So you’re thinking of getting married – CONGRATULATIONS!!

The bible tells us that God is love and that those who live in love, live in God and God lives in them.
(1 John chapter 4. verse 16).

To experience love for another human being, be it a parent or a partner, a friend or one’s children, is to be fully alive with the love of God in our heart.
The Church, through its services, offers opportunities to celebrate such love at the important times of our lives. 

Marriage is a bedrock that underpins our society, and whilst your impending wedding will be a time of joy for you personally, it will also be a joy shared by the whole community in which you live. Its importance for all of us should not therefore be underestimated. Not only that, but as you have decided that you wish to enter into a Christian marriage, then it will be conducted in the sight of God, giving an additional dimension to your union. We therefore wish you a happy and memorable wedding day and joy in your life together.

We 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.


I do not go to church and I have not been Christened…will I 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. 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.


I am divorced, I am widowed, what are the choices for me?

If one or both partners is divorced and the former spouse is still alive, it is still likely  you can be married at St John’s or St Katherine’s. Churches vary in practice over the remarriage of people who are divorced. Whilst the church advocates life long commitment, there is also the need to uphold God’s compassion and forgiveness, as revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus. Therefore for those seeking another marriage following divorce, careful consideration is given to this possibility by the vicar who will see you. 

N.B. If your husband or wife has died then you are free to marry again.


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. 
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. To discuss arrangements or to book a wedding please contact us

N.B. When weddings are booked we will ask for a £100 deposit.


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. The fee is usually far less than the cost of the video itself. Again the person videoing needs to liaise with the Vicar before the service.


Where can we be married?

You have to establish a right to be married at a particular church and this can be done in a number of ways:
One of you:
1 lives in the parish
2 is on the church’s electoral roll
3 has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
4 was baptised in the parish
5 was prepared for confirmation in the parish
6 has habitually attended normal church services in the parish church for a 
   period of at least 6 months
 One of your parents at any time after you were born:
7  has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
8  has at any time habitually attended normal church services in the parish      
    church for a period of at least 6 months
One of your parents or grandparents:

9  was married in the parish.


What day and what time can I get married?

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.


How long does the service last?

A marriage service lasts for about 45 minutes, this depends on what you have asked for in the service, number of hymns, readings etc. If you are wanting a lot of extra things  this is not a problem, but you must make the vicar aware at the time of booking your wedding so that extra time can be allowed if there is another wedding on that day. However do not be late. Remember the photographer usually needs 5-10 minutes outside church. Remember also that there may be another  service after you.  If you are late you may be asked to wait until after any other weddings have taken place as it would be unfair to spoil the smooth running of the next couples wedding


How much does it cost?

The church cost of a wedding depends on your particular requirements, please contact us directly for guidance on prices.


What about a Blessing?

There are various times in our lives when we might wish to give thanks for a relationship and receive God’s blessing through the ministers of the Church. Anniversaries, the blessing of new rings, the renewal of vows are all such occasions. You may wish to have a Civil Wedding blessed, in which case the reasons for a Civil Wedding should be discussed with the vicar.


How do I ensure my wedding is legal?

To make sure everything is legal you must have your banns read out in church for three consecutive Sundays during the three months before the wedding. Banns are an announcement of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. They need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as at the church in which you are to be married, if that is in another parish. 

If you are serving in the armed forces then the rules are slightly different, the vicar will explain this to you.  You may have heard of “special licences”, there are two kinds, Common License and Archbishops Licence, these are needed for various situations and the vicar would  tell you if you were not able to have a straight forward reading of Banns  If either of you is over 16 and under 18 you will need your parents’ written consent to marry.


Will there be any preparation evenings?

Once you have booked your wedding date and time, there will be a Preparation Evening when we will go through the service and consider the implications of a Christian marriage as well as the practical things such as flowers photographs etc.


I live in the Parishes of Wadworth, Loversall & Balby but I am getting married in another church, do I still need my Banns reading?

If you are getting married at another church but one of you lives in this Parish, then for legal reasons you will still need to have your Banns read at St. John the Baptist, Wadworth or St. John the Evangelist, Balby.

More detailed information is available on the Church of England website.

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