We gladly welcome anyone and everyone to the Cathedral, whose primary purpose is to be a centre of Christian prayer and worship, open to all.

People come here to pray, to attend public worship and to visit this beautiful and historic building.

People also come to mark before God, through prayer and worship, particular events in their lives.

The Cathedral is glad to help with the celebration of the ‘solemnisation of matrimony’ (which includes legal registration of the marriage itself) and which is subject to civil and church law. 

The Cathedral offers a delightful and ancient venue for weddings in the heart of the city, with photogenic interior and grounds, and we are glad to welcome couples who want to begin a Christian marriage here.

However, although the rules on civil weddings have been relaxed, the law still sets out strict limits on eligibility for marriage in church.  The changes in 2008 that made it easier to get married in a particular church do not unfortunately apply to cathedrals.

If you live in the Cathedral Parish, and have not been married before, then you have an absolute right to be married at the Cathedral.

A note on the Church of England

Everyone in England lives in a parish which is served by a parish church. You normally have the right to baptism, wedding and funeral in the parish in which you are resident. The Cathedral is also a parish church: its parish covers much of the area inside the city centre ring road and, if you live there, then the Cathedral is your local church. If you live elsewhere then you need either to have some connection with the Cathedral already or to become a member of the congregation.  You will also need the goodwill of your local parish priest as well as meeting the legal requirements.

For more information on weddings in the Church of England please go here.

If you do not live in the Parish you will need to be able to show sufficient connection with it in one of two ways.

If you have been baptized or confirmed at the Cathedral or attended its worship regularly in the past for a sufficient period of time, then you may be eligible to obtain a Special Licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury allowing you to marry here.  This currently costs £180 and requires filling in a form of enquiry and swearing an affidavit.

If not, then you can acquire the right to be married by joining the Cathedral Electoral Roll, in other words, becoming a formal member of the Cathedral congregation.  To do this you and/or your fiancé(e) must have already been baptized and then attend worship at the Cathedral regularly for six months: you are then eligible to join the Electoral Roll.

‘Regularly’ (the actual word used in the law is ‘habitually’) means normally twice a month, unless reasonably prevented by illness or ‘other sufficient cause’.  Attendance does not have to be at the main 10.15am service, but could be at 8.00am, 4.00pm or 6.30pm services as appropriate.  This is a serious commitment, and you will need to show that you have done this in order to be legally qualified to marry at the Cathedral.

An alternative option?

An alternative option is for you to be legally married in the registry office and then have a service of celebration, prayer and dedication at the Cathedral, which does not have the same legal requirements.  Anyone can do this as long as the Cathedral Clergy agree that it is appropriate.

If one or both of you have already been married and divorced, then there is no legal right to be married in church, but there are circumstances in which it may be possible. In order to establish whether it is appropriate for you to have a Christian wedding at the Cathedral, you will both need to meet confidentially with one of the clergy over a period of time to talk through what happened in your past relationships, to identify what went wrong and what part you had in the breakdown of the relationship, and then to have a time of private confession to offer the past to God. You must therefore be willing to be honest in talking about difficult things, and able to believe that Jesus Christ comes to set you free from past wrongs and mistakes. You must also affirm that you have made appropriate provision for past partners and children, if this is relevant. We also have to reserve the right to decide during the process that we will in conscience be unable to proceed further. The reason we have this process is because we take you and your future marriage seriously, and will work and pray for you both to have a new start together; it is costly for us as well as you in time and energy (though we do not make a charge for it), and is for those who are serious about wanting to make a new start with God in married life.

Renewal of Vows

If you are already married, and would like renew the vows you made during your marriage ceremony, following discussion with Cathedral Clergy, a service may be arranged

How much will our wedding cost?

The cost of a wedding or blessing varies between £600 and £1500 depending on what is entailed and what ‘extras’ you require - such as the traditional sound of bells ringing out as you leave the Cathedral, or the Choir singing your chosen hymns and an anthem as you sign the registers after the wedding ceremony.

Although weddings normally happen on a Saturday afternoon, they can take place on any day between 8am and 6pm, depending on availability.

Contact Us

If you are interested in getting married in the Cathedral, or would like further information, please contact the Clergy Team through the Cathedral Office - full details are at the bottom of this page.

… and finally, a note on Confetti

The use of confetti, both within the Cathedral building and its grounds, is strictly prohibited as this is a Conservation Area and the dyes used stain the stone.  Rice is also prohibited as it does not decompose quickly and attracts vermin.

If you want to use confetti in the Cathedral grounds natural petals, which have not been dyed, are the only option.           Bradford Cathedral, Stott Hill, Bradford, BD1 4EH  

T: 01274 777720   F: 01274 777730


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