Here is the scenario for getting married at the earliest opportunity by the reading of the banns method.

There are lots of “ifs” and “buts” in this explanation.

The minimum amount of days in the period between notice being given and the marriage taking place could be as little as 22.

If you gave written notice on a Saturday, eight days would pass before the first reading of the banns would take place. The first reading of the banns would take place, in effect, on the second Sunday but only 8 days after the giving of notice.The second reading of the banns would be read on the third Sunday (making a running total of 15 days), and the third and final reading of the banns would take place on the fourth Sunday in the time period, making a total of 22 days.

Now, the banns were read either after morning service or after evening service in both parishes where the applicants resided. (Section One of the 1753 Act)…


If both applicants for marraige resided in the same parish and if the banns were read after morning service andno objection to the marraige was made and the morning service ended at least 30 minutes before noon, then, in theory, the wedding could take place under the ecclisiastical hours rules : marriages could not be performed before 8 a.m or after 12 noon. If there was enough time to perform the ceremony- and a simple said service under the prayer book liturgy should take no longer than 20-30 minutes in my expereince, then the marriage could be legally concluded before the end of 22 days had elasped since the commencement of the process. But it might be a close run thing.

The period would of course be at least one day longer if the banns were read after evening service, for no wedding could legally be conclulded after noon.

Also I think that any parson would be unwilling to marry a couple in the morning immediately after the banns had been read in one parish, if they resided in different parishes, and without first checking that the banns had been read and not objected to in the other parish. Priests were subject to criminal charges if they married someone without due regard to the provisions of the Clandestine Marraiges Act, so I’m certian they would amke sure that all the legalities were properly concluded.