This £2 license was obtained at either the Faculty Office, the Vicar-General’s Office, the Doctor’s Commons, or at the chosen church where the bride and groom were to be married.
On top of these fees,the officiating clergyman needed to be paid (usually according to the position and means of the groom), and the clerk who legalized the marriage required a tip.
Interestingly, in Britain, all fees relating to marriage were paid by the , and most of the marriage details were left on his shoulders, including the purchase of the bride’s wedding ring and her bouquet, as well as the bouquets and trinkets for the bridesmaids!
In America, the arrangements and the details, if not the financial expense, of the wedding were largely assumed by the bride and her family, leaving the groom with little to do besides show up on the chosen date.
To counteract this legality, a special license was obtained (during most of the 19th century, only a few were in position to obtain them) from the Archbishop of Canterbury, after application at the Faculty Office–though a very special reason had to be given to meet with his approval. Two other options for marriage in England were marriage by “banns” and marriage by license.
The “banns,” from an Old English word meaning “to summon”, were the public announcement in church that a marriage was going to take place between two specified persons.
Once the bride alighted from the carriage, the bridesmaids and ushers preceded her, two by two, as her father escorted her down the aisle.
To him went the responsibility of making certain an awning and carpet were laid on the church floor, that a man was outside to assist guests from their carriages and maintain order, that another man was at the door to check invitations, and that a policeman was there to keep those uninvited away.