Getting Married at St Thomas Upshire
We are delighted to welcome couples to our beautiful church for their wedding. The service is central to one of the most important days of your life and we do everything we can to ensure that it is really special.
We are also here to help you prepare for your married life together. By getting married in church, you are asking for God’s blessing on your life together – the best start you can have.
How do we get married at St. Thomas?
The first thing to do is to contact the Parish Office, and a member of staff will discuss the whole process with you. You will be able to check that the date you would like is available and then complete an application form to confirm your church booking. Weddings can be on any day of the week (although not Sundays)
When do we have to book?
It is best to book the church as soon as you have decided to get married. We currently have bookings up to a year in advance but there are still plenty of spare dates in the calendar. It is important to check with us that the church is available before booking your reception. There is no booking fee but we do ask that you notify us if your plans change, otherwise we may have to make a charge for cancellation.
Does it matter where we live?
If one or both of you live in the Parish you may get married in St. Thomas by Banns. This is an old tradition, still legally required, whereby an announcement of your impending marriage is read out in church on three Sundays beforehand. Traditionally, this gives members of the public a chance to object to the marriage but this is extremely rare these days!
If neither of you live in the Parish, it may still be possible to get married here if you have strong links with St. St Thomas , for example if you have lived here in the past or if your parents live in the Parish.
If you worship regularly at St. Thomas for at least six months, you may also be married by Banns. If you are a foreign national marrying a UK resident you will need to have a Bishops Licence and that will need to be discussed with the vicar
How do you help us prepare for our marriage?
Generally it is important that you and your spouse to be attend the church and learn how God is involved in all things, yes, even your wedding, so you would need to commit to attending church so we can find out more about you and you about us.
What happens next?
During the months before your wedding there may be lots of questions you want to ask. Our clergy and Parish Office team are always available to offer help and advice about any aspect of your marriage. About three months before your wedding we contact you to tell you when your Banns will be read, if appropriate. We can advise on your order of service and review it with you; we can offer help with choosing hymns and music if you wish. We will arrange a convenient day for a rehearsal: this is usually on the evening before your wedding day.
Do you marry divorced people?
In certain circumstances, our current vicar Revd Kelvin will marry divorcees, and is happy to perform the wedding, however all legal documents appertaining to the divorce must be made available and we do ask to photocopy them for our record for your protection to ensure that the second marriage complies with the law. We are also happy to arrange a wedding blessing service to follow a civil ceremony and this can have most of the elements of a wedding service except for the legal requirements. Please talk to the Parish Administrator if you would like more information about this.
What does it cost?
This is a difficult question to answer and it depends a lot on what type of service you want. We do our best to help you keep costs to a minimum but whichever way you look at it, the church service will often cost less than the brides dress. The cost is something that obviously can be talked about with the parish office