Religious Ceremonies

A religious ceremony may take place at a church or chapel of the Church of England or Church in Wales or in any other place of worship formally registered for marriages by the Registrar General.

Church of England and Church in Wales

If you wish to be married in the Church of England or Church in Wales, please speak to the vicar of that church first. If the vicar can marry you, he or she will make arrangements for the banns to be called or for a common licence to be issued.

If banns are not called, you will both have to give notice of marriage in the area in which you live. Please contact our Ceremonies Team on 01270 375140 or ceremonysupport@cheshireeast.gov.uk for further details.

If one of the parties to the marriage is a non-EEA national, there will be changes to the processes involved. Further details are available on the gov.uk website.

Other churches or religious buildings

If you are planning a wedding in any other church or religious building, first seek permission from the Minister or governing body before you make other arrangements. You will need to give a notice of marriage at the register office for the area in which you live.

Usually there is a person appointed at the church or building who can register your marriage. If not, a registrar from the area in which the venue is located will have to attend. If a registrar is required to attend and register the marriage, before making any firm commitments, please contact the registration service to ensure that they can provide this service. For ceremonies within Cheshire East Registration authority, please contact our Ceremonies Team on 01270 375140 or email ceremonysupport@cheshireeast.gov.uk for further details.

For enquiries regarding fees, please contact the vicar or minister at the church.

Before your ceremony

For marriages in a Church of England church, the Marriage Document will be produced when banns have been called. The vicar will complete a Marriage Document for you and your witnesses to sign at the ceremony.

For marriages at other churches or religious buildings, a Marriage Schedule will be produced once you have given notice of marriage at your local register office.

You will be asked at your notice of marriage appointment for details of your parents and, if appropriate, you can also add step parent details to the schedule.

For marriages in religious venues, the Marriage Schedule will be issued 29 days after your notice of marriage has been given. This period may be extended to up to 70 days if one or both of the parties to be married is a non-EEA national.

The registrar taking your notice will discuss with you how the Marriage Schedule will be delivered to the minister at your church. This is the document that you and your witnesses will sign on the day.

On the day of your ceremony

At the ceremony, couples and their witnesses must sign a Marriage Schedule or Marriage Document. This document has all the details about your marriage including the names of both your parents.

Marriages are no longer registered in a marriage register signed during the ceremony and marriage certificates will not be presented on the day.

After the ceremony

The Marriage Schedule or Marriage Document must be returned within 21 days of the ceremony to the register office in the district where the marriage took place. It should be returned by:

  • The Incumbent (Church of England)
  • Authorised Person of the church
  • Secretary of Synagogue
  • Society of Friends Registering Officer

With the agreement of the couple, this responsibility may be delegated to the couple themselves or to another member of the wedding party.

Registration of marriage and marriage certificate

Once the Marriage Schedule or Marriage Document has been received at the register office, details of the marriage have to be entered on the government's central electronic marriage registration system before a marriage certificate can be issued. We will do this within 7 days of receiving the Marriage Schedule or Marriage Document at the register office.

All marriages must be registered at the register office for the district where the marriage takes place. In Cheshire East they will be registered at the Register Office, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ.

If the marriage takes place at a church outside Cheshire East, the Marriage Schedule or Marriage Document must be returned to the local register office for that district.

Certificates can be ordered up to one month before the ceremony, but these will only be sent to you once the marriage has been registered. 

Order a marriage certificate

Further information about marriage and marriage registration can be found at gov.uk.


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