If you would like a church wedding we hope you will find the following information helpful. You might also like to visit the Church of England website and also the Your Church Wedding website which has lots of general information about weddings and marriage, including answers to many frequently asked questions.
Link: Your Church Wedding
Who can get married at St Nicholas Church?
You are welcome to be married at St Nicholas if just one of the following applies;
- One of you lives in the parish
- One of you was baptised or prepared for confirmation in the parish
- One of you has at any time regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more
- One of your parents has lived in the parish for six months or more in your lifetime
- One of your parents has regularly attended public worship in the parish for six months or more in your lifetime
- One of your parents or grandparents were married in the parish
Web Link: St Nicholas Parish Boundary
If you can provide evidence that you fulfil one of the above criteria you will be married at St Nicholas by banns. This means your intention to get married is announced on three consecutive Sundays in the months prior to your wedding, at the 10.00am service. If one of you lives elsewhere you will also need to get your banns read in that parish in the three months before the wedding. When this has happened you collect a certificate which you pass on to St Nicholas’ confirming that the banns have been read and that there has been no legal objection to your marriage.
What about marriage after divorce?
If one of you has been married before and has a former spouse still living it may be possible for you to get married at St Nicholas. The Church of England requires that all couples in this situation answer various questions when they meet the vicar. The questions will be sent to you prior to the meeting; it is only after this that a decision is made.
What do we need to do next?
If you think that you are eligible to get married at St. Nicholas please would you ring the Parish Office and make an appointment to see one of the clergy. This will be on a Wednesday evening from 7.30pm onwards. If you live away you will have to travel on the Wednesday. Weekend appointments are not possible. The purpose of the meeting is to check your eligibility to get married at St Nicholas, to complete the paper work, to book the wedding, to get to know you, to explain what the church will be offering you now and in the future and to confirm by which of the following you will be married.
After your initial meeting with one of the clergy you and all the other couples for your year will be invited to a marriage preparation day in February (usually near Valentines Day and National Marriage Week!). This is organised by members of the church family and includes lunch. The focus of the day is on your marriage which is a lifetime rather than on your wedding which is forty minutes.
About three months before your wedding we will contact you to arrange a meeting with whoever is conducting the service. This time the focus is on your wedding, as we think about the meaning of the words you are going to say and go through the Order of Service. At your first appointment with one the of clergy you will have received a draft order of service to base yours on. If you need another copy please contact the Parish Office.
On the Thursday evening before your wedding there is a rehearsal for the couple, the best man, the bridesmaids and whoever is giving the bride away.
- Music – at St Nicholas we have some excellent organists. When you book your wedding we book an organist and let you know who this is. Nearer the time of the wedding you should make your choice of hymns and the music you wish to enter and go out to. If you are not sure what hymns or music to choose we have a list to help you; there is also some guidance on the Church of England website here. The choir is not able to sing at weddings, but if you wish to use other quartets or small choirs this is allowed with the organist’s agreement. If you decide to have a friend or relative play the organ this must be with our agreement and the organist fee must still be paid.
- Bells – at St Nicholas we have a six bell tower and a dedicated band of ringers who are happy to ring 25 minutes before your wedding and 15 minutes afterwards. When you book the wedding you can also book the bell ringers if you wish.
- Flowers – It is always a good idea to brighten up the church with some flowers for your wedding. At St Nicholas we are fortunate to have a wonderful group of flower arrangers who are happy to discuss your requirements.
- Photographs & Video – We are happy for you to have photographs and video taken in church by professionals, providing they are done in an unobtrusive way, and without the photographer or videographer moving around. Those filming weddings must meet with the vicar at the rehearsal or 45 minutes before the wedding to agree where they will be positioned.
- Readings – A church wedding always includes one or more Bible readings and a large selection can be found in the Marriage Service booklet which you will receive at your wedding preparation meeting. A non Bible Reading may also be chosen with the agreement of the minister conducting your wedding. If you wish a friend or relation to read remember that it’s best to choose someone who believes what they are saying.There are some suggested readings on the Church of England website here.
- Special Needs – For wheel chair users there are no steps at St. Nicholas and a toilet for the disabled is provided at the back of church together with baby changing facilities. Those with hearing aids can turn to T to hear the service directly.
How much will the wedding cost?
We try to keep costs to a minimum but there are legal fees, payment to organist and bell ringers, copyright fees etc. This is the current fee list and each January they go up by roughly the rate of inflation. An invoice detailing fees for your wedding is sent approximately one month before the wedding. Cheques should be made payable to St Nicholas Parochial Church Council.
Wedding Fees for 2017 (fees are revised in January)
Follow the link to download our Wedding Fees for 2017: St Nicholas and St Barnabas Churches: Wedding Fees
We hope you will want to discover more about what is happening at St. Nicholas by browsing through the rest of our website. Why not add us to your favourites list?
As you prepare for your wedding we hope you will be able to join us on Sundays at 10.00am and feel a part of the church family. If you would like to explore more about the Christian faith then do visit www.rejesus.co.uk. At some point in the future you may also want to take part in our Exploring Christianity Course.