We are delighted that you are thinking about getting married in this parish. The wedding has to take place at your Parish Church of All Saints. If you live in different parishes you can get married either here or in the other Parish Church.
The basic requirements for marriage are that you live in the parish, that you have not been married to anyone still living and that at least one of you has been Baptised (Christened. - To enter upon Christian Marriage you should be Christian - and Baptism is the sign of this.) Christian Marriage is a commitment for life to the other person, a commitment made in love, supported by prayer and hard work. It involves placing each other first, above all else, family, friends, work or other interests.
At the centre of Christian Marriage is the belief that your love for each other comes from God himself and is something truly wonderful and has the spark of the divine in it. It is also of this earth and should also have a down to earth, practical attitude to it as well! Things like finance and where to live need to be thought through as well as things like having children and managing Parents in Law!
As it is such a big commitment - the biggest you’ll ever make - it does need some considerable thought about it. Not least is the question ‘Is my love blind?’
So, how do we start the arrangements at church? The first thing is to give Fr Steve a ring (see below) or e-mail him to arrange a time for you and he to meet. He will then explain the ‘system’ and help you get things going. This starts with arranging the date and then sorting out the Banns.
Banns - This is an ancient way of telling the community about a wedding so that any questions are able to be raised. Your names are read out at the main service on three consecutive Sundays within 3 months of the wedding date with the invitation to any who know a reason why you should not be married to speak up. If you live in different parishes the banns must be called in both parishes regardless of which one you are to marry in. A Certificate of Banns from the other parish must be given to the vicar of the church in which you are to be married before the service can take place.
Consent - If either of you is under the age of 18 a consent form signed by both sets of parents/guardians must be completed before any further arrangements are made.
Photography. - Only a professional photographer may take photographs during the service. Video Recordings may only be made by one person of the service at the discretion of the vicar. An extra fee is charged for this and copyright clearance must be obtained.
Confetti – Why not? Just as long as it’s outside church as we have to vacuum it up if it’s inside. Suggestion: what about recommending to guests that they get the confetti that is also food for birds?
Service forms – There are basically two – the one in Traditional language (thee and thou) and the Common Worship form – in ‘modern’ (you & yours) language. Yes the bride can ‘obey’ in either but in both the groom has to ‘worship’ her! Fr Steve will sort out the details of this with you both when you meet.
Music – Initially arranged with the Director of Music.
Cost – This changes slightly each year but the figure Fr Steve will give you is all in – including banns here, service, organist and choir. Flowers are arranged separately (especially as Fr Steve isn’t any good at flower arranging!)
So far so good! Fr Steve will arrange to meet with you again so that the service can be looked at in detail and for you to get to grips with what the Church is on about with Marriage as well as an idea of what to do ‘on the day!’ He will also arrange a time for a rehearsal so that you, the bridesmaids, best man and bride’s father have some idea of where to stand and what to do at the service.
This can all sound a bit daunting but Fr Steve will take you through it step by step so that this day may be for you both a delightful occasion which you will treasure all your life.
To find out more about church weddings click here: Church of England Weddings