If you’re thinking about getting married in one of our churches, please read on for almost everything you need to know about getting married in church.

Can anyone marry in church?

As long as it’s legal, you’re welcome to marry in the Church of England, whatever your beliefs.  It’s your church and we welcome you! (but do read on for more information)

It is more complicated if one of you is a foreign national, but there may still be a way forward so please check.


Do we need to attend church regularly?

The Parish church is your church whether you attend regularly or not: you are welcome to have your wedding in the church but please read the qualifying reasons below.

Qualifying Reasons

You can marry in your parish church providing that one of you

  • has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
  • 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 or


That one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married in the parish


 What if one of us has been divorced?

It is often possible for you to remarry in church, but you should talk to the vicar who will be taking the service.  The Vicar will want to help you, but will also want to talk frankly about your hopes for the future.


What are ‘Banns’ and why do we need them?

Banns are a legal announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place.  They need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the church in which you are to be married, if that is somewhere else.  You must have your banns read out in church for 3 Sundays during the 3 months before the wedding.  This is often done over 3 consecutive Sundays but does not have to be.

(If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, the Common Licence procedure needs to be used rather than banns)


What about music and hymns?

Weddings over the centuries have included everything from classical soloists to rock bands.  The Vicar will talk to you about whether you want a traditional wedding or something with a bit of a difference.

There are usually 2 or 3 hymns sung during a wedding service.  Try to find hymns that are familiar to your guests and are easy to sing!  The Vicar or the organist at the church where you are to be married will be pleased to help you decide.


Can we have a video?

If you are recording a person’s performance, e.g. an organist, they are entitled to an additional fee; ask the vicar if their musician’s contract or working agreement sets this out.  Any service which includes music, poetry or other creative works that are in copyright should not be recorded without first obtaining permission from the copyright owners, either directly or through the cover of a copyright licence.


What will it cost?

Please click on the links below for a list of costs for each parish.  Some of these charges are required legal fees for marrying in a church; it may vary slightly for you depending on your circumstances.  The basic legal fee includes the cost of the Vicar, the church, calling your banns, the marriage certificate, the verger and lighting.  The statutory fee doesn’t include extras you may choose or decline, these are things like heating in the church, having an organist, bells, choir or flowers.  You do not have to have any of these, but if you choose them there will be an extra cost.

So what do we do next?

We hope you will decide to have your wedding in church.  If you do decide you would like to get married in one of our churches, or have any questions, please come along to one of our Wedding Booking Evenings detailed as follows:

  • – For weddings at Elmton or Creswell, please call at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Creswell on the 1st Thursday of each month between 6pm and 7pm or call 01909 723342
  • – For weddings at Whitwell or Steetley, please call at St Lawrence Church, Whitwell on the 3rd Friday of each month between 6pm and 7pm or call 01909 722284

And finally

The website www.yourchurchwedding.org gives some very useful information.