Weddings

Photo credit: Philip James Photography

We hold wedding services for about 15-20 couples every year and we accept as many as we can. It’s not always possible as there are laws surrounding where couples can and can’t marry (see below), but we can usually help couples find a way to qualify for a Holy Trinity wedding.

Occasionally couples have already married in a civil ceremony, but want to have their marriage blessed in church. And other couples want to celebrate special wedding anniversaries. We are happy to hold these services too.

If you want to enquire about having your service at Holy Trinity, please fill in the enquiry form at the bottom of the page.

Why have a church wedding?

When you get married you make promises to each other, and enter into a legal contract. You also make it clear to everyone in society that you are more than just temporary partners – you intend to be a life-long couple.

It’s a big step and people want to mark it in a memorable way. Most want the support of their friends and family on their ‘big day’. And many want the support of God, made clear to everyone by holding their wedding service in church.

And as a bonus a church wedding is the traditional way. Even without the religious element, there’s something about a church wedding that a hotel or registry office can’t match!

Weddings and the law

Can we get married at Holy Trinity?

The law allows you to get married at Holy Trinity if you or your partner can satisfy one of the following conditions.

  • You live in the parish 
  • You have a ‘qualifying connection’ with the church or parish.  Any one from the following list would count:
    • you were baptised at Holy Trinity
    • you were confirmed from Holy Trinity
    • one of your parents or grandparents was married at Holy Trinity
    • at some time in the past you lived in the parish for at least 6 months
    • at some point in your lifetime one of your parents lived in the parish for 6 months
    • at some time in the past you regularly attended services at Holy Trinity for 6 months
    • at some point in your lifetime one of your parents regularly attended services at Holy Trinity for 6 months
  • You are on the electoral roll (a church membership list) of Holy Trinity.  You can go onto the roll if you regularly attend services here for 6 months and are baptised

You can check whether your home is in the parish by going to the A Church Near You website and entering your postcode.If you are in any doubt about whether you qualify, please ask us.  Remember that even if you don’t live in the parish or have a ‘qualifying connection’, as long as you are prepared to come to services regularly (that means twice a month) for 6 months you can go on the electoral roll and qualify that way. If you’re a bit daunted by the thought of coming to church, have a look at our page ‘First time in church?‘ for explanations and tips about attending Holy Trinity.

What are banns?

Most people who get married in church don’t need a licence. Instead you ‘have your banns called’.

An announcement is made in church on 3 different Sundays telling people you are going to be married.  It can’t happen until about 3 months before your wedding date.  It has to be done in the parishes where each partner lives, and (if it’s different) in the parish you’re marrying in.

When the banns have been called, you collect a certificate from each of the other churches (it costs £41) and bring it to us.  That certificate gives us the legal authority to go ahead with the wedding. This is something you have to organise yourself, but we will explain how you go about it.  Occasionally, it’s not possible for people to marry under the banns process.  In those cases you will need a licence – but there are different types which mean applying to different offices.  Don’t worry – we will tell you what to do and help you through the process.

Special situations

What if I’m divorced?

Usually, it’s not a problem if one of you is divorced.  At Holy Trinity we believe that God gives us all second chances, so we’re happy to hold wedding services when one of the partners is divorced. But everyone’s situation is different. So before accepting a booking, the minister will talk to you to about why the divorce happened, to ensure you’ve thought about it, and that it’s not a problem that will come up again.

What if I’m not British?

If one of you is a foreign national, you have to go through the licence application process to get permission to marry, and you may well need to register your marriage in the other country to have it properly recognised there. We will advise you on what you need to do. It’s very important to follow the right legal process, but usually it’s not a problem – it’s just a bit more complicated!

Other questions

How much does it cost?

Wedding fees are revised every year.  Some are decided nationally; others are set by us locally.  The 2018 fees are set out below.

Nationally set fee £474.00
Holy Trinity running costs £80.00
Altar/chapel flowers £90.00
Duty warden/verger £67.50
Organist £82.50
Basic fee £794.00
Permission to video £82.50
Choir (if available) £80.00
Soloist (if available) £25.00
Bell ringers £190.00

The basic fee covers a contribution towards the cost of running the building (the heating; the altar flowers; the warden who sets up before the service, etc) as well as the nationally set charges for the service.  The other items are all optional.

It’s worth remembering that of all these fees Holy Trinity only keeps £353.  The rest are all passed on to other people.

We will publish the 2019 fees in late 2018.  We suggest that until then you should allow for an increase of around 5% pa.

When can I have my wedding?

Most weddings are on Saturdays, but increasingly they happen on Fridays or even earlier in the week.  You’ll understand we try to avoid Sundays as we already have a number of services that day!

People often book weddings quite a long time in advance, so if you leave it too late your preferred date may no longer be available.  It can be tricky finding a date when both the church and your reception venue are free, but we usually manage.

Blessings and Renewal of Vows

Some couples get married in civil ceremonies, but still want to have their marriage blessed in church.  Other couples may have been married for quite a few years, and want to renew their marriage vows.

We’re happy to do these kinds of service.  There will be a fee, but ‘how much’ depends on the scale of service you want.  Get in touch with us, by phone or using the form below, and we’ll talk through what you’d like to do.

Wedding flowers

We have a dedicated and skilled team of flower arrangers led by Mary Dixon. Contact Mary via the Trinity Centre if you’d like to know more about what her team can create for you, and prices. You can see examples of their work on our wedding flowers page.

Making an enquiry

If you’re interested in having your wedding at Holy Trinity, please get in touch with us.  We’ll check that you qualify, and whether the date you want is available.  And if you want to make a booking, we’ll arrange an appointment with you, to fill in the forms and explain what you need to do  next.

You can phone us or fill in the form below.  Either way, we look forward to hearing from you.

If you want to know more about how we use your data, see our privacy page, or email us at dataprotection@htsc.org.uk