My partner wants a religious service (or at least one officiated by a member of the clergy), but i'm not sure that i want a church wedding, is there any way for us to have a non church wedding with a member of the clergy?

The very quick answer if you want to get married in England or Wales is ‘no’ I’m afraid.


The Church (both Roman Catholic and Church of England) have strict rules on where and when marriages can take place, and as such you will only be able to marry within a Church and at a time prescribed by the Church Minister/Priest.


However, there are a couple of options that you may want to consider.


The first is a little more extreme, but it is still a viable option nonetheless. Rather than opting to get married in your locality, you could head ‘North of the Border’. The Church of Scotland has more relaxed views on marriages that their ‘southern’ counterparts and ministers may be willing to solemnise the marriage in a location outside of the Church – a Country House, a National Park etc. That said, it is very much down to the local minister concerned so you may still need to be flexible on location. Should you want to head down this route, simply determine your preferred location then get in touch with the local parish church (click here to view contact details).


The second option is the most common one for couples in your situation, and it is to opt for a Civil Ceremony, preceded, or followed by a ‘Blessing’. A blessing is a simple religious ceremony which can be set-up by contacting your local Minister and making the relevant arrangements. There are no legal requirements and no set up fees, only a fee payable for the service itself. Blessings are increasing in popularity and you should have no problem getting one arranged.


I hope this helps, and best of luck whichever patch you choose to head down.

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