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Marrying at Magdalene

Marrying at Magdalene

Magdalene is a stunning location for a wedding, with both ancient buildings and modern facilities.

A professional team is here to help with all aspects of planning the wedding and organising the day itself.

The College is licensed for Civil Ceremonies and has excellent facilities for the wedding reception. Magdalene is a popular wedding venue so it is advised to make early contact with the Conference and Events Team to discuss your requirements for the wedding day. It is important to do this as soon as possible, and before confirming any wider arrangements.

Use of the Chapel

The Governing Body’s permission is required for marriage in the College Chapel. You can apply to be married in Chapel if you are, or have been, a Magdalene Fellow, student, or if you are a member of staff.

If you would like to consider marrying in Magdalene Chapel, you should first contact the Conference and Events Team to discuss possible dates. Having done that, you will need to make contact with the Chaplain, who will help you both with the process of applying to be married in Chapel and with planning the service.

Marrying at Magdalene College Chapel

Marriage is a great milestone in any life, a moment of wonder and joy and a public lifelong commitment to each other. In a Christian context, marriage is a sign of God’s love for the world and of his commitment to all people.

Magdalene College is a superb venue for a wedding, and a marriage service in Chapel can be a rich and meaningful start to your married life.

Marrying at Magdalene FAQ

Where do we start?

In the first instance, you will need to contact the Conference Office to discuss dates and make an initial booking. You should then contact the College Chaplain .

Conference Office - Wedding Co-ordinator
T 01223 332 138

College Chaplain - The Rev’d Sarah Atkins
T 01223 332 129

It is essential that you speak with both the Conference Office and the Chaplain at an early stage.

Can we get married in Magdalene Chapel?

Permission from the Governing Body, and a Special Licence, are needed to marry in Chapel. You can apply to be married if you are, or have been, a Magdalene Fellow, student, or if you are a member of staff.

When can we get married?

Weddings can be held on any day, though weekends are usually preferred. The marriage service usually takes place between 8am and 6pm.

The College is used as a venue for many events and conferences, both in term and in the vacation, so early discussion of dates with the Conference Office is necessary.


Do we need a licence?

To be married in the College Chapel, you will need a Special Licence from the Faculty Office. The Chaplain will guide you through the procedure.

If you are not eligible for a Special Licence, there is a blessing service which can follow a Civil Marriage ceremony; the Chaplain can advise.

What is in the service?

The standard text of the marriage service is available on the Church of England website.

You will need to choose at least one Bible reading and you can also have other readings such as a poem with the agreement of the Chaplain.

How much does it cost?

For the marriage service, there is a standard fee for the use of Chapel which is currently £200. Couples are also encouraged to make a donation to the work of the Chapel. The Conference Office will advise you on costs for the reception.

The fee for the Special Licence is currently around £325.

If you would like the College to provide an organist, singers, or musicians, there will be an additional fee for this, to be negotiated with the Director of College Music.

How many people fit in Chapel?

The Chapel pews will comfortably seat around seventy people. With additional seating, more can be accommodated; the Chaplain can advise.

Will we have a wedding rehearsal?

There is usually a wedding rehearsal in the week preceding your service. The Chaplain will meet you, together with your families and key attendants (bridesmaids, best men) and will explain the logistics of the day.

How long will the service take?

As a rough guide (depending on exactly what is included in the service) a wedding might last between 50 minutes and an hour.

What about music?

Typically, a marriage service includes two hymns sung by the congregation, and music as you enter and leave the Chapel. A selection of wedding hymn suggestions is available on the Church of England website.

The College may be able to provide an organist; please contact Director of College Music, Mr Graham Walker, to discuss your requirements. If you would like to bring your own musicians, or would like to explore the possibility of a choir, please also discuss this with Mr Walker.


Can we take photographs?

Your photographer can take photos, with flash, as you enter and leave the Chapel. They can also, without flash, take photos during the service, so long as they remain relatively stationary.

Can we video the service?

Yes, but an extra fee will apply. The Director of College Music can advise you.

Can we have flowers?

Please ask the Wedding Coordinator in the Conference Office for advice.

Do we need witnesses?

Yes, you will need two adults.

Should we print an order of service?

So that the congregation can easily follow the service and join in with any hymns we strongly advise that you produce a service sheet. The Chaplain will advise you on layout and content.

One of us is from another Christian denomination, does that matter?

No, although it must be a Church of England minister who officiates at the legal elements of the marriage service. We are delighted to welcome people from all Christian denominations for marriage in Chapel. If you are regular members of another congregation, it may be possible to involve your priest, minister, or pastor in part of the service. Roman Catholic weddings may be possible too in partnership with the University Catholic Chaplaincy.

One of us is not baptised, does that matter?

No, there’s no requirement that you must be baptised before you are married in the Church of England. We encourage everyone who is marrying in church to think about why they want to do so, and if you aren’t baptised we would be happy to discuss this with you.

One of us is divorced, does that matter?

While the Church believes that marriage is a lifelong commitment, we recognise that, sadly, some marriages do fail for a variety of reasons. The Church does marry those who are divorced; however, the Chaplain will want to talk frankly with you about the past and your hopes for the future before agreeing to conduct a ceremony in Chapel.

One of us is not British, does that matter?

As part of the Special Licence application you will both need to submit prove of nationality. If you are a non-UK citizen the procedure for the legal preliminaries to the marriage is more extensive. You will be guided by the Faculty office when you make your application for a Special Licence.

Your wedding day should be a day of celebration and excitement, and we’ll do all we can to guide you through the preparations, so do be in touch with any questions or worries.