Weddings & Marriage Blessings
Marriages at All Saints’
We are delighted that you are thinking about getting married at All Saints'.
Historically, people have come to the Church for its sacrament of marriage and God’s blessing of the union to be the context in which they become husband and wife.
For over 125 years local couples have come to All Saints' for their wedding. It is a beautiful building in which to get married, and its architecture and fittings are designed to reflect the glory of God and his love for all people.
We hope that you will find the information on this page helpful in your marriage preparations. In the first instance you should contact one of the clergy, who are available to talk with you as you prepare, both about the arrangements and any other queries or concerns. In preparation for your wedding the clergy will need to see you a few times to discuss the arrangements, the service, and Christian marriage and relationships. This is invariably followed up by e-mails and phone calls!
Who can get married at All Saints'?
The regulations governing weddings in the Church of England have recently changed making it easier for couples to be married in the church of their choice. In summary, to be married in All Saints' (or in any other Church of England church), you must be able to give evidence that you or your partner fulfil one of the following:
currently live in the parish;
have, at any time, lived in the parish for at least 6 months;
been a regular member of the church for at least 6 months;
been baptised in the parish;
have had your confirmation registered here;
have a parent that has at any time during your lifetime lived in the parish for at least 6 months;
have a parent that has at any time during your lifetime been a regular member of the church for at least 6 months; or,
have a parent or grandparent that was married in the parish.
If you want to check if you live in the Parish a map showing the exact boundaries can be viewed here.
How much will it cost?
There are legal fees for a marriage which cover the publication of the Banns, Banns certificate (if necessary), the marriage service and a certificate of marriage. The fees are fixed centrally and revised annually, and current fees can be viewed here.
What if one or both of us is divorced?
The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life, but it recognises that sometimes marriages do fail. Thus in certain circumstances, a divorced person may marry again in church during the lifetime of a former spouse. Please speak to the Vicar for further information.
What about Banns and Licences?
The traditional way of legally announcing your intention to marry is by having the Banns read at the 9.30am service on three successive Sundays before your wedding. If either of you live in another parish the Banns will need to be read in that parish too within the three months before the wedding, and the clergy here must have the Banns certificate from your parish before the wedding takes place. It is your responsibility to see to this. If you are getting married by Banns, there is no need for you to contact the Registrar or anyone else, as Church of England clergy legally act as Registrars at marriages in parish churches. We would be very happy to welcome you, your friends and family at any of the services at which your Banns are read.
Alternatively ask one of the clergy about the current position on licenses.
If you are likely to change your address, please contact the Parish Office otherwise the marriage may not be legal.
Do we have a rehearsal?
At some stage in the week leading up to your wedding, the member of the clergy who will conduct your wedding wlll arrange a short rehearsal, in church, so everyone is familiar with what is required. If they are available, the rehearsal should involve at least the bride and groom, the best man, bridesmaids and the bride’s father.
When can a wedding take place?
The ceremony itself usually takes about an hour (depending on the amount of music and readings), and marriages legally have to take place between 8.00am and 6.00pm, and in law can take place on any day of the week.
The length of time the photographer takes after the service is far more variable, and that is a factor which you will need to take into account when arranging the reception and any transport.
What hymns and music can we have?
It is worth giving some careful thought to the choice of hymns and music at your wedding, and most people will want to include music that has deep meaning and importance to them.
It is up to you how much music you want at the service but it usually plays a part in:
the period when guests assemble and before the bride arrives;
the arrival of the bride and her procession to the altar;
two or three hymns during the service;
during the signing of the registers; and,
the triumphal procession of the bride and groom out of the church at the end of the service.
All Saints' has a magnificent organ, and the Director of Music is able to advise on suitable music. It is helpful to have as much notice as possible of the organ music required so that we can make sure that an organist is available – and has the music! It is usually permissible for you to make arrangements for another organist to play at your wedding, but this will normally incur an additional fee. There is no problem if you wish to have additional musicians – for example there have been weddings which have included a trumpet fanfare.
At some stage of the wedding you may prefer to play music from a CD. The church does have facilities for this, and CDs can be played through the public address system.
There is a very wide range of hymns suitable for weddings. If you have any personal favourites please discuss these with the clergy at one of your meetings – and they will also be happy to offer suggestions too.
The church choir is available to support the congregational singing and to sing an anthem during the signing of the registers. The charge for the choir is available to view here. Alternatively, you may wish to arrange for a friend or family member to sing or play an instrument at this part of the ceremony.
Do not feel restricted by what someone else has had – tailor it to your preferences!
What readings can we have at the wedding?
There are a number of places within the Church of England marriage service where suitable readings can be included. At least one of these should be from the Bible, but many couples also include secular readings too. It is important that you discuss what you are thinking about with the clergy, as all readings must be appropriate for an act of Christian worship.
Can family and friends take part in the service?
We are happy to discuss your ideas about inviting a friend or relative to read at your wedding, instrumentalists to play or other people to have a part in the proceedings. We are also happy for Christian clergy of any denomination to contribute to the wedding service. Please discuss these things with us when we jointly plan your wedding.
Can we have a Communion service or nuptial mass?
Although the celebration of the Eucharist is not a routine part of the marriage service, we are more than happy to include this in the service if you are communicant members of a Christian church. Inclusion of Communion will lengthen the duration of the service, and you will need to take this into account in planning the day.
Can the church bells be rung?
All Saints' has a peal of 10 bells of which 6 are rung for weddings. The bells usually are rung for approximately 15 minutes before and at the end of the wedding and can very much enhance the occasion as well as being very traditional. There is a fee for bell ringing and you can get details from the clergy at the same time that you book the organ and choir. Please give us as much notice as possible if you want to book bells so that a suitable team of ringers can be assembled.
Who produces the orders of service?
The clergy will be glad to give advice and suggestions in the content of the orders of service. For a small charge the Parish Office can produce orders of service, or you may prefer to make these arrangements yourselves. We would ask that the clergy have sight of the draft before it goes to print – literally to make sure we all sing from the right hymnsheet!
When and where can photographs and videos be taken?
We do not allow photographs to be taken during the prayers or the promises as they detract from the deep meaning of the service. However, your photographer is welcome to take pictures as you enter and leave the church, and during the signing of the register. After the service has ended, photographs may be taken in any part of the church and grounds. All Saints' is fortunate to have a large green alongside the church which many use for their group photographs.
It is possible for video recordings to be made of your wedding, There is an additional fee payable and you will need to sign an indemnity form. In addition, the company and any individuals recording a video will need to obtain the relevant licenses.
Can we have flowers at the church?
Of course! All Saints' has a team of volunteers who arrange the flowers for the church and we normally ask wedding families to make arrangements with them to decorate the church for the wedding. It is customary that flowers are left in the Church for others to enjoy during the following week and so to give thanks for your wedding.
Can we throw confetti and rice and use party poppers?
This is a great way to celebrate – but we ask that you only throw it outside in the street – and not inside the church or in the church grounds.
Can we have a Service of Blessing instead of a full marriage?
We recognise that not everyone will want or be able to have a full church wedding, but would nevertheless value God’s blessing on a previous civil ceremony. All Saints' is happy to arrange suitable ceremonies, please contact one of the clergy in the first instance.
What about the Reception?
All Saints’ Cente can accommodate up to about 120 people and, subject to availability, can be booked for wedding receptions. There is a kitchen and tables and chairs can be provided. You would be responsible for obtaining any licences etc. We also have a large green that could be used for a marquee. For further details please see the All Saints' Centre section of the website.
Where can I get further information about Church of England weddings?
Have a look at the Church of England website www.yourchurchwedding.org.