A wedding is an exciting time, both for the couple getting married and for our churches.
You have every right to be married in the parish in which you live. Lots of people marry in their local church, but you might like to marry in a different church because it has special significance for you through family or other connections.
It’s possible there are a number of churches that you can get married in legally, as a bride and groom-to-be can marry in a church away from where they live if either of them can show just one of seven connections with the parish. Those connections are listed below.
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 (christened) in the parish concerned, or
is confirmed and your confirmation was entered in the register of confirmations for a church or chapel in the parish (this will usually be the case if you were 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
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
That one of your parents or grandparents:was married in the parish
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If you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, you could create one, simply by attending your chosen church’s usual services at least once a month for six consecutive months. If you decide to do this, leave enough time after your attendance for the banns to be read before your wedding too – about another two months should be enough.
If one of you has been married before, it may be possible for us to offer a wedding service. The important thing is to speak to us at the earliest possible opportunity.
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A husband and wife can have their marriage blessed in church, whether they got married in the UK or abroad. For couples who marry abroad, it can be a way of ensuring more family and friends can celebrate the marriage if they were unable to travel to another country for the legal marriage.
The Church of England service is called a Service of Prayer and Dedication, which is often known as ‘a blessing’.
It is a simple service acknowledging the commitment already made between husband and wife during a civil ceremony and asks for God’s blessing and guidance in your new life together.
Because it is not a marriage service, banns are not required, there is no exchange of rings and there is no signing of the Register.
It can be designed to have a similar feel to a wedding with hymns, readings, flowers and even bells if you would like that, or it can be an intimate, low key service. The service itself has no statutory fee (because it is not a legal service) but there may be some costs, such as flowers, bells and use of an organist. These would be charged at the church’s local rate.
You can have a blessing in any church of your choice, so long as the church and the Rector are free on your preferred date.
Many couples have opted for this service where one or both of them is remarrying after divorce. If this is your situation, talk things through with our Rector who can offer guidance on remarrying in church or having a blessing.
If you are interested in getting married in any of our benefice churches, or a marriage blessing please contact our Rector or Parish Administrator at email@example.com or leave a message on 01707 875940.
For more detailed information on getting married in the Church of England, visit www.yourchurchwedding.org
A list of our fees for services is available here.