Congratulations! Getting engaged is always such an exciting time. If you are starting to plan your wedding, one of the big questions will be where to get married. What type of wedding ceremony to have? Do you want a religious or a civil ceremony? The main options for ceremonies in the UK are:-
Church of England – You will need to make an appointment to speak to the vicar at the church you would like to be married in. All have different rules about who can marry in their church, some like you to live or come from the area. You may also have to attend a certain number of Sunday services before your wedding. For your wedding to go ahead in a church, the vicar will read banns out 3 Sundays in a row around 3 months before your wedding, or in Scotland you have to give 15 days notice at a registry office. Another thing to consider with a Church of England wedding is videography, some vicars allow it and others don’t, make sure you ask at your appointment. The average cost of a church ceremony is £450.
Roman Catholic – Again, you will need to make an appointment to speak to the priest at your chosen church. You will need to provide your baptism and confirmation certificates to your priest. If one of you has not been baptised, the priest will have to grant you permission to marry in his church. Dependent on the priest, they may ask you to attend Mass for 6 weeks before your wedding and also attend some marriage preparation talks. The cost of getting married in a Roman Catholic church varies widely.
Civil Ceremony – As soon as you decided on a date and venue, contact the registrar that is local to the venue or the registry office you intend to hold your ceremony at. Some registrars let you book 2 years in advance, some are 12 months before. The minimum amount of time you can book is 28 days in advance. You will pay a booking fee to secure your time and date. You need to give notice between 28 days and 12 months before your wedding, this costs £35 per person. The costs for the ceremony can vary, if you get married in the registry office they can be as little as £150, but if you are getting married at a venue and the registrar had to travel to you they could be £400-£500.
Jewish – A Jewish wedding can take place anywhere indoors or outdoors as it does not need to be in a synagogue or a licensed venue. As long as you get married under a chuppah, you can choose any venue. Any rabbi can marry anyone in the UK, but the couple would also need to arrange the legal aspect of the marriage with a registrar separately. If the couple are both Jewish, they are able to marry under the auspices of a synagogue and arrange their civil marriage with the synagogue’s registrar. This is a member of the synagogue, which may be the rabbi, who is licensed to perform the legal part of the wedding and sign the legal paperwork.
To legally marry in the UK you must be at least 16, if you are under 18 you must have your parent or guardians permission. You must not be closely related, you need to be free to marry (not already be married) and the legal ceremony must take place in a licensed venue or church in the presence of a registrar or official with 2 witnesses over the age of 18. You can find out more information on the Gov.uk website.
What type of marriage are you planning? I’d love to hear your plans. Or is you have an questions, please contact me!