Thinking of getting married?

Think Church!

Many people would love a church wedding but think they can’t have one, or that it’s all too complicated, or even too expensive.  So they don’t bother to ask.

But we’re glad to tell you that you're welcome to marry in church whatever your beliefs, whether or not you go to church.  And marrying in church has never been easier thanks to a change in the law which means you now have more churches to choose from.

For such a special day, we offer a special place.  We are happy to give you all the help you need to plan a personal, meaningful, spiritual and beautiful church wedding. 

Weddings have been conducted at the churches around the country for centuries.  Yet each wedding is contemporary and unique to each couple and their friends and family.  Getting married in Church has a particular quality about it.  There are the traditional surroundings, and yet a friendly atmosphere.

The context is an important reminder that these vows are being made in the presence of God and before your family and friends and the community.

Marriage is one of the biggest decisions anybody will make in life.  It’s the beginning of a commitment to making a wonderful life with the person you love.  We want to do all we can to make your wedding day special, and to help you prepare for a lifetime together.

What to do next
Make contact with your parish priest (use the 'Contact us' tab) who will be happy to meet you and discuss, without obligation, how you might proceed.

Some frequently asked Questions and Answers

Q.  I haven’t been christened.  I don't go to church.  Can I still get married in church?
A.  Yes!

Q.  Do we have to get married in a particular church?
A.  Everyone lives in a parish and belongs to that parish’s church, even if you didn’t realise it.  However, you can also marry in a church that has special significance for you; an example might be the parish in which one of you grew up or where a parent of one of you lives.  If you wish to marry in another church, you should contact the priest of that church.  Please see below about having a qualifying connection with a parish church.

Q.  How do we go about booking a wedding?
A.  First of all, telephone your local parish priest (go to the 'Contact us' tab on the left).  A meeting will then be arranged to meet the priest.  At the meeting, a form will be filled in with the details that will be needed for your wedding and for the banns to be read.

Q.  What are the banns?
A.  Banns are the formal and public announcement that you are planning to get married in the Church.  People are asked if they know of any reason why the proposed couple are not entitled to get married.  (To date no one has ever done this in our churches - it only happens in films!)  The priest will explain more about the banns when you first meet.

Q.  Are there rules about the content of the service?
A.  Your priest will be only too happy to discuss any special choices you would like for the service.  However, you must be prepared to accept certain non-optional elements of the service.

Q.  Can I marry in any other colour than white?
A.  Yes!  You can marry in whatever colour you choose.

Q.  How much will it cost?
  If you choose to marry in church, we want it to be a day that is personal and special for you, but that need not mean you spend a fortune.
There is a relatively small fee for marrying in a church.  The fees are set by the Church of England nationally.  The cost of a basic church wedding in our churches in 2018 will be about £474 (reviewed each January), which includes all legal necessities.  These fees have ancient origins and make a contribution to the provision of a church in your community.
Flowers, an organist, a choir, bell ringers, etc, are optional additional services that may be provided by your church.  If you ask for any of these, then this will add to the final fee.

Q.  We’ve decided to get married abroad but we would like a church blessing.  Is that possible?
A.  There is no reason why you shouldn’t do this; again, contact your parish priest.

Q.  I’m divorced.  Can I still get married in church?
A.  The Church of England believes that marriage is for life.  But it recognises that sadly some marriages do fail.  In exceptional circumstances, the Church of England accepts that a divorced person may marry again.  The priest will want to talk to you frankly about your previous marriage and your hopes for the future.  Even if it turns out not to be possible to have the full service, the service of marriage blessing is a lovely and special alternative.

Q.  Do we have to get married on a Saturday?
A.  The time and day of the service are decided by negotiation with the priest, although it must be between 8am and 6pm and obviously not clash with other services.  More people these days are choosing days other than Saturday.

Q.  What about music?
A.  Music at your wedding is a very personal choice.
Weddings over the centuries have included everything from classical soloists to rock bands. Your priest will be able to advise you, whether you want a traditional wedding or something with a bit of a difference.  Organ music is the traditional choice for weddings.  Organists can advise you on hymns and processional music.

Qualifying Connection to a Parish Church
To get married at a particular parish church, one of the couple needs to have a connection with your parish church.

A couple is connected if:

One of them:

1  lives in the parish

2  is on the church’s electoral roll

3  has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months

4  has habitually attended normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months

5  was baptised in the parish 

6  was prepared for confirmation in the parish

one of their parents; at any time after they were born:

7  has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months  

8  has at any time habitually attended normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months one of their parents or grandparents:

9  was married in the parish.


10  they have been granted a Special Licence

Please make contact with your parish priest to discuss your connection and explore questions you may have.

What to do next
Make contact with your parish priest (use the 'Contact us' tab) who will be happy to meet you and discuss, without obligation, how you might proceed.