A CHURCH WEDDING
Churches are special places and there are some things about a church wedding that you just can’t get anywhere else..
- A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. The ceremony includes God and looks to him for help and guidance. God’s blessing is the main attraction for many couples, whatever their beliefs.
- You can make amazing vows, or promises, in a church. You can only make vows this big in a church. These vows, made in public, will help you to stay together and grow together. God and your church are there for you to help you keep your vows.
- The Vicar has a very particular role to play in your wedding. They can blend ancient tradition and modern experience to reflect your story. Because of the relationship with the Vicar, your wedding can be made personal, memorable, meaningful and beautiful.
- Church buildings offer outstanding beauty. Old or new, intimate or grand, our 16,000 churches are some of the nation’s most stunning wedding venues, with two-thirds being listed buildings.
- Church buildings offer centuries of history. Imagine all the couples who have married in your local church, some of whom may well be your family. You can feel you’re becoming part of history itself, the bigger plan, by marrying in the same place as your relatives. We know these sorts of connections can make your day even more special.
- You can be involved in making choices about your ceremony. You can even use the Church of England online ceremony planner to get you started.
- For some people, a church simply seems like the proper place to get married. Churches can be described as ‘peaceful’, ‘serene’, or having an atmosphere that makes marrying there a particularly special experience.
- And after your wedding, you’ll realise that a church is more than simply a wedding venue. We’ll always be here for you.
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THE LYN VALLEY MISSION COMMUNITY
If you would like to get married at any of our churches there are certain things that must happen in a wedding to ensure the marriage complies with both UK civil and church law.
In marriage you take on a whole new legal status. The vicar knows how to advise and prepare you for your wedding day and everything must comply with all relevant UK and Church of England laws. The main legal points to consider before you begin planning are shown below.
CONDITIONS OF MARRIAGE
YOU MUST BE OLD ENOUGH
By law you cannot be married in the UK until you are 16 years old and if you are under 18 you will need your parents’ consent to marry.
TIME OF WEDDING
The wedding must take place between 8am and 6pm on any day.
READING OF BANNS
Most Church of England marriages will require banns to be published before the wedding can take place. You won’t need to arrange banns until about four months before your wedding date. Read more about what’s special and important about banns.
If there is not enough notice given for the banns to be read before the marriage is due to take place, or in the case of the marriage of people who are not nationals of a country within the European Economic Area, or if one or both of you does not live in England or Wales, it is recommended that the Licence procedure be used rather than banns.
There are some circumstances in which you may need a Special Licence, Common Licence or a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate to marry in church. Your vicar will let you know if these apply to you.
MARRIAGE AFTER DIVORCE
In certain circumstances the Church of England accepts that a divorced person may marry again and this has been the case since 2002. You may be able to remarry in a church, it is left to the discretion of the vicar. They will want to talk to you about your past and your commitment for the future.
Read more about it here.
Alternatively you can have a Wedding Blessing after a civil marriage.
MARRYING AWAY FROM WHERE YOU LIVE
CONECTION TO THE CHURCH
You can marry in a Church of England church if you can show that one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- was baptised (christened) in the parish or
- was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
- has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months
That one of your parents or grandparents:
- was married in the parish
IF NONE OF THESE APPLY...don't give up there are other routes contact us E-mail form
CHANGES TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEGISLATION
Although same-sex marriage legislation is now in force, it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry in the Church of England.
First of all Visit the Church of England's Wedding Website. Here you will find a mass of general information about marriage in the Church of England and planning your wedding. Come back here to find information specific to our churches.
We want you to enjoy your wedding day as much as possible and will help everything in church go as smoothly as possible on the day. Read through the next sections where we give you all the general information about what you need to do and think about.
You need to book! Most weddings are booked a year in advance sometimes two, so if you have an idea of a date get your skates on and book it now! This is particularly important if you are booking your reception as well.
Use our E-mail form at the bottom of this page or come along to a Sunday service.
READING OF BANNS
- Banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry and a chance for anyone to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place.
- Banns are an ancient legal tradition and have been read out every week in churches across the land for millions of couples, over many centuries.
- After your forthcoming marriage is announced, the congregation may be invited to pray for you both. It can be quite special and moving to hear this, so do come along if you can.
- Banns need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the church in which you are to be married, if that is somewhere else.
- You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. This is usually done over three consecutive Sundays but does not have to be.
- As well as being a legal requirement, your banns readings are special public occasions when people in church hear of your intention to marry. You should, if you can, be in church to hear your banns being read. It’s an exciting and happy time, so invite your family and friends too!
- Banns will normally be read during the 'notices' section of the main service on Sunday morning (check the services page for service times).
COMING TO CHURCH
Don't let the coming to church bit put you off! You will be warmly welcomed and we understand that for a lot of people it's a new experience! Check the services page for service times. Tell one of the people giving out books (a 'Sidesman' or 'Churchwarden') you are getting married and they will look after you.
MUSIC FOR YOUR WEDDING
ORGAN & PIANO
We have an excellent (three-manual) pipe organ and a good quality piano in the church. Our usual organist is available to play at weddings but there is a fixed fee of £80. You need to specify that you want an organist when the wedding is booked.
We have a good quality sound system which is available for the playing of CD music before or during the ceremony. You must tell us that you would like to do this when you are making final arrangements. Don't leave it until the day of the wedding as there may not be a technical person available and please, get the music to us before the wedding day if possible. A good time to do this would be at the final rehearsal where you can also try the tracks and decide on the volume you would like. Write down the track(s) that you want so there is no confusion!
You can of course have both organist and CD music if you like. For instance if you would like the organ for the hymns and some CD music during the signing of the registers.
Most weddings at the Lyn Valley Mission Community are taken by one of our Vicars, the Rev'd Jean or Rev'd ?. However sometimes they maybe unavailable so the service could be taken by other clergy. If you have a Church of England priest in your family or as a friend it is possible for them to take the service.
Whoever is taking your service will be in touch with you some months before your wedding date to arrange meeting you both and talking about the options which are available to you for your wedding service.
Once you know who is taking your service please get in touch with them if you have any questions you need answered. They will be expecting to meet you both several times to go through the various details necessary as you prepare for your wedding. Our hope is that, by the time your wedding day arrives you will have a clear idea of what is going to happen in the service, and that you won't be worrying about "what you have to do and when you have to do it"!
REHEARSALYou will have a rehearsal! This will be arranged by the priest taking the wedding service. It is often the night before your wedding but not necessarily The priest will take you through the whole service in your correct positions and with your movements throughout the church.
You will need to make sure you are both there, along with your BRIDESMAIDS, BEST MAN, BRIDES FATHER (or other person giving the Bride away) and any READERS attend so they fully aware of what to do. Also any other relatives and friends are welcome to come along to watch.
If people who are doing readings during the service are present, it is worth getting them to have a practice using the microphone by the lectern.
ON THE DAY
All wedding fees include one verger (sometimes there will be two). The verger(s) will prepare the church for the actual ceremony - open the doors, turn the lights on, sweep the path, light the candles and all the other jobs that are required. The verger will arrive at about 1 hour (minimum 45 minutes) before your marriage time.
Normally wedding party ushers will great people and hand out the service sheets but the verger is available for assistance if required. If you require music from a CD it will be the vergers responsibility. Vergers should be wearing a badge for identification.
The church traditionally had a full time verger but these days vergers are members of the PCC* who are given verger 'status' and operate on a rota. The verger is responsible for the fabric of the church, the smooth running of your wedding service along with any money matters that are involved. If you have any questions on the day they are the person to ask first.
Ask your ushers to be at the church at least 45mins before the service. A Verger from the Church will be on duty and will be happy to advise them or give information.
It is helpful, at the end of the service, if one usher can wait until all your guests are out of the church and then retrieve spectacles, camera cases, umbrellas etc., which tend to get left behind as well as collect any service sheets remaining and retrieve the CD if we have used the sound system for music.
The lectern, from where any readings will be made, has a microphone. It is worthwhile getting your reader(s) to try this for volume before the ceremony, either at the rehearsal or at least as soon as they arrive (before the other quests take their places)! Ask a verger (should be wearing a badge) for assistance.
We don't want to spoil the fun but we would be very grateful if you could ask your guests to keep confetti outside and away from the church. It can be liable to blow back into the church if the doors are open. Alternatively you could delegate an usher, for example, to stay for a while and borrow our broom!
We do have 6 bells and a bell ringing team available for your wedding (extra charge). Talk about this when you book your wedding.
Do advise your guests who have babies to feel free, during the service, to get up and take them into the lobby or outside for a while if they get fractious - they needn't feel that they have got to stay in their place trying to keep the baby quiet. In fact it is much better if noisy children are taken out because it can become very difficult to hear and may spoil your special day.
Obviously you will want still and maybe video pictures to record the event. Outside the church, of course, there are no restrictions at all, but inside the building, and during your wedding service, we have to ask people to observe some rules.
One or two professional (or designated) photographers can take photographs during the service itself but they MUST NOT USE FLASH. Professional equipment will not require flash to obtain good pictures.
Also a video cameraman may record the service. In order not to distract people from the wedding itself we prefer cameramen not to move around too much. Any professional taking pictures needs to speak to the priest before the service - some choose to come to the rehearsal. Please make sure that your photographers are aware of these 'rules' to save any problems on the day.
Please also be aware that some rules apply to quests also! Quests are asked to stay in their seats, no wondering around taking photographs. If they can take photos from their seats this is OK but again NO FLASH. Flash photography is very intrusive during a wedding service. We ask that people observe these restrictions for your benefit!
Please remember NO FLASH photography during the service.
PHONESIt is stating the obvious but... Please ALL MOBILE PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF!
Here is some information about local venues and services that you may find useful for your wedding.
Wedding Car Hire
' Best Day Ever Devon' - Car Hire and Venue Styling www.bestdayeverdevon.co.uk