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Where to get married in the UK

by | 9 April 2016 | Couple

If you think about it, getting married is a funny old thing. For the most part, two people who have known each other for some time decide that they like each other enough to spend the rest of their life together. Once they’ve decided this, they pick a place and a time to announce it publicly. That’s a pretty mind-blowing thing in itself – you spend hours of your time and thousands of your well-earned money to let everyone how much you love your partner. When you think about it like that, it really is crucial to get the time and place right. So why do so many people get married in churches?

Take Me To Church

Let’s cross off the obvious reasons – people are religious, their parents were married there, they were christened there. Of course the main reason is that it really is the most obvious place to get married. It’s where people have been getting married for centuries. It is the traditional place to get married in Britain. So why wouldn’t you get married in a church?

Well, at risk of sounding controversial – it’s a little uninspired, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to a bunch of church weddings that have been beautiful. And they really are beautiful. The big white gown, the musical acoustics of a church and organ, and the proper aisle – well, nothing can compare, can it? But for some people I feel like perhaps a church is a lazy choice. The church should mean something to you. You shouldn’t just get married in a church because it’s what people do.

It is worth bearing in mind that if you do want to get married in a church, you’re going to have to go to at least three services to hear your banns read. Read more about the importance of banns.

Old English Church and Graveyard

What About Us?

Another reason not to get married in a church – if you’re gay. In case you somehow missed it, religions aren’t always on the side of homosexuality. In fact the Church of England has outright refused to allow same-sex marriages on their premises. This isn’t to say that all churches in England are a no go. As this story shows, religious gay marriages can happen, and have happened. You just need to know where to look. It seems like the Metropolitan Community Church in Bournemouth could be a popular choice for any religious homosexuals out there. You’ll have to check out other religious organisations to see what their stance on the matter is.

So Where?

Let’s get you started proactively – for a list of authorised premises in your area you simply need to contact your local town hall. This should detail the locations of numerous building in your area that have registered to the local authority for the ability to have marriages performed legally on their premises. There aren’t really many rules on what makes a building suitable for a marriage license, so it can be practically anything, you just need to find the right one for you.

Many societies with arranged meetings such as Quakers will have approved buildings, so if you attend a social group, you may want to check with the organiser to see if the building is registered.

There are a few other exceptions such as prison or hospital weddings and housebound weddings for those who physically cannot leave the building.

Adare mansion - Ireland

Getting married is special. The timing and place of your wedding should be equally special. Don’t settle for anything less than that – find the place that talks to you and then start jumping through the hoops to get it secured for your big day. Or if you’ve already had it, let us know what your experience was in finding the perfect location for your wedding – was it hard, or did you know all along where you wanted it to happen?

About the author

Paul Macklin

Paul is your friendly neighbourhood poet/cynic. He believes in story-telling, curiosity and peanut-butter sandwiches and he spends the vast majority of his time writing stuff. Paul learnt how to write stuff at Portsmouth University where he earned himself a Masters degree in writing stuff. Neat huh? Paul also hates writing in third person.


Couple Where to get married in the UK