Life Events > Weddings


Marrying in church is personal, meaningful and spiritual just as you want it to be. Churches are special and unique places to get married in – the prayers, promises and the whole service of celebration become part of your marriage, on the day itself and beyond.

Here at St Patrick’s Church in Whitehead & St John’s Church in Islandmagee, we love to conduct and celebrate marriages and consider it a great privilege to help couples prepare for this lifelong commitment.  There are many things to do when planning a wedding, but the ceremony is central to the day and we can help make it one of the most special and memorable days of your life. 

To be married in church you must be willing not only to ask for God’s blessing upon your union but also to show that you seek to live your lives according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

First things first - setting the date

Before you confirm your wedding date and book your reception, speak to the Rector of the church to discuss your plans and to make sure that the date you have in mind is a day when the Rector is available to conduct your wedding and that the Church has no other events taking place that day.

Contact the Rector to talk about your wedding ideas and he will be happy to advise you how to proceed: Canon Mark Taylor, Tel: 07719619286 or email

Please note there are certain requirements to be married in a Church of Ireland church building, which the Rector will explain along with any other questions you may have.  Additionally, there are particular processes to be followed if one or both parties have been divorced, or if one of you has been brought up in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Ideas and information to help you with your planning

Follow the link here in bold to find out more about- Getting married in the Church of Ireland.

Below is another helpful website full of ideas to help as you plan your wedding day, that was prepared for the Church of England, but do check with our Rector to make sure your ideas can be accommodated here, as there may be some differences in the way weddings may be conducted here in Northern Ireland.

Blessing of your Marriage

Many couples who have had a civil wedding decide they would like to dedicate their marriage to God in church.

A husband and wife can have their marriage blessed in St Patrick’s or St John’s Church, whether they got married in the UK or abroad. For couples who marry abroad, it can be a way of ensuring more family and friends can celebrate the marriage if they were unable to travel to another country for the legal marriage.

It is a simple service acknowledging the commitment already made between husband and wife during a civil ceremony and asks for God’s blessing and guidance in your new life together.

Because it is not a marriage service, there is no exchange of rings and there is no signing of the Register. It can however be designed to have a similar feel to a wedding with hymns, readings and flowers if you would like that, or it can be an intimate, low key service.

Moreover, you can have a blessing whenever you like, so long as the church and the Rector are free on your preferred date.

Many couples have opted for this service where one or both of them is remarrying after divorce. If this is your situation, talk things through with the Rector, who can offer guidance on remarrying in church or having a blessing.

If you would like to find out more about having your marriage blessed, contact our Rector, Mark Taylor by email or Tel: 07719619286

Information for same-sex couples

Regrettably the doctrine of the Church of Ireland prevents ministers of the church from carrying out same-sex marriages. And although there are no authorised services for blessing same-sex civil marriage, your local church will support you with prayer.

The doctrine of the Church of Ireland is that marriage is between one man and one woman; this is therefore the only form of marriage which may be celebrated within the Church of Ireland presently.

Anglican doctrine is expressed through liturgy, and the Church currently has no liturgy in relation to civil partnership or same-sex marriage.

The Rector may be invited to offer prayer following a same-sex marriage union under the understanding that it must remain consonant with the spirit and teaching of the Church of Ireland. 

Contact Rector, Mark Taylor by email or Tel: 07719619286 if you would like to seek advice and support as you plan your Marriage or Civil Partnership. We promise to be sensitive to your wishes and to offer encouragement where we can, until such time as the Church of Ireland amends its doctrines and liturgy to include same-sex marriage.