Weddings

Getting Married in the Chet Valley Churches

We believe in marriage and we love weddings! If you are getting married and are thinking of having your wedding in church, why not enquire about coming to one of the Chet Valley churches?

You’re welcome to marry in the Church of England whatever your beliefs, whether or not you are christened and regardless of whether you go to church or not. Many people like its traditional setting and feel that this adds to the occasion.

Until recently the law stated that only people who lived in the parish could be married in the parish church. Parliament has now changed the rules about which churches you can get married in, giving you a lot more options. While we would love you to get married in one of the Chet Valley churches, we must adhere strictly to the rules if a marriage is to be lawful.

 

Which churches can I choose?

The Chet Valley Churches are Loddon (with Hales and Heckingham), Chedgrave, Hardley, Langley and Sisland. Special arrangements have to be made for weddings to take place in the churches at Hales and Heckingham.

If either you or your partner live within any of the parishes, you are automatically entitled to be married in any of the parish churches.

To find out which church parish you live in, click here http://www.achurchnearyou.com/

 

I don’t live in any of the Chet Valley parishes, but I would like to be married there – what can I do?

If you do not live in the parish then one or other of you will need to meet one of the qualifying criteria that Parliament has dictated:

  • That you have lived in one of the Chet Valley parishes for at least six months at some time in your life.
     
  • That your parents lived in one of the Chet Valley parishes for at least six months during your lifetime.
     
  • That your parents were married in one of the Chet Valley churches.
     
  • That your grandparents were married in one of the Chet Valley churches.
     
  • That you currently attend one of the Chet Valley churches on a regular basis.
     
  • That you have at some time attended one of the Chet Valley churches regularly for at least six months
     
  • That your parents have attended one of the Chet Valley churches on a regular basis for at least six months
     
  • That you were baptised (Christened) in one of the Chet Valley churches
     
  • That you were prepared for confirmation in one of the Chet Valley churches.

If you can say yes to any of these criteria, you will need to fill in a form before you can make a firm booking for your wedding – but we can put a provisional booking in the church diary!

Weddings - FAQs

Do we have to get married on a Saturday?

No - you can get married any day of the week at the same cost, although we are unlikely to be able to offer a Sunday.

How long does a church wedding service last?

Usually a church wedding service will last somewhere in the region of three quarters of an hour.

I am divorced – can I still marry in church?

Usually, yes, but you do need to talk to us about it.

What are Banns?

Banns of marriage or simply “banns” (meaning “proclamation”) are the public announcement of a marriage due to take place sometime in the following three months. The reading of banns enables anyone to raise legal objections to the marriage. The wording will be familiar from the marriage service itself when the minister asks if anyone present knows of any reason why the couple cannot legally be married. Banns are required to be read in the home parish of both of the couple and also the parish where the marriage is to take place. 

Can we take photos during the service?

We ask you not to have photos taken during the wedding, except when you are signing the register and coming out of the church at the end of the service. It tends to be distracting, however quietly and discreetly it is done.

Can we have a DVD of the service?

Sometimes couples want to film their service, especially if close friends or family members can’t be there. We are happy for you to arrange for a DVD, provided that it is taken from one fixed point in the church. You will need to obtain any necessary copyright licences.

How much does a Church wedding cost?

The simple answer to this question is “Possibly a lot less than you might think!” In a time when weddings seem to be getting more and more expensive, the cost of getting married in Church can actually be surprisingly low. The costs are set by parliament and apply to all marriages held in Church of England churches.

This is the fee structure for a wedding in 2017:

 

Marriage service:

 

£424.00

 

Reading of banns:

£28.00 (Must be read in the parish where the wedding will take place and  in the parishes where you both live)

 

Banns certificate:

£13.00 (Must be provided by the vicar in each place where the banns are read, except from the parish where the wedding is taking place )

 

Marriage certificate:    £4.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the total cost of the legally required components could be as low as £456.00 (if the couple both live in the parish where the marriage is to take place, meaning that only one set of banns is required and no banns certificate is necessary).

Please note that these fees will be revised for weddings taking place in 2018. The total cost of a church wedding will probably increase a little.

Most marriages that take place in the Church of England follow the reading of banns. If you are getting married by Special Licence, the costs will be different.

Additional costs

Various other costs may arise, but they are all optional.

It may be required for the church to be heated. Churches are not generally warm buildings, particularly the older, more traditional ones. If heating is required then there may be a charge to cover the cost of this.

In Holy Trinity, Loddon there are church bells. Bells give a special ‘feel’ to a wedding and help to make the occasion memorable. If bells are required, there will be a charge to cover the cost of the bell-ringers.

If organ music is required, then there will be a charge to cover the cost of the organist. An organist can play any hymns required in the service and also the traditional ‘marches’ in and out of church (as the bride arrives and then as the couple leave).

Local arrangements can be made regarding flowers for the church.