I have come across a few marriages, not many, which took place at the home of the bride. I imagine it wasn't a very common occurrence and I'm wondering if there would have to have been special circumstances applying for the priest to agree to conduct the ceremony other than in the parish church. Any views?
I've come across this too but never came up with any concrete reasons. Speculate on things like a parent being an invalid.
Before the RC church built a church infrastructure, it was taken for granted that a marriage would take place in the bride's family home.
This continued after churches were built, but it is impossible to know how the transition to church marriages occurred. Probably when people had a church of which they were proud, they wanted to use it for weddings.
Remember when a new church opened in rural or poor areas, it took decades to fit it out with flooring, seating etc. It was far from glamorous to marry on an earthen floor in a barn-like church, so the home was a more pleasant venue.
I have come across Church of Ireland marriages celebrated in private houses, so it was not a question of lack of churches. I suspect the habit ended with the Act of 1844 providing for the registration of non-Catholic marriages, which required marriages to take place in registered buildings. This would have been extended to Catholic marriages by the Act of 1863.
The one I'm currently looking at is a Catholic marriage in 1886. The bride was a farmer's daughter so I'm guessing the marriage took place in the farm house.
It ended earlier, an act of early 1800s, as the established church held the only statutory marriages, any private marriages were outlawed.