This is an historic posting – please see the up to date weddings page from the home page of the website for up to date information on our weddings policy in the Parish
Photo above (c) David Watts Photography and Flowers by Wildbunch Alresford
We are now well under way in the Wedding Season.
We have nine weddings in the churches of the Itchen Valley this year. Couples tend to choose St Mary’s Easton or St John’s Itchen Abbas, but we also have one wedding each at St Swithun’s Martyr Worthy and St Mary’s Easton.
It is of course an incredibly special occasion to be married in one of our very beautiful churches in the way that millions of people have been married over the centuries. However, these days it is not an automatic decision to do so and couples need to think very carefully as to whether they do want to get married in church at all. The church itself has standard rates for weddings throughout the country and (as these have to fit all budgets) church weddings are not expensive, but there is more to a church wedding than just a pretty occasion.
I always say to couples booking in ‘are you sure that you want to get married in a church?’ This is because the Church is not just a venue for the ceremony. We in the church care about the happiness and longevity of the whole marriage and not just about the wedding day itself. We want the couple’s whole lives together to be a success and not just the ceremony.
Thus we will ask a couple quite searching questions about their relationship which would be impertinent if we were just a wedding venue. When a couple are married in a church they are married before God and they become ‘one flesh’. In the form of the service the Anglican liturgy says ‘Those whom God has joined let no-one put asunder!’ A marriage is for keeps; for life. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. For this reason we encourage couples to attend some kind of Marriage Preparation before they get married – there are courses all over the country (one very good course is run by Relationship Central see http://www.relationshipcentral.org/marriage-preparation-course). This year we also held a Marriage Preparation Day which many of our couples also attended. There are also a series of meetings to be held with Amanda, Rebecca or me before the couple get married.
We can also help with a number of aspects of your wedding to make it the really special day that you want it to be – we can provide an organist if you wish, bell ringers (in some of our churches) and also flower arrangers – so do ask us about this before you make these arrangements.
Flowers above Penelope Kellie
So what entitles you to get married in Itchen Valley, if you want to do so? Not everyone can do so. The legal requirement is that you have to have a ‘qualifying connection’ with the parish and this is achieved if:
One of you lives in the parish
One of you is on the church’s electoral roll
One of you was baptised in the parish
One of you was prepared for confirmation in the parish
One of you has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
One of you has at any time habitually attended normal church services in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
One of your parents, at any time after they were born, has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
One of your parents has habitually attended normal church services in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
One of your parents or grandparents was married in the parish.
For those coming from far afield, without any other geographical connection, the requirement to attend habitually for six months is quite onerous – many of our parishioners attend habitually every Sunday! We would only recommend going down this route if a couple have a serious intention to join us regularly for worship after the wedding. Realistically that will only happen if they live within a reasonable distance.
There is something very special about getting married in Valley. And the sight of couples posing for photographs outside our historic buildings is enjoyable for all in our communities, as it takes us back to our own wedding days.
If you do want to get married in Itchen Valley and think that you qualify geographically, then please do contact me on email@example.com or 01962 793063.
Wedding fees for 2015 follow
Revd. Alex Pease
Wedding Fees 2015
Wedding Fees are principally set nationally
Banns reading £28 (1)
Marriage Certificate £4
Banns Certificate £13
Organist & Video £200 (2)
Bells (Easton & Avington) £150
Heating (Oct-April ) £50
1 If the marriage is by Special of Common Licence then the Banns fee is waived
2 A performing rights fee is applied for the organist if a video is made of the service
3 If the couple wish to make a further donation to the Parish they are encouraged to do that using the Gift Aid scheme.
A deposit of £100 is payable when the wedding booking is taken which confirms the date and time. A month before the wedding date the balance is payable. Instructions will be given to you on how to make payment. Any other donation you wish to make is welcome but at your discretion.
If you wish to discuss these fees or any other matter to do with your wedding please contact:
Revd Alex Pease firstname.lastname@example.org 01962 793063