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Your church wedding

By Douglas

Weddings are beautiful.

Joy, love, laughter, all for two folk starting on a journey of charm and happiness.
For many of us, they are also one of the most important days of our lives. That mutual commitment to build a life together, even to build a family together, is a deeply emotional and deeply heroic step.
We promise to share our ups and downs, our virtues and faults, our deepest fears and greatest joys, to devote ourselves to one remarkable person.
For love.
For life.
In front of our friends and families, all cheering us on.
Glorious Weddings

So how can we make such a glorious day better?

Such a traditional day, such a beautiful day, deserves a place that suits you just perfectly, full of everything that is important to both of you.
For some it is important to make our marriage vows in front of God, in full view of a cloud of witnesses, in a church.
For others it is that unique mix of tradition, history and celebrated beauty that churches offer, especially when overflowing with flowers.
Faith Guide
Faith Guide
Its sparks are fiery sparks
A fearsome flame.
Many waters cannot
Put out love
Nor rivers sweep it away.

Song of Solomon 8: 6-7 (trans R Alter)

And such a day! Your wedding so deserves a beautiful place, old carved stone, Medieval and Victorian woodwork, maybe some glowing stained glass, a huge space with acoustics to die for, ritual and romance in glorious harmony.
A church.
And everybody glamoured up, matching the gorgeous flowers, singing enchanting hymns chosen by both of you. Celebrating both you and your wedding vows.

How can we help?

We most definitely have a world of expertise in weddings. Four hundred years or so, to be precise. That is how long weddings in a church have been a thing for everybody, though they became much more important back in the 1800s.
And in those four hundred years we have learnt a thing or two.

What we offer

We have sixteen churches to choose from in our ministry area, each lovely, each unique. If you know the one you want to use, then great. If you do not yet know, then let us help you decide.
We are friendly and supportive, we know how to make the day go smoothly, we know how to avoid mistakes and how to cope with the unexpected.
We are efficient. We know the processes inside out, and how to guide folk through them.
We are spiritual. We know the importance of the hidden, the unspoken, the deeply felt. The importance of a pledge to another person. Of marriage.
Faith Guide
Faith Guide
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Weddings: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

We are trustworthy. We have committed our lives to God, and we are dedicated to our communities. We owe honesty and love to both. That includes you.
We communicate. Weddings can be stressful and the last thing you need is more stress with lack of clear speaking. You will get that clear speaking, and quick replies, from us.
We love weddings. Just adore them. Tears to our eyes every one. That is how much we care.

Prices for a church wedding

There is a cost, which is set centrally for all parish churches.
It ranges from £539 to £641 depending on if both or one or neither of you live in the parish.
More here on the Church of England website.
This covers the cost of clergy, the church, the wedding banns and a banns certificate, lighting and all administration.
On top of that is the marriage certificate issued by the Devon County Council (for our churches that is) which costs £11, We enter the confirmation of your marriage in an official database then you can apply online or offline for the certificate.
Everything else is optional: Organist, choir, bell ringers, flowers, heating (definitely something to consider in our English climate), and anything else you fancy that suits these sacred spaces.
Plus, if you would like to make a donation to our church funds (we pay for the upkeep of the building ourselves alone, not from the Church of England central funds) then feel free, entirely as you fancy.
Oh, and if you want to professionally film your ceremony then our organist or choir might require a Professional Performance Fee.

I want a church wedding but find it difficult to afford?

We definitely understand this, especially with today’s cost of living.
Have a word with the local parish vicar and we might be able to find ways to help.

Can we marry in a parish that neither of us live in?

This is possible, but not a certainty. There are various Church of England regulations surrounding this, and some kind of connection to the parish is needed, though that can be quite slender.
The rules are here or just have a word with us.

Can we have a Church Blessing instead of a full wedding?

In many cases yes, we call it a Service of Dedication of Blessing, and is sometimes chosen as an option by couples celebrating a Civil Marriage or a Civil Partnership.
We cannot offer this option yet for same sex couples as we are waiting for the Church of England to change its rules. When it does (and we venture it will be this year) then each church and minister will decide whether to offer this service to same sex couples or not.
When we know more we will update this article.

One or both of us have been divorced, so…?

We need to talk with you. Marriage is a Holy Sacrament of our church, a sacred ritual within the gaze of the Divine.
Faith Guide
Faith Guide
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3-4

So we need to know that you take it seriously, and for that a friendly chat is called for.
It is perfectly possible though. There is more information here.

How do we start to arrange our church wedding?

Contact the administrator or vicar of the church you want. The list of our churches is here, with contact info for our Ministry team. This is the best way.
We will explain things in more detail and you might like to look around the church before making a final decision, which is fine by us. If you are not sure what church you want or are allowed to use, then just talk to one of the clergy.
Remember though, we do need time to read the wedding banns in church, a legal requirement of church weddings.

Just connect…

Whatever stage you are at in deciding about your wedding feel free to chat to us.
And if you choose to go ahead then you get to have your ceremony in a wonderful place full of beauty and history, and we get to do another wedding.
We do so love that.
More than you can imagine.