Legal documents

Our vicar is rather elderly and very forgetful! Although he is very pleasant, we know he has made mistakes in the past. I just wondered if anyone could tell me what legal documents we need to produce (for a church wedding) and if there is anything I should be doing. e.g. forms, legalities etc. just to reasure me that all is well!


  • Angel - There are certain documents and legalities for sure! You firstly need to register the marriage with your local registrar office - you can do this up to 1 year in advance (PS - you both need to go, with identification and decree absolute documentation / death certificate if previously married. Also need to take money - ours was £60). This books the date - after 15 days you can go back to pick up a certificate which you need to provide to the vicar. Although you are getting married in church (so are we) you need to ensure that the vicar is legally (as opposed to spirituality) registered to conduct the wedding. When you go to the registar office they should be able to advise this. If they are not registered, then a registrar will need to be present sign the wedding certificate/book etc. Other than that you will need to sit with your vicar at some point to work out the order of service, flowers, paying the church, bellringing, organist etc. Also you need to know if photograhy/videography is allowed. Finally don't forget to ask about the "confetti rule". At our church no confetti is allowed. Best to know this up front and warn your guests!
  • vanuk1vanuk1 Posts: 103
    You have panicked me now Our vicar has given us no guidance at all. Wedding is August 4th. i assume we have enough time to sort this? Do we need birth certificates?
  • ego22ego22 Posts: 171
    Angel, if you're in England or Wales and it's a Church of England or Church of Wales parish church it's very unlikely that you have to visit the registrar. What is that the banns are read out at the main sunday service on 3 successive sundays prior to the wedding. Can be any time before but can be the 3 Sundays immediately before if necessary so no need to panic yet. The vicar will be doing this all the time for all the couples getting married over the course of the year, so if he hasn't mentioned it it's probably more because it's so routine than because he has forgotten. But if you like you could ask when he plans to do it, as many couples like to come to hear it done at least once and that's always a good opportunity to catch the organist to chat about music! Usually the minister will get you to fill in a little form with name, date of birth, address, name of parents, etc. of each of you. He needs this to announce the banns and to fill in the registers on the day, but it's all straightforward normal stuff and he probably won't ask to see birth certificates, etc.

    And if he is a Church of England (or Wales) vicar he will be able to officially register the marriage so you won't need to be involved with the register office at all.


    You do have to involve the register office if it's not a C of E/W parish church eg. Roman Catholic.

    Hope this helps!
  • vanuk1vanuk1 Posts: 103
    Thank you so much Lizzie, you have really set my mind at rest! The websites were really useful. The vicar is a church of England, so all is well! He has also already given us the dates for the banns and we have started to attend church each Sunday anyway, thanks again x x x
  • ego22ego22 Posts: 171
    No worries, Angel. Being engaged to a church organist has its uses when it comes to wedding plans...

    Best of luck with your preparations! :\) Our day isn't for a whole year more, August 11th 2007 so still ages to go but it's great to be in touch with other brides to be on here - means it doesn't seem *quite* so long to wait!
  • vanuk1vanuk1 Posts: 103
    I have only been engaged since December, but it has flown by, make the most of it! My advice would be to try and keep a balance between wedding plans and everyday life. If you are having a church wedding, who will play the organ?!! I assume your H2B won't be rushing back and forth..ha ha!! What music would your H2B reccomend for in and out?image
  • ego22ego22 Posts: 171
    Luckily H2B knows a few other organists he trusts... image Loads of choice for music in and out - I've mentioned a few in another post. Organists do get a bit bored of the traditional wedding marches, but that shouldn't prevent you having them if that's what you'd like.

    Other excellent entry music includes the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel, various bits of Handel's Fireworks or Water Music, Trumpet Voluntary by Purcell or Jeremiah Clarke, or any other shortish organ voluntary - Bach, Howells, Stanley, Harris, Stanford are good composers with a number of suitable pieces, just ask your organist! H2B has played a whole range of things, including favourite film themes, but you do want something reasonably fast-moving and upbeat, rather than slow and beautiful - save those slow romantic tunes for before you come in or while you sign the registers!

    For going out, a lot of the same sorts of things are suitable, also longer and grander pieces such as Walton's Crown Imperial march (composed for the Queen's coronation), Widor's Toccata, lots of Bach's Toccatas (a favourite is Toccata in D minor), Fugues (such as the one in E flat, E minor, or D minor) or Preludes (such as the one in C major, called the Fanfare). If you want something a bit more 'crazy' Lefebre-Wely's Sortie is great and bound to get everyone smiling! Have also heard a great piece by someone called Guy Bovet called Le Bolero du Divin Mozart which has snatches of Ravel's Bolero and other familiar/popular tunes which would make a great exit piece, though I don't think it's particularly well known.

    Hope that gives you a few ideas to run past your organist. Best thing is to meet him and ask him to play you some of these pieces/composers till you hear something that sounds like 'you' - there's so much variety in music there'll always be something that fits with the style of your day.
  • vanuk1vanuk1 Posts: 103
    Really useful, thank you Lizzie x x x
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