How To Arrange Your Wedding
Congratulations on your engagement. We are delighted that you are considering having your wedding at St Leonard’s Church. Getting married is a new beginning for you both, whether you are already living together or not. It’s also a new start for the rest of your family too. Getting married in church means that you invite the blessing and guidance of a loving God upon your marriage.
Can we get married at St Leonard’s?
Legally there are a number of issues around marriage. You can marry in a Church of England church if you can show that one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- was baptised (christened) in the parish concerned or
- was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
- has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish
If you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, you could create one, simply by attending a Sunday service at St Leonard’s at least once a month for six consecutive months. If you decide to do this, leave enough time after your attendance for the banns to be read before your wedding too – about another two months should be enough.
If one or both of you is a national from a country that is outside the European Economic Area then special procedures apply to the legal preparations for these marriages, to protect and celebrate those which are genuine and to help prevent those which are not.
If one or both of you has been married before there may well be a way forward for you to be re-married in church but there are certain considerations in these circumstances.
Even if it is not possible to do your wedding, we can offer a blessing service after a civil wedding.
When can we get married?
Most weddings happen on a Saturday, but Sunday is the third most popular day for Church of England weddings. In fact, you could have your wedding on any day of the week as long as the church is free and the vicar is available. Whatever day you’d like to get married on, the wedding ceremony must take place between 8am and 6pm. If you’d like a Sunday wedding, we will need to check that your service won’t clash with any normal services. There are also no legal restrictions for getting married on special days, like those around Easter, Christmas and other Bank Holidays.
How much does it cost?
As a rough guide the basic legal fees are around £500. If you want extras such as the organist etc. the fees will vary accordingly.
The next stage is to come to church, meet the vicar and complete a banns application form. The vicar will be happy to advise you about fees, requirements and practicalities of the wedding and will contact you to discuss your plans and help you with them.
More information on planning your wedding can be found online at www.yourchurchwedding.org/section/just-engaged/
There’s a helpful section of the web site which will help you to begin thinking about your ideas for hymns, readings, prayers and music and to see your ideas in a draft order of service.
As a Church we pray for you both as you prepare for the wedding and in your future lives together.