Lots of people marry in their own 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.
You can marry in a Church of England church 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
And did you know that if you move house, you’re immediately connected to the church there? That means you can marry in the church of your new parish.
In all cases involving church services – i.e. going to normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage – this applies only to Church of England services.
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.
Talk to the Vicar there well in advance to discuss the options open to you.
If you’re marrying in a special church that’s not where you live, your local church would still love to support you as you prepare for the wedding, and afterwards too. Find out how.