We are delighted you are thinking about the possibility of having your wedding at one of our Benefice churches. Here are a few guidelines to help you prepare for your special day…
Wherever you choose to get married, you make a public declaration of life-long commitment to love each other faithfully and you take on a new legal status as husband and wife. Family and friends come along to witness and celebrate this with you.
By law, you are entitled to be married 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 in the parish concerned or
- Was 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 or
- 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
To find out if you live in one of our parishes check A church near you
If you are unable to fulfil these requirements, you should contact your own Parish Church. However, in certain exceptional circumstances you may still marry at one of our churches under a Special Licence – see the Church of England wedding website for more details.
If either of you are a non EEA national then special conditions apply and you will need to discuss these with the vicar before we can agree to marry you.
Banns of Marriage
Before you can be married at any of our churches you must have your Banns read out in church for three consecutive Sundays during the three months before your wedding. Banns are an announcement of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place.
Banns need to be read at the church where you will marry and (if either of you live in another Parish) you own Parish Church. We will arrange for the Banns to be read in our Benefice, but it is your responsibility to make the arrangement for the Banns to be read elsewhere, and for Banns Certificates to be issued. In some exceptional cases there may be an alternative to Banns – see the Church of England wedding website for details.
There are also other requirements (age, nationality, and current marital status) that you must fulfil before you may legally marry in a Church of England church. These are outlined on the website and the Vicar will discuss these with you when you arrange to meet him.
When you meet with the Vicar, he will confirm your eligibility to be married in the Benefice, discuss with you your plans for the day and agree a date and time for the wedding.
Once your date has been agreed the Vicar will give you
A banns application form – to be returned to the Vicarage or the Benefice Office together with original proof of address, age and nationality.
A list of the fees for weddings in the Church of England – payment is due two weeks before your wedding.
You will also need to arrange for the Banns of Marriage to be read in your own Parish Church(es) if either of you do not reside in the parish where you will be married, and for Banns Certificates to be issued and forwarded to us.
A website to visit to help you plan the service and prepare for the next meeting.
A sample service template may be found here.
Nearer the date of your wedding, the Vicar will meet with you again to undertake marriage preparation and agree the details of the service.
A couple of days before your wedding, the priest conducting your marriage will lead you through a rehearsal of your marriage service.
Hiring the Church Rooms
If you would like to hire the church rooms for your family and friends to gather immediately before the service (Colden Common and Twyford only), it is important to make sure that they are available on your chosen date.
Please contact the Benefice Office on 01962 715172 or by email.
We hope this page has answered all your questions, but please do get in touch with us if we can help in any other way.