Congratulations on your engagement!
Getting married is one of the most important decisions we will ever make. For many people it is the most important day of their life.
Here at St Mary the Virgin we recognise this, as well as the importance of getting married in church, because it allows a couple to make their promises to each other in the sight of God and gives them the opportunity to ask for God’s blessing on their future lives together.
If you would like to be married in St Mary the Virgin then we would love to welcome you. You do not have to hold any particular beliefs and it doesn’t matter whether or not you are baptised (Christened) or go to church.
Because this is such an important decision we welcome the chance to discuss this with you and would ask that you please contact the local vicar, The Rev’d Tricia Fogden, before booking any dates with venues etc.
Marrying in church has never been easier and it could cost you just £484 (2018 fees) for a church wedding and you can even consider getting married on a day other than Saturday. We will be as flexible as possible in helping you plan your wedding, but to be legal your wedding must take place between 8am and 6pm.
The wedding service can take a variety of forms, both traditional and modern. At St Mary the Virgin we can offer additional features such as wedding bells, played by our local band of bellringers, a traditional robed choir and an organist. You can make your own arrangements for flowers or organise this with our team of church flower arrangers.
For some time many churches have also welcomed people who are divorced to be married in church. To be married in the UK you must be over 18 years of age, or 16 with your parents’ consent.
For a marriage to be lawful and comply with UK civil and church law, banns must be read out in church. Banns are just an announcement in the local parish church of your intention to marry. 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. Generally people come along to church when their banns are being read out, so come along if you can.
You will probably wonder what all the fuss is about with banns: it is a long-established practice, which makes less sense in modern times. In the past people would have known who the people were who were getting married and they would know if there was a valid reason to object to the marriage. The reasons are quite specific and include such things as whether or not the bride and groom are blood relatives, or already married to somebody else.
Near your wedding day, perhaps a day or two before, you will usually have the opportunity for a rehearsal with those who are involved.
Your vicar will do all she can to make the day a personal, meaningful and spiritual experience for you and your guests.
The Church of England Wedding Information can be found on www.yourchurchwedding.org.
Renewal of Marriage Vows
Sometimes couples who have been married for some time also appreciate a Service for the Renewal of Marriage Vows, to give thanks for their marriage.
This doesn’t necessarily have to take place in the church and the vicar will be happy to discuss arrangements with you.
Honeymoon and passports
Brides may have their passport in their new name prior to the wedding. This is also advisable if travelling to some countries! Collect a form PD2 from the post office and bring it to the vicar to sign.