Congratulations on your engagement, and we are thrilled that you are considering getting married in one of our churches. The wedding in the film was not celebrated at any of our churches, but it is typical of a wedding in church.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and we want to make it as special as possible.As well as helping you to plan the details of your big day, we will also help you prepare for the rest of life.
In relation to marriage, the Church of England operates within the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. As a consequence, in order to be married in your local ecclesiastical parish (ie either in Abbotsbury, Chickerell, Fleet, Langton Herring or Portesham), there are certain things that things that must happen in order to ensure that it complies with both church ecclesiastical law and secular UK law. This is because in marriage, you and your fiancee take on a whole new legal status.
The Parish Priest acts as the registrar and know how to advise and prepare you for your wedding day and ensure that everything complies withy all the relevant UK and ecclesiastical law.
These are the main legal considerations:
Are you Old Enough ? If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parents' consent to marry and by law you cannot be married in the UK until you are 16 years of age.
Same sex marriage legislation. Although same sex-marriage legislation is now in force, it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couple to marry in the Church of England.
Marrying in a church - establishing the legal basis You are able to get married in your parish church. To identify your parish, visit www.achurchnearyou.com and enter into the website your postcode. Getting married in your parish church is the most straight forward route to establishing the legal basis for your marriage.
If you and your partner wish to be married in a church that is outside the ecclesiastical parish that you live in, or that you attend regularly, then the Churches Marriages Act 2008 has simplified (if not relaxed) what is possible.
It is best to speak to your parish priest straight away, and they will be able to advise on what needs to be put in place to meet the legal requirements. Indeed in the eyes of the law you may already be legally connected to a number of different churches by virtue of the different places that you have lived in.
Time of the wedding The wedding must take placed between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Assuming that the church is not already in used for other purposes, the wedding can be celebrated on any day.
Guidelines for divorcees Within the Christian faith marriage has always been considered to be a life long commitment, reflecting Jesus' life long commitment to the each one of us. However the Church also recognises that in certain situations, the circumstances of the breakup of a previous relationship mitigates that an exception can be made. Please speak to your parish priest, and they will be able to advise you on how too proceed. Wedding Banns Once the parish priest has established with you that you are legally able to marry in the parish church of your choice, as part of civic law you will need to give public notification of your intention to marry. This is what your wedding banns are, and they will be published irrespective of whether you marry in a church or a secular venue.
The parish priest will work with you to fill in your wedding banns application. This is an important form to fill in, because it is also the form from which the information is eventually retrieved for your marriage certificate.
The wedding banns are usually called about a month before the wedding occurs. they are usually called on 3 consecutive Sundays at the parish church, but there might be some variation given local contexts. Your parish priest will be able to advise on this.
If you are getting married in a church other than your parish church, you will need to arrange for your wedding banns to be called at the church you are to marry in as well as your parish church (by parish church, we mean the ecclesiastical parish that you live in). Once again, the parish priest will be able to advise on how to go about this. It is not as complicated as it sounds !
On occasion Wedding Banns may not be the appropriate way to establish the legal basis for your wedding. A Common license or occasionally, as Archbishops' License may be required. the parish priest will be able to advice on this matter. Please be aware that these two Licenses attract a higher fee than Wedding by Banns.
UK Passport. Your wedding is a legal act, and so all couples will need to show the parish priest their passport as proof of nationality. If you do not possess a passport, there are other supporting documents that will be able to present at a later meeting with your parish priest.
Decree Absolut If either of you are are divorced, the parish priest will need to see the decree absolute.
Proof of Previous Addresses In order to establish your connection to the church, you may also be asked to provide evidence of your residency in the parish. These may include utility bills, your parents' marriage certificate.
What should I do next ? Establish contact with a member of the ministry team, and they will arrange to meet with you and your finance -usually in your home.