‘To have and to hold’
So you’re thinking of getting married – CONGRATULATIONS!!
- You don’t know how to make the arrangements
- You don’t know whether a church wedding is for you
- You don’t know who to speak to, or the response you will get
- You don’t know if the Vicar marries divorcees
We at St John the Baptist, Wales and Kiveton Park want to encourage couples to respond to God’s invitation to live together in love and to make that commitment to one another, before God and people they love, in church. In the bible we read that Jesus went to a wedding and, while he was there, left a sign of his glory: marriage is part of God’s plan.
We hope that the following information will help you make a decision.
We don’t go to church and haven’t been christened. Will we be welcome?
Of course you will! We rejoice when people think about getting married in church. Please don’t be scared of contacting the Vicar on 01909 771111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is human just like you and would be delighted if you or your parents contacted him for further details.
The Wedding day Begins Married Life Together
A wedding is a happy day for all concerned. Two people make public promises about how they intend to live their lives in lifelong love. They then ask God’s blessing on that life together. Any marriage has its ups and downs, and at a church wedding the couple promise each other (and God) that they will work at loving one another through the good times and not so good. In the bible we read about the way that God wants his people to be together in love. Marriage can be a sign of God’s love.
What music can I have?
You don’t have to choose lots of hymns. There may be two or three hymns which have particular significance for you, perhaps you sang them at school.
We have the facility to play suitable recorded music. You may want to consider this – but please ask before making arrangements. Or you may want to invite a friend/s to play an instrument during the service or read an appropriate poem or passage from the bible .
Also, you may wish to ask the organist to play a particular piece of music while the bride enters, as you sign the registers or leave the church.
How far in advance do we need to make arrangements?
The minimum notice which you need to give for a wedding is less than three months, but it is obviously better to give more notice. People sometimes make arrangements for their wedding day years in advance others at short notice.
The Vicar will be happy to talk with you about marriage even before you set the day or come along to an 11am Family Service on the 2nd Sunday of the month. When weddings are booked we require identification such as a passport or driving licence and usually suggest a £25 non-refundable donation but this is not compulsory.
Can we take photos and videos?
It is possible for an official photographer to take photographs during a wedding but he/she must liaise with the Vicar beforehand.
We also allow videos to be used, but there is a fee to cover copyright of music. The fee is usually far less than the cost of the video itself. Again the person videoing needs to liase with the Vicar before the service.
Where can we be married?
You have the legal right to be married in the church building of the parish in which one or both of you lives or in which you usually worship. The Vicar – cannot marry anyone unless they have some form of residence within the parish. If they don’t live in the parish the family must evidence an historic connection with the parish.
What days, what time?
Most weddings in church take place on a Saturday. However, by agreement with the Vicar, it is perfectly possible to be married on other days. Legally you have to be married during the hours of daylight – a couple who asked if they could be married at midnight on Millennium Eve had to be disappointed!
I am divorced, I am widowed, what are the choices for me?
If your husband or wife has died, then obviously you are free to marry again. The church believes that marriage is for life, ‘til death do us part.’ HOWEVER, if you are divorced, the Church of England also recognises that a marriage may have been flawed, or may have failed. If your previous marriage has ended in divorce then please contact the Vicar who would be willing to meet with you to discuss the possibility of a church wedding. It is certainly not out of the question.
Check out the useful link if you’re considering a church wedding