There are three types of marriages recognised under the law in Nigeria. They are: marriage in a registry, customary marriage, and church marriage. A church marriage according to Lexico is a wedding held in a church (with religious ceremonial), especially as opposed to one in a register office or other secular location.
In this article, we would be examining certain requirements that every couple which intends to get married in a church must be aware of. These requirements are so important that if overlooked, they could affect the validity of a marriage. Section 21 of the Marriage Act provides for these requirements. They include:
1. The marriage must be done in a licensed place of worship:
There are a lot of churches in Nigeria, but only a handful of them are eligible to conduct marriage ceremonies. Before deciding to marry in a particular church, it is essential that the couple find out if the church in question has a license to join them. A marriage conducted in an unlicensed place of worship is invalid.
2. The Minister joining the couple must be a recognised minister of that church, denomination or body:
Where a couple decides to get married in a Catholic church for instance, the marriage ceremony must be performed by a Catholic priest. If a pastor from another denomination performs the solemnization, that marriage will be invalid.
3. The marriage must be celebrated within 8am - 6pm:
A couple intending to get married in a church must make sure that their wedding ceremony is done between eight o'clock in the morning and six o'clock in the evening. Any marriage done outside the times provided will be held as invalid.
4. There must be two or more witnesses at the ceremony apart from the officiating minister:
During the marriage ceremony, not less than two witnesses must be present. These witnesses have to be distinct from the bride, groom and the officiating minister.
Content created and supplied by: Busayomi (via Opera News )