Can I Get Married at St Stephen’s?
Thank you for considering getting married at our church.
There are legal requirements that determine whether you are, or may become, eligible to get married at St Stephen’s. Eligibility will depend on where you live, any historical or current connections with the parish, and your citizenship status. You can read more about eligibility and legal preliminaries to a wedding, or the clergy are always happy to advise.
Booking a wedding
The first thing you need to do is to book the date and time of your wedding. Bookings are taken on Saturday mornings between 10.30 and 11.30 in the Parish Office (come through the church and into the room at the back) or by arrangement with the Vicar. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss with us the legal basis for your eligibility.
From then on your wedding is booked and all details will be filed under that date. Most people book their wedding about one year to six months before the date. In certain circumstances it can be done with as little time as five full weeks’ notice.
After booking your date it is normal procedure to have two meetings with the priest who will be marrying you, one about five or six months before your wedding and the next about one or two months before. After that there will be a rehearsal on one day during the week before your wedding. It is your responsibility to make sure that these meetings happen.
Planning your Service
Most couples design an Order of Service for their wedding. This should contain words of hymns and a running order of the wedding service so that your guests can be handed this by the ushers as they enter the church. The priest will normally like to have a look at the final proof of this and can be consulted on its contents.
The total running time of the service is likely to be 45-55 minutes.
St Stephens is a busy Church, often hosting more than one wedding on the same day. We also often host events in our hall and evening concerts. We ask couples to bear this in mind when making plans. This means that parking may well be very limited on the day.
It also means that any requests for access to the Church prior to the ceremony for Florists, etc will need to be made in writing to Vicar. This will allow us to balance the needs of all those using St Stephens.
We would also ask couples to note that when we take a booking we are reserving the Church for a one hour period and that wedding parties will need to have moved on to their reception venues and have removed flowers and any equipment in good time so that another wedding can comfortably begin two hours after your own booking.