana (which you would have booked beforehand) and take your birth certificates, ID cards (and copies) as well as copies of your witnesses’ ID cards. You will be asked details on the church (or the venue, if yours is a civil ceremony), the date of the wedding as well as the name and surname of the priest and whether or not you’ve decided to take your husband’s surname. Do not postpone doing this till the last minute: this has to take place 6 weeks before the wedding, at the absolute latest.
TEN DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING
5. Collect Official Documents
You will need to visit the marriage registry office once again to collect three documents (always remember to take your ID card with you): the two ‘acts of marriage’ and the ‘certificate of banns’. As soon as you have them, take these to the parish priest of the locality where the wedding will be taking place.