What happens after we have booked the Wedding?
You will be encouraged to attend our Marriage Preparation Course which is a relaxed and informal preparation for the day and rest of your lives together. Couples who take this course have attested to how useful it was to discuss between themselves these important things. Do not worry: you don’t have to say anything out loud in front of strangers.
Please keep in touch with us as you make plans. If you have any questions please ask them as soon as you can, rather than leaving them to the last minute.
In any case, please contact a Fr David about three months before the wedding; he will want to meet you to talk about the wedding and get to know you. You can discuss with him not only the practicalities of the service, but also anything else which might be on your mind.
Most importantly, start coming to Sunday Mass which starts at 10:00am and lasts no more than one hour. This makes the fundamental change between getting married at the Church and getting married at our Church. Try to make it a regular part of your preparation: you won’t regret it!
When Fr David meets you, he will make an appointment with you for a wedding rehearsal, which will take place at some mutually convenient time in the few days before the wedding, usually on the Weds or Thurs evening in the week before in the evening,
The bride and groom are of course essential at the rehearsal, but it is helpful if anyone else who is involved in the ceremony can be there. This would include the best man, the bridesmaids, ushers and whoever is giving the bride away. The Photographer might wish to come to scope out the venue if they have never shot a wedding in our Churches before.
Incidentally, the practice of ‘giving away the bride’ is optional. It is up to the bride whether she wishes to be given away, and by whom. It need not be her father who does this. She can choose anyone, male or female, whom she feels has played an important part in her life and accompanies her down the aisle. No words are said at the ‘giving away’, but a gesture and an acknowledgement.
On the day…
We hope your wedding day will be one to remember – for all the right reasons. The most important people on that day are the two of you, so try to relax and let others take as much of the strain as possible.
The details of the service will be explained at the rehearsal, and the priest will talk you through the ceremony on the day. You do not have to learn any words or remember anything. However, there are some things you can do which will help.
Be on time!
Allow plenty of time for getting to church. The photographer is likely to want to take pictures of the groom before the wedding so remember to allow time for that.
There is a belief that it is traditional for the bride to be late. In fact, though, it just makes everyone nervous if the bride is seriously late – so don’t do it if you can help it. Instead, please try to arrive five minutes early. This will allow time for unhurried photographs of you arriving, rather than a last minute dash. If you are early, don’t let your driver persuade you to go once around the block. It is much better to stop the car at the church and wait there. There might be a traffic jam around the block! If there is a serious emergency then please call a member of the Clergy to inform him.
Sometimes there are issues which make you late. This is not a problem, because you can call the priest taking the service (Fr David is on 07768-687605) and let him know, and he can inform the congregation of the expected delay. If you simply expect to be ‘fashionably late’ then the priest will send the choir and organist home and the service will be conducted without music. If you are seriously late without good reason, the priest may even decline to take the service altogether. This is especially important when there is more than one wedding on a given day. We always allow at least two hours between your service and the previous one, but we ask you to be mindful of others who are getting married that day.
One for the road?
We cannot go ahead with your wedding if you are drunk. This is because you cannot give consent unless you are in control of yourself. A drink to steady your nerves is fine, but a best man who fills you full of Dutch courage in the pub is not doing you any favours.
Stag and Hen nights the night before are strongly discouraged! Neither of you want this special day marred with a hangover! Sort that out a week or so before and have a good time, but don’t overdo it (and no last-minute drunken tattoos either!)
What if things go wrong?
No wedding goes like clockwork: it rains, Brides forget their flowers, guests get lost, people fluff their lines and occasionally Fr. David can call someone by the wrong name. This is normal. It is not the end of the world. We are practiced at smoothing things out and keeping calm while we do so.
If the legal requirements have been met – banns called etc. – and if the bride and groom arrive (and are sober – see above!), the wedding will go ahead and there is no reason why it should not be a joyful occasion. Ultimately it is the love and the commitment between you which makes the day, not whether every detail goes to plan, and many of the things which have kept you awake at night will slip by without you even noticing them. So please, try not to worry too much.
What is most important is that you enjoy the day. It will be over so quickly and so you must not focus on the things that may go awry, but concentrate on coming together as a new creation in the sight of God: a married couple.