We’re planning a church wedding. What do we do now?
Congratulations! We wish you well as you begin your journey into married life.
We believe that marriage is a wonderful gift from God. In the marriage ceremony, a couple make a public declaration of lifelong commitment to love each other, come what may.
You can get married in a church where one or both of the couple can establish a ‘Qualifying Connection’ with the parish. This connection may be any one of the seven that follow, that either of the couple:
None of the above affects the existing rights of residents or those on the Church Electoral Roll. When someone applies to be married, the church will ask the couple to supply proof that one of the qualifying conditions applies before a booking can be made.
The legal fees for a marriage cover the publication of the banns, the marriage service and a certificate of marriage. These fees are fixed centrally and will be around £500. These fees do not cover any extras you may wish to have for the service, such as flowers, bell-ringers, fees for video recording and so on. Ask the Vicar for a list of fees for these.
Yes. You might have firm ideas on your choice of favourite hymns or readings to include in your service. If you need further advice, the Vicar can help.
A wedding ring is a symbol of unending love and faithfulness, and of the commitment you are making to each other. It is entirely up to you whether you have one ring or two.
You will need to ask permission from the Vicar and there is a fee chargeable and a form to sign. Permission is not required to record the authorised words of the service, but bear in mind there may be copyright issues if you’re recording a person’s performance (e.g. a professional organist) or using copyright hymns or readings.
The priest taking your service will probably want to meet you and the other key people taking part in the service before the wedding, in the church, to talk to you all about what to expect. The key people involved will include the bride, groom, best man, bridesmaids and pageboys and whoever is giving the bride away.
We have a team of skilled flower arrangers who can do this for you at a reasonable charge and they will be very happy to discuss options with you. You can also do your own flower arrangements or engage your own florist. Ask for the telephone number of the Flower Team when making your church booking with the Vicar.
Yes – it’s possible to get married overseas and then have a blessing ceremony in front of family and friends in the UK. There is a service of prayer and dedication after a civil ceremony which can be adapted. There are no legal requirements or set fees.
The Church of England believes that marriage is for life. But it also recognises that some marriages fail. Please get in touch to discuss your circumstances with us. All applications for remarriage are handled with care and sensitivity. The Vicar will want to talk to you frankly about your past experiences and your hopes for the future. A remarriage is conducted after careful consultation and only after all legal requirements have been satisfied.
Even when it’s not possible to do a full wedding, the Vicar can offer you a service of prayer and dedication, asking for God’s blessing on your relationship.
People of all denominations have a right to be married in their parish church (provided they have not been married before). So it doesn’t matter from the Church of England’s perspective.