If you have come to this page because you are hoping to get married in a Church of England church, congratulations on getting engaged!
Your first step will be to contact your local parish priest, who will be able to explain the legal preliminaries (in terms of the calling of banns and obtaining of licences, for instance).
If you are not a regular churchgoer, you are still entitled to get married in the church in the parish in which you live. Follow this link to find your local church.
A couple can also get married in a Church of England church if they can prove what is known as a qualifying connection. A person has a qualifying connection with a parish if:
- they and their family attended the church when they were growing up, whether or not they or their parents still live there
- they were baptised or confirmed in the church
- their parents or grandparents were married in the church.
If you wish to get married in a church where you think that you can prove one or other of these connections, you need to contact the parish priest in the first instance.
Preparing for marriage
The Church of England takes very seriously the commitment that husband and wife make to one another on their wedding day, which is why many churches will ask you to undertake some form of wedding preparation before the service. This might take the form of one or two meetings with the priest who is to take the wedding, either alone or alongside other couples preparing to get married. The preparation aims to help you to think about married life and all it will mean for you.
The Church of England has further detailed advice on getting married in church, from preparing for marriage and organising the details of the service to the responsibilities of being an usher or a witness. Read more about weddings in the Church of England at: yourchurchwedding.org.