“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Matthew 19:5)

We are delighted to be asked to help you in the preparation for your Marriage. We hope and pray that your Wedding day will be one to remember with great joy for the rest of your lives and the beginning of a lifelong relationship of love, happiness and peace, in Christ.

This short information sheet is to help you plan your wedding at St Helen’s church Caerphilly. It should be read in conjunction with the book Celebrating your Marriage.

First things

According to the Catholic Church’s guidelines on marriage preparation, in Cardiff Diocese, all the preparation should take place in the parish where you are living, wherever you may choose to be married. If you wish to be married at St Helen’s Caerphilly you must meet with Canon John Kelly before planning any details of your marriage celebration, such as booking reception venues, so as to ensure the church is available on the date you have chosen.  You can contact Canon John on 029 20 883192 or at (there is a form below if you prefer).  You will be able to ask him all sorts of questions about your celebration and he will be able to tell you how marriages are celebrated at St Helen’s.

The Priest or Deacon who helps you prepare must be assured that you both have a reasonable understanding of the meaning and responsibilities of marriage, and the emotional, physical and intellectual capacities to fulfil those responsibilities. He must be assured that it is a commitment of religious faith that leads you to ask for Marriage in the Church. As marriage is a once in a lifetime sacrament, Catholics will need to prepare for it by celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation and being in regular Communion. They will also want to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation a few days before the wedding: This can be done when you come to church for a ‘practice’.

In addition to the sessions with the Priest or deacon, couples will be asked to attend the Engaged Couple’s Course run by Marriage Care.  You can contact the Marriage Care team at: .

Practical details

Documents required:

Catholics need to obtain a copy of their baptismal Certificate issued within six months of the wedding day. If you have to send away for this to the Church of your baptism, include in your letter your full name, date of birth and names of your parents, and enclose a stamped addressed return envelope.

A partner from another denomination will need to supply a certificate of their Christian baptism and a letter from a close relative to confirm he/she is free to marry.

A partner who has not been baptised will need a letter from a parent, guardian or trustworthy witness that the person is free to marry.

About three months before your wedding you will need to call in to the Registrar for Marriages at Registry Office, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach. Hengoed. CF82 7PG. You must phone to make an appointment first on 01443 863478.

Warning: WITHOUT DOING THIS THERE CAN BE NO WEDDING.  (You cannot do this earlier than one year before your wedding, or less than twenty-two days before the wedding.)

If you are marrying someone who is not resident in the Caerphilly area, then your partner must give notice to his / her local Register Office.

Once you have given notice at the Registry Office, if you should need to speak to the Parish Registrars you may contact: Caroline Bennett 029 20 880703 or Ceri Harrington 029 20 884133.


The preparation and celebration involves various expenses: for the Marriage Preparation Course (£50); for the Parish Registrar (£83.50); for the flowers and flower-arrangers; for the organist (£75) etc. All payments should be made before the wedding practice. There are no set fees for the Church, since this is the celebration of a Sacrament of the Church.  However, to help defray costs in the Church and because of the time given by the Priest to the preparation for the Marriage, it is traditional to offer a donation for the Church (and sometimes for the Priest) which adequately reflect the importance of the celebration.

And now planning your marriage celebration at St Helen’s

cym-cover-mb7764Celebrating your Marriage describes the four forms of the Catholic Order of Matrimony and provides you with guidance for planning readings, hymns and music. It also provides you with some very helpful templates and guides for the layout of your printed order of service.

In planning all aspects of your ceremony it is important to remember that this is a religious service and that all choices of readings, hymns and music must reflect that. Please ensure you have agreed all aspects of your ceremony with Canon John.


When you have agreed the basic outline of your ceremony with Canon John it is important that you meet with Brett Pugh who co-ordinates the music at St Helen’s. You can phone or text him on 07971 848734 or email on

It is the custom at St Helen’s that all music during services is ‘live’ and not pre-recorded. There are a number of choices of musical accompaniment from organ to small instrumental groups. There is also the possibility of using the church singing group to lead the congregational singing. This group can sing while your guests arrive at the church and during the signing of the register if you so wish. St Helen’s also has three vocal soloists of high standard who can sing appropriate music during the signing of the register. If you wish to use your own soloist, then it is important to discuss this with Brett as you will need to ensure the choice of music is appropriate and that you can provide your own accompanist. Remember, we do not use pre-recorded backing tapes in services.

Order of Service

When you have made your choices, you can provide hard copies or email your order of service to Canon John and to Brett and they will check it and proof read it before you print it or send it to be printed.


The Parish has no full-time flower arranger, but some very skilled and helpful ‘amateurs’: you can contact Josephine Caruana: 029 20 863839 or Johanna Greenaway: 029 20 867908. They may or may not charge you but whatever, please be generous in rewarding them.


We understand and appreciate the importance of capturing this happy event on film and/or video. However, excessive movement of photographers and flash lights can be distracting, we would prefer to discuss your intentions in advance so that the celebration can be recorded while retaining and respecting its sacred character. Please inform anyone taking a video recording that they must first show the priest their copyright licence.


It would be appreciated if you could advise your guests to refrain from throwing confetti inside Saint Helen’s Church, although it is perfectly acceptable to do so outside on the Church steps.

Getting in touch

    Telephone: 02920 883192