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Getting married


If you are coming to these pages because you want to find out how to arrange your wedding in a Church of England church then congratulations on getting engaged. We hope that you will have a happy and blessed future together.

You may have heard in the press that there are some new regulations concerning getting married within a Church of England church recently and these pages are designed to give you help in finding out where you can get married.

If you are a regular church goer then you will be able to talk to the vicar of your church and he or she will tell you how to go about getting married in that church. The priest will be able to explain to you the legal preliminaries (in terms of the calling of banns and obtaining of licenses for instance) that will be needed.

In addition, if you are not a regular church goer you are entitled to get married in the church in the parish in which you live.

The Church takes very seriously the important 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 takes place. This might take the form of one or two meetings either with the priest who is to take the wedding or with them and other couples preparing to get married. The preparation aims to help you to think about married life and all it will mean for you.

Under the new rules a couple can get married in a Church of England church if they can prove what is known as a qualifying connection. This could be that you and your family attended the church when you were growing up whether or not you or your parents still live there. It could be that you were baptised or confirmed in the church or that one of the couple's parents or grandparents got 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 then you need to make contact with the parish priest at the church and he or she will want to meet with you in order to be able to clarify whether or not there is a qualifying connection.

If you are in doubt why not contact your local parish priest first and then they will be able to help you with this.

We hope that you have a wonderful day.

Are you a member of the clergy in our Diocese? Guidance on marriage is available in our Clergy Resources Area.