The process begins with a conversation with the minister, who will want to talk to the couple together. We will talk about why you want to marry, what is important to you, why marry in a church, and also practicalities like church fees and certificates.

Once a date is agreed, you need to contact your local register office to give formal notice of your intention to marry – find out which is your local register office using this website: The formal notice period needed is currently 28 days, and for some couples there will be a need to establish residency, or to attend an interview together, so you must make contact with the register office well ahead of the wedding date as the wedding can only go ahead if the register office has issued a certificate confirming that you are free to marry.

A legal wedding requires that certain words are said by the celebrant and by the couple, and those words are set in law. There is flexibility in the rest of the marriage service, and the choice of music, of readings and of any additional vows or declarations that you might wish to make in addition to the legal declarations.

It is now legally possible for a United Reformed Church to perform a wedding for a same-sex couple, however at present no church in Darwen or Tockholes is registered as a venue for this. It is possible to celebrate and pray for a civil wedding or civil partnership, and if this is something you wish to discuss please contact the minister.