WEDDINGS in the Church of England
Please contact us if you wish to discuss whether or not we might be able to help you with your wedding plans. In the meantime, below are answers to questions that people often ask. Further useful information is available at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/lifeevents and also http://www.yourchurchwedding.org.
Where can I get married?
Everyone lives in a parish and belongs to a parish church. This is the church you should contact for more information about getting married.
I’m not baptised. I don’t go to church. Can I still get married in church?
Yes! If you live in the parish of the church you want to marry in.
What if I want to be married in a different church?
If you are a regular worshipper in that church, it is usually possible to be married there. Just speak to your minister. If you are not a regular worshipper, why not start attending? You will normally be expected to attend services for some time before becoming eligible to be married there. If you have a special connection with the church – after seeing the minister concerned – you can apply for a Special Licence . To find out more, contact The Faculty Office , 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster , London SW1P 3JT; Tel: 020 7222 5381
I heard that you can get married in any church you want to now. Is this true?
Provided the church is available, couples can choose to get married in:
their local parish
the parish where they were baptised and/or confirmed
a parish they have lived in for 6 months or more, at any time during their lives
a parish they have attended worship in for at least 6 months
the parish their parents lived or worshipped in (during the child’s lifetime)
the parish their parents or grandparents were married in.
If there is a good reason, couples can apply for a Special Licence. To apply or find out more contact The Faculty Office, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT; Tel: 020 7222 5381
I’m divorced. Can I still get married in church?
The Church of England believes that marriage is for life. But it recognises that sadly, some marriages do fail. In most circumstances, the Church accepts that a divorced person may marry again. Speak to your parish priest. He or she will want to talk to you frankly about your past and your hopes for the future.
I’m Church of England and he’s a Catholic. Does that matter?
People of all denominations have a right to be married in their parish church (provided they have not been married before). So it doesn’t matter from the Church of England’s perspective.
How much will it cost?
The legal fees for a marriage cover the publication of the banns, the marriage service and a certificate of marriage. These fees are fixed centrally and are currently approximately £420. There are other additional fees that are fixed locally (organist, choir, bells etc.). The Vicar
will discuss all such matters with you when he meets you.
What happens if one of us lives abroad?
Marriage by Common Licence can take place on the basis of one of the couple living in the parish or regularly attending the church without any action being necessary where the other party lives. Your vicar will know how to apply for a Common Licence (see below if it is a particular country). However, because most clergy or churches like to offer marriage preparation, they like to see you both.
What happens if one of us is a foreign national?
If one is a national of a country outside Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the EU or USA : The Church has a responsibility to conduct marriages which will be recognised in the country the bride or groom comes from. This is done for the couple’s benefit not just for bureaucracy. Therefore, the Faculty Office strongly recommends that these marriages should be done by Common Licence rather than banns and some dioceses ask the person to obtain from the relevant embassy or consulate a letter saying their marriage will be recognised.
How do I book the church?
Get in touch with your local parish priest.
He or she will probably wish to meet with you in person to discuss your plans.