PREPARATION AND MAKING ARRANGEMENTS
We're here to make you feel welcome and comfortable about your wedding day and to help you make decisions about the ceremony.
Making the ceremony run smoothly is our responsibility and we've lots of experience in making sure that happens.
Couples wishing to be married in one of the team churches are invited to our informal Preparation Evening normally held in February.
At the meeting you'll be able to ask any questions you may have about the upcoming ceremony and chose hymns along with processional (entrance) and recessional (leaving) music - an organist will also be present to play extracts of the pieces.
Please contact the team wedding administrator, Jennifer Milnes, on 01226 766568 for more information and to make arrangements to attend the Preparation Evening.
Generally, weddings are booked well in advance and so the February preparation meeting will normally cover most people's needs. However, late booking might mean other arrangements need to be made, If this is the case, please contact either Reverend David Hopkin (01226 370954) or Jennifer Milnes (01226 766568).
The following is adapted from the special Church of England wedding site.
On it you'll find information about all aspects of the wedding and the ceremony. It even includes a useful ceremony planner - which you can use and then discuss in detail when you come to our Preparation Evening.
Please click on the headings to read more.
Even if you have already been living together for some time, you are still two separate individuals with different backgrounds, personalities, experiences, hopes and fears.
You’ll never make such big promises to each other as the day you make your wedding vows. We know that you will want to think these through and provide the time and space to do so.
Ask us about marriage discussion and what we offer to help you consider the vows together.
To get you started, these are some of the key issues:
- 'All that I have I share with you'...How will we share our possessions and finances?
- 'Will you love, comfort, honour and protect (him/her)'...How will we cope with disagreements so that we will protect our love and respect for each other for a lifetime?
- 'Forsaking all others, be faithful as long as you both shall live’...How will we ensure we avoid and/or cope with temptations in order to remain faithful throughout our marriage?
- 'With my body I honour you' and 'all that I am I give to you'...How will we invest in our sexual relationship throughout our whole marriage?
- And for the family: 'Will you, the family and friends of (your names), support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?'...What are our attitudes towards our future in-laws and other family members which the marriage will bring together?
- And in discussing these issues before the wedding and then over the years of the marriage, how will we make sure we communicate better with each other?
- Marriage may or may not be the precursor of children, but in any case, what are our thoughts about parenting?
As you grow in your marriage, your church can support you in reviewing the important issues of your marriage again. We can also offer a service to give you the opportunity to renew your marriage vows some time in the future.
(Taken from Preparation section of the Church of England wedding site.
All weddings in the Church of England include one or more readings from the Bible. There are many popular passages to consider.
Read some of these together and see if what they say seems important to you.
- Love, actually! The number 1 most popular reading for weddings is (1 Corinthians Chapter 13)
- God creates women and men to look after the earth (Genesis, Chapter 1, verses 26-28)
- A love poem between two lovers (Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13; Chapter 8, verses 6&7)
- Jesus teaches how to live a life that brings true happiness (Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 1-10)
- Jesus teaches about marriage, and welcomes children (Mark, Chapter 10, verses 6-9 and 13-16)
- What happens when Jesus attends a wedding reception (John, Chapter 2, verses 1 - 11)
- Committing to each other (Ephesians Chapter 5, verses 21-33)
- Seeing the good side… (Philippians Chapter 4, verses 4 - 9)
- Getting the perfect relationship (Colossians Chapter 3, verses 12 - 17)
- Being a good lover! (1 John Chapter 4 verses 7 - 12)
We'll be pleased to discuss the choice of readings for your wedding service.
As well as Bible readings, you can also discuss other readings, poems and prayers. Please let us know if you have some special ideas of your own.
In marriage you take on a whole new legal status as man and wife and this can have many benefits. To ensure the marriage complies with both UK Civil and Church law, there are certain aspects of a church wedding that must be fulfilled.
Reading of Banns
Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place.
Banns need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the parish church in which you are to be married, if that is somewhere else.
You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. This is often done over three consecutive Sundays but does not have to be.
If there is not enough notice given for the Banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, it is recommended that the Licence procedure be used rather than Banns. This is especially recommended if there is any doubt as to the legal requirements of the home country of a non-British person for recognition of an English Church marriage.
You must be old enough
If you are under 18 years old you will need your parents' consent to marry and by law you can not be married in the UK until you are 16.
Time of wedding
To be legal the wedding must take place between 8am and 6pm on any day.
Guidelines for divorcees
There are special guidelines on marriage in the church if you are divorced. Please contact the Reverend David Hopkin for more information. You can also read more about it here on the main CofE site.
There are some circumstances in which you may need a Special Licence, Common Licence or a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to marry in church. Please contact Jennifer Milnes (01226 766568) to see if these apply to you.
Marrying outside your parish
It is now much easier to marry in a church that has a special connection for you, even it is not in your own local parish. See the section below, "Changes in the law and your rght to marry in a Parish Church".
- one of them was baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish;
- one of them has ever lived in the parish for six months or more;
- one of them has at any time regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more;
- one of their parents has lived in the parish for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
- one of their parents has regularly attended public worship there for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
- their parents or grandparents were married in the parish.
(All of these refer to Church of England services)
For more information please refer to this section on the Church of England's site
Q. How much does it cost?
A. There is a fee for marrying in a church.
There are statutory fees set by the Church of England nationally but there are other costs over and above the set fees for each of the churches within the Team Ministry.
These fees have ancient origins and make a contribution towards the upkeep of the churches in the parish.
Flowers, an organist, a choir, bell-ringers, etc, are optional, additional services that we can provide,
Q. I'm not baptised. I don't go to church. Can I still get married in church?
Q. How do I book the church?
A. Booking is easy. Simply get in touch with Jennifer Milnes (01226 766568) who'll be pleased to hear from you.
Q. Can I marry in any church I want to?
A. It’s now much easier to marry in any of our five churches thanks to a change in the law. See the section above, "Changes in the law and your right to marry in a Parish Church".
Q. We've decided to get married abroad but we would like a church blessing. Is that possible?
A. Yes. There is a service of prayer and dedication after a civil ceremony and this can be adapted. There are no legal requirements for this service. Please contact Jennifer Milnes(01226 766568)for more information.
Q. I’m divorced. Can I still get married in church?
A. Divorcees are made welcome. Please contact the reverend David Hopkin (01226 370954) for more details.
Q. I’m Church of England and he’s a Catholic. Does that matter?
A. It doesn’t matter from the Church of England’s perspective. Anyone is welcome to be married in their local CofE parish church.
If one of you is a Roman Catholic and you want the Roman Catholic Church to recognise your marriage, you will need to seek the advice of your Roman Catholic priest about the permission required for marrying a non-Roman Catholic.
Some clergy encourage couples in this situation to involve the Catholic priest in the marriage service too. See www.interchurchfamilies.org.uk for more information.
Q. Should we have one or two rings?
A. It's entirely up to you whether you have one ring or two. A wedding ring is a symbol of unending love and faithfulness and of the commitment you are making to each other.
Q. Can I marry in any other colour than white?
A. Yes! You can marry in whatever colour you choose.
Q. May we marry on a Sunday?
Q. Can we renew our vows?
A. Yes. We offer a service of Thanksgiving for Marriage, which may be used for a number of different occasions including:
- renewing marriage vows;
- to celebrate a special anniversary;
- after a period of separation or difficulty in marriage.
Please contact Jennifer Milnes (01226 766568) for more information.
Q. What is the Marriage Measure?
A. This new law, agreed in Parliament in 2008, is good news for those wanting to marry in a church that is outside their own Parish. Read more in the section above, "Changes in the law and your right to marry in a Parish Church".