Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about getting married at St Philip & St James and Combe Hay Church. If you have a question not listed please contact us through the website.
What are the Reading of Banns?
The Reading of Banns is a legal procedure for weddings that take place in the Church. It is the law that Banns must be read within 3 months of the wedding at the home parish church(es) of the bride and groom and the parish where the wedding will take place. The Banns are read at the church services on three consecutive Sundays during this period.
In some cases where Banns are not required a Common Licence must be sought. The Banns Form must be returned to St Philip & St James' Church Office four months before the date of the wedding.
Can I get married at any church of my choice?
A couple have the right to be married in the parish church where one or both of them are resident or entered on the parish electoral roll.
However some people would like to marry in a church because it has special significance for them, even though it is not where they live. If one of them has a "qualifying connection" with the parish then they also may marry there without having to apply for a special licence.
A person has a Qualifying Connection with a parish if any of the following apply;
- they were baptised in the parish. (This does not apply where the baptism formed part of a combined service of baptism or confirmation);
- their confirmation is entered in a church register book of a church or chapel in the parish;
- at any time has resided in the parish for at least 6 months;
- at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months;
- a parent of theirs has (at any time during that person’s lifetime) resided in the parish for at least 6 months; or habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months;
- a parent or grandparent of theirs was married in the parish.
A copy of the Marriage measure legislation can be found here.
What time of day can we get married?
Following a law change in 2012, there is no longer a restriction of times that people can get married. It can be anytime day or night.
How old do I need to be?
If you are under 18 years old you will need your parents' consent to marry and by law you can not be married in the UK until you are 16.
Is there a Wedding Preparation course?
All couples getting married at St Philip & St James and Combe Hay are offered a wedding preparation day usually held on a Saturday from 10-4pm. Couples have found this a very useful time as they get ready for the big day.
Can I get married in church if I am divorced?
There are special guidelines on marriage in the church if you are divorced. There may well be a way forward, but you will need to talk your Vicar about your situation to explore the possibilities for you. Contact the church office to arrange a meeting with the vicar.
What if I am not British?
If both the couple are EU (or Swiss) nationals then they are permitted to get married in the UK. If either of these are non-resident then they will need to be to be married by common licence (rather than Banns).
If either of the couple are nationals from outsdie the EU, then they will need a superintendent registrar's certificate.
You will be informed about how these alternative procedures are followed, once you have submitted the Wedding Application Form to the church office.
What will it cost financially?
The cost of a church wedding can be £500 or more, depending on your requirements. A full list of our prices are here