Marrying in church


As we approach Christmas and New Year, a time of year when many couples get engaged, many will have questions about whether they can marry in a church. The Revd Dr Sandra Millar, the Church of England’s Head of Life Events, explains that it could be easier than you think.
Bride and groom standing in church doorway facing each other

Next year there will be around 45,000 couples making timeless wedding vows in a very special place, a Church of England church.

Many more will get engaged over Christmas and New year and begin planning their special day – and might be surprised to realise they can choose to get married in church.

There are around 16,000 churches to choose from – and it’s always worth talking to a local vicar to find out how a church wedding can become part of your story.

You don’t have to be baptised, [which is also known as “christening”], or confirmed. But big moments and big changes in life, sometimes lead to big questions, thoughts and feelings.

Couples may find themselves thinking about their spiritual journey, and going to church as part of getting ready for your wedding ceremony gives space to think and people to pray for you.

As part of that you may want to be baptised [if you weren’t as a child] or to be confirmed in the Church of England. You don’t need godparents or a big ceremony – it will simply be a special moment of confirming the Christian faith as part of your life.

I meet many couples at wedding shows, interested in a church wedding. But often they are worried that it won’t be possible for them: “Am I allowed to get married in church if I don’t go there, or its not where I live or if my partner isn’t religious?”

The answer to these and many other questions often surprises them.

A bride from Derbyshire shared her experience: “Our advice would be if you have a dream for your wedding, don’t be afraid to ask the church what you can do. You might be surprised at the answer you get.” So if a church wedding is part of your dream, then just ask what’s could be possible.

Lots of information and help is available on to help with planning and preparing not just for a ceremony, but for a lifetime of love and marriage.