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Updated: 18 December, 2012
The Parish Church of
St Matthew Oxhey
Fr David Shepherd
Getting married at St. Matthew's
The first meeting
When you meet the Vicar at the Vicarage you will be able to fix a mutually convenient
time and date. You will be asked to pay a £50-00 pound non-returnable deposit. You
will also need to liaise with your reception venue and check with key family members
and friends that your proposed date is also acceptable to them. The Vicar will note
down your details as required by the Registrar General. He will also advise you about
the legal preliminaries for getting married, the fees payable and other practical
Usually this is involves the calling of Banns. On three Sundays, in the three months
prior to your wedding, legal notice is given in the 9.30am service of your intention
to marry and asking for any legal objections. It is a good idea for you to be present
for at least one of these services. Many couples enjoy coming to church on a more
regular basis, thereby gaining familiarity with the church and the vicar and congregation.
(You may wish to explore the Christian faith more fully before your wedding) Banns
may also have to be called in the other parish(es) where one of you may reside or
worship and a certificate obtained from the minister there to enable the vicar to
marry you at St. Matthew's. Sometimes couples are married by licence. The Vicar will
advise if this is necessary. He can also complete a form to enable the bride to change
her name on her passport in advance of the wedding.
The second meeting
The Vicar will arrange a second meeting with you to go through the wedding service.
You have a choice between the modern and traditional services. You will be encouraged
to think about your future married life and to choose hymns and music for the service.
You can also discuss music with the organist.
This is usually held a few days before the wedding. You will not need to remember
everything about the service as the Vicar guides you through it. As well as the bride
and groom, the best man, the bride's father and the bridesmaids other family members
usually come along. That way everyone gets a sense of what will happen on the day.
The balance of the fees is usually paid at the rehearsal.
The Wedding Day
On the day your ushers should aim to arrive in good time to direct guests to their
seats. The bride's guests go to the left & the groom's to the right. They also give
out service sheets or hymn books. They sometimes escort the bride's mother to her
seat. The Vicar meets the bride and her father together with the bridesmaids at the
door. He then leads them to the front to join the groom and best man.
After the welcome & opening prayer, a hymn is sung. The Vicar then introduces the
service, explaining the purposes of marriage and giving a last chance for any legal
objections. The bride & groom give their consent (I will), exchange vows and give
rings. They are then pronounced man & wife. After this there is a reading, a hymn,
prayers, the final hymn and then the blessing. After the registers have been signed,
the bride & groom lead everyone out of church. The full text of the service is available
to download (17KB in rich text format).
A few practical points
Confetti may be thrown in the churchyard, ideally the sort that the birds can eat!
Guests are encouraged to park in the roads near the church. Limited space is available
in the car park at the rear of the church . Access is via St. Matthew's Close. Please
do no park in front of the church as this makes it difficult for wedding cars to
reach the church door.
There is disabled access and lavatories are available in the hall to the rear of
the church. Photographs and video-recordings may be taken after consultation with
the vicar. You may arrange to bring your own flowers into church. The bells cannot
be rung, as the tower is unsafe. The Vicar will issue your marriage certificate at
the service. You can approach him for extra copies in the future if these are required.