I Do Duties: Everything You Need to Know When Planning a Church Wedding in Cebu

I would like to think that this has got to be my most useful and informative post to date!

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 paper work wasn’t.

I honestly debated on 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 are in Lahug.

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


Photo by Bianca Villares


  1. Tentative date/dates. First of all, you need to decide on a target day. It’s easier to inquire for church availability when you already have dates 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. Among the churches we’ve checked out were the following:

St. Therese Parish > 10000 (non-parishioner)
> 5000 (parishioner)
Redemptorist Church > 12000
Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod (SRP) > 40000
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral > 15,000.00 (non-aircon)
> 50,000.00 (with air-con)
Archbishop’s Palace > 8,500 (with aircon)
Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus > 8,500 (weekdays)
> 10,000 (Saturday)
> 25,000 (Sunday)
> 25,000 (aircon add-on)
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish > 5,000.00

4. 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.

3. Consider your parish church. If you like that pretty church near your area, then better opt to have your ceremony there. It would save you a lot of cash and effort, being a parishioner.

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.

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.


Photo by Carmi Cavanlit


Now for the more taxing part. Here are the documents you need to acquire as part of the church requirements.

  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 DM’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 annotation “For Marriage Purposes”)

The parish church where you had your confirmation. They will issue you a new 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.

7. 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 (ecensus.com, nsohelpline.ph, 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 (ecensus.com, nsohelpline.ph, 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, DM’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 afffidatfit 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 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)

7. Marriage Contract (for civil-married couples) – Sorry,no further info


Photo by Edmund Abellana

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

* Prices are subject to change without the author noticing! 😀
* Post updated on June 2017.

22 thoughts on “I Do Duties: Everything You Need to Know When Planning a Church Wedding in Cebu

  1. Nene says:

    Hi! Thanks for this!big help! Just want to know if you have any idea about the article 34 affidavit of the family code.. if it’s accepted in behalf of a marriage license? Thanks

  2. AJ says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for this helpful blog 🙂 just wanted to check with you if you know what are the inclusions there are for Archbishop Palace? getting hold of them is hard when currently abroad.

    • Quaint Quinn says:

      Hi AJ! Thanks for dropping by and so sorry for not getting back to you sooner 😕 Sorry as well but I don’t have any other info on that. I am sure though that they don’t have flowers and carpet as inclusion since I’ve attended weddings there that got their own decors. Hope that somehow helps…

  3. Catherine says:

    Hi! Thank you for this very informative blog. 🙂 We are planning to hold our wedding at St. Therese also. Is reservation possible even if the requirements are still not complete? (say 6-8monts advance reservation)

    • Quaint Quinn says:

      Hi Catherine! Thank you for dropping by, glad you find this helpful!:) Yes, for St. Therese, you can reserve/book the church by paying the down payment, it was PHP5000 or 50% during the time we booked almost 2 years ago. Most churches simply require the reservation fee, without you having to provide the requirements right away. Hope that helps! Best wishes! ❤

  4. Zsar says:

    Hi! When would be the most reasonable time to book or reserve for the venue, the church, and the suppliers? Would 3 months before the planned date be enough?

    • Quaint Quinn says:

      Hi Zsar! Thank you for dropping by! I say it really depends on the season and how in-demand your desired venue and suppliers are. The more popular they are, the more you’d need to book them sooner. Some have 6 months to 1-year waiting period. You might also want to consider being bumped to a different date or day of the week if you really want to book them around your initially planned date. You may find that a certain venue is already booked on your date which is a Saturday, but you can have it on a Friday instead. It’s also smart to book before the beginning of a new year since rates almost always change each year. But don’t be discouraged, I’ve seen couples booking at the last-minute, even shorter than 3 months, and the results were still amazing. I just attended a wedding that only had a little over 2-month planning, it was still beautiful. What the bride did was get a wedding package, which was very ideal since they take care of finding available yet curated suppliers for you, from photographer to dress to cake, etc. There’s always something perfectly fit for you. Good luck! ❤

  5. Madelyn Altarejos Alegre says:

    The information was truly useful to us since we are planning our qchurchnwedding this year and er are currently abroad. Thank you so much and God bless.

      • Cherryl says:

        Thanks for this informative post. I would like to ask if how long did the process take after you submitted your requirements at the church? I am not sure if it’s okay to submit all the requirements a week before the wedding. We are both out of the country and need help on how to complete these requirements just a month before the wedding.Thank you!

      • Quaint Quinn says:

        Hi Cherryl! Thank you for dropping by! In my experience, we submitted our church requirements around 3 weeks before the wedding, during our scheduled interview/seminar with the priest. I think it’s best to ask your chosen church about this, to be sure. It’s possible they will give special consideration to couples like you who live outside the country. Good luck and congratulations! ❤

  6. Ter says:

    Hi. Amazing blog btw.
    Do you perhaps still remember the guidelines of the church?
    Strict on dress code? Bride n entourage?
    Strict on number of sponsors/entourage members?
    This has been my concern.

    • Quaint Quinn says:

      Hi Ter! Thank you for dropping by 🙂 I cannot speak generally but I can share based on my experience:

      – St. Therese, the church where I had my ceremony was not very strict with the dress code. Of course, the nuns reminded me to have my dress and the entourage’s look covered and decent enough. Me and my bridesmaids were in sleveless or off-shoulder dresses and it was fine, no one from the church stopped us to say we needed scarves or cover-ups. I hear that Pedro Calungsod Chapel (in Archbishop’s Palace) has very strict dress code that somebody from the church will really hand out scarves if the entourage’s attires are not covered enough. I can also say that Redemptorist Church is less strict as I have been a part of the entourage in a couple of weddings held there.
      – There are churches that really require the flower girls and the bearers to have had undergone the Sacrament of Holy Communion, toddlers are a no-no in other words. But again in St. Therese, 1 of 2 of my FGs was a 4-year-old and I didn’t have any bearers and it was also fine. I only asked the Best Man to carry the ring and the MOH the coins.
      – For the number of sponsors, I know that there’s a minimum (2 pairs in St. Therese if I remember correctly, which you wouldn’t have to pay for bec. it’s included in the church package. You’d have to pay 200PHP per excess pair there). But I haven’t heard of a maximum number of sponsors. Although I think they would discourage if it’s already a looooot.
      – If you’re also concerned about the songs, you can ask couples or choir members that you know on how strict a certain parish is with the playlist, including the entourage and bridal march. Clue: I got away with a few love songs in St. Therese.

      You can also make a checklist and visit or simply call the churches to ask about your inquiries. You can look up the numbers online. I did a lot of calling when I was still in my church canvassing stage, I only visited the ones that I liked based on the info I gathered over the phone.

      These things may have changed since my wedding/inquiry, but I hope it gives you an idea! Enjoy wedding planning! ❤

  7. Rea says:

    Thank you for this great information.
    I am also planning to get married here but I do have a problem. I have asked about the requirements for booking the church, but not so sure about the requirements needed after calling. And me and my fiance are abroad until a few months before our wedding date.
    Would you please help us on what we should do?
    I am afraid someone else might book the church before us and that worries me a lot.

    Thank you.

    • Quaint Quinn says:

      Hi Rea! Thank you for dropping by here! 🙂 Based on experience, the very first thing you need to book the church is to pay for the deposit. Ours at St. Therese was 50% of the total cost and was not refundable. They also do not allow pencil booking. I’m not quite sure if this is the same in other parishes. Upon booking, they’ll give you a list of requirements you need for the church wedding. You don’t need to present any of the requirements upon booking. But maybe you could ask ahead for the list and see if you can accomplish them in time, especially because it can be a bit challenging for you, being abroad. If you feel like the requirements are achievable by your booked schedule, then by all means book that lovely church! You can also refer to my list to get an idea. I believe the crucial requirements that really require your appearance are the pre-cana seminar and the marriage license. I hope you find this helpful and feel free to ask if you have any more queries, I’ll try my best to be useful! 😀 Congratulations and good luck on the planning, enjoy it! ❤

  8. Ion says:

    I’m so glad I found this! ❤ I'm currently planning my wedding and have decided to go the DIY route (since we still have lots of time to prepare for it) and your posts have really inspired me. I don't usually comment on other people's blogs, but I just have to thank you for all your wedding posts and tips! They're really helpful. 🙂

    • Quaint Quinn says:

      Hi Ion! Thank you for dropping by! I’m really happy you found my posts useful, really. 🙂 Good luck on your wedding preps! It could be a bit stressful but don’t you forget to enjoy it, this is only once in a lifetime! Best wishes on your big day and congratulations to your lucky soon to be hubby! ❤

  9. Ion says:

    I’m so glad I found this! ❤ I'm currently planning my wedding and have decided to go the DIY route (since we still have lots of time to prepare for it) and your posts have really inspired me.
    I don't usually comment on other people's blogs, but I just have to thank you for all your wedding posts and tips! They're really helpful. 🙂

  10. pcastillon says:

    Truly helpful! Wow, San Pedro Calungsod is P40K? And Cathedral is P50K? One of the reasons we didn’t pursue a church wedding was because of the church fees. 😛

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