A comprehensive guide to church weddings throughout the UK.
Although Church Weddings are less popular than they used to be, largely due to the scores of other venue types applying for licences and opening their doors to the lucrative wedding industry and in part down to the drop in popularity of organised religion, they are still the most traditional venue for a marriage and are considered the only option for many couples in the UK.
It is not always that straight forward for many people though; If you want to get married in a church outside your parish then you may find yourself with a few hoops to jump through first. Different parishes have different rules but you may have to visit the church regularly for up to a year before your wedding or indeed be able to directly link your family to the area if there is a specific church you would like to use.
In the past, a church wedding was the only recognised for of marriage and any union not formed in such a religious building would have been deemed invalid. A public announcement will take place at the church some weeks before the wedding, this is known as `reading your banns` to the local congregation. The wedding is to legally declare matrimonial consent and registering the marriage in the parish register but is usually padded out with religious readings, celebratory song and the exchanging of rings as well as the traditional question `Is there anybody here who knows of any reason why these two should not be joined together in marriage?` And the awkward moment as people wonder if anyone will speak up.
The Christian marriage is bound to the rite or the order of service of each church. Often the bride and groom will given the opportunity to help shape the service to include some of the aforementioned extras. The Christian wedding will take place almost exclusively in the church. There are few exceptions in which another place will be approved for a Christian service.
In principle presupposes the church wedding that both spouses belong to a Christian denomination and at least one partner is a member of each church. With partners of different denominations leave the big churches the pastors and parish lines on site to decide whether the pair can still be trusted. In some cases, a permission of the local bishop is additionally required particularly in the Roman Catholic Church.
If you are a Christian then chances are you will want to get married in a beautiful church wedding, with all the ceremony and tradition that this type of venue offers, churches can be decorated to look stunning and you can be sure that your marriage gets off to the right start in the eyes of the church.
If you are interested in getting married in the UK but you are unsure as to the rules then visit the Church of England website for details on eligibility for C of E here https://www.churchofengland.org/weddings-baptisms-funerals/weddings.aspx or for Catholic faith churches then visit http://www.catholicmarriagecentre.org.uk/marriagefaq.php