Planning your Wedding

Fixing the Date

Before doing anything else, the date and time of your wedding must be arranged with this Church. You can make enquiries in church after Sunday worship or by contacting the Priest in Charge directly.


As soon as possible you must have a wedding interview with the Priest in Charge. This is the occasion to discuss and arrange the practical details, including fees, hymns, music, flowers and other important information.

An Application for Banns will be given to you, which you must complete and return to the Priest in Charge or Church Wardens.

The Banns

The Banns must be read in any Church of England Parish Church involved (even if you have a Roman Catholic or Free Church background).

Banns cannot be read until three months before your wedding, and must be read in each Parish Church where the parties live. This may mean going to the other Vicar(s) involved and hearing the banns read on at least one of three successive Sundays. They do not have to be read out on the same day in each church.

Your wedding cannot take place unless the Vicar who is marrying you has your Banns certificate beforehand. There is a charge for the certificate (see ‘What will it cost?’).

Wedding Rehearsal

There will be a rehearsal (lasting approximately 30-40 minutes) in the church to help ease the nerves before the wedding. The bride and the groom are essential for this, but the best man, bridesmaids, ushers and parents are much appreciated. Banns certificates from other churches and fees (in full) will be received at the end of the rehearsal.

The bride and groom are covered in confetti by guests as they leave the church on their wedding day. The wedding was held at Apuldram Church, St Mary the Virgin Church, Apuldram, Chichester, West Sussex.

Weddings at St Mary’s (© Scott Ramsey Photography)

Frequently Asked Questions

What will it cost?

Fees are set by the Church Commissioners each year and change on the 1st January. There may be an additional charge for video recording inside the church. Visit the Church of England website so details of Fees.

What about the flowers?

Church members expertly arrange flowers in the church each week. If you wish for additional arrangements, we are happy for you to arrange for this with your florist. Please inform us of your plans.


Photographs may be taken coming in and going out of church and after the signing of the register. They are not permitted during the service (this is not negotiable) and you are asked to make this clear to enthusiastic relatives! Video recording by family and friends is permitted, provided operators strictly obey the guidelines about where to stand.

What about the Service?

Start by exploring the meaning of Christian marriage using the service book. The assumptions about the meaning of marriage in the service, and in the Bible may be quite different from the views expressed in popular music, magazines or TV ‘soaps’. With the pressure of today’s world, if your marriage is to be a strong one, then you must let God into your plans, your hopes and your fears too. Only Jesus Christ, by His Spirit living in us, can give us the strength to love and go on loving.

Which hymns?

It is usual to have a hymn of praise at the beginning, a hymn of dedication in the middle and a hymn of looking forward to the future at the end. The exact arrangement and number of hymns is negotiable – two or three hymns being the norm. Choose hymns that your families and friends will know. Familiar, cheerful hymns will set the tone of the whole wedding day. We have a hymnbook covering most styles of music. You are free to borrow hymn and service books to help you decide.

What about Organ Music?

Discuss this with the Organist who, within reason, will play suitable voluntaries of your choice before and after the service and during the signing of the register. You may need to provide your own sheet music if we do not have it. If you wish to provide your own musicians of any kind, full organist’s fees are still payable and permission must first be sought. Music tracks from a CD are generally not appropriate in Church.

Do I provide a printed Order of Service?

You are strongly encouraged to print your own Order of Service, the outline of which is dictated by the Church’s Canon Law and by Civil Law. Rough proofs of the order of service should be agreed with the Vicar presiding over the ceremony before printing. Make sure that they are available in the church at least half an hour before the service begins.