Wedding Guidelines
Outreach Programs

Wedding Guidelines and Procedures

Mary, Gate of Heaven Catholic Church
Diocese of Montego Bay
Negril, Jamaica

It is our intention to assist you in any way possible and to make your wedding day a happy and blessed occasion.  Please feel free to contact us at any time.
A couple wanting to be married at Mary, Gate of Heaven is to contact the church directly.  Inquiry may be made through a resort or hotel but they may not schedule weddings at the church.  The couple must contact Mary, Gate of Heaven to arrange for the date and time of the wedding.  Ordinarily, this is done at the same time reservations are made with the local hotel/resort.  Currently the contact for weddings at Mary, Gate of Heaven is:

Fr. Jim Bok, O.F.M. (Pastor)

Mary, Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic Church

P.O. Box 2564

Negril, Westmoreland

Jamaica, West Indies

e-mail: jimbok@franciscan.org

Tel:  1-876-947-4900  1-876-881-1763 (cell)  FAX:  876-957-4625


Wedding procedures and guidelines are determined by the Diocese of Montego Bay and the parish.  The procedures and guidelines are as follows:


  1. Since the Catholic wedding is a religious event, the wedding must take place in the church building.  Permission is not granted for weddings in a resort/hotel, on the beach, or other location.


You may not have two weddings; one at the church and a second at the beach.  The wedding at the church is both a religious and civil wedding.  The bride and groom and two witnesses must be in attendance at the wedding. 


You are welcome to have your reception at the beach or some other place of your choosing.


  1. Because marriage is a serious and lifelong commitment, the Catholic Church in Jamaica requires a period of serious premarital preparation which involves both parties.  This preparation is consistent with the requirements of most Catholic dioceses.


    1. Ordinarily the couple should begin prenuptial preparation with their local parish priest at least six (6) months prior to the wedding.
    2. The pre-nuptial requirements of your home diocese are to be followed.  For example, if you live in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati you would follow their requirements.  Your local pastor can work with you on this.
    3. Note that your home pastor must grant permission for you to be married outside your parish and he must delegate the priest/deacon where you are getting married to stand in his place.  This is standard procedure.


  1. After the preparation is complete the couple’s parish priest is to send the required marriage documents to the Chancery Office of his particular Diocese.  That office will then forward the documents, at least ONE MONTH before the wedding date, to:

Vicar General

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

1 Fort Street, P.O. Box 197

Montego Bay, St. James

Jamaica, West Indies


  1. The couple must obtain a Minister’s License from the government of Jamaica.  Mary Gate of Heaven can obtain this license for you, provide the required Marriage Officer (one must be present at the wedding), and obtain the official marriage certificate after the wedding.  The hotel/resort can also provide this service.  This may be a part of the wedding package cost at the resort.  If Mary Gate of Heaven provides these services see that the hotel/resort does not charge you for them.


  1. There is an all-inclusive stipend of USD$500.00 for a wedding here.  This includes a gift to the church and stipends for the services of the pastor and the music minister.  An additional USD$100 is required if Mary Gate of Heaven obtains the Minister’s License, the pastor serves as the Marriage Officer and obtains your legal marriage certificate.


  1. We can provide a keyboard player if desired.  If you do not wish this service then the above mentioned stipend is USD$450.00 (not including the marriage license fee).  You are welcome to hire in your own music if desired.


Let us know how we can assist you!  If you have questions, please pass them along.