Getting Married at St Mark's
If you'd like to get married at St. Mark's, please contact the Church Office (01535 607003) as soon as possible. It's important to check that you are eligable to marry here. You should not make arangements until you have checked this with us, and that the date and time is available.
Please note: this web page is only for guidance and does not lay down the full legal situation regarding marriage in the Church of England.
You can find further helpful advice on getting married in the Church of England at YourChurchWedding.org
Who To Talk To
All administrative details should be dealt with through the Church Office as above. They will handle all the administrative arangements
- this includes payments and arrangements for banns (see below)
All details concerning the marriage service should be discussed with the minister conducting the service.
Our normal pattern is to arrange at least one interview several months before the wedding and a short rehearsal one evening during the week before the wedding day.
The first aim of this meeting is for you to meet the person who will be conducting your wedding and to give you reassurance that you need not be too nervous!
At the interview the minister will explain the content and meaning of the service, going through the words that will be used and explaining the normal order of service. Some parts of the service are required by law but there is flexibility in choice of music, readings etc.
This is usually in church on the Tuesday or Wednesday of the week before your wedding day, but any mutually convenient time can be arranged. We avoid the night before, so that if last minute changes are needed, there is time to make them. At the rehearsal it is not absolutely necessary for anyone other than the bride and groom to attend, but the best man, bridesmaids/pageboys, person giving away the bride, and the ushers etc are all welcome.
The main aim of the rehearsal is for you to be familiar with where in the service you will sit/walk/stand, and also for any last minute questions to be discussed.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS (Note: this is only a guideline, not a definitive description and does not describe all the legal issues concerning marriage.
The law requires anyone getting married in the Church of England to have "banns" read. This involves the announcement of your impending marriage in the main morning church service on three successive Sundays, in the three months preceding your wedding day. There is a small administrative charge for this which has also been set by law.
You are legally required to have banns read in the church where you are to be married. But if you live outside the parish of that church you are also required to have banns read in the church of the parish where you live - so you may need to have this done in three different churches. You will be provided with a "banns certificate" in the other churches, which you must present at the church office here before we can allow you to be married. Arranging banns is your responsibility - if the banns have been not read, then you will be unable to get married.
We encourage couples to attend church regularly, especially on the occasions when their banns are read.
Other Helpful Information
Things You Will Need To Choose For The Service - a checklist
□ Best Man / Bridesmaids / pageboys
□ Who is giving away the bride?
□ Ushers (not always necessary)
□ Whether you want the church bell to be rung
□ Music for the entrance of the bride (traditionally "The Bridal March")
□ Songs/hymns during the service
□ Music for the exit of the bride and groom (traditionally "The Wedding March")
□ Any preference for Bible reading(s)
□ Whether you want someone other than the minister to do the Bible readings/ prayers
□ Whether you want to use hymn books or a printed order - you will have to arrange for the printed order yourself.
Content of The Service
All weddings are different, but some things are required by law and some other things are not appropriate in church! Please discuss the details with the minister conducting the service.
The service usually when the bride enters the church, accompanied by the person giving her away - often her father. There will normally be hymns or songs, at least one reading from the Bible, and prayers.
The legal part of the servive includes declarations, vows, the giving of a ring or rings, and the pronouncement that the couple are husband and wife.
Note that the church has a CD and tape player, and music for the entrance and exit can be from a CD or tape, but we do not take responsibility for copyright/performing rights issues.
You can arrange for special flowers to decorate the church but please discuss this with the church office.
Other Arrangements for The Wedding Day
The groom should arrange to arrive with his best man 15 minutes before the service is due to begin.
The bride should arrange to arrive 5 minutes before the service is due to begin, to allow for final photographs to be taken.
A good wedding photographer should introduce themselves to the minister conducting the service beforehand, and be as invisible as possible during the ceremony. A church wedding is an act of worship and nothing should detract from this.
It is best to allow a considerable time after the wedding before the reception is due to start. For example, for a wedding starting at 12 noon the reception should not normally be booked to begin before 2.30 p.m. at the earliest. This allows time for the wedding itself, photographs etc and then the safe movement of all the guests to the reception venue.
Some Other Tips....
Don't have a drink to calm your nerves! It's illegal to get married "under the influence".
Make sure the wedding speeches at the reception are short!