We are delighted to welcome couples to our beautiful churches for their wedding. The service is central to one of the most important days of your life and we do everything we can to ensure that it is really special.
We are also here to help you prepare for your married life together. By getting married in church, you are asking for God’s blessing on your life together - the best start you can have.
How do we get married at Great Oakley, Wix, Wrabness, Tendring or Beaumont-cum-Moze?
The first thing to do is to contact Revd Liz Barnes who will arrange to meet with you to discuss the whole process. You will be able to check that the date you would like is available and then complete an application form to confirm your church booking. Weddings can be on any day of the week (although not usually on Sundays).
Does it matter where we live?
If one or both of you live in the Parish where you wish to marry you may get married in the village church there by Banns. This is an old tradition, still legally required, whereby an announcement of your impending marriage is read out in church on three Sundays beforehand. Traditionally, this gives members of the public a chance to object to the marriage but this is extremely rare these days!
If neither of you live in the Parish, it may still be possible to get married in one of the churches in our benefice if you have strong links with one of them. For example if you have lived here in the past or if your parents live in the Parish.
If you worship regularly at one of our churches for at least six months, you may also be married there by Banns.
When do we have to book?
It is best to book the church as soon as you have decided to get married. It is important to check with us that the church is available before booking your reception. There is no booking fee but we do ask that you notify us if your plans change.
Early in the year in which you are to be married, you will be invited to attend a one-day marriage preparation course for all couples who will be getting married in the same year. The course is run on a Saturday and covers practical aspects such as music, flowers and legal matters, then goes on to look at what getting married means.
We hope that aspects of the course will be relevant to you, whether you are just about to set up home together or you have been living together for some time.
The course also looks at the wedding service itself and gives you a chance to discuss the various parts of it and to think about how you would like your service to be special to you. During the course you will be given lots of explanatory material to help your preparation.
Do you marry divorced people?
In certain circumstances, it may be possible for divorced people to marry in church. In other cases, we are happy to arrange a wedding blessing service to follow a civil ceremony and this can have most of the elements of a wedding service except for the legal requirements. Please talk to Revd Liz Barnes if you would like more information about this.
How much does it cost to get married in church?
Everything that is legally required will cost around £600 but most couples like to choose optional extras such as a choir, the organ, bells etc. which can increase the costs to around £1000. Full details are available from Revd Liz Barnes.
What happens next?
During the months before your wedding there may be lots of questions you want to ask. Our ministry team is always available to offer help and advice about any aspect of your marriage. About three months before your wedding you will meet personally with the minister officiating at your wedding to discuss the service in more detail. Two months before your wedding, your Banns will be read. We will let you know exactly which dates when your wedding is confirmed. We can advise on your order of service and review it with you; we can offer help with choosing hymns and music if you wish. We will arrange a convenient day for a rehearsal sometime in the two weeks prior to your wedding.
What other resources about weddings do you recommend?
More information on weddings can be found on the Church of England's weddings site:
God is love, and those who live in love live in God: and God lives in them. 1 John 4:16