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Why not get married at St Botolph's or St Mark's Church?

If you are considering getting married at either St Botolph’s or St Mark’s please first arrange an appointment with Fr Lawrence on 01474 566400.  

What happens next:   After your initial booking meeting, you will arrange to meet with Fr Lawrence about three months before the wedding so you can make your personal choices about the service.
  You can have a wedding with a CD playing the music or, we can also provide you with an Organist, Choir and Tower Bells.  

After that:  One week before your wedding there will be a rehearsal in the Church for the couple, brides father, brides maids, best man, ushers etc to help you all be confident and relaxed on the day itself.

neither of you live in our parish and are qualifying for marriage at St. Botolph’s/St Mark’s via the route of electoral roll membership, you will be expected to become regular worshipping members at one of our Sunday services at 10.00 a.m. or 4pm for a period of six months.  This is a legal requirement but it does have the advantage in helping us to get to know you and you us! 

 You can fit approximately 350 people in the church so there is plenty of room for your guests to be comfortable. 

THE SERVICE With Fr Lawrence you will need to make decisions on what type of service. The first choice concerns whether you want the traditional language service (BCP) or the new service (CW).  To help you think about this you will find part of the introduction of the two versions of the wedding service outlined below. Brides can, with both versions, decide whether to obey or not. The important thing is to look at what the service is saying and decide which of the two reflect your own views.  In the traditional service the emphasis moves from marriage being ordained for the increase of mankind, with the proper direction of natural instincts, to the mutual help and comfort that the one ought to have for the other. In the newer service the emphasis moves from help and comfort to responsibilities in the wider community.  

THE TRADITIONAL SERVICE  The Book of Common Prayer ... Dearly beloved, we are gathered together...here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate instituted of God ...and is not therefore by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy man's carnal lusts and appetites ... but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained. First, it was ordained for the procreation of children ... second, it was ordained for a remedy against sin .. thirdly it was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.  Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined ...

  we have come together to witness the marriage of N and N, to pray for God’s blessing on them, to share their joy and to celebrate their love. Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind, ...The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives. It is given as the foundation of family life in which children are [born and] nurturedand in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love.

Music  Having decided upon the form of service you will now have to think about the music. You will need to decide on the Bridal March, any music played or sung whilst the registers are signed and the Wedding March.  We are happy to help you chose the music and do remember that our fine pipe organ cannot produce ‘electronic music’. In addition,  hymns are sung during the service
READINGS  You will also need to chose a reading/s for the service from the Bible or other poems or literature The Vicar can help with suggestions.  The Choir  You may book our fine Choir for your wedding and the charge is listed on the sheet setting out fees etc. In addition, we may be able to provide a soloist to sing whilst the registers are being signed. 
 You can also arrange for the Tower Bells to be run at the end of the service and we also make a charge for the to happen. WITNESSES  You will need to chose two adults to sign the registers during the service as witnesses to the marriage. 

FLOWERS  Flowers of the season are sometimes provided for the Sunday service on the next day, except during the season of Advent (December) and Lent (Around March). The Church Flower Arrangers are very happy to provide wedding flowers and you should contact the flower arrangers who are listed on the Who’s Who. They will be able to discuss arrangements and costs.  

At your first meeting with Fr Lawrence you will be expected to pay a non returnable deposit of £25.00 in confirming the date and time of your wedding. The balance of money must be paid 21 days before the date of your wedding. 

If you're going abroad for your honeymoon, the Passport Office will provide a passport in your new name dated the date of the wedding. Get the form P.D.2 from the Post Office and have it signed by the Vicar in good time. Make sure the tickets are in the same name as the Passport 

The throwing of confetti is not allowed because of the litter Act. Clearing it up inside the Church is a real problem. 

If either of you lives outside of our parish boundaries, and you are being married by banns at St. Botolph's, it is your responsibility to get your banns read in the parish church in which that party is resident. You must obtain a banns certificate from that parish and present it to us no later than one week before your wedding. Without this piece of paper you cannot be legally married in church. (Do not leave it to the last month to organise!)    

There is no extra charge for audio and video recording but this must be arranged in advance to prevent abuse of copyright. The Vicar will also give directions to the operator prior to the wedding so it does not interfere with the service. 

flash photography is allowed during the service as this detracts from the occasion. We are happy for the official photographer to photograph the signing of the registers. 

If you wish to book the Church Hall for your wedding reception please see the section on Church Hall Hire.  

FINALLY  If any of the information on your application form should change between now and the wedding, it is extremely important you tell the Vicar straight away, especially addresses.