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*IMPORTANT - CATHOLIC WEDDINGS.....new information


Hi there

I just received an email from the Archdioseces of the Dominican Republic regarding CATHOLIC WEDDINGS taking place AFTER APRIL 1, 2007

If your wedding is taking place on or after this date, there is a new list of requirements for the couples. I have cut and pasted the new information

FIRST OFF, the civil documents like your birth certificate and single status affadavid do NOT need to be translated nor taken to the DR consulate for legalization. Second, single status affadavid is NOT needed IF YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED in your own country before coming down. If you are Canadian, you do NOT need to get married before coming down; therefore, pls obtain a single status affadavid from your DR consulate and have your parish priest NOTARIZE it.

Jesús Maestro Parish of Bávaro
San Miguel Parish of La Otra Banda
Our Lady of Pilar Parish, Berón-Punta Cana
Diocese of Altagracia, Higüey, Dominican Republic


  1. The couple who wants to get married by the SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY in these three parishes of our Diocese of Altagracia has to get in touch with their OWN Parish in their OWN COUNTRY to begin the Preparation of their Wedding early enough to be able to send their copies of documents two months before their wedding date. We only perform the CEREMONY here.

  2. The couple has to be MARRIED BY THE LAW in their own country (not necessary if you live in CANADA and are CANADIAN!) If not, they will have to get married here in the Hotel before the Civil Official of the town of Higüey BEFORE receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony in the presence of the Priest or the Deacon approved by the Pastor of the Parish where the Wedding will take place. (THIS REQUIREMENT IS OBLIGATORY).

In this last case, the couple will have to receive from the Hotel the requirements for a matrimony by the Dominican Law. From now on, the Catholic Church will not get envolved in the Legal paperwork of any matrimony. All paperwork with the Civil Official will be done through the Hotel´s coordinator of weddings.

  1. The documents we ask for a Catholic Wedding are the following:

• Very good photocopies in English, Spanish, French or Latin. The others languages like Polish, Russian, Greek, German or other languages unknown to us have to be translated in English or Spanish by any translator who knows well both languages (We do not accept FAXES or E-MAIL ATTACHMENT for the copies to be sent)

• The Civil or the religious documents (birth certificate or single status affadavid) or the copies, DO NOT NEED TO BE LEGALISED by the Dominican Consulate. Nor translated if they are in English, French, Spanish or Latin.

If you are CANADIAN, and will not be getting married in CANADA, pls obtain a SINGLE STATUS AFFADAVID from the DR consulate in your area. Fill out the form, and have it notarized by your parish priest. There is no need to notarize or legalize this document of your birth certificates with the DR consulate.

• All the Civil or Religious documents and copies have to be processed by the Parish of the couple. Your parish priest must send all these documents (PHOTOCOPIES ONLY) DIRECTLY to the archdioceses in DR in the residing area where your wedding will take place. Make sure you know which Archdioceses you are sending your documents to as there are 9 different ones !!!

• Copy of the Civil Matrimony Certificate from their country has to be sent

(like I said, not necessary to do if you are CANADIAN)

• Copy of the Birth Certificate of the couple with the names of their parents on them - if you don’t have this LARGE one, and only have the small card, make sure you contact vital statistics in your PROVINCE to obtain one for you and your fiance

• Copy of the ID page of the groom and brides’ passports.

• On only one sheet write down:

A) the names and addresses of both parents for bride and groom;
B) the names, passport numbers and address of only 2 witnesses for the ceremony. (Can be relatives)

PHOTOCOPIES of your parents passports are NOT necessary, HOWEVER, you MUST OBTAIN PHOTOCOPIES of your WITNESSES PASSSPORTS and send them with your documentation !!! Witnesses can NOW BE RELATIVES.

C) Occupation of the couple.

D) A couple´s E-mail or of their Travel Agency stating the CONFIRMATION OF WHEN THE WEDDING WILL TAKE PLACE. (Obligatory)
All the communications have to be well indentified like this example: (Wedding May 8 Princess 3pm)

• Copy of the Baptism Certificates (catholic or not) with Notations of Confirmation and First Communion (in the case of the lack of these sacraments, the dispensation from their parish priest)

• Copy of the parish Interview by the priest or his delegate done in their Parish (with the dispensations).

• Copy of the Pre-Cana or course they have done - marriage preparation course. The priest will not marry you if you do not have this marriage course certificate!!! (Different of the Interview)

• If the Civil Matrimony has to be celebrated a few weeks before the Catholic Matrimony, IN THIS UNIQUE CASE, the copy can be sent by attachment through E-mail to the priest in charge of foreign matrimonies.

• Copy of the letter sent by the priest of their Parish giving EXPLICIT permission to the Parish Priest of the Parish where the ceremony will take place.

• Copy of a Nulity Certificate of a previous marriage by the Ecclesiastical Tribunal (if it is the case).

• Copy of the Death Certificate of a deseased husband or wife of a previous catholic marriage.

  1. All the copies of Civil or religious documents are to be sent in one package TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE CATHOLIC WEDDING by the couple or the parish through Internacional Carrier (UPS, FEDEX only, the others do not give the complete service in our region)

  2. The unique address to send your copies is:

Padre Jean A. Lacaille, Archivista diocesano
Obispado de la Altagracia
Calle Vetilio Alfau (Libertad)
Higüey, República Dominicana.
Cell Phone: 809 223 2675
E-mail: poulekodak@hotmail.com

  1. The ceremony will NEVER take place on the BEACH, nor close to it, nor close to a not-so-decent place for the celebration of a Sacrament. IT IS NOT ALLOWED BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. If there is no Chapel on the Complex, it can be celebrated in a Hall, in a quiet Garden or a Gazebo (which is not located on the beach or in an undecent place).

  2. The couple has to hand over all the original documents to the priest to be seen by him. We need to make sure of the legimity of all the copies that were sent to us.

  3. The stipend for the Parish, for the priest and the secretary is US$ 300.00 given to the Priest before the Celebration by a relative or by the coordinator of Weddings of the Hotel. The parish will hand over three copies of the Certificate of the Church on the same day of the wedding. OR, the cost of the ENTIRE WEDDING including this fee will be determined by your WEDDING COORDINATOR. PLS contact your wedding coordinator for the amount.

  4. There are many Catholic Weddings in our tourist zone. The couple has to tell us in advance which language will be used for their Wedding (English, Spanish or French or a mix of two). As for the Spanish language, there is no problem since all the priests of the region speak it. As for the English or French languages, there is only one priest who can speak them. The Diocese cannot promise that all the weddings will be celebrated in the language of the couple, so there is always a possibility that a wedding could be celebrated in Spanish with a person translating from Spanish to English. It will happen mostly during the vacations of the priest or in other occasions like important Pastoral meetings, spiritual retreat, illness and so on.

  5. These requirements will have validity beginning on the 1st of April 2007. All those couples who make reservation for the months after this date will be advised by E-mail of the new changes and will receive the new list of Requirements so they can work on it.

These priests have signed:
Mons. Gregorio Nicanor Peña Rodríguez, Bishop of the Diocese of Altagracia.
Rev. Fr. Eugenio Toro, Parish of Our Lady of Pilar, Berón-Punta Cana.
Rev. Fr. José Eusebio, Parish of Jesús Maestro, Bávaro-Cortecito.
Rev. Fr. Julián Rosario Basora, Parish of San Miguel, Otra Banda, Uvero Alto-Macao.
Rev. Fr. John A. Lacaille, Archivist and secretary.

Upon arriving back in Canada, if you are going to change your last name and want to register with Revenue Canada for your taxes, all you need to do is show them the Catholic Marriage certificate you obtained from the priest for your wedding and this will be proof you are married.


Hello Jasminrose,

Thank you for posting this information.

These requirements are, apparently, from the Dioceses of Altagracia not the Archdioseces of the Dominican Republic. I understand that in the Dominican Republic, by agreements between the Catholic Church and the Government, all catholic weddings are to be registered legally by the Dioceses, and by doing this, the wedding couple will obtain a marriage certificate that will be recognized everywhere.

In order to registered the marriage legally, all legal/civil documents have to be in Spanish, official language in the DR, and legalized by a Dominican Consulate, as informed by Dominican Authorities.

There should be no reason for Catholic couples, regardless nationality, to be married by the Law in your country, if, as it has been done in the past, your catholic marriage MUST be legally registered by the church in the DR and you will obtain a valid wedding certificate.

I suggest that you contact the Dioceses again, and request an explanation for this new “disposition”.