When you are planning to get married there are many things to do and booklets to advise you. Here is a short guide written to help you get the church arrangements right.
If you are thinking of getting married in our church please come to a Sunday service and see if you are happy with our style of worship. That done, and assuming that you like what you have experienced, the next step is to make an appointment to see the minister - The Rev Rog - telephone 01822 614613.
He will let you know if he is available on the date you require and is willing to conduct the service.
An initial fee of £25 is required at the time of arranging the wedding.
Before the church will agree to marry any couple certain requirements must be fulfilled:
1. At least one of you must believe in God and in Jesus Christ his Son.
2. You must be prepared to attend church services as regularly as possible. Our services are at 10.00am every Sunday. Salvation Army at 6.00pm.
3. You must recognise that marriage is a commitment for life which should never be broken.
4. A previous marriage which has ended in divorce is not a barrier but it should be recognised to have been an unfortunate failure requiring forgiveness.
The Registrar must be informed of your intention to marry, and when and where. The Registrar is based in the Town Council Offices in Drake Road. You should telephone to make an appointment on 01822 612137. If one of you lives in a different registration district notice must be given there too.
Information required by the Registrar includes: Full names, age, address, occupations, and marital status. If you have been married before you will need to take your decree absolute as well. Such notice can be made within the year leading up to the wedding. The cost is 2 X £30.00 (Feb 2004) and there must be at least 15 clear days remaining before the date of the wedding.
After the 15 days the notice must be collected and immediately passed to the minister. It is his authority to conduct the marriage. He is unable to act without it! The minister also needs to be shown the decree absolute where appropriate.
Entrance and exit music needs to be decided upon. The traditional music is the Bridal March and the Wedding March. If other music is required the couple must speak to the organist at least a month before the wedding and provide him with sheet music if necessary.
Two hymns need to be chosen. Be careful that well-known hymns are chosen and that they are suitable - e.g. "Morning has broken" is not a hymn to be sung in the mid afternoon, and "All things bright and beautiful" is a children's hymn which adult men may feel silly singing!
A selection of hymns which you may find helpful is given at the end of this leaflet.
There are three choices for you to decide from:
a. You can accept the normal weekly arrangement provided by church members and contribute £25. OR
b. You can organise flowers yourself. OR
c. The church will match the colour scheme of the wedding using beautiful displays of silk flowers. We need to know what flowers you will be carrying and the colour of the bridesmaid's dresses.
Your professional photographer may take whatever shots he likes during the service so long as he does not intrude upon the ceremony. If you want a video of the service done the camera must remain in a static position throughout the service.
About 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding a rehearsal is held. Only the wedding couple and the minister should attend. It is at this point that all outstanding church fees must be paid in cash.
The signing of the registers is done in church in full view of the congregation.
If there are going to be children present during the service please advise parents to provide them with something quiet with which to amuse themselves. Children can otherwise become very restless, bored and noisy.
I hope these notes will help you to make the necessary arrangements. If however you do not understand everything, do not worry! I am here to help and am always pleased to answer any questions you may have.
SOME WEDDING HYMNS
All creatures of our God and king
All my hope on God is founded
All people that on earth do dwell
At the name of Jesus
Blessed city, heavenly Salem
Blest are the pure in heart
Blest be the tie that binds
Come down, O Love Divine
Crown Him with many crowns
Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Father hear the prayer we offer
Father lead me day by day
Fill Thou my life O Lord my God
For air and sunshine pure and sweet
For the beauty of the earth
Give to our God immortal praise
Glorious things of Thee are spoken
God of grace and God of glory
Guide me O Thou great Jehovah
Help us to help each other Lord
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
Immortal, invisible, God only wise
In heavenly love abiding
Lead us heavenly Father lead us
Life is great
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy
Love divine, all loves excelling
Morning has broken ( a.m. only)
New every morning is the love
Now thank we all our God
O God our help in ages past
O Jesus I have promised
O perfect love
O worship the King
Praise my soul the King of heaven
Praise to the Lord the Almighty
Summer suns are glowing
The King of love my Shepherd is
The Lord's my Shepherd I'll not want
Through all the changing scenes of life
When morning gilds the skies (a.m. only)