Check list for a church wedding
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage! This is a check list of practicalities and you will also need to meet with the vicar to talk about the meaning of Christian marriage and ask any questions you may have. In the meantime, here are some points to cover to make sure that all goes smoothly.
The service itself is about half an hour. The last people will probably be leaving the car park about an hour after the time set for the wedding. There is a legal requirement that the marriage takes place between 8am and 6pm so the latest we could start a wedding would be 5pm to be on the safe side.
See list of fees for details.
Please do not let the fees put you off a wedding in Church. Let us know if you have serious financial difficulties and we shall try to help in any way we can.
Banns (reading your names out in Church)
(This is only applicable if both are British citizens)
- Fill in a Marriage Details form for this parish.
- Try to come to church for the three Sundays when your Banns are being read. (This will be two months before your wedding and we will confirm the dates to you in good time)
- If either person lives outside this parish:
- Contact the vicar of their parish to read your Banns there.
- Get the Banns certificate and give it to me as soon as possible. The wedding cannot go ahead without it!
You will need to contact our organist to talk about music. The normal is: up to 4 hymns plus music for the entrance of the Bride, the signing of the Registers and as you go out.
The most popular hymns at weddings are:
- All things bright and beautiful
- Amazing grace
- And did those feet in ancient time (Jerusalem)
- Give me joy in my heart
- Guide me O thou great Redeemer
- I danced in the morning (Lord of the dance)
- Lord of all hopefulness
- Love divine, all loves excelling
- Morning has broken
- Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
There may be normal Sunday flowers in the church. Please check with the parish office and let us know if you are planning your own additional flowers.
Making the service ‘yours’
- It would be good if you could write together a short prayer of your own for me to read during the service.
- Would you like any friends or relations to take a special part in the service (eg to read the prayers or Bible passage)?
- Who will witness the signing of the register? (one each)
Order of Service
No order of service is necessary for a wedding service; hymn books are available for the words of hymns. If you wish to print your own personalised booklet, a draft must be approved by me before it is printed. There is a page showing the correct elements for your order of service. You will need to print 6 extra for the minister, organist etc and a further 20 if you are having the choir.
There should be at least one bridesmaid who will take the bride’s bouquet and look after her dress. If you have small children, one of the adult bridesmaids should be put in charge of them, leaving the principal bridesmaid free to help the bride.
Ushers and Seating
There should be two to four Ushers, polite but firm, with at least one from each family to make sure people will be recognised. A seating plan for the front few rows is often useful, and a copy should be given to the Ushers. Capacity of the church is approximately up to 150 people normally (up to 300 downstairs with extra chairs, plus 200 upstairs).
Parking at St.Thomas is in one of the public car parks in the town, all of which are within easy reach of the church.
Please ask your friends to throw only rice-paper confetti, rice grains or flower petals outside the church.
Photographs and Videos
Nominate someone as the official photographer. They need not be a professional, but there must only be one. No other photographs are allowed during the service. Similarly for taking a video – nominate one person. The photographer (and video person if there is one) should talk to the minister before the service about where they may stand etc.
This is held in the church, usually two or three days before the service, by arrangement with the minister. You don’t need to learn any lines – it is just good to have been through the order of things before the day so you will feel more relaxed. These people should be at the rehearsal if possible:
- Bride and Groom
- Best Man
- Whoever is giving away the Bride
- Bridesmaids and page-boys
- Parents of bride and groom
**Bring to the rehearsal
- The prayer you have written
- Orders of service if you are having them
- Banns certificate from other parish if required (last chance!)