Welcome to this page outlining the process for weddings in the two parishes of Flamstead and Markyate. We’re delighted to be able to assist you in this process and invite you to join in wholeheartedly with the life of the church as you explore your marriage. Be assured that out of all the various facets that go to make up a wedding day, the church part will be the simplest to organize, but it is worth remembering that it is also the most important part of your day as you stand before God and his people to declare your love and commitment to one another.
Here we outline the process for booking a wedding in one of the two churches. The first thing to do is to make a time to see the vicar for an initial meeting. This booking can be made after Church on Sundays at any service or through the parish office.
The Vicar will help you to explore a number of ideas for the wedding service itself and there are a number of options available in terms of the choice of service, music, readings, bells, flowers etc. All of this can be discussed when booking the wedding. The vicar will want to meet you three times in the run up to the wedding and these times must be booked with either him or the parish administrator.
To make and enquirey about a wedding you will need to speak to the vicar, he is normally avaliable after the main service on a Sunday, but do check before you plan on coming to church. In the run up to the wedding you will be encouraged to come to church reguarly. If you live outside of the parish then you will certainly need to attend on a regular basis.
1st Meeting: Banns and Booking
The first meeting is a relatively short one and is aimed at filling out the banns form, which is a legal document required before a marriage can take place in a parish church. You have to qualify to marry in a either of the churches, but the vicar can explain to you about this if there is a problem.
At the first meeting we will book a date in the diary for the wedding. A non-returnable deposit of £50 will be asked of the couple at this time.
2nd Meeting: Christian Marriage and Life
The second meeting is designed to be a chance to think more deeply about the meaning of marriage and the place and of the Christian faith in shaping our understanding of marriage. If you’re like most people you prepare and plan for many things in life: education, career, retirement and holidays. And most couples spend up to 250 hours planning their wedding, but very little time, if any, planning for married life. So the vicar will want to talk to you about the things you can do to begin building a lifelong, happy marriage. Investing in your relationship before you are married will reap rewards for many years to come.
3rd Meeting: Planning the Service
This meeting is simply to put down on paper plans for the service, to choose readings and music that will be appropriate for Christian worship in the context of a marriage. It is not just an opportunity to ‘personalize’ the service, but a chance to engage with the richness and meaning of the words and symbols used.
In between meetings
In the space between meetings the vicar will suggest things for you to look at or read to help you prepare for married life and to plan the wedding itself.
It is customary for the wedding couple to attend church on a regular basis in the run up to the wedding. Getting to know the church building, the congregation, the organist and of course the vicar will greatly enhance the warmth and feel of your wedding day. Remember that the church is not just a ‘venue’, but a community of people and so getting to know them is a must. The vicar will suggest you attend church at least once a month.
The Church of England has a really useful planning site that you can access at www.yourchurchwedding.org.