Do we need a marriage licence?

Most Church of England marriages will not require a licence, but in some circumstances you might need to apply for one…
Looking up into a church roof

Licences replace the need for having banns read out, which is the usual legal requirement before a wedding can take place.

You might need a licence if:

  • One or both of you are British but live abroad.
  • One or both of you live in the UK but your home is not in England or Wales.
  • Your home address is likely to change during the time when banns would normally be read out.
  • Your wedding date is too soon to allow enough time for banns to be read.

In these kinds of circumstances a Common Licence application may be recommended. Read more about Common Licences.

If you have no legal connection to the church where you would like your wedding to take place, and don’t have time to create one before your wedding, there are two further licence options which may be suggested to you:

If either of you is not a national of the UK or Ireland and doesn’t hold Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to obtain a Superintendent Registrar’s Marriage Schedule to enable you to marry.

The granting of licences is not always guaranteed, so be sure to explore your options as far in advance as you can before your wedding.