Religious marriages

You usually qualify to marry in a Church of England church if you can show that one of the persons intending to marry:

  • Was baptised or prepared for confirmation in that parish
  • Had his or her usual place of residence in that parish for a period of not less than six months
  • Regularly attend public worship in that parish for a period of not less than six months
  • A parent during the lifetime of the person wishing to marry has had his or her usual place of residence in that parish for a period of not less than six months
  • A parent or grandparent has been married in that parish

Other places of religious worship

If you wish to marry by religious ceremony other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales, the Church or religious building in question must normally be in the registration district where you or your partner live.

Giving formal notice of intention to marry

To give formal notice you need to speak to the vicar.

If they agree to marry you he will give notice of the proposed marriage by arranging for the banns to be read on three Sundays before the day of your ceremony or for a common licence to be issued.

The vicar will perform the religious ceremony and arrange to return your signed marriage schedule to the local register office to be added to the electronic register. Once your marriage has been registered in the electronic register you will be able to order a marriage certificate.

There is usually no need to involve the local superintendent registrar unless one of you is subject to immigration control.

If the religious minister cannot register the marriage

If the religious minister is not authorised to register marriages, you may also need to book a registrar to attend your marriage.

Please contact the ceremony officer for the area where you wish to marry as soon as possible once you have chosen the date for the ceremony.

If a registrar needs to attend your marriage, the registration will be subject to marriage registration fees.

On the day

On the day of the ceremony, the registrar will see you both in private before the ceremony to check the details on the marriage schedule.

You will each be asked for your full name, age, occupation, the address of your residence on the day of your marriage, the full name and occupation of your parents/step parents and whether they are retired or deceased. Up to four parent/step-parent details can be added for each party to the marriage.