INC Wedding / Life

Wedding – Church Requirements (Part 3)

It has been basically almost 2 years since our wedding. So this information is a bit foggy and not as detailed in my earlier posts. If anyone finds anything amiss in the post, please feel free to email me, or comment below so I can make the amendments. Please visit your locale for more complete details.

Assuming you have fulfilled all the legal requirements, photocopy EVERYTHING and bring them with you just to be safe. You don’t want to be the one to line up then get bumped off because you didn’t photocopy that one document.

Since we are members of the Iglesia ni Cristo, the requirements are a bit different.

Iglesia ni Cristo

Iglesia ni Cristo


>> Pick a church

The couple will have to decide in which locale they want to be married. As you might expect, weddings at district locales have a long waiting list. Unless you really REALLY want to get married there, I suggest picking one of the locales where one or both of the couple is registered.

>> Pick a date

When decided, reserve the desired date of the wedding in the Locale and sign the registry with the Kalihims.

Then talk to the Pangulong kalihim and ask about the necessary steps/papers required. Their office will give you a checklist of everything you will need to accomplish and a form.

>> MAKE SURE to ask how many copies are needed.

I will summarize below to the best of my memory.

>> Documents

You have to get the following documents for both the Bride and Groom.

  1. Parents letter of consent.
  2. Patotoo from the Pastor of Locales where they the couple are registered
  3. Signatures from the Head Deacons where they the couple are registered
  4. Patotoo from the Head of the “Kalihiman ng Ilaw ng Kaligtasan”
  5. Patotoo from the District offices where both are registered.

This takes quite a bit of effort since you may have to go back several times to get all the signatures.

You will also have to list down your Godparents (Ninong/Ninang/Sponsors).

Non-INC godparents are limited to only 2 in total. This is important. If you wish to include non-INC godparents you will have to write a letter of explanation and add it to your stack of documents.

Once you have all the papers, take it to the Pangulong kalihim to verify everything.

You will also have to compile signatures from the important people in the locale where you are to be wed. This includes:

  • All Head Deacons (Mga pangulong diakono)
  • The head of the choir (Pangulong mang-aawit)
  • groundskeeper/bantay kapilya(he will be the one to arrange the furniture etc.)
  • Pastor of the locale

They will then compile everything for you to take to the District where you will be wed.

Go to the district office where the secretary there can help you find a Minister to facilitate your seminar and to facilitate the actual wedding ceremony. They may be the same person but, that wasn’t our case since the Minister that wed us was a TV personality as well.

You will have to meet with both ministers so that you can coordinate. If possible ask for their mobile numbers.

>> Seminar

You will also have to attend a pre-wedding seminar to prepare you for the proper life of a Buklod or Married couple. This takes around 3 hours but is very helpful and informative especially for you couples who have little idea of what it is to be a mature wedded couple.

After the seminar the Minister will sign your wedding form.

Take the form and all the other documents back to the Office of the head of the District.

You will then have to take the papers to the Office of the head of the District to have everything verified. In our case this was in Metro Manila Central.

Once the District office clears you, then all is well. You can continue preparations for your wedding.

>> Rehearsal

The day before the wedding you will meet with your wedding minister and all the important people in your wedding. These are:

  1. Parents
  2. Sponsors (Ninongs and Ninangs)
  3. Best Man
  4. Maid of Honor
  5. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
  6. Ringbearer
  7. Flowergirls

Make sure to call the minister in advance. We forgot to notify him ahead, but he rushed to make it.

You will practice everything including walking, places, and when to sign the documents. Don’t worry if you fail to memorize the steps as the Minister will still be guiding you on the actual day.

>> Wedding


  • Bring a small handfan if your local is not air-conditioned.
  • Order food for the choir. They are doing this for free so give some love. The typical number of singers are around 30 for small locales.

You will go through the actual steps that you covered during rehearsal but this time, you will sign the actual papers.

Once the papers are signed, the Minister and the Pangulong Kalihim will take care of taking everything to the NSO/City Hall etc.

Follow up with the Pangulong Kalihim so you’ll know when you can order your NSO certified marriage certificate.


Previous blog: Wedding – Important Things (Part 2)

INC Wedding Series:

  1. Wedding – INC Wedding intro
  2. Wedding – Important Things (Part 1)
  3. Wedding – Legal Requirements (Part 2)
  4. Wedding – Church Requirements (Part 3) (this post)

photo by Jgcanlas


54 thoughts on “Wedding – Church Requirements (Part 3)

  1. A good comment was posted here

    Comment: May I ask if in INC wedding their is arrhae bearer, bible bearer? And secondary sponsors who will light the candle, put viel and cord to the couple?

    Answer: There’s just a ring bearer and a flower girl. No candle lighting, veil nor cord. No coins, no rice, no whatever.

    The church itself does not not need to have a complicated setup. There will usually be a member of that locale who does the task of arranging flowers etc. part time. They will know what’s appropriate or not. The caretaker of the locale will be in charge of setting up the chairs etc.

    All the required people will be indicated in the form for applying for marriage given by the church administration.

    As for the sponsors, there are no tiers and levels for sponsors. If the couple would like that, it will not be part of the actual church ceremony but they can be recognized in the reception if desired.

    During the course of the wedding application and getting things signed in the church, you will be notifying the people of note such as the choir leaders, head deacons, etc.

    Also, as a very important note, even though the church does not require payment, it would be great to sponsor some food for the choir and the people in the locale after the ceremony. My wife and I bought pancit and softdrinks for them and had it delivered straight to the office of the light of salvation in the locale.

    • As far as I can remember we had 4 sets of sponsors so 8 people. But that was only because only a maximum of 2 non-INC sponsors are allowed. So my wife, who comes from an INC family had 6 people. I myself, being the only INC in our family, had 2.

      I think the allowed number is 3 sets for the bride and groom each.

  2. For the entourage, pwede ba kung di sila INC member? Most of our friends kasi are non-members eh. Brother ko lang ung INC sa mga abay ko. Thank you

  3. For the entourage, pwede ba kung non-member sila? Most of our friends kasi are non-member eh. Brother ko lang INC sa mga abay namin. Thank you

  4. May payments po ba for the church??
    Pano po ung sa parents hiwalay na po kasi ako eh dahil pinalays po ako dhl sa paglipat ko sa inc..pwede po ba proxy??

    • Hi Lexlyn,

      – Wala pong bayad ang church. Magpapancit lang po kayo sa choir bilang salamat. Pero hindi naman required. 🙂
      – Pwede po ang proxy.

      – No payments for the church. Just treat the choir to some pancit as a thank you, but that’s not required.
      – Proxies are ok

  5. Hello, can you provide a sample of the request to the District Minister, requesting to be married? I am writing mine and want to make sure that it has all the necessary information and is formatted correctly. Thank you!

    • Hi Em, it would be better to approach your locale. They could possibly have a template.

      I’m sorry to say I don’t have a copy of ours anymore.

    • No, I don’t think so unless the nearest locale is unaccessible, in which case you shouldn’t have moved there in the first place. 🙂

  6. Good morning,

    Do you know how long it’ll take to be cleared for the wedding once everything is signed and completed? And is there a chance that it won’t be cleared?

    Thank you

    • I think as long as there are no problems with your situation it wouldn’t take long. I’m not sure what you mean when you say cleared though. Which part of the process do you mean?

  7. Did you convert to INC just to be able to marry your wife? And what are your routine obligations as a member of the church? What’s it like being married to the Iglesia ni Cristo?

    • Hi Guy,

      1) No, that is not allowed and immoral. So please don’t do that.

      2) Routine obligations will depend on the level or responsibilities you take. If you don’t take additional responsibilities then it’s attend church twice a week, committee meetings once or twice a month.

      3) I assume just like being married to anyone else. People are people. 🙂

    • Hi po. now is may 2017 plan po sna nmen magpasched ng wedding by august or july? ok lng po b un or need n 1 year before the reservation?

      • Hi Nhezz, dapat i-book agad-agad kapag may napusuan na na lokal. Sa mga mas sikat na lokal e maraming magbubook. Sorry sa nahuling response. Sana’y nakapagbook din kayo.

        Translation: Book as early as you can. Booking can be tight in more popular locales. Sorry for the delayed response, I hope you got your booking done.

  8. Hi! How many months in advance did you reserve the date at the locale? We’re getting married in 7 months, but I want to make sure that we’ll get married at the date that we want so I want to know how many months in advance should we reserve the locale.

    • I think it was around 4 months prior to the date in our case. BUT if you want to get married in the more popular locales, you should book it yesterday! 🙂 The secretary will just write your names down in a log book.

  9. Hi. I just want to ask for help po. INC member po si bf ako po hindi pa nkakapag pa convert. Hopefully mga November po makapagpa Bautismo na ako. Please don’t get me wrong hindi po si bf ang reason kung bakit gusto ko mag INC. The thing is gusto nadin po sana namin magpakasal ng December. Allowed po ba yun na a month after ng bautismo magpakasal na? Paano din po ako magpapareserve ng wedding date sa church or makakapagseminar ahead of time kung hindi pa ako member ng INC. 🙁 Thanks po

    • Hi Jaz,

      Hindi ko po alam ang patakaran kung mayroon man. Pero kung ganap naman ang intensyon nyo na sumali sa INC ay di po naman siguro kayo pipigilan ng Administrasyon.

      Delikado po ang posisyon nyo dahil baka matiwalag po ang bf nyo dahil bawal na bawal po iyan. Lalo na po kung subukan nyong magpareserve ng kasal para sa non-INC at INC na couple.

      Sa tingin ko po maganda humingi kayo ng payo sa katiwala ng bf nyo.

      Pero kung gusto nyo po ang opinyon ko ay maghiwalay muna kayo ng bf nyo, asikasuhin nyo ang pagiging ganap na INC, tapos tsaka palang kayo magusap tunkol sa kasalan.

      Hindi po dapat minamadali ang kasal ang habambuhay na commitment iyan.

      Good luck!

      __ Translation:

      Hi Jaz,

      I’m not aware of a rule if there is any. But if your intentions to join the INC is pure, I don’t think the administration will block you from joining.

      You two are in a very delicate position since this is already grounds for excommunication from the church. Especially if you try to book a wedding date for a non-INC and INC couple.

      I think it would be best to seek advice from your bf’s overseer.

      But if you’d like my opinion then you should separate from your bf first, take care of joining as a true INC member, then only after that should you talk about marriage.

      Marriage is not something that should be rushed into since it’s a lifelong commitment.

      Good luck!

      • Need po ba talaga maghiwalay pa.. 😦 We’ve been in a relationship na po for seven years, bago pa man sya mag pa convert sa INC. Nag plano nadin kami ng wedding then nag decide nga sya na maging INC member. Kaya nga din po talagang gumagawa din ako ng way para makapag pa convert din sa tama na reasons. 😯


        Do we really need to separate? 😦 We’ve been in a relationship for seven years, even before he converted to INC. We already planned our wedding then he decided to convert to INC. That’s why I’ve been really trying to find a way to convert for the correct reasons. 😯

      • Hi Jaz,

        Mas maganda po na kausapin nyo po ang katiwala ng bf nyo. Mas alam po nila ang mga patakaran sa pagtiwalag.

        Sa tingin ko naman po reasonable ang request nyo kung ganon. Pero malamang ang itatanong jan ay kung bakit hindi kayo sabay nagconvert. At kung live-in po kayo ngayon ay posible na grounds rin po sa pagtiwalag yan, kahit na pareho pa kayo INC pero hindi kasal.

        Pero yun nga po, hindi naman ako myembro ng administrasyon kaya limitado ang maipapayo ko.

        Goodluck po!

        __ Translation:

        Hi Jaz,

        It would be best to talk to your bf’s overseer. They would know the rules of excommunication better.

        In your case I think your request is reasonable. But they will most probably ask why you did not convert at the same time. And if you live in the same house right now then that is possible grounds for excommunication, even if you were both INC but are not married.

        But again, I’m not a member of the administration so my advice is limited.


      • Hindi po kami sabay nagpa convert kasi magkalayo po kami ng work and hindi ko din alam na super serious na pala sya sa pag papa convert that time. Lalong hindi naman po kami magkasama sa bahay. Anyways thanks po sa pagsagot sa mga questions ko I guess talagang need nalang namin maghintay ng right time for the wedding sa tulong at patnubay ni God. 😊

        We did not convert at the same time since our work was far apart and I did not know that he was already super serious about converting at that time. And we definitely do not live in the same house. Anyway, thanks for answering my questions. I guess we just really need to wait for the right time for the wedding with the help and guidance of God. 🙂

      • Habambuhay naman po kayo magkasama so hindi naman po talaga kailangan magmadali. 🙂 At mas maganda ang wedding photos nyo kapag relaxed kayo at hindi stressed! Hehe. Goodluck po!

        __ Translation:

        You two have a lifetime together so there’s definitely no need to rush. 🙂 An the wedding photos would turn out much better if you are both relaxed and not stressed! Hehe. Goodluck!

  10. Hi I’m a wedding coordinator not and INC member, ok lang po ba na kumontak sa malate locale to get the ceremonial program for my couple? will they entertain me? also if you have a copy of your previous wedding ceremonial program Baka po pwedeng pahingi nalang.

    Hindi ko pa po kasi naeexperience un INC mass or wedding, may first reading po b kayo sa ceremony? I need to know the flow po tlga sa mismong church wedding ceremony hope you can help me.

    Thank you!

    Hi I’m a wedding coordinator not and INC member, is it ok to contact the malate locale to get the ceremonial program for my couple? will they entertain me? also if you have a copy of your previous wedding ceremonial program maybe I can request a copy.

    I haven’t experienced an INC mass or wedding before. Do you have a first reading in the ceremony? I really need to know the flow of the church wedding ceremony hope you can help me.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Irish,

      Yes you can definitely contact the locale for the program. They can definitely give you that information though I’m not sure if it will be in a printable form or just word of mouth.

      We did not have a coordinator ourselves and only knew the sequence of events during the rehearsal. We just winged it hehe. 🙂

      Sorry I wish I could help more. But please when you get the information can you post it here? Just so other folks can benefit.

      Thanks and good luck!

    • Hi Angel,

      I don’t think there’s a letter necessary. Just go directly to the secretariat and say you want to reserve a date. There should be a big logbook of dates and then reserve it right there.

      Good luck!

  11. hello po may tanong po ako about patotoo need po ba pumunta pa ko don sa lokal ng lalake po pag kukuha po sya patotoo salamat po

    __ Translation:
    Hello! I have a question about the testimony (Patotoo). Do I need to go to the lokal of the guy when he gets his testimony (Patotoo)? Thank you!

  12. Hello Japo, good day! Una sa lahat, salamat kasi sobrang helpful ng mga tips mo. Gusto ko lang i-share na me and my bf eh nagpa-plan na magpakasal by next year, though wala pa specified na date and month but surely 1st half of 2019. Same kami working abroad and clueless how to start lalo na at kelangan namin i-plan nang mabuti ang pag uwi namin na bakasyon para sa paglalakad ng papers, lalo na yung namention mo na 4 months valid ang Marriage License. We are torn between (1) uuwi ba 4 months before desired wedding date, or (2) will have 45 days to 2 months vacation for processing documents, preparations and all including wedding ceremony. Kasi kung uuwi uwi kami, tickets and all will cost us 100k each time na uuwi kami. Kaso kung yung 2nd option naman, hindi kaya mashort sa time? Pwede ko ba hingin opinyon mo. Salamat in advance.

    P.S: Not sure if it matters, pero kakabautismo ko lang nung August 2017. Salamat sa pagpapala ng Ama.

    • Hi JJ,

      I think in your situation, the second option would be better. But have your folks in the Philippines do what preparations they can before you fly in. As some of the people have commented here, it’s difficult, but possible for a shorter timeline than the one we took. So just be sure to make preparations where you can.

      It’s a terrible waste to fly in twice when you can put that money in an investment like a mutual fund and that can be part of your nest egg.

      Good luck, and please give us an update if that’s alright. It would be great to know your timeline as well so we can update the blog for others to read.

      –note: I posted direct in english because I didn’t have much time. But I’ll do a translation when I can.

  13. Thank you for posting this. A really big help for us 🙂 me and my bf are planning to get married soon. we are both clueless about the processes and requirements and this blog helps a lot as most of what we need to know is posted here. Thank you brother !

  14. Can we hire someone to do get all required papers for us? Since me and my future husband are currently working abroad, and we are allowed only for a 1month vacation, I think that one month is not enough for the preparation alone.

    • Hi Arianne,

      Unfortunately there are some items that require a personal appearance like the city hall seminar and the church seminar.

      The best I think that you can do is to have someone do the most they can and then schedule the seminars early in that 1 month. I’ve yet to receive news from any of the people who comment here if they have been successful in that 1 month timeline.

      This seems to be something that a lot of people abroad look for. Sounds like a good business.

      Good luck!

  15. Hi Mr Japo. Thank you so much. You’re post is very helpful. But I do have questions since me and my bf are planning to get married next year:

    1. If nakatala po kami sa Distrito ng Maynila (formerly Metro Manila West) ok lang po kaya na sa ibang Distrito ganapin ung wedding like Distrito ng QC?
    2. And regarding po sa sponsors if magsasalaysay po kmi to request for non-INC member may idea po ba kayo kung ilang non-INC member ung pwede?
    3. Do you have idea din po if they will allow kaya wedding on the month of July since INC anniversary month po yun.

    Thanks in advance po for any response. 🙂

    Hi Mr Japo. Thank you so much. You’re post is very helpful. But I do have questions since me and my bf are planning to get married next year:

    1. If we are registered in the District of Manila (formerly Metro Manila West), is it ok to have he wedding in another District like Quezon City?
    2. And regarding the sponsors, if we make a request for non INC members, do you have any idea how many non-INC members are allowed?
    3. Do you have idea if they will allow the wedding to be held on the month of July since that’s the INC anniversary month.

    Thanks in advance po for any response. 🙂

    • Hi Gay,

      You’re very welcome. My responses are below:

      1. It should be ok. I remember when we were getting registered they kept asking us where the wedding will be held. And the fact that so many people request to get wed in Central.
      2. You have a maximum of one pair total. One ninong and one ninang. That’s not one pair each, ok? One pair TOTAL. 🙂
      3. I don’t see why not. It’s possible though that bookings will be full since the locale is holding other events.

      Good luck!

  16. Hi! Good morning! Your post is very helpful! Just want to ask if we will go directly to the locale where we want to held our wedding? Or do we need to consult to our own locale first?

    • Hi Kat,

      You can go to the wedding locale to reserve your date. But since you’ll still need to go to your locales to get documents anyway., either or will do. 🙂

      Good luck!

  17. Hi!

    I have a question regarding this. My fiance and I are planning to get married once my fiance visa is approved bound to U.S. I’m a converted INC since year 2012 and I have no idea about INC marriage ceremonies and processing. So with my fiance. LOL. My question is, is an INC member allowed to have civil wedding in front of a judge first in the U.S then have church wedding here in the Philippines?

    • Hi Chen, I highly doubt that is allowed, although it would be best to consult with a minister.

      The INC has very strict rules and so I would imagine that marriage should be sanctified and blessed by the church or else it’s considered ‘unchristian’. But this is only my personal opinion from my experience as an INC member in terms of rules and regulations.

      I imagine the first question the church will ask you is ‘why not just wait until the church wedding’?

      Also, getting hitched thru civil means implies that you mean to have marital relations with your partner. There are a lot of unmentioned implications of getting married in a civil wedding before a church wedding, so I would not recommend it if you plan to keep things simple.

      But, yeah, it would be best to ask your locale’s minister so you can get the actual approved explanation.


      • Hi

        Thank you for a fast reply!!! I’ll see into that. As per fiance visa rule, we will have 90 days to marry once I enter U.S. So we were like thinking of doing civil first, if it’s even possible, since we are not financially ready for a church one. But it seems we have to go for a church wedding. I shall have to ready all church requirements from my locale on that matter right?

      • Yep, church wedding is the way to go. A church wedding doesn’t need to be expensive especially if you’re under a time limit. Adding all the bells and whistles such as fancy reception, booking sound systems, food etc will make your wedding a bombastic affair but it may add to your timeline.

        I think in total our wedding cost us around P50K factoring in all the gifts and contributions (which is probably around the same amount). If you have a large amount of money in mind to use in the wedding, you have to think about if it’s better to spend it all for that one day and never see it again, or to save it or put it in an investment for use in the future to buy a house or for the college education of your children.

        I personally think wedding’s are getting unnecessarily too costly these days.

        For me the wedding is essentially a union for the couple and a small celebration with family. But then again, we all have different tastes. 🙂

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