Cebu Wedding Planning: Everything You Need to Know and Accomplish for a Catholic Church Wedding

Upon the start of my wedding planning, the one thing I wish I had more info on was how to go about with all the requirements. And I mean ALL. The church hunting was a fun task, but doing the paperwork wasn’t. Luckily, Cebu wedding planning was not as taxing as I thought it would be.

I honestly debated whether or not I will be having a church wedding because a civil wedding would have been just as good. We put a lot of thought into it and eventually decided on a Catholic church wedding. We were wed at St. Therese Church. It was beautiful, peaceful, and strategically located. We had the preparation at Waterfront Hotel and the reception in Circa 1900, all three were in Lahug.

Here, I share a list I wish someone had given me before I started the wedding planning. This is based on our experience so I may not be able to cover everything. But I truly hope this helps!

Things to remember when choosing a church:

  1. Tentative date/dates.

    First of all, you need to decide on a target day. It’s easier to inquire about church availability when you already have a date, plus a backup date, in mind.

  2. Budget.

    A no-brainer. Decide together how much you are willing to spend on the church. More than the merriment, the venue where you will have the sacred ceremony that will make everything binding is vital.

  3. Size of the area.

    Do you want to walk down a long aisle? Or do you want to see all the guests at one glance? Consider how intimate or big you want your church to be.

  4.  Consider your parish church.

    Parishes usually have different rates for weekday and weekend ceremonies, with weekdays being much cheaper. They also offer a lower rate if you’re a parishioner. So, if you like that pretty church near your area, then better opt to have your ceremony there. Also, some churches have air-conditioning unit for an add-on price.

  5.  Distance from the reception. 

    Some people believe it’s wiser to book the church first and then the reception venue. I say, choose first whichever your heart desires! No really. We actually booked our reception venue first because we got married at a wedding season and it felt harder to find the perfect venue than the church. So once you have a venue booked (or in mind), make this one of the basis in choosing the church. You don’t want to hassle your guests with traffic and unpredictable delays caused by the distance, after all. Cebu wedding planning means considering traffic.

  6. The little yet vital things. 

    This includes parking space, the inclusion of the church package (some offer free floral decoration, candle, carpet, etc.), or check if they have choir and readers. Plus, also consider if you want to get your own priest and make sure you let the church know about it.

Cebu wedding planning: The Church requirements

Now for the more tedious part. Here are the documents you need to acquire as part of the church requirements. Please note that our wedding ceremony was at St. Therese Church in Lahug, Cebu City, and while these requirements are likely the same as other parishes, make sure to check with your chosen parish. I heard some churches ask for copies of birth certificates of your flower girls and bearers, and marriage certificates of your principal sponsors.

  1. Baptismal Certificate (with annotation “For Marriage Purposes”)

The parish church where you were baptized. Parish church’s office hours. Usually Sunday-Friday, 08:00 – 05:00 PM. Depends on the parish. Mine was from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church which was 60.00 PHP. While my husband’s was from Sta. Catalina Alejandra Shrine in Carcar Cebu at 100.00 PHP. So that’s more or less the price range. Half an hour waiting at max. Make sure to ask for a copy that indicates “for marriage purposes.”

2. Confirmation Certificate (with the annotation “For Marriage Purposes”)

The parish church where you had your confirmation. They will issue you a new copy that indicates “for marriage purposes.” Parish church’s office hours. Usually Sunday-Friday, 08:00 – 05:00 PM. Depends on the parish. We were both confirmed at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the certificates cost 200.00 PHP each. Half an hour waiting at max. Make sure to ask for a copy that indicates “for marriage purposes.”

3. Results of Marriage Banns

From your respective parish churches. The idea is that, for 3 consecutive Sundays, your parish will announce that you are getting married. Both of you will be named. This is to make sure that there will be no objections on your coming union. *wink Just submit the marriage banns issued from the church you’ve booked to your own parish. They will take care of the schedule. Free. *yay Ideally, you can get the results of marriage banns a day after the series of announcements have been completed. So that’s 3 weeks waiting. There were no requirements asked from our experience. Our parish was St. Joseph Parish, Talisay City.

4. Written Permit of the Bride from the Parish

The bride’s parish church. You only need this if you’re not a parishioner in the church where you are going to have your wedding. Parish church’s office hours. Simply request for a ‘permit of the bride’ Depends on the parish. Mine at St. Joseph Parish, Talisay City was 500.00 PHP. I’m not sure about the TAT for this as mine was issued along with the wedding banns results. No requirements needed from my experience.

5. List of Principal Sponsors

Your own copy. N/A N/A N/A I’m guessing you need this so they can put all the names of your sponsors in the marriage contract which you will be signing. So make sure the copy you provide is clear and free of typos. St. Therese encouraged us to submit an actual invitation for the list but it was also okay to just provide a simple printed Word file, which we did of course.

6. Pre-Cana Seminar Certificate

Your choice of parish.We had ours at Sto. Nino Church, Mohon, Talisay City. Depends on parish schedule, but usually takes place once a week or twice a month. Ours was on a Saturday and took whole day. Some parish have them on 2 weekends, meaning you have to attend for 4 days. A church in Banawa, I heard, offers this for half day only but it only happens once a month (sorry for the vague details). Depends on parish.Cost is per couple and should be less than 500.00 PHP. You can receive your certificate right away after the seminar, ideally. Check the church ahead of time if you need to get a slot or if they accept walk-ins.

7A. Marriage License (for new applicants)

The Marriage License once acquired, is valid for 120 days and can be used anywhere in the Philippines.

Valid IDs of the applicants N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Original Birth Certificate of the applicants > Local Civil Registrar Office
> NSO Outlets
> Online (,, etc.)
Office hours. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (unless online) 250.00 – 450.00 each depending on whether you are getting from an office/outlet or online 1 week at max None.
Recent Community Tax (Cedula) of the applicants Barangay / City Hall Office hours. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM 5.00 PHP + 1.00 PHP for every 1,000.00 of your declared income On the spot. None.
NSO Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) > Local Civil Registrar Office
> NSO Outlets
> Online (,, etc.)
Office hours. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (unless online) 250.00 – 450.00 each depending on whether you are getting from an office/outlet or online 1 week at max For convenience, we ordered ours online. It was easy but when it arrived, my husband’s name was inconsistent and there was practically no way of raising your issue via the same website. We ended up lawyering-up to come up with an affidavit that he is “one and the same person” which cost us more.
Certificate of Pre-Marriage Counselling and Family Planning Seminar Have your schedule at the DSWD office or ask the City Hall where This usually falls on a weekday. And runs for an entire day. Free. Ideally at the end of the seminar. None.
Barangay Certificate Barangay Hall Office hours. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM 70.00 PHP On the spot. You must be a registered voter in the city where you are getting your certificate.
Accomplished Application Form City Hall Office hours. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM N/A N/A N/A
Parental Consent of Advise (for applicants below 21 years old) Sorry no, further info
Death certificate of deceased spouse OR Court Order of Annulment (for the previously married applicant) Sorry no, further info
Certificate of Legal Capacity (for foreigner applicants) Sorry no, further info
Processing Fee N/A N/A > 538.00 PHP (Foreigner)
> 188.00 PHP (both Filipino)

7B. Marriage Contract (for civil-married couples)

Sorry, no further info.

Did I miss anything? Please feel free to share your tips on church wedding planning as well!

This post first appeared in Quaint Quinn. Requirements may have been updated since the posting. 

More about Queenie Sue Bajenting-Pantinople

The founder of Wedding Kultura, Queenie, or affectionately nicknamed Quinn, is a copywriter for global brands for over a decade, a DIY apostle since the day she learned how to hold a pair of scissors, and a certified wedding enthusiast since forever. She loves breakfast food but not during breakfast time (she loves sleeping more, but that deserves another story), the beach (though she never has the time to go to one anymore), and her not-so baby boy (who's the reason why she so desperately loves sleeping and why she can never have a beach getaway anymore).

2 thoughts on “Cebu Wedding Planning: Everything You Need to Know and Accomplish for a Catholic Church Wedding

  1. Iya

    I love how detailed this is! Thank you so much for helping a fellow bride out <3


    1. Quinn Pantinople

      Hi Iya! Thank you for dropping by! So happy you found this useful. Best wishes and enjoy the wedding planning! <3


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