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9 February 2010

Getting Married in Church

If you have decided to get married in church but have not thought beyond that, there are a number of legalities that exist.

The Church of England
The most important requirement is that you have both been baptised. Then the list continues …

Both be aged 16 or over.
You must not be closely related to your fiancé’s
You cannot marry in church is one or both of you have been married and now divorced.
There must be 2 witnesses to the marriage and the service must take place between 8am and 6pm
The marriage must be authorised in advance, either by banns, common licence or special licence.

The Banns
If you do not attend a church regularly, you may decide to choose a church that you attended as a child or one where you now live.
Remember that the ‘marriage’ is a religious ceremony and that some clergy are more strict than others.
You will be required to give your reasons for wanting to exchange your vows in church and to convince the vicar that you are taking those vows seriously and just going through the motions so you can have a nice background for the photos and wear a lovely dress.

The wedding banns are read out in church on three consecutive Sundays, this is done in both the parish of the bride and the groom. If the couple are to marry at a different parish, the banns will need to be read out there as well. This is to give the public a chance to voice any concerns as to why the marriage should not take place. If there are no objections, the marriage can be solemnized.

The Roman Catholic Church
You will need to request a certificate from the superintendent registrar of marriages in the district where you live. The wedding will be expected to take place at your local church. If you live in different districts, you will need to apply for a certificate in both areas.

If either the bride or groom is not catholic and wishes to hold the ceremony in a catholic church, they will need to apply to the priest for counselling into the ways of the catholic church.

You cannot marry in a catholic church if you have been married before and are divorced.

Whatever your faith, make time to get to know the person who will perform the ceremony, you will feel more at ease and enjoy your special moment even more. You hope to only do this once, so make the effort.
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