Civil, then Church wedding


My name is Diana, and I've been engaged for less than a month. My fiance and I have been dating for 3 years, but he lives in the UK and me in the USA.
Since he will be coming to the USA to live with me, we decided to do the civil wedding here with my family and the church wedding in the UK in a few years.
As we are planning our weddings, he was told we cannot marry in the UK in the church unless 10 years have passed. 

Is this true, or is there a way to bypass it?

Re: Civil, then Church wedding

  • Options
    Shout out to a fellow Texas lady with a UK fiancé! (Mine's from way up north)

    Legally, you can only "marry" a person once without divorcing them. The UK recognizes US marriages (and vice versa), so the first civil ceremony is it as far as an actual wedding goes. However, this is to your advantage, because the laws surrounding legal UK weddings are archaic and labyrinthine compared to America! (For example, a UK church wedding only counts if it is CoE, Quaker, or Jewish; all other denominations must do a civil ceremony first anyway and then the religious ceremony is after - this is why I'm having my wedding here in America, where any preacher is a valid officiant by virtue of being a preacher, with no question of denominations. UK weddings must be indoors, and the building must be licensed for weddings and is specifically licensed for religious or civil, with no crossover)

    Instead, your UK church ceremony will fall under either a vow renewal or a wedding blessing ceremony, which are much easier to organize. As far as the legal system is concerned, they're only parties (yes, even if you wear a white dress and recite vows), so it's down to what you, your spouse, and the officiant want to do, since you're already legally married from your American ceremony.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards