Getting Married at St Peter's

Churches are special and unique places to get married in – the prayers, promises and the whole service of celebration become part of your marriage, on the day itself and beyond

We want to make your wedding personal and memorable for you. Churches are special places and there are some things about a church wedding that you just can’t get anywhere else. 

A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. The ceremony puts God at the centre of your vows and looks to Him for help and guidance. God’s blessing is the main attraction for many couples, whatever their beliefs. 

You can make amazing vows, or promises, in a church. You can only make vows this big in a church. These vows, made in public, will help you to stay together and grow together. God and your church are there for you to help you keep your vows.

The vicar (or priest or minister) has a very particular role to play in your wedding. They can blend ancient tradition and modern experience to reflect your story. Because of the relationship with the vicar and the church, your wedding can be made personal, memorable, meaningful and beautiful.

Please complete the enquiry form below to find out more. We also have some answers to FAQs that might be helpful.

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‘Thank you for all you did to make our wedding day so special. The church flowers were amazing – thanks, Flower Guild – and it was lovely to have your choir singing for us. Thank you, too, for all your help and advice beforehand. It was really appreciated.’  

Can I get married at St Peter's Church?

We welcome enquires from couples that live in our parish or meet specific criteria (also known as a Qualifying Connection). To check you live within the Parish of St Peter’s, Hale, please visit www.achurchnearyou.com. We will also double check this when you make your enquiry.

We will need to see ID for both of you (e.g. a valid passport or photocard driving license) and Proof of Address. We may take copies of these for our records.

If one or both of you are a foreign national, you will need to check if you are legally allowed to marry in the United Kingdom. In some cases this will mean being married under license, rather than by banns. 

I don't live in the parish, what is a Qualifying Connection?

A ‘Qualifying Connection’ is determined by either of the following:

One of you:

  • were baptised at St Peter’s   
  • were prepared for confirmation at St Peter’s  
  • used to live in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
  • has joined the Electoral Roll after regular attendance of 6 months (prior to the wedding enquiry)

Alternatively…

That one of your parents:  

  • has previously lived in the parish
  • currently lives in the parish (for at least 6 months)
  • has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months

Or…

That one of your parents or grandparents:  

  • was married in the parish 
  • was baptised in the parish

We will need to see proof of the above, such as a baptism or marriage certificate, or proof of your parents’ address.

I'm not getting married at St Peter's, but I need my Banns read

In some cases, you might live in our parish, but are getting married elsewhere. In this instance, you will need your Banns read. This takes place in the church you are getting married in, and the local parish church in which you live. You might even have to have three churches reading your Banns if you live in a different parish from each other, and then getting married in a different parish church altogether. 

What are Banns?

Banns are an old Church of England tradition of ensuring that couples are eligible to be married (i.e not already married). Your intention to marry is made public to the parish (just in case you were feeling bigamous!). The equivalent to this in Civil Marriage is a Marriage Notice.

It might seem very antequated like a lot of church traditions, but it is a legal requirement in order for you to get married in the Church of England. It’s also a great way of getting connected to your local church (if you aren’t already) and for the congregation to pray for you as you prepare.

When are Banns read?

We usually read Banns the month prior to your wedding date, on the first three consecutive Sundays of the month. Please get in touch to find out more and to organise this.

How much does it cost?

There is a fee for Banns, which is a charge set by the Church of England, and changes slightly from year to year. We will advise you of the cost when you enquire. Payment must be received prior to the start of the readings.

For those getting married at St Peter’s this small fee is included in the total cost of the Marriage Service.

How much does it cost to get married at St Peter's?

If you’re in the early planning stages, you will want to know how much it costs so that you can budget accordingly.

Standard Fees:

The fee for a Marriage Service in Church is set by the Church of England, and is unfortunately non-negotiable. This changes from year to year, but for 2024 it is £585, which also includes the Banns fee.

We also charge a Verger fee (£50) and for Church Heating (£80 – Oct-Feb, £50 – March-Sept). You might not want the heating on in the warmer months, so please do advise if you don’t want heating and we will waiver this charge.

Other Extras (subject to availability):

Organist (£100)
Choir (£150 or £75 for half choir)
Bell Ringing (£40)
Live Streaming (£200)
Sound Technician (£50)

I'm divorced, can I get married at St Peter's?

In certain circumstances the Church of England accepts that a divorced person may marry again and this has been the case since 2002. We’re glad that attitudes have changed and are continuing to change, and that for those that may have felt pressured into staying in an abusive or broken or loveless marriage that there is freedom and happiness that could be found in a new loving relationship. 

There may be a way forward for you to remarry in a church, so please speak to our vicar about this. The vicar will need to see your Decree Nisi to check that you are free to remarry.

What about same-sex couples?

It grieves us to say that legally we are currently not allowed to marry same-sex couples. The law only allows for cis-heterosexual couples. As an Inclusive Church we know this is not where we want to be, especially with there being LGBTQIA+ people a part of our church family and team. There is a long road ahead of us for this to be a reality in the future.

If you are familiar with the terms Living in Love and Faith (LLF) and Prayers for Love and Faith (PLF), you will know that the Church of England are currently seeking a way forward to approve same-sex blessings. LLF was an extensive discernment and consultation process that took place throughout 2022/2023 in the Church of England.

PLF is the hopeful outcome from LLF. The difficulty is, not all church traditions agree, and there has been a lot of backlash from more theologically conservative churches. There is a lot of confusion as to what PLF will be, and if we are allowed to use them now.

Please watch this space and please pray with us as we seek God’s will in bringing those on the margins of our society and church to the centre.

If getting married in a church means a lot to you, and you can’t wait (why should you?!), it might be good news that some Methodist and United Reformed Churches allow same-sex marriage. Each Methodist and URC church has to agree as a committee and opt in to register their building to lawfully marry same-sex couples, so it is worth seeking out your local Methodist or URC church to see if they are registered. 

Wedding & Banns Enquiry Form

Do you live in the Parish?

Banns only (if you are getting married at a different church)

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