Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford Gosfield

Why marry in Church?

WHY MARRY IN CHURCH?

“Helping to build strong marriages”

At St Catherine’s Church in Gosfield we believe that families are the bedrock of society, and that healthy marriages play a significant part of that, we believe that marriage is a God-ordained institution.

Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God, one that should not be taken for granted. ... Getting married in a church, in front of God, is very important. A marriage is a public declaration of love and commitment. This declaration is made in front of friends and family in a church ceremony.

Lots of people marry in their own local church, but you might like to marry in a different church because it has special significance for you through family or other connections.

Churches are special places and there are some things about a church wedding that you just can’t get anywhere else.

A church is so much more than simply a venue for your wedding. Unique and special things become part of your marriage, on the day itself and beyond:-

· A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. The ceremony includes God 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 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, your wedding can be made personal, memorable, meaningful and beautiful.

· Church buildings offer outstanding beauty. Old or new, intimate or grand, our 16,000 churches are some of the nation’s most stunning wedding venues, with two-thirds being listed buildings.

· Church buildings offer centuries of history. Imagine all the couples who have married in your local church, some of whom may well be your family. You can feel you’re becoming part of history itself, the bigger plan, by marrying in the same place as your relatives. We know these sorts of connections can make your day even more special.

· You can be involved in making choices about your ceremony. You can even use our online ceremony planner to get you started.

· For some people, a church simply seems like the proper place to get married. Churches can be described as ‘peaceful’, ‘serene’, or having an atmosphere that makes marrying there a particularly special experience.

· And after your wedding, you’ll realise that a church is more than simply a wedding venue. We’ll always be here for you.

>In the tough times. Life inevitably has its ups and downs, whether in your relationship, or in the events that life brings along. Churches can offer a space to reflect, a confidential listening ear and prayer support if you need it.</li> <li>By blessing your marriage. A husband and wife can have their civil marriage dedicated to God in church, whether they married in the UK or abroad. Find out more. By renewing your marriage vows. Many couples like the idea of renewing their marriage vows to celebrate a special anniversary, or to mark the end of a difficult time. The church offers a special service for a husband and wife to do just that, read more

If you desire a religious celebration, you can opt for a church wedding ceremony. For many couples who chose this traditional approach, saying their vows in a church is one of the most important parts of their big day, you may have a local church that means a lot to you, or you go to, therefore this maybe an obvious choice for you.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A WEDDING CEREMONY?

Religious weddings take place in a church, chapel or any other religious venue, presided over by a priest, vicar or official holy person. Many opt for a wedding church ceremony not just for religious reasons, but because they enjoy the tradition of the occasion too. In the Church, both couples need to be baptised Christians. You do not have to be religious to marry in the Church of England.

Typically, you will need to marry in a church that you have some connection to. This is usually determined by residence in the parish at some point.

Getting married in a church versus outside means that you can enjoy all the pomp and ceremony of a traditional wedding. This includes the bride wearing a wedding gown and groom in a suit. Wedding church ceremonies are formal and include readings from the bible, hymns and prayers, and can last up to an hour.

If for instance, you decide to have a civil marriage abroad and want a blessing afterwards, this is possible. Getting married in the Church after a civil ceremony is recognised as ‘convalidation’. This allows couples to retake their vows in an officiated ceremony.

PLANNING A CHURCH WEDDING

The first in organising your wedding church ceremony is to speak to the priest or vicar in your church of preference. They will likely want to sit down and discuss marriage with you in some detail.

Since your big day will be determined by your wedding ceremony, it’s important to get this confirmed before booking reception venues or suppliers. Churches can be booked out months in advance, so aim to give as much notice as possible; ideally at least six to twelve months.

The main difference between marrying in a religious or civil ceremony is that a religious ceremony is about being wed in the eyes of God (or whichever deity you believe in), while a civil ceremony is about being wed in the eyes of the law.

We have a beautiful Elizabethan wedding venue nearby, Gosfield Hall, which specialises in wedding receptions.