Frequently Asked Questions about Weddings

A couple pose on their wedding day
Ryan and Jaime
married in West Malling in 2021

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. Feel free to contact us if there are any further questions that you would like to ask or speak with the Vicar when you meet.

Q. I’m not baptised. I don’t go to church. Can I still get married in church?
A. Yes you can. Absolutely!. God’s love and blessing is available to everyone who wishes to be married in church and not just those who come regularly.

Q. How do I book the church for a wedding?
A. It’s pretty easy. Get in touch with our Administrator and they will put you in touch with the Clergy and guide you through the process. We’ll book a time to meet with you and begin to discuss and plan the wedding. Booking the church for a particular date is all part of that chat.

Q. We’ve decided to get married abroad (or in a civil ceremony) but we would like a church blessing afterwards. Is that possible?
A. Yes. There is a service called ‘Prayer and dedication after a civil ceremony‘. You can find out more about this service and other options on our website.

Q. Are there restrictions on when we can get married?
A. To be legal, a church wedding must take place between 8am and 6pm but it can take place any day of the year. Actual dates are usually arranged in conjunction with our Clergy team. Any day of the week is technically possible to hold a wedding, but Sundays are often difficult (but not impossible) because of regular church services. Please note that Christmas and Easter are particularly busy times of the year for our ministers and the wider church community. It is not always possible to accommodate requests for a wedding during these major Christian festivals.

Q. I’m divorced. Can I still get married in church?
A. In the Church of England, we believe that marriage is intended to be life-long, but we also recognise that sadly, some marriages do fail and cease to be life-giving. We understand and recognise that’s important as well and we want to respond appropriately. Divorced people can remarry in church at any of our parish churches under certain circumstances. Each case is different and circumstances are always unique so the important next step is to speak to a member of our Clergy team in confidence about your situation. They will want to talk to you frankly about your past and your hopes for the future. You will need to be honest and open with them about your past and they will then let you know whether they can go ahead with the marriage. Even if it is not possible to have your wedding in church, they will be able to offer you a service of prayer and dedication after a civil ceremony; sometimes known as a ‘Wedding Blessing‘.

Q. What is ‘marriage preparation’ and why do we need it?
A. You will never make such big promises to each other as you will in church on your wedding day. You are still two separate individuals with different backgrounds, personalities, experiences, hopes and fears. The average wedding takes 200 hours to prepare, but very few couples give some of that time over to investing in their relationship. Marriage is a serious commitment and ‘marriage preparation’ is an opportunity to make some of that investment in your future together. We use a nationally recognised course called (very obviously) The Marriage Preparation Course and try to host the course in one of the local bars or restaurants. There is a small fee for each couple to help pay for the hire of the venue.

Q. How much will the wedding cost?
Fees for weddings are set nationally so that the same basic fees apply no matter in which church you choose to get married. However, there are some variations – usually dependent on your circumstances and what you want in your service (e.g. an organist or a choir may vary in cost) and also what licences to marry apply to your personal circumstances. We have prepared a special page about the fees for you to read through but please do speak to our Clergy to discuss the fees in more detail. We’ve also created a page to give you some tips on how to plan financially for a wedding.