Do I have to go to church to get married in one? And does it have to be my local Church?

Jen Mulberry
Wedding Photographer
Jun 21st, 2019

Do I have to go to church to get married in one? And does it have to be my local Church? I get asked this question a lot. If all the basic legal requirements are met, you can get married in your local church, or one where you have a legally-recognised connection. However the good news is that you can marry in church regardless of your beliefs, whether you have been christened or not or if you don't go to church regularly. Remember its a privilege for the Vicar to marry a couple and they enjoy their role in doing this. Sometimes even if neither of the couple have a connection to their chosen church, a connection can be created if they go along to its services for a approximately six months ( please remember to leave enough times to have your Banns read as well, This is approximately another two months). This is probably the only occasion when regularly attending the church would be required. However there is also the case of if your chosen church had other family connections, then this would be an option.

When I got married so many years ago in Romsey Abbey, We already had a connection because my family were born and raised there. We had to have a meeting with the (Current at that time)Vicar to ensure we knew we were sincere about getting married and how married life would be for us, The Vicar even asked if we thought about children as well. He covered every area of being married to ensure both we and himself were happy to go forward and commit, I think things in Romsey Parish were a little more in-depth, These days I feel its a little more open minded as times have moved on,

It’s possible to marry legally in many other churches away from where you were born or currently live if you can show that you can meet criteria of one of the seven connections to that parish. This only applies to the UK Churches.

If you’re not sure which is your local church, I have placed this link for you to check.... www.achurchnearyou.com . Just fill in the required boxes to find it, Then click on the search arrow and your local church should be shown within its parish boundary.  Alternatively you can search using a postcode. If you want to search for a church in a different place, type in the place name instead and churches in that area will come up for yous. If you wanted to find your local church, search here..achurchnearyou

So you would need at least one of the following...

  • If you have at any time lived in the parish for a minimum of 6 months,
  • If either of you were baptised (christened) in the parish you wish to marry in,
  • If you are confirmed and your confirmation was entered in the register of confirmations for a church or chapel in the parish (usually if you were prepared for confirmation in the parish),
  • If you have at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months as mentioned above
  • If your parents were born or married in the parish
  • 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
  • if your grandparents was married in the parish

Remember the Vicar is your friend so do talk to him/her about your options available to you

Clearly if you move into the area you have immediate connection to the parish church.


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