St Andrew

Weddings - The Service


A Spiritual Event

By asking to get married in a Church you are asking for your wedding to be a spiritual event. Instead of going to a Registry Office you are coming to a holy place, into God's presence to ask his approval and blessing on your marriage. The Priest taking the service is someone called by God to act as His ambassador and to speak in his name. In the weeks and months ahead think about this and pray (talk to God) about your forthcoming service and your future life as husband and wife.


Legal Matters

Because getting married changes a person’s legal status and can alter a person’s right to remain in this country it is not surprising that there are a number of legal safeguards built into the process of getting married. For example there are rules about where and at what time a wedding can take place and rules about giving notice of a wedding and what happens when someone wants to marry someone from overseas. For more information please look at Weddings - Legalities.


Canon Law

Marriage in the Church of England is controlled by the rules laid down in Canon Law. Canon B35(4) states that,

When matrimony is to be solemnised in any church, it belongs to the minister of the parish to decide what music shall be played, what hymns or anthems shall be sung, or what furnishings or flowers should be placed in or about the church for the occasion.


Printed Orders of Service

Please check the wording and the hymns with the Priest before giving your approval for the printer's draft.  Printers sometimes download hymns with different words and verse numbers than those we use in church.


Hymns and Music

It is normal to have two hymns at a wedding and it is always wise to choose hymns that are known to your family and guests.

If you would like to come in to or go out to music other than the traditional wedding marches please ask the priest when we meet to fill in the Banns form.

If you ask for music that the Organist does not possess you will have to purchase it and ensure that he receives it well in advance.

No soloist, outside choirs or organists may be asked to take part in the service without the permission of the Priest. The Organist’s fee is payable even if other organists or musicians are used.

All music played or sung at a wedding must be of a type consistent with the sacredness of the service and no recorded music is allowed during a wedding.


Bells and Choir

We have a good choir and a strong band of bell ringers. If you would like them to take part in the service please ask when we get together to fill in the Banns form.

It is important to note that as with all who help in Church, the individuals in these groups are volunteers so they can be requested but not guaranteed.



Flowers are expensive so if there is more than one wedding that day it makes good sense for the couples concerned to club together. Please talk through the details regarding flowers when we get together to fill in the Banns form. Unless otherwise arranged the flowers remain in church after the wedding.


Photographs and Videos

So as not to detract from the holiness of the sacrament, no still photography is allowed during the service. The official photographer will be allowed to take photographs as the couple arrive at the altar, at the signing of the Registers and as the couple process out of Church.

One video recording of the service will be permitted by the Vicar provided that it in no way detracts from the service. The person making the recording must remain in the assigned places and have signed the Copyright indemnity form given when we meet to fill in the Banns form.

When a video is made of the service the Choir and organist are entitled to a higher fee.


Dresses and Military Uniforms

It goes without saying that all Dresses and apparel should be seemly and consistent with the sacredness of the service.

Members of H.M. forces and other uniformed bodies may wear their Dress Uniform for the Wedding. Caps and Service hats will not be worn by the Bride or men whilst in church. Likewise swords and bayonets etc will not be worn in Church but left with the verger at the back of Church.


The Rehearsal

A date for the rehearsal (usually during the week of the Wedding) will be fixed when you come to fill in the Banns form with us.

For the rehearsal we need - the Couple, the person giving the bride away, the Best man and the Bridesmaids and anyone else who will have an 'up front' part in the service. It is helpful but by no means essential if parents can be there as well so as to rehearse the final procession.



Please bring these with you to the rehearsal.

It would help us greatly if you would pay in small bank notes as this enables us to settle up with the Organist, the Bell ringers and the verger as soon as the service is finished.

The fees for the current year can be found at Weddings - Legalities.


Be on time!

There is a popular idea that the bride should be late for the wedding. Not only is this impolite, it also takes much of the joy out of the service for the Clergy and Volunteers who help to make the service possible.

A late arrival also means that if the clergy have a commitment or if there  is a wedding following yours we will have to rush your service so that the next service can start on time. We really hate rushing things - so please be on time!


Final words

If there are any personal matters you want to talk or pray through before the wedding simply ring the Vicar and arrange a time to get together.

Please remember that whether you stay in the Parish or move away the Clergy are always available to chat with about all the ups and downs that are part of marriage.  Don't wait until molehills have become mountains before giving us a call. It's easier to move a pebble than shift a mountain.