Getting married at St. George's
Congratulations! We will be delighted to help you to plan your special day and to prepare for your marriage.
Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God. A wedding or marriage service is a public declaration of love and commitment to your partner and a recognition of God's grace.
By getting married in church you are recognising that God cares about your relationship and that you are seeking God's resources and strength. You are looking to God's love to sustain you, when things are good and in more difficult times. You will also have the support and encouragement of the wider Christian family.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of getting married at St George's please be in touch via the contact page and we will get back to you.
Further help and advice can be obtained from the Church of England Weddings website.
Suggestions on hymns and music for your special day can be found here, and also on the menu on the left.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Can I get married at St George's?
A. You can be married at St George's if one or both of you live in the parish. You can check which parish you live in by typing your postcode into A Church Near You. If one of you lives in a different parish you will have banns called there as well as at St. George's, but the priest will explain all of this when you meet to discuss.
If neither of you lives in the parish you can be married at St George's:
- if you and/or your partner is a regular worshipper and on our electoral roll. To qualify for the electoral roll you will be expected to regularly attend the church services for at least six months.
- if you or your partner have a qualifying connection (see below).
If you do not meet any of these criteria it is possible to get married in a Registry Office then come to St George's for a service of blessing.
Q. What is a qualifying connection?
A. New legislation came into force in 2008 to meet the needs of people who would like to marry in a church because it has special significance for them, even though it is not where they live.
A qualifiying connection is where at least one of the people wishing to marry in church:
- was baptised in the parish; or
- has been confirmed and the confirmation has been entered in a church register book belonging to the parish, having been prepared for confirmation in the parish; or
- has at any time had their usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- has at any time habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months;
or a parent of at least one of them has at any time during the lifetime of the applicant:
- had his or her usual place of residence in the parish for at least 6 months; or
- habitually attended public worship in the parish for at least 6 months
or a parent or grandparent of at least one of them was married in the parish.
Q. How do I book the church?
A. As soon as you have decided you would like to get married at St George's or have a service of blessing after your civil marriage, please contact the Church Wardens (contact details on the home page).
Q. What are the legal requirements?
A. Marriage in a parish church is by banns (from an old word meaning 'to announce' - similar to 'banner'). Banns are an announcement of your intention to marry and an opportunity for anyone to put forward a reason why they believe your marriage may not lawfully take place. You must have your banns read out in church for three Sundays during the three months before the wedding. They need to be read in St George's and, if your partner lives in another parish, also in that parish church. This also applies in situations where couples are marrying through a qualifying connection.
If you are under the age of eighteen, you must have your parents' consent to marry.
You can read more about legal requirements here.
Q. What if one or both of us is divorced?
A. At St George's we affirm that marriage is for life. We also recognise that some marriages fail and accept, therefore, that divorced persons may marry again.
As part of your preparation for your new marriage and what it means to you, you will want to consider:
* What have you learned from your previous marriage?
* Has there been healing of past hurts?
* If you have children, how are they being looked after?
* What do others think of your marriage plans?
Q. How much will it cost?
A. The legal fees for a marriage cover the publication of the banns, certificate of banns (if necessary), the marriage service and a certificate of marriage. These fees are fixed nationally. St George's also charges some supplementary local fees, for example for the organist, verger, heating, video recording etc. Please contact us for further details.
Q. Can I choose what kind of service I want?
A. The current guidance for the service is here. We have also outlined it in a simple leaflet. You can choose to have a modern language service or one in more traditional language. It is best to talk over the options with the officiating minister. There are usually one or more readings from the Bible or other readings or poetry - we can help you select the most appropriate. There will also be some prayers, which you may help to choose, or you may even write your own. You may also decide to have someone other than the minister leading the readings and prayers. You may have friends or family members you would like to involve in the service, for example by doing a reading or playing a musical instrument.
Q. Which hymns and songs may I have?
A. The officiating minister can advise on suitable hymns and songs, as well as music for coming in, going out and during the signing of the register. If you want to set out the words and/or music on a printed service sheet, you will need to comply with copyright laws - you should consult the officiating minister about this. St George's will be happy to print out a service sheet, to your design, for you for a small fee. Have a look at the menu on the left for some popular choices.
Q. Should we have one or two rings?
A. A wedding ring is a symbol of unending love and faithfulness, and of the commitment you are making to each other. It is entirely up to you whether you have one ring or two.
Q. Can we have a video recording of the service?
A. Yes, this is possible but there is a fee to pay to cover copyright costs.