Can I get married in a church if Im not religious?

Im worried about the weather so Im looking for an indoor ceremony venue. Theres a church right next door to my mum's house so I thought I might have it there. But Im not religious. Can I have a civil ceremony in a church??

Annabel O

Question Asked: 29/05/2017

Wedding Date: 4/10/2018

Most Helpful Response

Kim O'Sullivan Celebrant

(11) · Wollongong, South Coast (as far as Nowra), Southern Highlands and Sydney

Posted: 20/06/2017

Hi Annabel

Ask at the venue if it is ok.

Answered by: 14 Experts

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Treasured Ceremonies

(16) · Byron Bay to Ballina , North Coast NSW and Gold Coast QLD

Posted: 19/06/2017

That will depend on the church, some will require you to join them or at least do orientation.

An alternative would be to choose a civil ceremony and add some religion into it

Marina Payne Celebrancy

(19) · Yarra Valley and all of Melbourne

Posted: 19/06/2017


If it is not part of a venue you would have to have the permission of the clergy. There is no reason that you could not have it in a church but remember it is private property so permission would have to gained and probably a fee paid for the use of the chapel. Hope you find the perfect place.

Scott Phillips Celebrant - Master of Ceremonies Sydney

(3) · Sydney and surrounds | Blue Mountains and surrounds

Posted: 5/06/2017

Hi Annabel,

As you can see from the other response the answer is grey and depends on the church in question. My advise would be to approach the church you are looking at and see what options they can offer.

If you have any other questions please let us know.



If you don't ask you'll never know, I would be shocked if they said no.

I would be interested to hear the outcome..

Best of luck Annabel

Sharen Pelly Celebrant

(0) · Brisbane

Posted: 2/06/2017

Hi Annabel. You don't have to be religious to be married in a church. There are many churches that are simply for hire as a venue for weddings or even funerals etc. which are not affiliated with religious denominations. You would have to find out who runs the church next door to your Mother, and enquire as to what their requirements are in respect to a wedding. Regards Sharen Pelly.

Helen Pickering Celebrant

(1) · Hunter Valley

Posted: 2/06/2017

You would have to check with the church and sometimes they may require you to do a short course. You dont have to be religious to be married in a church generally but each church may have its individual regulations. Best wishes, Helen Pickering CMC

Kyle Marshall Celebrant Services

(3) · Wollongong & Sydney

Posted: 1/06/2017

Absolutely, many couples wish to have their ceremony performed in a church for various reasons despite not benign religious themselves.

Just like any other private property it just depends on the owners permission.

If it is a public church however this may complicate things. Best to speak to the owners/reverend of the church.

Have a blast of a day.


Pete the Celebrant

(85) · Melbourne and surrounds, Yarra Valley and surrounds

Posted: 1/06/2017

Hey Annabel,

If you want the ceremony in a church yet you're not religious then that's fine! There are no legal reasons why you can't get married there by a civil celebrant.
You will need to check that the leader/pastor/priest of the church allow couples to marry there. I've done weddings in churches before and there wasn't a hassle, it was a great ceremony.

Have a wonderful ceremony!


Greentree Ceremonies - Philip Greentree

(7) · Hunter Vineyards | Port Stephens | Newcastle | Lake Macquarie | Central Coast, Sydney & Elsewhere by

Posted: 31/05/2017

Annabel, the answer is yes and no! If the church is privately owned, yes. There are many privately owned churches being used as ceremony venues. If the church is still owned by a parish, the answer is generally NO! Some religions regard civil celebrants as equivalent to "dealing with Satan." Not withstanding that, some Protestant parishes have realised their churches, now rarely used on Saturday afternoons, can generate significant income from civil weddings. You will have t ask around. Churches such as St Patrick's at Nulkaba in the Hunter Valley are interesting in that, while privately owned, they were never deconsecrated by the Diocese. I have, on occasion followed with my ceremony immediately after a Catholic wedding with a priest.

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