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Legal aspects of marriage

In marriage you take on a whole new legal status and this can have many benefits.

To ensure the marriage complies with both UK Civil and Church law, there are certain aspects of a church wedding that must be fulfilled.
 
Changes to marriage legislation

Although new same sex marriage legislation is now in force, it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same sex couples to marry in the Church of England.

Reading of Banns

Most Church of England marriages will require banns to be published before the wedding can take place. Read more about what's special and important about banns.

If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, it is recommended that the Licence procedure be used rather than banns. This is especially recommended if there is any doubt as to the legal requirements of the home country of a non-British person for recognition of an English Church marriage. 

You must be old enough

If you are under 18 years old you will need your parents' consent to marry and by law you can not be married in the UK until you are 16.

Time of wedding

To be legal the wedding must take place between 8am and 6pm on any day.

Guidelines for divorcees

There are special guidelines on marriage in the church if you are divorced. There may well be a way forward, but you will need to talk your Vicar about your situation to explore the possibilities for you. Read more about it here.

Licences

There are some circumstances in which you may need a Special Licence, Common Licence or a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to marry in church. Your Vicar will let you know if these apply to you.

Marrying outside your parish

It is now much easier to marry in a church that has a special connection for you, even it is not in your own local parish. Here’s how.

Did You Know ?

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A wedding is legal only if it happens between 8am and 6pm

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You don't have to marry in white