Weddings

Welcome to St Mary’s Wedding page and congratulations on your engagement.

We’re delighted to hear about your engagement and are thrilled to know that you’re considering a church wedding.  Choosing to get married in church is a wonderful decision. Not only will you have a beautiful venue, most importantly you will be asking God to bless you in your new lives together. A church wedding is the most beautiful and most loving way to be married. Surrounded by your family, friends and held in the love of God there is no better way to declare your love and commitment to each other.

It is also a big decision and you will have lots of questions about the process or whether or not you can get married at St. Mary's.

This simple guide answers Frequently Asked Questions has been put together to help you know how to go about booking your wedding.  If you have any further questions or would like to proceed with a booking, please don’t hesitate to contact our vicar, Reverend Ruth Barr, see her contact details HERE, or by using our CONTACT US page.

To get married in a particular church, one of you (bride or groom) has to be able to demonstrate a “qualifying connection”.  This means establishing a link between you and the church.  The most obvious link is that you live in the Parish where the church is situated.  If you’re not sure whether you live in the parish, go to www.achurchnearyou.com and enter your postcode. 

However, you can also marry in a Church of England church other than your own Parish Church if you can show that one of you:

  • Lives in the parish
  • Is on the church’s electoral roll
  • Has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least six months
  • Has habitually attended normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months (once per month for six months)
  • Was baptised in the parish
  • Was prepared for confirmation in the parish

Or

 One of your parents, at any time after they were born:

  • Has lived in the parish for a period of at least six months.
  • Has at any time habitually attended normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least six months.

       Or

 One of your parents or grandparents:

  • Was married in the parish

        Or

  • You have been granted a Special License

 

Many people choose St Mary’s North Mymms because of its location so close to the beautiful North Mymms Park wedding venue, www.northmymms.co.uk and therefore do not meet the above qualifying connections.

If that is you, please do not panic. If one, or ideally both, of you attend our church on a regular basis at least once per month for at least six months we would be able to consider you getting married here. We would be delighted to get to know you over this time. You never know … you might like us and you might decide to continue to be part of our church family after you are married too.

For most people, the answer is a very straightforward ‘yes’.  However, because getting married gives you a whole new legal status with many benefits, there are considerations for the vicar to make in both UK civil and church law. There are some basic requirements but there could be complications if:

one or both of you is a national from a country that is outside the European Economic Area. Special procedures apply to the legal preparations for these marriages, to protect and celebrate those which are genuine, and to help prevent those which are not.

If one or both of you has been married before, there may well be a way forward for you to be re-married in church but the vicar has certain considerations in these circumstances. If you've been married more than once, this is something the priest will want to talk through with you when you meet to plan your wedding. Ruth will also need to see the decree absolute.                 

Although same sex-marriage legislation is now in force, it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry in the Church of England. We would, however, love to offer you a service of prayer and thanksgiving following your civil marriage service.

Within reason, we will try to fit to your preferred date and time.  However, we do not offer Sunday mornings due to other church services, and other dates may not be available during special church seasons.  Also, by law, any wedding must be between 8am and completed by 6pm. We will only arrange to conduct one wedding per day.

Please DO NOT book anything else until you have confirmed that the church is available, the date is suitable and that you already do, or by the date of your wedding will, meet the qualifying connection.

The next step is to make an appointment to meet with Ruth Barr, our vicar. 
Please email her on [email protected] or phone her on 07447458526.
She will then be able to answer any queries and take a wedding booking. 

Once the booking is made, Ruth will be able to discuss with you the various additional services we offer, including: 

  • A wedding preparation morning when you can meet others who are getting married and swap ideas and notes, as well as look at the service and its meaning in detail.
  • A wonderful peal of bells from our dedicated bell-ringers both before and after your service.
  • Music played on one of our two organs.
  • A singer to sing during the signing of the registers.
  • Our beautiful church room which can be hired to allow for light refreshments whilst photographs are taken.

What else do we need to do?

Please complete our Welcome and Congratulations form, available HERE. When you meet with Rev Ruth, she will need to see proof of identity, nationality and address.  Copies of these documents will be taken and kept securely by Ruth until after your wedding. 

Once we have agreed that the marriage can take place, we need to fulfill the legal requirement of Publishing the Banns of marriage. This is done in the three months before the wedding and over three consecutive Sundays.

You will be informed of the dates your Banns are read out and many couples love coming to church with family and friends to hear their Banns read - it's a really lovely occasion and makes it all very real! It's also a good opportunity to visit church 'in situ' and meet some of the church community: whether you are a churchgoer or not, we will keep you in our prayers on your wedding day.

As well as the Reading of the Banns (see above), there are a number of other steps before your big day:

We like the couple to attend our simple marriage preparation group, usually arranged one Saturday over lunch, with other couples who are getting married. The session will include a guide to the ways in which you can personalise your marriage service.

About six weeks before your wedding day, you will meet with Ruth to finalise the arrangements, choice of hymns, readings, Order of Service etc. As the marriage is a legal ceremony, there are some things which must be included.

There will also be a wedding rehearsal, usually in the week before your wedding to which we recommend inviting the main bridal party.

At any point, you can contact Ruth for help and advice – we want to make your wedding day one to remember for all the right reasons.

There are some mandatory fees for a wedding, plus the cost of optional extras, such as having the bells rung.  These fees are determined annually (usually by December) by the Church of England for the following year.

Here is a guide for the 2021 set fees:

  • Church of England marriage service £464.00
  • Publication of Banns* £31.00
    * Depending on where you both live, the banns may need to be read in more than one church – this would incur further fees at the other churches (currently £31 for the calling of the banns and £15 for the issue of a certificate, per church.  Rev Ruth will help you to determine if this is necessary.
  • Marriage document fees: to ensure the signed document is safely received at the Registry Office, £10.

TOTAL £505

To see the table of Church of England fees for 2021, please click HERE.

St Mary’s optional fees:

  • Verger (to work the sound system, candles, lights etc) £40.00 The verger is optional but crucial to the smooth running of the service.
  • Organist, depending on availability and your needs £120.00
  • Heating, October through April, £55.00
  • Bells, up to eight bell ringers, £175.00
  • Singer £20
  • Permission to video the service £120.00
  • Live streaming via YouTube £50.00 (see Live Streaming section).

Do we need to pay a deposit and when is the final payment due?

Yes, in order to book and confirm the date/time of your wedding, you will need to pay a deposit of £75 into the church wedding account.  We ask that you use a bank transfer to pay and add your surname & wedding date for reference. Please email Rev Ruth to let her know you have done this at  [email protected]

Account Number: 8306 9583   Sort Code: 20-92-54   Account Name: PCC St Marys Church North Mymms

Your final payment will need to be paid at least seven days before your wedding, to the same bank account.

The church can seat up to 200 people.  It is a beautiful 14th century church, set in an area of natural beauty, with a traditional interior, which will create a stunning backdrop for your wedding.

While numbers at weddings are restricted, and beyond, we have the ability to live-stream the service via YouTube, so that friends and family who are unable to attend the service in person, can watch from home, either at the time of the wedding or afterwards.  As this requires additional licensing fees for the use of music and a member of the team to operate the cameras, there will be an additional charge of £50 to live-stream the service, to cover costs. Please note that some modern music which is still under copyright may still have to be muted on the live stream.  Please note this is not a substitute for having a wedding videographer, as it is filmed by fixed cameras from the back of the church.

We completely understand that you want a beautiful reminder of your special wedding day and we are happy to accommodate this.  However, you have chosen to have your wedding ceremony as part of a religious service and it is essential that your wedding photographer and/or videographer understands and is sensitive to this.

For this reason, we have certain restrictions in place.  Please share these with your photographer/videographer.

 

  • No additional lighting can be set up inside the church.
  • Your photographer/videographer must not disrupt the Vicar in the performance of the service, which means not getting in her way, asking her to move aside, etc.
  • Photographers and videographers should be unobtrusive during the service.
  • No photographs should be taken during prayers.
  • There should be no flash photography during the service.
  • Photographers/videographers may not be in the chancel (the raised area at the front of the church) directly before or during the service, without express permission.
  • Your photographer will be given the opportunity to take posed photographs during the signing of the register.
  • It is essential that the photographer/videographer listens to the Vicar and/or church warden when advised what is or isn’t allowed. The last thing we want to do is to ask your photographer to leave the church during the service because they are being disruptive.
  • You may take as many formal/informal photographs as you like inside and outside the church after the service.

If you would like some inspiration for which Bible readings to choose, please click HERE.

Amanda and Paul

Lauren and Kieran

Aleona and Chris