When two become one! A wedding marks the beginning of this New Creation, a couple stronger than the sum of its two parts. It is a relationship that mirrors the relationship God has with His Church, a relationship in which we know we are loved and in which we ourselves can love. It is characterised by self-giving, forgiveness, support and commitment. Within marriage couples can find a safe and secure place for growth, trust and the upbringing of children. Together a couple help and comfort each other in good times and in bad.
Today more than a quarter of all marriages in England take place before God in the traditional setting of a Church of England church. If you live in the parish you are welcome to marry in the church, whether or not you are baptised and whether or not you go to church.
How do we get married at St Aldhelm’s?
We are always delighted to hold weddings at St Aldhelm’s. There are, however, several regulations governing who can be married in our church. Before any arrangements can be made, you must first fill out this initial marriage form.
There are several regulations governing who can be married in our church. It helps if you live in the parish, regularly attend or have a family connection. Due to a rise in the number of fraudulent marriages any applicants will be asked from the beginning to provide proof of identity and address. Couples may be asked to provide further evidence that we are entitled to legally marry them in this country and information and Non-UK applications should be aware that information may be referred to the UK Border Agency for verification.
Once you have filled out the initial form contact the parish office to arrange to see the vicar who can discuss the whole process with you. If you have made an appointment to see the vicar, having filled out the initial form, please fill out as much of this Marriage Form as possible in preparation.You will be able to check if the date you would like is available Weddings can be on any day of the week, although not usually on Sundays.
It is best to book the church as soon as you have decided to get married.
During the months before your wedding there may be lots of questions you want to ask. The vicar is happy to meet with you on several occasions and is very good at replying to emails!
We can offer help choosing hymns, music and readings if you wish and we will guide you through different options for the service.
Banns and Rehearsal
Most couples will have Banns read to make it possible for them to be married. This is an old tradition, still legally required, whereby an announcement of your impending marriage is read out in church on three Sundays beforehand. Traditionally this gives members of the public a chance to object to the marriage but this is extremely rare these days!
When the dates for the Banns are agreed you will be invited to church on those Sundays and on the final time you will be invited to come up to the front and light two candles in preparation for your big day. In some circumstances it is not possible to have Banns read and the vicar will apply for a common license. If you either of you live outside the parish you will need to have your banns read in your local church as well.
Finally we will arrange a convenient day for a rehearsal. This is usually on the evening before your wedding day.
If you are applying to have banns read in this church to be married elsewhere, you will need to fill out this Banns of Marriage Application and contact the vicar.
How much does it cost to get married?
Publishing of Banns £34
Wedding Service £381
Video license £80
These figures are for 2013 and usually increase a little every year. Speak to the vicar for latest figures.
If you choose to have flowers in church on your wedding day we strongly recommend that you use our own flower team (although it is not compulsorily). They are a very skilled and helpful group and they know how to get the best results in our church. A member of the team will be very happy to talk you through options and then to work out how much it will cost to achieve what you want. There are a few times in the year when there are restrictions over which flowers can be in church. Be sure to check that you will not be affected by this when you discuss the date of your wedding with the vicar.
If you would like to have your wedding blessed or a renewal of vows, you will need to contact the vicar directly.
If you were married over a year ago, there is a fee of £200, with an additional £30 for provision of a verger (compulsory).
If you have been married less than a year, there is a fee of £400, with an additional £30 for provision of a verger (compulsory).
Both of these figures are inclusive of £100 booking fee to be paid when the agreement is made.
In both cases, a refundable cash deposit of £200 will be requested 7 days before the service.
If you are not a regular member of our congregation, you will need to sign and return a contract agreeing to this.
Important: St Aldhelm’s Church can not be rented or hired out and it is not possible for a visiting minister to officiate any service.