church

A wedding celebrant in the UK is not the same as a wedding celebrant in the United States.  In the UK, there are only three possible types of venue where you can have a legally valid marriage.  That is at a licensed venue, at a registry office, or in church.

There are two aspects to a religious wedding: the blessing and the legal part.  Anglican churches are allowed to sort out the legal part of the wedding as well as the blessing, but if you are not having an Anglican wedding, you will need to make arrangements with a registrar.  He or she may be willing to attend the wedding venue, if it is licensed.  If it is not licenced, you will probably have to make an appointment to have your wedding registered at the registry office.  This means you may not necessarily have the blessing and the legal part done on the same day. You can find a list of licensed venues at this link.

They will arrange for a registrar to attend the ceremony.  Many of these licensed venues are charming, elegant places that will make your day very special.

You can expect any religious celebrant to remind you that marriage is a very serious and sacred estate.  They will make sure that you are legally and morally entitled to marry and they may try to make sure you are mature and sensible enough to do so.  They usually have your best interests at heart, but if you are a same-sex couple wanting to marry, you will not be allowed to do so in an Anglican church.  Although it is possible that there are individual vicars who would be willing to bless your union, you would need to have a registrar attend, or you would need a separate ceremony at

Legally, you must notify the register office 28 days before you marry, unless you are getting married in an Anglican church, in which case the vicar will usually register the marriage.  Check with him or her first, though, because there are different rules for people marrying in England who are not European citizens.

There are some core formal vows that are already laid down by law and which you must include in your ceremony.  You can add to them, though, and you should talk to the vicar or registrar about this.  It is a good way to personalise your wedding and make it truly significant and moving.

You will need at least two witnesses at the ceremony itself, but most people want to have several friends and relatives with them.

Even romance has its price.  If you get married in a register office, the fee is £46.  Anywhere else, there may be some more charges to cover the costs of the venue.  Make sure you check with the celebrant.  There is also a charge for the marriage certificate.  It is best if you pay for it on the day, because then it is only £4.  If you leave it until later, it will cost you £10.  You are likely to need it in the future, to prove you are married.