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Legal queries

Do both of the witnesses have to be 18 or over?

There is no legal requirement for witnesses at a wedding to be 18 or over, however, when it comes to ...

If someone is known by a different name from that which appears on the birth certificate, which name should be used for banns and marriage registers?

When banns are published, the “true name” of the persons who intend to marry must be used.  For the purpose ...

Can banns be called in Scotland for couples resident there?

If either, or both the bride and groom live in Scotland, but have a legally-recognised connection to a Church of ...

Is a minimum period of residency required before banns can be called?

If a couple move in to a parish which they now call home, they have a legal connection with the ...

Can couples use their own words for their vows?

No. The vows must remain unchanged for legal reasons. At an appropriate point, couples can be given space to offer ...

Do banns certificates have to be signed by a clergyperson?

Yes. Section 11(4) of the Marriage Act 1949 says that a certificate of publication of banns “shall be signed by the ...

Can a non-UK resident witness a CofE marriage?

Yes they can. However if their first language is not English then there is a need to ensure they understand ...

Do first, middle and/or surnames need to be used in the vows and declarations?

The Christian names, or at least the first Christian name of the bride and the groom should be used.

Are middle names required for the reading of the banns?

The requirement for the reading of the banns of marriage is that the names clearly identify the couple to be ...

Can I refuse a marriage service to be filmed?

You have discretion on whether the filming of a service may take place. However, very careful consideration should be given ...