Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming marriage!

Marriage is a vocation, a calling by God to live a particular way of life. As Catholic Christians, the love between a wife and husband is the sign of how God loves us and how Christ loves the Church. This is why Marriage is a Sacrament and the Church has surrounded it with special traditions and sacred rites. Your love is to be a sign of hope for us all. This is why it requires faith to take on this vocation before the whole world and faith to trust that God will be present in your married life together.

As part of our commitment to assist you with the planning and preparation for your upcoming wedding, we offer you this information which will explain the main points of our Marriage Policy as well as answer most of your questions. We are here for you. Please contact the Parish Office for the most current and complete Marriage Policy.

Where do we get Married?

Canon or Church Law directs us that a marriage should take place in the parish of the bride or groom. Even though a young woman or man is living away from home, she or he can be married in the parish where their parents reside.

If a couple is getting married in a parish other than their own, the permission of your regular parish priest will be required for the wedding to take place in the other parish.
When only one of the parties is Catholic, the marriage generally takes place in the parish of the Catholic party.

Marriage between a Catholic and a Non-Catholic

The marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic requires that certain conditions be observed. There is no obligation that the non-Catholic party become Catholic. The Catholic party promises that she or he will do all in her or his power to have the children raised in the Catholic Faith, and that the marriage will be celebrated according to the form of the Catholic Church, that is, in the presence of a Catholic priest or deacon and two witnesses. Normally a wedding between a Catholic and a non-Catholic takes place outside of Mass.

Scheduling the Wedding Date

Before a date can be reserved, the couple must first make an appointment with the parish priest. This should be done at least nine (9) months in advance of your intended date and before any other arrangements are made. If arrangements are made with the reception hall or caters first, there is no guarantee that the Parish will be able to accommodate that date or time. Please contact the parish office as soon as you have chosen a date.

Interview with the Parish Priest

Before a date can be reserving for your wedding, the couple will need to meet with the parish priest for an interview. During this meeting, the priest will complete the prenuptial inquiry forms as well as provide you with a marriage folder to assist you in your preparation for the wedding liturgy. This is the time to ask any questions that you have regarding your proposed marriage. You will be required to have a Baptism certificate when you meet with the priest (see note below on Baptism Certificates).

Baptism Certificate

Every Catholic party must obtain a baptismal certificate from the parish where she or he was baptized. This certificate cannot be more than six (6) months old. You may bring the certificate with you or the parish of baptism may fax or mail a copy of the baptismal certificate to the Parish Office.

A copy of the original baptismal certificate is required for a non-Catholic party and can be submitted to the Parish Office at any time. If the original cannot be found, the non-Catholic party will have to obtain a new baptismal certificate from the church where their baptism was celebrated.

Marriage Preparation Course

Since you are planning to spend the rest of your lives together, every step must be taken to ensure your happiness. To this end, the Church offers marriage preparation courses and you are required to take one prior to your marriage. Marriage preparation courses are offered regularly within the Archdiocese of Ottawa at various parishes. The parish office can supply you with the dates and locations of these courses.

Marriage License

At Holy Name of Mary Parish, couples are married by license which is obtained at the Mississippi Mills Town Hall. The Province of Ontario website provides additional information regarding marriage licenses and banns.

Prayer and Practice of Faith

The time when couples are preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage can be a time of tremendous spiritual growth which can lead to renewed or deepened prayer and the practice of faith and worship. Prayer, both individually and together, is an important aid in the process of becoming a faithful married couple. Regular attendance at Sunday Mass, especially if you have been away from this practice for awhile, or are marrying a Catholic, will help ensure that your wedding is a true celebration of faith, life and love. Simply put, the Sacrament of Marriage, like all Sacraments, needs faith to be fruitful. The practice of your faith will demonstrate that you are seriously preparing for this Sacrament and for your life together. The frequent reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and of the Eucharist during your engagement, lays a solid foundation of faith which will see you through the difficult moments that all marriages face, as well as deepen your times of joy together.

Planning the Wedding Liturgy

You will plan your wedding liturgy with the assistance of the parish priest who will be officiating at your wedding. The couple is asked to not make any arrangements regarding musicians, decorations, flowers and photographers until first speaking with the parish priest.

Practical Considerations

Hours for Weddings

Weddings can take place on almost any weekday and on Saturday at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. Weddings are never celebrated on Sundays.


The couple are asked to choose the readings and the readers for their wedding. The choice of readings can be discussed with the priest during your appointment. In order to help you in making these important choices, recommended readings can be found here. You will need to select a First Readings, a Responsorial Psalm and a Second Reading.


In selecting the music for your wedding, please remember that the ceremony is religious in nature, and thus the music must be sacred in character. Songs from movies, T.V. shows, or stage productions have no place in the Marriage liturgy. Favourite popular songs meaningful to the bride and groom, are better suited to the wedding reception.”
Our organist can assist you in choosing hymns and helping you understand our policy on musicians from outside the parish. Please contact the parish office for more information and contact numbers.


The photographer is required to be present at the rehearsal in order to aware of the church’s restrictions. If the photographer fails to attend the rehearsal, they will not be allowed to take pictures in the church.

The Wedding Rehearsal

The rehearsal is normally held on the evening before the wedding. Everyone in the bridal party and those assisting in the ceremony must attend the rehearsal.


As a sign of courtesy to all, everyone should be on time for the rehearsal and the wedding liturgy. It is not fashionable nor polite for any member of the bridal party to arrive late. Keep in mind that there are other events and activities taking place in the church on the same day.

Any delay of more than 15 minutes will result in a cancellation of the service.