Congratulations on the decision to make your love a sacrament. Marriage is a gift from God. We will do our best to help you prepare for your wedding and for your married life together.
Please make contact with one of the priests of the parish in which you LIVE so that Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Forms can be completed and the relevant pre-marriage preparation arranged. Please note that the priest of the bride’s parish has the responsibility of preparing the couple for marriage.
Request a Baptismal Certificate and if necessary a Confirmation certificate from the parish in which you were Baptised/Confirmed. This certificate must be issued within six months of the date of your wedding.
Confirm the arrangements with the priest who is officiating at the wedding. If he is from another diocese or from a religious order, you must forward details of his name, address and telephone number to the parish secretary, so that he can be registered as a temporary officiant in the Derry Diocese.
The priests of the parishes within the city have agreed that to fully prepare for the sacrament of marriage all couples must participate in a pre-marriage course with ACCORD within six months of the marriage date. To book a course visit www.accord.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If an ACCORD Pre-Marriage Course is unavailable in your area, please contact the Parish Office on 7126 2301 before booking a course with another provider. It is mandatory that all couples intending to celebrate their marriage here in St Columba’s Church complete a recognised Pre-Marriage Course.
Collect a Marriage Notice Application Form from the Registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in Magazine Street. This can be obtained at any time from one year to 28 days prior to the wedding. The minimum period is twenty eight days before the date of the proposed marriage, but if you leave things as late as this you could be faced with the need to postpone your wedding.
Complete and ask the officiating priest to sign the Marriage Notice Application Form. Return the duly completed form to the Registrar. When the Registrar is satisfied there is no legal impediment to the marriage, a Marriage Schedule will be prepared from the information which the parties have supplied. The Schedule is a most important document – no marriage can proceed without it.
The couple must produce their Marriage Schedule to the Long Tower Parochial House at least 3 days prior to the wedding.
It is important to stress that compliance with these regulations is the sole responsibility of the couple not the priest. If these civil requirements are not met NO WEDDING CAN TAKE PLACE. We would advise you therefore to make contact with your local Registrar’s Office and they will instruct you on the necessary procedures.
Rehearsals usually take place 2 to 3 days prior to the wedding at a time that is mutually agreeable between the couple, the priest and the church. The wedding rehearsal can be booked by telephoning the Parochial House and usually takes place immediately before (i.e. 6pm) or directly after (i.e. 8pm) evening Mass on a weekday.
The Ceremony will begin at the time arranged so it is important that everyone arrives on time. This allows for maximum time for your wedding. There may be other events in the Long Tower after your wedding e.g. another wedding, baptisms etc. Your booking is from 15 minutes before the time of the wedding to 1 hour afterwards e.g. 1.00pm wedding – 12.45 pm to 2.00 pm. The Long Tower has a busy schedule with many events each day. Late arrival causes a knock-on effect that upsets everyone.
Most wedding photographers and videographers are professional, reverent and discreet. We simply ask that they refrain from using extra lights or delaying the arrival of the bride, and that they limit their movements during the Mass.
Long Tower Church is very ornate and does not require flowers to make it beautiful; therefore we encourage simplicity in floral arrangements. If you wish to have some flowers you may contact our parish flower arranger, Patricia McCormack (7135 4606). She will advise and give details of the cost. Floral decorations which are attached to the seats (by tie-bows not sticky tape or tacks) should be remove immediately after the ceremony.
The Wedding Ceremony takes place within a liturgical context. Liturgy is public worship before God and so the music you choose for your wedding must reflect the sacredness of the event and be fitting for worship. It is important, therefore, that the music you choose is worthy of such a celebration and that the lyrics acknowledge the presence of Christ, the Unseen Guest, at your wedding. No secular music. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact the priest.
The amount of money you spend on your wedding day is your own choice. The Church only asks that the couple and two witnesses be present with the priest. However, it is customary to make a donation to the celebrant, sacristan and the altar servers.
Care for the Church
Please note that the following items are not permitted in the church or its grounds: cigarettes, chewing gum, flower petals, confetti, candles on the aisles, rice, balloons, bubbles etc. When issuing invitations we encourage you to draw the attention of your guests to these guidelines. Mobile phones must be switched OFF in the church.
Finally, we celebrate your love for each other. We very much encourage you to pray together daily and attend Mass every Sunday. This will be the sustenance of your engagement and your marriage. We wish you God’s choicest blessings all the days of your life.
Click here to download Marriage Booking Enquiry Form