Posted: Wednesday March 18, 2015
Whether you are looking for a venue for civil ceremony or for a religious wedding service, Braxted Park has a number of spaces licensed for weddings, as well as having the beautiful All Saints Church within the grounds of the estate, perfect for those looking for a church wedding.
So now you have found your perfect venue, what do you need to do next? Who do you legally need to inform that you are getting married and what is the procedure? What does "Giving Notice of Marriage" mean and what does it mean to have your Banns read?
Giving Notice of Marriage
Before you can be married in a register office, 'approved premises' such as Braxted Park or in some churches or chapels in England or Wales you must give notice of your intention to marry. You do not need to do this if you are planning to be married in a Church of England Church, including All Saints within the grounds of Braxted Park. (See reading Banns below) Both of you will need to give notice of intention to marry to the Superintendent Registrar in the district in which you live and you both must have lived in England or Wales for at least seven whole days immediately prior to giving a Notice of Marriage. On 2nd March this year, the law has changed and couples now have to give 28 clear days’ notice of marriage, rather than 15 days which it was required previously.
If you are planning to get married in a different district to where you live you will need to apply for and obtain the authority for your marriage to take place. This authority must be delivered to the Minister of the church or Superintendent Registrar of the district in which you are to marry. While this is an important step, and one which the register office will help you with, it is a formality and you will be able to marry in any Register Office or 'approved premises' in England or Wales irrespective of where you live.
What documents will we need to provide?
When you give notice of your marriage, you will both need to provide proof of your identity. A current passport is the best way of proving your identity but the register office may accept other forms of ID.
If either of you has been married before, either in this country or abroad, you will need to show proof of your divorce. For those divorced in England or Wales this will be a court stamped copy of the decree absolute
If you or your partner is a widow or widower, you will need to provide a certified copy of your former partner's death certificate, and in certain cases a copy of the marriage certificate as well. For those wanting to get married under the age of 18, the register office will need to see proof that your parents or guardian agree to the marriage.
Reading of Banns
If you would like to get married in an Anglican Church, such as All Saints at Great Braxted, you don’t need to give notice at the register office. Instead you should contact the church in which you would like to be married and they will arrange for your Banns to be read.
Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. Banns need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the church in which you are to be married, if that is somewhere else.
You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. This is often done over three consecutive Sundays but does not have to be. If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, the Common Licence procedure needs to be used rather than banns.
The wedding coordinators at Braxted Park are extremely experienced in arranging both civil ceremonies and church weddings so will be able to guide you through the process.