Getting Married

To love and to cherish till death do us part.

Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage. Whether you’re just dreaming of a church wedding, or well into the planning already, your church wants to help and support you.

Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God and in the marriage ceremony you as a couple make a public declaration of a lifetime of love and commitment to each other and will be one of the most important days in your life.

To enquire about the possibility of being married at St Paul’s or St Andrew’s (for which one of you needs to have residence in the appropriate parish, or real links with that church) please contact us on 01432 274490.

St Paul's Church, Tupsley, Hereford, interior

Call the Vicar
Let your Vicar know your good news as soon as you can and the three of you can fix a time to discuss what happens next.

Space to think
Before your wedding, your Vicar may invite you to an event to help prepare you for married life together. It’s a no-obligation invitation, but one that many couples appreciate. It provides time and space to think about the vows and the difference they will make.

Banns are announcements 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. On these occasions, everyone in your church will also be praying for you. It can be very special and moving, so go along if you can.

Legal aspects of marriage
In marriage you take on a whole new legal status as man and wife and this can have many benefits. To ensure the marriage complies with both UK Civil and Church law, there are certain aspects of a church wedding that must be fulfilled.

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 need to be read in the parish where each of you lives as well as the parish 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 often done over three consecutive Sundays but does not have to be.

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 whose nationality is not British, or if one or both of you do not live in England, it is recommended that the Licence procedure be used rather than Banns. This is especially recommended if there is any doubt as to the legal requirements of the home country of a non-British person for recognition of an English Church marriage.

You must be old enough
If you are under 18 years old you will need your parents’ consent to marry and by law you can not be married in the UK until you are 16.

Guidelines for divorcees
There are special guidelines on marriage in the church if you are divorced. There may well be a way forward, but you will need to talk your Vicar about your situation to explore the possibilities for you.

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.

Marrying outside your parish
It is now much easier to marry in a church that has a special connection for you, even it is not in your own local parish. Here’s how.

Wedding music

Music at your wedding is a very personal choice.

Weddings over the centuries have included everything from classical soloists to rock bands. Your Vicar will be able to advise you, whether you want a traditional wedding or something with a bit of a difference. The following may be helpful information to get you started.

There are usually two or three hymns sung during a wedding service. Try to find hymns that are familiar to those who will be present – and are easy to sing!

The Vicar or the organist at the church where you are to be married will be pleased to help you decide.

You can also listen to some of the most well-loved church wedding hymns on this site, which may help you make your choice.

The Organist
Organ music is the traditional choice for weddings and most churches which have an organ also have an organist. Organists, (or Directors of Music in some of the larger churches), can advise you on hymns and processional music. Their capabilities and the type of organ they have in church need to be taken into account, so do seek their opinion even if you have already decided which hymns you’d most like to have.The Church Choir.

Some churches have a choir which can be present at your wedding and help lead the hymn singing. Some choirs can also sing a suitable piece by themselves during the service, such as when you are signing the Register.

Processional Music
To accompany the bride’s walk down the aisle, many couples still choose the traditional “Bridal March” by Wagner and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”. However, there is scope for other music, so if you would like to explore something different, please talk to your church about this. Some churches will also play recorded music. Speak to your Vicar about what they can do.

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