Weddings

We are delighted that you may be considering getting married at St Mary's. Whilst everyone will have individual queries there are some which will be common to everyone and we try to deal with these below. Once you have read through, do feel free to telephone the Parish Administrator during office hours on 020 8946 2605, who will then be able to put you in touch with one of the clergy.

Frequently Asked Questions

All matters set out herein are subject to confirmation.

How do we qualify for marriage at St Mary's?

If either of you live in the parish of Wimbledon, live outside the parish but are on the church's electoral roll and if both are over 18 and not married to anyone else then you are legally entitled to marry at St Mary's. Since 1st October 2008, you are also able to get married here if

  • this parish is where you were baptised and/or confirmed
  • you have lived in the parish for 6 months or more, at any time during your lives
  • this is a parish where you have attended worship in for at least 6 months
  • this is the parish where your parents lived or worshipped (during your lifetime)
  • your parents or grandparents were married in this parish.

My nearest church is St Mark's/St Matthew's/St John's but I would like to marry at St Mary's. Does this qualify me?

You may still be in the Parish of Wimbledon. We would check the address and if it falls in the parish you can marry or have your banns (see later) called at any one of the 4 churches.

I already worship at St Mary's. How would I arrange to marry there?

You should arrange a time for a discussion with the Rector.

Neither of us has a connection with the Parish and we are not able to attend worship regularly. Is it possible to marry at St Mary's?

In very exceptional circumstances an Archbishop's License can be sought. Please discuss this with the Rector.

One of us has been married before. Is it possible for a divorced person to marry in St Mary's?

A previous marriage, provided it is legally dissolved and at least 2 years have elapsed since the decree absolute, is not necessarily a bar to marriage here. You would need to discuss it with the Rector (see above).

We are having a civil wedding. Is it possible to have a service of blessing?

This is very likely. Please contact the Rector.

One of us is Roman Catholic. Can we still be married at St Mary's?

There would be no problem from St Mary's point of view. The RC partner may want to discuss it with their own priest.

We already have a baby. Would it be possible to hold a combined wedding and baptism?

This is possible. You should discuss it with the Rector.

Do we need to have been baptised before marrying in church and would we need to provide documentary evidence of this?

By choosing to marry in church we would assume that at least one of you has at least some commitment to the Christian faith. The priests will be willing to explore this with you.

Do we need to have been confirmed before marrying in church?

No.

If I phone the office can I book the date right now?

Whilst the office could tell you whether in principle the church is free on the day you inquire about, you will be unable to book anything until you have spoken to one of the priests and obtained their agreement as even if the church is free there may not be a priest available.

Are there any periods when you do not conduct weddings?

We do not normally conduct them during Advent, Lent, Easter or during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

What happens once a priest has agreed that our wedding can take place?

She or he will ask you to contact the Parish Office on 0208 946 2605. You should talk to the Parish Administrator who will take your details and arrange to send you a wedding pack giving more information and forms for completion. N.B. Until the forms are returned to the Administrator your wedding date cannot be booked.

One of us (or even both) is not a British national. What is the position about this?

You may need a special type of licence. The priest or Parish Administrator can advise you.

How much will it cost?

The cost will depend on what you require so please ask the Parish Administrator for the correct fees. The basic fee includes the preparation, the church service, legal fees, reading of banns, marriage certificate and organist. Extras would include bells, choir, field hire and winter heating.

Can we have a professional video made of the wedding?

This will be at the discretion of the officiating priest but you will need to make the arrangements yourselves and we do have to charge an additional fee for the organist and for use of Church of England copyrighted material.

We would like to have our reception in the Garden Hall following the service. Is this possible?

Provided the hall is free on the day it would be possible. Please visit the Hall Hire section of our website.

What other procedures are involved before we can marry?

Banns must be read (see below), marriage preparation undertaken (see below) and there are forms to be completed including questions relating to the options you require such as flowers, music, choir, bells etc. You will find details about all these in the wedding pack which will be sent to you once you have given your details to the Parish Administrator.

Banns procedure

Unless you can produce a banns certificate (weddings by special licence require different formalities) you cannot marry. Banns are when the members of the congregation of your own parish churches and that of St Mary's or one of the other churches in the Parish of Wimbledon are asked to declare if anyone knows of any lawful reason why you should not marry each other. They are read at services on 3 consecutive Sundays. These Sundays must fall within the 12 week period leading up to the wedding and it is hoped you will attend on those days. Banns need to be called in St Mary's or one of the other churches in the parish but also in the parish church of the area in which you reside. You will therefore need to contact your local parish church, making sure it is definitely the right one, and ask for your banns to be read there. You will need to obtain the certificate from the Vicar and make sure it is with the Parish Administrator at St Mary's 2 weeks before your wedding. It is stressed that unless the officiating priest is in possession of the certificate he/she will not be able to marry you and it is your responsibility to see that they have it. For residents of the parish who plan to marry elsewhere they will still have to have banns read in one of the 4 churches of our parish team.

What does "marriage preparation" entail?

At St Mary's we take preparation for your married lives, not just for the wedding, seriously. We will run a marriage preparation day twice a year. You will also meet with the priest who will be conducting your service.

How do I go about arranging the music?

You should make an appointment with our Director of Music who will be happy to discuss your requirements. He will also need to find out if a choir will be available for the appointed day, should you want one. If you wish to play any recorded music in addition to the use of the organ, the church is equipped to play both tapes and CDs over the sound system. Any choice of recorded music should be discussed with the priest conducting the service.

What about flowers?

These must be organized through St Mary's but you can discuss your requirements with us. Costs vary from large arrangements to small pew end posies. There are more details in the wedding pack.

Are there bells that can be rung?

Yes, but you will need to indicate this on the form that you will be given with the wedding pack. There will be an extra cost.

What about parking?

The streets around St Mary's operate a pay and display system, although some for only limited hours on weekdays. We advise checking the latest signage. We do have a field which can be hired for an additional fee but this is subject to weather conditions on the day and may be kept closed at the church's discretion in which case the fee will be refunded.