‘Getting married in a church’ can mean a whole spectrum of events. The main elements are: your promises (the vows), your nuptial blessing, the witnesses, prayers for you and the signing of the registers. It is perfectly possible for you not to have any of the other enhancements such as flowers, music, festive clothes, special cars, expensive parties etc.
The priest will take your wedding seriously, whatever you decide to do from, on the one end of the scale, the two of you coming to the church in ordinary clothes with two witnesses to, on the other end of the scale, you organising a huge stage-managed day of celebration.
There is a fee for a church wedding plus optional extra fees for services like musicians, copyright for videoing, etc. You will be invoiced a month before the wedding date and the money is due immediately. We also charge a £250 timekeeping deposit, which we return if both the rehearsal and service start broadly on time.
If you wish to provide flowers and church decorations you will need to ensure that your florists or flower arrangers have access to the church at a time the church is open, by arrangement with the Vicar. It is also recommended to dovetail such arrangements with our church flower organiser, who also can give very useful advice in this area. The clergy can put you in touch with her.
Photographs, Video, Streaming
You can have one designated photographer. They will have a lot of freedom to take photographs, even during the service. We ask that they identify themselves to the priest ten minutes before the service so they can have a quick discussion, and that other people refrain from taking photographs during the service.
Some wedding couples at St Stephen’s decide to make an audiovisual recording of their wedding service. If you are doing this it will involve you in paying additional copyright fees (to church and musicians) and also signing a form which will give the church and musicians control over broadcasting rights. Wedding couples that wish to do this should let the Director of Music know, and be aware that the fees for all musicians will be doubled.
If couples would like their service to be streamed live via the internet, an additional half fee is payable to all musicians participating, and such a request should be discussed with the Vicar and Director of Music.
You may like the wedding to include a celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion or Mass). This would be especially relevant if either of you is a regular church attender or is used to receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It makes the service about ten minutes longer.
At St Stephen’s we can only allow strictly biodegradable confetti and this only on the public pavement area away from the church building, a note to this effect must be included in your order of service. The deposit will be retained if extra confetti clearing-up costs are incurred.
The Church Hall
There will always be at least one toilet available for the use of those attending your wedding. If you would like unrestricted access to the hall, toilets and car-park you will need to book the church hall for the duration of your wedding plus 30 minutes either side. This needs to be done in good time via our hall bookings secretary [link]