If you’re still in the early stages of planning your wedding and are unsure of whether to go for the more traditional option of a church wedding or something totally different, we might just be able to help! We recently caught up with with Reverend Paul Peverell (Rev Pev) from the Church of England in Great Ayton with Easby and Newton under Roseberry. He gives us his reasons why couples should opt for a church wedding, how it can be made special and what you should do if you’re considering it or unsure of how to go about it.
If you’re thinking of a church wedding what should you do first?
Couples who are British nationals have a legal right to be married in the Parish Church where they live or have a Qualifying Connection. Go and visit your local Vicar, who will explain what is needed to be married there. If it’s a different Church to where you live, its still possible. Just ask what you need to do.
How do you make a church wedding a day to remember?
The often historic setting has been set apart for worshipping God, so a new dimension is brought into your day. This, combined with the memorable words of the wedding service set a very special scene for the wedding.
Different choices of music for entrance and exit can be chosen to give a different feel to the service – some of these played live, others recorded. You can choose friends or relations to do readings, and it’s possible to include a non religious reading in addition to any Bible readings. Personal choices also come in to how the Church is decorated. We have had all sorts from rainbow themes, paper flowers, candles in china tea cups etc. Churches have a wealth of experience of weddings.
Both of our Churches provide wonderful settings for your special day. Christ Church, built in 1876, can easily accommodate 200 guests. Saint Oswald’s Church in Newton under Roseberry dates back almost 1,000 years. You make your vows underneath the Norman archway, having entered the Church by the beautiful lychgate. St Oswald’s, nestling in the shadow of Roseberry Topping, provides a smaller more intimate setting with a maximum of 80 guests.
You have the legal right to marry in the Church of the Parish when either of you have lived for 6 months, or live at the moment; in the Church where you were Christened, or where any of your parents or grandparents have been married. One of the easiest ways to qualify is to “habitually attend normal Church services for six months” which we interpret to be once a month. At Newton under Roseberry I have lots of couples doing that and they speak positively of the experience, as we all get to know each other better before their special day
“But isn’t it going to be expensive?”
Actually a Church wedding is usually a lot cheaper than getting married at a venue where the Registrar has to come out and the venue also make a charge for setting out and clearing the room. There are variables, like flowers, that can add to the cost, but that all depends on what people want.
I think a lot of couples don’t know they can be married in Church, or feeling nervous of approaching a Church to ask.
Since I have been going to local wedding fairs and meeting with wedding planners at local venues, we have seen a dramatic increase in Church weddings going up over 200% in three years. I would advise other Churches to get out into the wedding fairs local to them too.
Being part of such an important point in someone’s life is a great privilege, and we work hard to make the event truly memorable. However, more important than the wedding is the marriage that follows. We want that to be successful too.
For more information on Church weddings contact Rev Pev on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: GASP Photography