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Brides and Grooms Continue to Turn Their Back on the Church

WeddingChaos.co.uk has conducted a survey of over 1,200  people to find out where they will get married.

Results show that less than 48% of couples want a traditional church wedding – echoing the trend of declining numbers of church goers, and the move towards a more secular society.

Two years ago the Anglican Church, concerned about their falling numbers, debated whether to relax their current rules for church weddings, which stipulate that the bride or groom must live or worship in the parish before they can marry in the church.  Moreover, with no agreement yet reached by the church on this issue, the rules remain unchanged, and the erosion in the numbers of church weddings continues.  However, there are still many who want to continue with tradition; bride to be, Beverly Spencer, intends to buck the trend, Beverly and her husband to be will be “getting married in church because we are both devout Catholics.” Yet the decline in church weddings has been a boost to licensed venues, with 26% of couples - up from only 5% in 1996 - now choosing to have a Civil Wedding in one of thousands of licensed venues throughout the UK.

Licensed venues have the extra appeal of ‘convenience’, with couples often able to tie the knot, hold their wedding breakfast, and their evening reception, all at the same location. The future Mrs Dale told us, “My fiancé and I are getting married in a licensed venue because he is not religious at all, even though I am. The reception venue we have chosen is more than 20 miles away from the church where we would have got married. It's a long way for guests to hike especially if they don't have cars so it made sense to get married at the venue. Plus the licensed venue is really nice”.

A further significant trend appears to be the number of couples (14%) who have chosen to turn their back, not only on the traditional church wedding, but also on the UK, as they opt to marry in Europe (6%) or further afield elsewhere in the world (8%). Wedding Chaos approached one bride to be, Rachel, to find out why. Rachel is currently preparing her wedding in the Dominican Republic and told us “my fiancé and I are getting married abroad because we have been together nearly 10 years now and this will be my second marriage. We didn't want to spend a fortune on just one day and wanted our friends and family to enjoy the wedding as part of an event. There are now just under 50 of us travelling for a 2 week all inclusive holiday at the Dominican Republic (at which we will also get married!). I think it has saved us a fortune!”

The remaining marriages, accounting for just 12% of couples, are held at the local Register Office.

With the trend in the UK moving evermore towards a secular society, we expect to see more and more couples opting to get married both abroad and in licensed venues.