Planning the Service
A wedding is not just a personal celebration; it is also a legal ceremony, marking a change in your legal status. Because of this, there are rules made by the government about how the service is conducted; by whom, where, and what is said within it.
However, within those limits we can work with you to plan a service which will be special for you. Ultimately the form the service takes is at our discretion, but we like to be flexible and we will enjoy hearing your ideas and helping you plan. For example, the law says that you can’t write your own vows, but you can write your own prayers, choose readings or poems, and choose the music. So, don’t be afraid to ask if there is something special you would like. We have, frankly, seen just about everything! However, don’t book things without checking with the priest taking the service, as this is still a public act of worship and you have not just “booked the church” for the day. You will have the opportunity to explore these choices fully when you meet with the parish clergy.
Neither of you will be asked to “obey”. It is not part of the Church of England wedding ceremony any more, and it compromises our integrity and beliefs about the equality and mutuality that makes a lifelong and successful marriage. It is not an option.
What is the service like?
The Service will usually last about 40 minutes, and will contain not only the legal exchange of vows, but also a bible reading, prayers, a blessing, a short address and the signing of the registers.
If you are a regular worshipper at our Church, the service can include Holy Communion (‘A Nuptial Mass’) if you wish, but this is not very common these days. The Nuptial Mass is particularly lovely.
You won’t have to worry about kneeling during the Service (most couples prefer to stand throughout these days) so you won’t have to worry about creasing the dress; and the Groom won’t have to have “help me!” painted on his shoes! If you need to, there are plenty of places for you to sit!
Paying for the Wedding
Wedding Fees are made up of a number of charges. There is a statutory fee which goes into the central funds of the Church of England from which clergy are paid. We do not get paid extra for conducting weddings.
We would also suggest a donation for the use of the church buildings, which help maintain it as a facility for the community and to pay for the wedding preparation weekend. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy if our beautiful church wasn’t here for your children’s baptism? Or their own wedding?
It is now also our practice to make a collection either during a third hymn or during the signing of the registers whilst a piece of music is being played and the legal formalities are being completed. We may ask your ushers to assist with the collection.
The Wedding Fees will go up slightly on 1st January each year and the fee you pay will be the fee at the time of the wedding, not at the time of booking.
As for many, a blessing following a civil marriage, is seen as almost the same as wedding, the cost is the usual fee, less the statutory Church of England fee.
We require a non-refundable deposit of £100 with your booking. We can only regard your booking as provisional until this deposit is paid.