THE ART OF GETTING MARRIED

Requirements of the Church and of the Law, and some Advice on Living in Double Harness A CYNICAL bachelor once asserted that TT the initial cost of getting married did not amount to much; it was the subsequent expenditure that told the tab in ones banking account. Incidental! , the mere ceremony is not quite so easy as the character in one of Dickenss books would have it: Hallo! He said, heres a church – lets get married! Quite a number of formalities have to be gono through first. By Special Licence The most costly way, which perhaps was unknown to the bachelor already mentioned, is by Special Licence. This is granted at the Faculty Office, 23 Knight-Street, Doctors Commons, London, E.C.4, within a stonos throw of St. Pauls Cathedral. With this in his pocket, after payment of fees amounting to £30, a prospective bridegroom may wed the girl of his choice at any time or place; Sufficient reasons for granting this privilege must be given, otherwise the Archbishop of Canterbury will refuse the application. A Special Licence dispenses with the ordinary requirements of the law, and his Grace attends to the matter personally. Applicants seldom have to wait for more than three or four days. By Ordinary Licence A Common Licence, which may be used as soon as it is issued, may also be had from the Faculty Office. Application must be made by one of the two parties principally concerned. The fees are £2. The Bishops Registrar of each See also issues such a licence, but it only allows the parties to marry in the dioceso in which 15 it is granted. Thus a man who obtained a liconce in Peterborough could not uso it in Bournemouth. There are also various clerical surrogates who issue licences. One of the parties must have resided in the parish of the church where the ceremony is to take place for fifteen days immediately before the granting of the licence. No banns are necessary. By Banns Most members of the Church of England prefer to put up the banns. In other words, the clergyman makes a public announcement, during divine service on three consecutive Sundays, of the forth-coming marriage. If the man and woman five in different parishes, the banns must be read in both. If anything prevents the ceremony from taking place within three months the banns must be published again.

If a marriage is to take place in a Non-conformist church or place of worship not of the Established Church, a certificate or licence is necessary. Notice must be given to the Superintendent Registrar or ether Registration Officer. Tae attendance of a Registrar of Marriages is required at Nonconformist buildings registered for solemnizing marriages, unless an Authorized Person has been appointed at such building, within the provision? Of the Marriage Act of 1898, but the Superintendent Registrar and a Registrar of Marriages of the district must be present if the ceremony takes place in a Register Office. If both parties five in the same registration district – the minimum period of residence is soven days preceding the application – the certificate will be granted after twenty-one clear days have elapsed, but if in different registration districts, notice must be given to a Registration Officer in each district. The same residential qualification is necessary. In England one in four of all weddings takes place in a Register Office, so popular has this method become. By Licence

Marriage by licence requires notice by one of the parties only, even though both live in different districts, and notice may be given in either place, provided that one of the parties has resided in the district for fifteen days previously. One whole working day must elapse before the licence is granted.

Notice of intended marriage must be given to a Registration Officer by members of tke Society of Friends and by Jews. A Registrar of Marriages does net attend the ceremony.

In Scotland, what is known as a regular marriage may take place after the proclamation of banns on one Sunday or on giving notice to the Registrar. An acknowledgment of marriage is irregular but legal, provided that either the man or woman has resided in Scotland for three weeks or more. Some General Rules

Here are a few rules of general application: Marriages, other than by Special Licence, must take place between 8 a.m. And 3 p.m.

At least two witnesses must be present, and they must sign the entries in the registry books .

Marriage is prohibited under 16 years of age.

The consent of both parents, or the sur-viving parent if one is dead, or of a guardian, must be given if the parties are under 21 years of age.

A declaration must be made that there is no legal impediment to the marriage.