Can I marry in one of the churches in the Parish?
You can marry in one of the churches if you can show:-
That one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- was baptised in the parish concerned or
- was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
- has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or
That one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish
If you move house, you’re immediately connected to the church there. That means you can marry in the church of your new parish.
“I’m not christened and I don’t go to church. Can I still have a church wedding?”
“My partner believes in God but I’m not sure. Would I be hypocritical to marry in church?”
You are welcome to have a Church of England wedding, regardless of your beliefs. A sample of a typical wedding service can be viewed here. Take a look at it together and with your Parish Priest who understands that spiritual beliefs are complex and varied. This need not be a barrier to a church wedding.
“How do I find our parish church for our banns?”
If you’re marrying in a church away from where you live, you also need to have your banns read in your parish church as part of the legal preparations. The Church of England’s church-finding web site can help you find your church.
Just visit www.achurchnearyou.com and type your postcode into the search box. Follow the instructions after that and your parish church should be listed.
Get in touch with your parish church to tell them your good news and they will confirm whether that is indeed your official parish church. Let them know your wedding date and tell them you require local banns, and they will organise that for you. Don’t forget to collect your banns certificate and give it to the church where you will marry.
“How do I book a church?”
“Can we marry on any day of the week including Sunday?”
“Can we marry on Christmas day, Easter day, or other national holidays?”
There’s no legal reason why you can’t marry on any date of the year, but some days are especially busy for the church. So long as your church and priest are able to work around their usual services on Holy days and Bank Holidays, there is no other reason why you can’t get married on these special days. Ask your priest about the possibilities.
“How much does it cost to get married in church?”
See the “Your Church Wedding” page here.
“What are the legal requirements?”
See the “Your Church Wedding” page here.
“Is marriage preparation compulsory for a church wedding?”
No. But most people find it very useful and not at all cringe-worthy!
“Can we write our own vows in a church wedding?”
Legally, no part of the wedding vows can be changed. However, some couples have created poems, prayers or songs dedicated to their partner as an expression of their devotion and included them at some point in the service. The clergy would be pleased to talk about how to blend your ideas in to those things properly required by law to produce something special and personal for you.
“Can a Priest from a different church do our wedding?”
“Can I have a church blessing after a civil wedding?”
Yes. There is a service of prayer and dedication after a civil ceremony and this can be adapted. There are no legal requirements for this service.
“How much can we be involved in planning the wedding ceremony?”
You can makes choices about your hymns and music, readings and what sort of prayers you would like. You have choices about who does the readings and prayers, which can involve your family and friends. It’s up to you what you wear and whether you have one ring or two.
“What if one of us is a foreign national?”
You will need a Common Licence in order to be married, talk to us about it.
“What if we’re British but live abroad?”
If you are both British nationals living abroad, or if you are both British nationals but just one of you lives abroad, you can apply for a Common Licence to marry in a CofE church on the basis of having one of seven legally-recognised connections with it. To see what those connections are, read more.
“I’m divorced. Can I still get married in church?”
Probably. The Church of England agreed in 2002 that divorced people could remarry in church under certain circumstances. We believe that marriage is for life, but also recognise that marriages sometimes fail. Speak to us about it.
“I’m Church of England and he’s a Catholic. Does that matter?”
It doesn’t matter from the Church of England’s perspective. Anyone is welcome to be married in their local CofE parish church.
If one of you is a Roman Catholic and you want the Roman Catholic Church to recognise your marriage, you will need to seek the advice of your Roman Catholic priest about the permission required for marrying a non-Roman Catholic. Some Parish Priests encourage couples in this situation to involve the Catholic priest in the marriage service too. See www.interchurchfamilies.org.uk for more information.