Marriage law is not just about church rules and regulations, but is to do with the law of the land. We do have to stay within the law, or the wedding would not be legal!
The Marriage Measure which came into force on 1 October 2008 made it much easier for couples who could demonstrate a “qualifying connection” with a particular church to be married there, and specified a number of such qualifying connections. Where there is no historic, family or residence connection, couples can create for themselves a qualifying connection by attending church in that place for at least six months. For details please visit “finding a church” on this link
For further details about marriage in church please visit the Church of England web site http://www.cofe.anglican.org/ – use the menu on the right of that page to click on “Life events” and click on “Weddings”
Also visit http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/ – a resource which has lots of ideas to help you plan your wedding and make it unique and special, a day you can look back upon with joy and gratitude for the rest of your lives.
Where one of the parties has been divorced (or both have), the divorce makes things a little more complicated. There are certain circumstances in which the Church of England might not consider a church wedding appropriate, and the Rector will need to talk to the couple in more detail about their previous marriage(s) and relationship(s), before a decision can be made about the possibility of a church wedding. The Church of England requires us to do this. Please see the following page which explains things with regard to divorce.
There is a link there for you to the Church of England web site for a more detailed leaflet all about marrying again in church if you’re divorced.
If you are planning a church wedding, it is better to make contact sooner rather than later, and to put an initial booking into the diary. Some of the more popular reception venues can book up to eighteen months in advance! In order to book a wedding, in the first instance either the bride or the groom should make contact with us (preferably via email to firstname.lastname@example.org). We will then suggest an appropriate time for the couple to meet for interview. At an initial interview we ascertain that the necessary legal requirements can be met, and in the course of the meeting the couple are given all the information they need to know about marrying in that particular church.