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Religious Ceremonies

Different Religious Ceremonies

In the UK, there are two different ways to marry; a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony. Some religions may require you to have a civil ceremony too. In this post, we are going to look at the things you must know when it comes to having a religious wedding in different faiths.

The Church Of England

Over the last few years, the Church of England has become more flexible with couples being allowed to marry outside of their parish church. You will need to attend several Sunday services before your wedding date and to signify your intentions to marry, banns will need to be read for 3 consecutive Sundays beforehand. If there is not enough time to do this, a common licence can be obtained, which you will need anyway if one of you isn’t British or lives outside of England.

Cost          =         Banns publication = £29

                               Certificate of banns issued = £14

                               Marriage fee = £441

                               Certificate copy = £4 (£10 after day of wedding)


The Church of Scotland

In the Church of Scotland and under Scottish law, there is no residential requirement. This means you can marry anywhere so long as the ceremony is conducted by either a minister, priest, pastor or clergyman. However, notice of marriage must be given at least 15 days preceding in the office of the Superintendent Registrar of the district in which the marriage will take place.

Cost           =           For any fees regarding the ceremony, it is best to contact the local minister.


The Church In Wales

Similarly, to the Church of England, banns are read on 3 Sundays in the 12 weeks before the marriage takes place. These ones however, do not need to be consecutive. To become eligible to marry in the Church of Wales, you must attend Sunday services for 6 months. You will then be invited to take part in marriage preparation. If you wish to marry in a parish you are not local to or worship in, you will need to talk to the parish priest.

Cost           =         Banns publication = £40

                                Marriage service fee = £430

                                Certificate copy = £10


Roman Catholic Church

Wedding ceremonies taking place in the Roman Catholic faith differ from Church of England in that a Catholic priest may not have the authorisation to register your ceremony. You will still have to give notice at your local register office. The priest will want an initial meeting with the bride and groom to discuss the sacrament of marriage and to make sure you understand the obligation of marriage. After this, the priest will apply for dispensation; the type of dispensation will depend on whether you are both Catholic or only one of you is. This should go through fairly easily. After this, one or both of you will need to provide your Baptism and Confirmation certificates. In Roman Catholicism, the reading of the banns is purely symbolic so will only be allowed if both of you are Catholic. You will need to attend Sunday Mass for a few months beforehand and take part in marriage preparation talks. Another meeting with the priest will take place a few weeks before to discuss and finalize the service and other things such as hymns, music, prayers etc.

Cost   =    The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that the First Commandment forbids the buying and selling of sacred things (simony). However, the church does welcome donations so speak to your local priest.


Sikh Weddings

Sikh weddings are legal under UK law so long as the building in which the ceremony is held is registered for the solemnisation of marriages. If it is not, then a civil ceremony at the register office will need to be arranged beforehand. The ceremony can be performed in any Gurdwara or any home where Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book) has been respectfully installed and can be officiated by any respected Sikh man or woman.

Cost   =   Check with your local Gurdwara for any fees


Jewish Weddings

For your wedding ceremony to be able to take place in a synagogue, both you and your partner must be Jewish. If one of you is not Jewish, then you can have a ceremony with the Jewish symbols (under a chuppah in any non-synagogue venue). You can marry anywhere, provided that a rabbi can marry you under a chuppah. Weddings in a synagogue will require you to arrange a civil ceremony with the synagogue’s registrar, who is usually the rabbi who is required to look after the legal aspects of the wedding. Some rabbis may require proof of Jewish lineage, i.e. your parents ketubah (Jewish marriage certificate).

Cost   =   Check with your rabbi for any fees


Quaker – Society of Friends Weddings

Quaker marriage is for its members and those who are in unity with its religious nature. They don’t have to take place in a registered venue, but usually take place where you have a regular Meeting for Worship. The marriage requires approval from the Registering Office of the Society of Friends acting for the meeting concerned. This must take place in the Meeting House or another place regularly used for Meetings and be done at least 6 months before the wedding. You will also need to complete a joint declaration of intent to marry and give to the area meeting registering office. Any non-member applicant will need to obtain support in writing from two adult Friends who are not relatives.

Cost   =   A statutory fee is payable by each person at the time of giving notice, so check with the Superintendent Registrar


You may choose not to have a religious ceremony, but most religions will bless a marriage after a civil ceremony. You just need to speak to the priest, clergyman, pastor etc..

For more information regarding any of the above, please refer to;



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Want to know how to manage your wedding budget? Look out for out next blog, Managing your budget

Looking for information on civil ceremonies, see our previous blog, Know the legalities of getting married…