Your wedding at Highnam Church
I am delighted that you have enquired about being married in one of the churches of this benefice, and I look forward to meeting you and discussing your plans. The following pages give information about arranging a wedding, and I hope will answer some of the questions that you may have at this stage.
Rev Helen Sammon, vicar
Who may be married in church?
As far as it is legally possible, we are delighted to welcome you for a church wedding, and conducting weddings is a great privilege and joy in our churches.
The good news is that you can marry in church, whether or not you are christened and whether or not you are a regular churchgoer. There are certain legal requirements as to whether you are eligible to be married in a particular church, and these are listed in the Qualifying Connection form – see below.
If you do not fulfill these criteria you are still welcome to be married here, but it is necessary for you to start attending church as regularly as you can for 6 months prior to calling your banns. This should be a minimum of once per month, and we can give you more information about the times of the services.
If one of you is not of British Nationality, or you live outside the country, there mae be other legal requirements in order to arrange your marriage.
Marriage after divorce
If either of you has been married before, it is necessary to have a preliminary meeting with the vicar before booking your wedding. There are special forms to fill in and the vicar will meet with you for a discussion about your previous marriage and your hopes for your new relationship.
How do we book ?
The first step is to check the availability of the Church. This can be done by looking at the Calendar of Events to see if the date and time are already booked. This is not a definitive list, and cannot be totally relied upon to be completely accurate.
The important thing is to complete the Wedding Enquiry Form, and Qualifying Connection form, and register your interest.
Once received all details will be checked. If all is correct, and the date and time are acceptable, we will contact you, requesting a deposit of £50 to secure the booking.
How much will it cost?
The cost for 2019 is £638. This includes the £455 legal fee for your wedding, which is set by the National churches. The rest of the cost covers the use of the church for your rehearsal and wedding, heating, and organist fee. The only additional costs would be for flowers, a fee that is charged if you are recording your wedding (for copyright reasons), bell ringers, or if you wanted the use of the church building for an extended period.
You will receive an explanation and breakdown of the costs at the marriage preparation meeting.
Publication of Banns of marriage
The Banns of Marriage are read at three services in the weeks leading up to the marriage, and are a legal requirement. The dates will be notified to you, and we hope that you will be able to attend some or all of the services.
If either of you lives in another parish and you are not being married by Special Licence, then your Banns must be read in the other parish as well and you must arrange this with the Vicar of that parish at least two months before the wedding.
What happens next?
On receipt of your application form we will be in touch with you to confirm your requested date, and answer any preliminary enquiries you may have. We will send you an invoice for the £50 deposit.
You will be invited to a Wedding Preparation Day, which we hold each year in late January or early February, at which there will be all the information you need to start planning your service in church, and to arrange the legal paperwork, etc.
Nearer the time of your wedding the vicar who will take the service will meet with you as a couple, and there will also be a rehearsal during the week before your wedding.
Planning the wedding.
You may like to have a preliminary look at the following pages; but you will receive plenty of information at the preparation day and when you discuss your service with the vicar.
- Outline Order of Service
- Suitable Wedding Music
- Suitable Hymns
- Suitable Bible Readings
- Floral decoration for weddings
The website www.yourchurchwedding.com is very useful, with links to readings, hymns and other information about planning a wedding in church.