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Arranging a Wedding

Please make no arrangements concerning dates or hotels before contacting the Parish Office.
Here is an outline of the process:
  1. Contact the Parish Office
  2. If it appears that one of you is resident in the Parish, is on the electoral roll, or may be eligible to be admitted to the roll, you will be asked to complete an application form and forward a non-refundable deposit of £100. An appointment will then be made for you as a couple to have an initial interview with the Rector, Fr Tim.
  3. If it appears that one of you does not fulfil the criteria above but may have a qualifying connection, the appropriate forms will be sent to you. You should complete these and return them to the Parish Office with any required documentation. When these have been considered, you will be informed whether you have established a qualifying connection. If so, you will be asked to forward a non-refundable deposit of £100, and an initial interview with Fr Tim will be arranged.
  4. At the initial interview, you will be given a wedding pack which will explain the further steps and contain all relevant paperwork.
  5. The relevant documents should be returned to the parish office.
  6. It is expected that couples wishing to be married in St Alphege will want to get to know the Christian community, begin worshipping regularly, and so become members of our community.
  7. Six months prior to your wedding it is your responsibility to contact the parish secretary to arrange an appointment to meet with the priest who will preside at the service. The balance of monies due should be paid one month before the wedding. The priest will go through the service in detail and arrange for a rehearsal in church a few days before your wedding day. At the rehearsal you should bring with you, where relevant, a Certificate of Banns of Marriage, signed by the priest in whose parish they have been called. (This will have been explained at the initial interview: do not leave it until the last minute. When this is required by law, we cannot marry you without this documentation).

What are the qualifications for getting married in the parish?
The right to be married in a church depends upon one of three qualifications, either
  1. That one of the couple lives within the parish boundary. A quick telephone call to our Parish Office will clarify this possibility

  2. That the names of the couple are entered onto the Church Electoral Roll. This will mean that if you are not already on it you will need to become a frequent worshipper (at least twice monthly) for at least six months before your name can be entered onto the Roll. You should 'sign in' each time you come (a wedding can be booked before you are on the electoral Roll).

  3. That one of the couple can establish a 'qualifying connection'. Grounds are as follows:

    • That the applicant was baptised or confirmed in the Parish, used to reside in the Parish or habitually attended public worship within the Parish.

    • That one or both of the applicant's parents used to reside in the Parish or habitually attended public worship within the Parish.

    • That the parent or grandparent of the applicant was married within the Parish.

What if one or both have been married before and are divorced?
The usual pattern is that following an interview with the Rector it may be possible to arrange for a service of dedication following a civil ceremony, either on the day of the civil marriage or at a later date. We are very happy to discuss this further but please, do not assume that because you have arranged a day/time for the civil ceremony we can automatically meet your needs. Again, early contact is advisable.

Rules for Photos & Videos
(available to download at the bottom of the page)

At St. Alphege we have found by experience that it is helpful for all concerned to provide a clear set of rules for photographers and video operators in order to facilitate a harmonious working relationship. Whilst we respect your professional expertise and will do all that we can to facilitate your important service to your clients, in return we require your active co–operation for an event which takes place within the context of an act of Christian worship in a sacred building.
The following parameters must be observed, which is why every couple is being asked to give you a copy of this letter before you arrive at St. Alphege. You will be asked by the officiating priest before each marriage service begins whether you have read, understood and are willing to work within the framework set out below.
Before each Service
  1. Because we often have more than one wedding, timing is of the essence. Please allow yourselves sufficient time to take the required photographs so that the service begins at the set time, lest the priest ask you to refrain from taking pictures.

Photographs inside the Church
  1. Strictly no flash photography

  2. During the ceremony you may position yourself immediately in front of the font at the back of church and under no circumstances will you move around the building. A silent shutter is preferred and shots are best taken during the singing of hymns. Absolutely no photographs may be taken (any noise is a disturbance at this sacred time) when the couple exchange vows or give/receive a ring. Pictures may be taken immediately afterwards as the couple embrace and during the giving and receiving of a lighted candle.

  3. Photographs may be taken during the signing of the registers.
  4. As the couple leave the church you may take photographs, but not from a position any further forward than the crossing at the head of the nave. Again, check with the priest for clarification before the service. If you are unsure as to the location of any of these positions, do please ask the officiating priest to show you BEFORE the service begins.

Video camera operators
  1. There is ONE position allocated for this, just behind the wedding couple near the organ. Please ask the officiating priest to show you this place BEFORE the service begins. There can be no further movement during the service.

  2. Should a couple wish to use this option an additional fee is payable in advance, be the video operator a professional or simply a friend. If the fee has not been paid in advance then we regret that last minute requests to use a video camera on the day will not be granted and the officiating priest will forbid the use of such equipment. (This is to do with legal entitlements of the performance rights of the organist).

Wet weather
Even the clergy cannot be held responsible for the weather!! Unfortunately it is not possible for the couple to have photographs inside the Church after the service has ended for two principal reasons:
  1. The possibility of another wedding taking place shortly after this one.

  2. Given that Saturdays are very busy days, time has to be allowed for the cleaning of the church after the final wedding in preparation for the Sunday services which begin at 8.00am.

Contact details
Should you it find helpful to speak with the officiating priest before the wedding, please go to the Contact Us page.
We have enjoyed a very harmonious relationship with the majority of photographers; many of you will already be operating within this framework for which we offer our grateful thanks. We trust this will continue long into the future as we seek to work together in a sprit of teamwork and mutual respect in order to make the marriage service a happy and memorable occasion for the couples concerned.


Solihull Parish,
19 Jan 2012, 22:11