Marriage

 

We look forward to sharing in marriage services in church and praying for the new husband and wife. The first minutes of married life will be in church, so we pray that God will bless the marriage.

We have included some details about getting married at St James below. More information about getting married in the Church of England is available on the Weddings Page.

It is important to sort out the administrative details early. Please take time to complete the paperwork and return it to the parish office. There will be an opportunity to check through the details again as some of them will be copied into the official marriage registers on your wedding day.

A member of the clergy will be in touch with you a few months before your wedding day. They will invite you to a meeting where you can discuss the service, your arrangements and any other matters on your mind, and you may also be invited to join a marriage preparation course.

Where do you live?
It may seem odd that one of the first things we ask is ‘where do you live?’ The reason is that we need to be sure that we are allowed to conduct the service. The law states that we are allowed to marry people who live within the parish boundaries or those who are regular worshipers at St James’. There are a few other ways to meet the legal requirements which are summarised on another page. Please do have a word with the vicar if you would like to explore these further.

What are banns?
Within the three months leading up to the wedding your banns are read in the church. It is a legal and formal way of asking if anyone knows any reason in law why you cannot be married. They are read on three Sundays at the 10 am service. Most people like to come and hear their banns being read. If you are not a regular worshiper, we would encourage you to join us in worship whenever possible. You will be most welcome, and our hope is that by the time of the wedding you will have made some new friends.

If one of you lives in another parish you will need to arrange for the banns to be read in that parish church as well as in St. James’.

Visiting the church
It is good to be able to see the church at close hand before the wedding. The best way to do that is by coming to the services. Alternatively, the church is usually open during the week and on Saturday mornings.

The Rehearsal
The minister taking the service will arrange a date for a rehearsal at the church. It doesn’t take long, but it helps make everyone feel more relaxed on the day. It helps to have sorted out where people will sit and where to sign the registers. As well as the couple it is helpful to have the best man, the bride’s father (or whoever is giving her away) and the chief bridesmaid. It isn’t always possible for all of them to make it to the rehearsal, especially if they don’t live in the area, so we work with whoever can make it. Others are welcome to attend as well of course.

The Service
The minister will give you a copy of the full service when you meet, and go through it with you. If you want to print an order of service, do feel free to ask the minister for help with the details. You may also want to choose a Bible reading. Sometimes couples ask a member of the family or a friend to do the Bible reading or to lead the prayers. If you would like to do this, check with the minister and arrange for the reader to attend the rehearsal. There are normally two or three hymns for you to choose, and music for the entrance, during the signing of the registers and at the end of the service. If you would like to talk directly to the organist, then we can put you in touch nearer the time.

Sadly, we do not have a choir, but are happy to accommodate a choir from elsewhere if you choose to arrange this.

Flowers
The fees include an element for flowers. If you would like to arrange additional flowers for your wedding, please ask your florist to liaise with the Parish Office in the week before the wedding to arrange access. Alternatively, our flower team would be pleased to offer their help and expertise. Again, please contact the Parish Office who can put you in touch with someone to discuss this. There would be an additional cost for this service.

Parking and Confetti
The space in front of the lych gate at St. James’ is reserved for the bride’s car. Confetti can be thrown here when the bride and groom return to the car, but we would ask you to make it known to the guests that throwing confetti in the church grounds is unhelpful.

The church does have a small car park which can be used during the service by a few key people at the wedding.

Photographs and Video
As well as the usual photographs outside the church, some may be taken at the signing of the registers, and during the final procession down the aisle. It is important that all the guests attending the wedding are aware that no photography should take place during the service itself as they will want to concentrate on the service.

If you are planning to have a video of the wedding please ask whoever is doing the video to speak to the minister and find where they may stand through the service. The church is not really very suitable for videos and it is important that taking the video does not get in the way of the service. It is your responsibility to make any arrangements about copyright that may be necessary.

Fees
The fees are set each year in the autumn and take effect from the beginning of January. You are asked to pay a deposit of £75.00 when returning the banns form and you will be invoiced for the balance, to be paid at least one month before the wedding date.

 

Tel 01892 521703 

St James Church Ferndale 

Tunbridge Wells 

Kent 

TN2 3RL