As Christians we believe that marriage is a gift from God.
If you do too then we would be pleased to discuss with you holding your wedding at St Mary the Virgin Buckland, or St Michael’s Betchworth. Our Church has provided a spiritual and charming setting for the weddings of many couples within our community.
These notes are offered in an effort to answer some of the common queries about weddings. Our prayers and good wishes are with you as you plan for your wedding day and begin your married life.
Please do contact the Rev Canon David Eaton if you are considering having your wedding at St Mary the Virgin Buckland or St Michael’s Betchworth:
The Revd Canon David Eaton 01737 843915
Of course we will work with you as a couple to decide the words of the Service you would like and suggest readings that are appropriate and that ‘speak to you’ from the holy book. To give an indication of what to expect, we offer two links:
Please do call us if you have questions about alternative services. Below we list some of the practical and legal points that also have to be considered:
1. Entitlement to be Married in the Parish Church
You are entitled to be married in the Parish Church provided that:-
- One of you, at least, is baptised, and
- One (or both) of you lives within the Ecclesiastical parish of Betchworth or Buckland, or
- One (or both) of you is on the Electoral Roll of the Parish of Betchworth or Buckland. In order to come on the Roll, the applicant must be baptised and over 16; be a member of the Church of England (or of a Church in communion with the C of E ) ; if not resident in the parish, has habitually attended public worship during the period of six months prior to enrolment, and has filled in the application form for the Roll.
- Neither of you has been married to a partner who is still living. For divorcees or couples who are entering into a second marriage after a divorce each case will be considered in its individual circumstances. New legislation has made further allowances which take into account parental involvement or grandparents involvement within the parish. Please contact the clergy for further details.
2. Time of Wedding
Weddings can be arranged for any day between 8.00am and 6.00pm subject to other services in church. We usually allow a minimum of an hour and a half between weddings.
3. Parents Consent
If either of you is under 18 years of age at the time of your wedding, both parents must give written permission.
Your Banns will be called at the main Sunday service on the second, third and fourth Sundays two months before the wedding. Legally, you are not required to be present at the reading of Banns but most couples like to be there to hear them read. If one of you lives in another parish, you will have to go and see the vicar of the parish where you live and arrange for the Banns to be read there too. When this has been done, you must pay for and collect the Banns certificate, and which the person taking the wedding then has to see beforehand.
No licence is needed if Banns are called, but sometimes, for example, when one party comes from abroad, or if it is wished to avoid publicity, marriages are conducted by licence. Talk to the clergy further about this.
6. Form of Service
We normally use the popular wedding service found in Common Worship. The clergy will arrange to meet couples about 3 or 4 months before the wedding date when choices about forms of vows, prayers and readings can be made.
We shall need to know which bridal and wedding marches you would like, and any requests for special music. It is advisable to choose hymns with well known tunes. As soon as you have a firm arrangement for your wedding please contact our organists immediately to make an appointment to discuss your requirements. For Betchworth and Buckland please contact Mr. Melvin Hughes on 01737 241355 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a letter with this pack that gives more information. If you intend to have a service sheet printed, it is essential to let us see the draft copy before you go to print. There are one or two short parts of the Service which it is helpful to include. Please remember to allow extra copies for the organist.
8. Preparation & Rehearsal
Whoever is to conduct the wedding will hope to see you on at least two occasions beforehand. The first to prepare generally and the second for a rehearsal which usually takes place on a weekday evening a few days before the wedding.
You will be handed a separate paper showing how much your wedding will cost. The total cost depends on factors as to whether, for example, you want the bells and a choir. Normally, a non-returnable deposit is paid when the wedding is booked. The balance of the fees is then paid in cash before the wedding day, say, at the rehearsal. It is helpful if the fees are put in separate envelopes and marked ‘bells’, ‘flowers’, ‘choir’ etc.
Please discuss your needs with Mrs. Jackie Ellison on 01737 842330 email@example.com or Mrs. Jean Cooke on 01737 245161, our church flower co-ordinators. The church flower arrangers do not feel able to do wedding flower arrangements so it is necessary to contact a florist of your choice. However, it is normal practice to leave your pedestal arrangements in church for use on the Sunday morning. Jackie or Jean will be able to answer ay other queries you may have, and offer advice.
Will you please tell friends and relatives that if confetti is thrown to use the biodegradable sort and it may be thrown outside (not inside!) the churches. The best place however for them to ‘drown’ you in paper and rice is at the reception where, hopefully there will be an industrial vacuum cleaner to tidy it all up afterwards.
12. Car Parking/Toilet
The car park at the side of the church is available for use at weddings. Access is from Church street. A discretionary donation can be made using the gift aid scheme for use of the space and also if you wish the Hamilton Room to be opened for use of the toilet. There is also additional space behind North Downs Primary School, and this can be booked for a gift aid donation to the school.
13. Photographs & Video
Photographs are not allowed in church during the service, but they are permitted in the vestry and from the church door as you come down the aisle to leave church. If you wish to make a tape-recording or video of your wedding please discuss it with whoever is to conduct the service. Please note that the organist and other fees may be doubled for the privilege of video and careful attention should be made to copyright laws.
14. Bridesmaids, Attendants & Users
It is helpful to have at least two ushers to show key people to their seats and, where required, give service sheets to your guests. Ushers should be at church in good time on the day of the wedding. It is advisable to think very carefully if you are intending to have very small children as bridesmaids and attendants; you can never predict how they will cope with such occasions.