The introduction to the Church in Wales Marriage Service describes marriage as a gift from God. The Bible teaches that marriage is a life-long, faithful union and compares married love with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross.
In order to get married in a particular church, one or both of the people wishing to marry must either live within the parish boundary, or
have a ‘qualifying connection’ as defined by the Marriage Act (Wales) 2010 which reads:
‘For the purposes of this section a person has a qualifying connection with a parish in which the marriage is to be solemnized if:
(a) that person was baptised in that parish (unless the baptism took place in a combined rite which included baptism and confirmation) or is a person whose confirmation had been entered in the register book of confirmation for any church or chapel in that parish;
(b) that person has at any time had his or her usual place of residence in that parish for a period of not less than six months;
(c) that person has at any time habitually attended public worship in that parish for a period of not less than six months;
(d) a parent of that person has during the lifetime of that person had his or her usual place of residence in that parish for a period of not less than six months or habitually attended public worship in that parish for that period; or
(e) a parent or grandparent of that person has been married in that parish.’
If none of these apply, the couple have the following options open to them:
1.‘habitually attend’ church (ie come to a Sunday service not less than once a month) for 6 months. This must be completed BEFORE the banns can be called
2.One or both of the people to be resident within the parish for 15 consecutive days in the 12 weeks running up to the wedding. They will then need to get a Common Licence from the Surrogate Registrar.
Apart from exceptional cases we don’t conduct weddings on a Wednesday or a Sunday
There are special guidelines on church marriage if you have been divorced.
The normal preliminary to getting married in the Church in Wales is by banns, the procedure of notifying people of your intention to marry. There are circumstances in which some form of licence, such as a Common Licence or Special Licence, is more appropriate. Your vicar or rector will advise you about this. More information about the various legal preliminaries to marriage is available from the Faculty Office website.
If you are thinking of a church wedding, you should contact your parish priest in the first instance. You can usually find the minister’s address and telephone number on the church noticeboard. You can also find the minister’s address and telephone number by searching for a church or a parish or searching for a a church close to you by entering your postcode on this website. In each case, following the link to details about the parish or church will show the contact details of the minister in charge.