Your Wedding at Ballintubber Abbey
If you decide to celebrate your wedding at Ballintubber Abbey you are continuing its sacred and spiritual heritage. For each marriage is a promise and a hope for the coming and spreading of God’s Kingdom into the future. The Abbey and its environs provide a wonderful setting for the celebration. The wedding ceremony, in such surroundings can be a moving experience not only for you yourselves, but for everyone present on the day.
To reserve Ballintubber Abbey for your marriage it is necessary to come to or make contact with Ballintubber Abbey Office (located at the Celtic Furrow Complex, on the main N84 road, Ballintubber)
Possible dates will be discussed with you and your preferred date can be ‘pencilled in’. Please note however that your date can only be confirmed on the assumption as you are free to marry.
Couples (outside of Ballintubber) must bring their own priest to officiate at the ceremony.
If the date is later changed or the wedding cancelled please make contact with us and have the booking cancelled. We also request that you put this in writing.
Sometimes a number of dates may be ‘pencilled in’ for couples to allow them to liaise with hotels etc. – when a final date is chosen please ensure that any other dates discussed are erased from our diary and left free for other couples.
Each couple must do a pre-marriage course
It is recommended that you book a course at least six months before the date of the wedding.
The Civil Registrar
All couples must now make contact with a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths office to give three months’ notice of their wedding. They may do so at any office in the country.
Notice To Priests
The woman who intends to marry must notify the priest of the parish in which she lives.
The man must notify the priest of the parish in which he lives.
This is so because it is they who will be completing the two sets of Pre-Marriage Papers.
You will need
- A certificate of Baptism recently issued (not more than six months old)
- Evidence of Confirmation
- Evidence that you have completed a pre-marriage course.
- Proof that you have not been married before from any place where you have lived for six months or more since you reached marriageable age. – you will get such a letter of freedom from the priest of the parish where you lived in Ireland.
- Permission / Dispensation from diocese of origin and where applicable :
• In the case of non-Catholics, a baptismal certificate from their own Church community.
• In the case of non-Christians a civil birth certificate.
- In the event of either party having been widowed or having received a Church annulment, on whatever basis, appropriate documentation must be included (Civil Death Certificate, Decree of Nullity etc).
- In the case of Church annulity, a civil divorce document or a state annulment document must be included.
- When you have got these documents together bring them to the priest of the parish in which you now live.
- He will complete your Pre-Nuptial Enquiry form – a lengthy form containing such data as the names of the Best Man and Bridesmaid, your future intended place of residence, etc.
(N.B. these papers are extremely important – Weddings cannot take place without them)
- It is the obligation of the bride’s priest to ensure that all wedding papers are forwarded to Ballintubber Abbey a month or so before wedding.
Marriage Papers for those living outside Ireland
The following documentation is necessary for couples coming from outside the country even when both parties are Catholic and / or originally from Ireland:
You will need all documents (as relevant) as listed 1-7
Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form(s) in respect of each party completed and signed in presence of priest.
In the case of each party, no matter what their origin, religion or circumstances, an affidavit, sworn and signed before a solicitor/attorney/notary public that they are “not now and have never been married according to any form, whether civil or ecclesiastical”.
The following rules must furthermore be adhered to strictly in the preparation and transmission of the above:
All documentation, without exception, is to be original. No photocopied material whatever will be accepted:
No documentation is to be dated more than six months prior to the date of the wedding;
The papers are to be prepared at parish level and submitted thereafter to the Chancery Office of the Diocese of Origin with the request that they be granted a testimonial letter and sent on directly to: The Archbishop’s Secretary, Archbishops House, Tuam, Co. Galway. All paperwork in these circumstances must go through both Chancery Offices, there and here. No exceptions are envisaged.
It is the obligation of the bride’s priest to ensure that all wedding papers are forwarded to the above address.
If your proposed partner is not Catholic you will need to get a ‘Dispensation’ from the Bishop.
In this regard please contact your local priest in good time.
The Wedding fee is €600.00 * (for persons outside of Ballintubber) and a deposit must paid on confirmation of booking. This payment can be made by cheque, bank draft or bank transfer.
*if sending a cheque in foreign currency please include €10 extra to cover bank handling charges.
When you have decided upon a time for your Marriage please notify our office.
Sunday Marriages must be arranged for 1.30 pm or after as last Mass commences at 11.30am
We ask brides to arrive within 10-15 minutes of marriage ceremony time.
Some couples request altar servers. It would be welcomed by us if you have a family member willing to fulfil this role.
Should you require servers from Ballintubber we can facilitate you, but on non-school days only.
Location of Ballintubber Abbey
In spite of the popularity of Ballintubber Abbey as a place of Pilgrimage, retreats, tours etc. visitors occasionally have difficulty finding it as signage is not as precise as you might expect !!
You may wish to point out to your guests that Ballintubber Abbey is located just off the N84 and is actually in closer proximity to Castlebar. (see map)
Music For Your Marriage Ceremony
We ask that the music you choose for your Marriage ceremony is in keeping with the sacredness of the occasion.
Couples must employ their own musicians/soloists and are urged to carefully consider the hymns to be sung during the ceremony.
Non-Sacred songs (e.g. your favourite love song) may not be used during the ceremony itself.
The Signing of the register can sometimes offer an opportunity for such favourite melodies to be played but this should be discussed with your officiating priest.
There is a Kawai keyboard in the Sanctuary of the Abbey which may be used by Instrumentalists and Soloists. This keyboard has a range of piano and organ sounds.
A microphone, situated in the Sanctuary, is also available for use by Soloists and musicians but because of the exceptional acoustics in the Abbey, it is often not required.
Flowers & Candles
- You must make your own arrangements about the floral decoration of the Abbey.
- If you wish to leave some or all of your floral arrangements as a gift to the Abbey, we appreciate your thoughtfulness.
In recent years candles have become popular as a means of adding beauty and atmosphere to the Abbey. Precautions must however be taken in order to ensure the safety of all.
You may wish to arrange a wedding rehearsal with the priest who will be solemnising the wedding.
As Ballintubber Abbey is an extremely busy church it is necessary to make contact with our office to discuss possible times.
The time of your rehearsal will then be recorded in our daily diary.