Wedding banns – everything you need to know

In the run up to your wedding day, it can be all too easy to get carried away with seating plans, colour themes and button holes. However, before you walk down the aisle, there’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be taken care of, otherwise you may find yourselves unable to say your ‘I Dos’ on the big day.

Female pastor

If you’re getting married in a Church of England ceremony, or another affiliated denomination, you’ll need to ensure your wedding banns are read in the run up to your wedding day. To help you navigate this ancient legal requirement and ensure your ceremony goes off without a hitch, we’re taking a closer look at everything you need to know about wedding banns.

What are wedding banns?

Wedding banns publically announce two people’s intention to marry. As Brides Magazine describes, “Your intention to marry is announced by your minister on three Sundays in the three months before the wedding. They must be read in your parish church, as well as in the church where the ceremony is to take place.” Traditionally, this reading of the banns gave other parishioners the chance to raise objections to a wedding. These days, however, it’s more of a formality and it’s very rare for any issues to arise following the reading of wedding banns.

How to arrange wedding banns?

If you already know which church you want to marry in, pop in and talk to your vicar about when the wedding banns should be read. If this is your local church, then the banns only need to be read in this one location. However, if you plan to marry in another church – for example, the church where your parents got married – then the banns will need to be read in both locations. Your local vicar should still be able to arrange this, so make sure you talk to them at least four months before the big day.

Do you still need wedding banns if you’re not marrying in church?

Although you don’t need to worry about having your wedding banns read if you’re not marrying in a Church of England ceremony, you do still need to ‘give notice’ that you plan to wed. In order for your marriage to be legal, you need to give at least 28 days’ notice before your wedding, no more than 12 months in advance. The documents outlining your intention to marry have to be on view at your local registry office for at least 28 days.

Although paperwork may not be the most exciting or glamorous part of planning a wedding, it is one of the most important. Find out more about planning an unforgettable wedding day by exploring our site or getting in touch with a member of our team.

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Clearwell Castle, please don't hesitate to call Charlotte via the contact details below:


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