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Hope Parish Website | Weddings, Services of Blessing or Renewal of Vows

Hope Parish Website

Hope Parish Website headerChurch in Wales cross

Are we entitled to get married in the parish of Hope?

Couple at the altarIf you wish to be married in either of our churches – Hope Parish Church or Emmanuel, Pen-y-ffordd, your first approach should be to the Rector, Rev Adam Pawley, tel 01978 760439

For a couple to be entitled to be married here, one or other of them must be resident in the parish, which includes Hope, Caergwrle, Abermorddu, Cefn-y-bedd, most of Pen-y-ffordd and the western outskirts of Higher Kinnerton.

Alternatively, one or other must have been attending either church at least twice a month for six months. When one or both of the couple have been married before with a former partner still living, there is no absolute right to get married in church and it will be necessary for them to discuss their circumstances with the Rector.

It is not necessary for those wishing to be married in church to have been baptised, but unbaptised persons may like to consider baptism around the time of their marriage.

Preparation for marriage is, of course, about a lot more than practical arrangements for just the one day of the wedding ceremony. We hope you will find the following website helpful in getting ready for the big day and also thinking about life together after all the celebrations are over Prepare for marriage

Image of calendarTime and day

Weddings can be arranged on any day of the week subject to certain restrictions of time. Legally, a wedding service may not begin prior to 8am. and must have concluded by 6pm. This rarely leads to problems!

On Sundays the only time which may be accommodated is 12.45pm because of constraints of church services that day. Couples should agree a time and date with the Rector before confirming arrangements with the reception venue.

More than one wedding booking may be accepted by the parish on any day but there will be at least ninety minutes between start times to allow for a relaxed interval between services.

The wedding ceremony itself, assuming inclusion of two hymns, will last approximately half an hour.

Banns and Licences

Banns of marriage are usually read out on three consecutive Sundays at some point during the three months before the wedding at the main service of the church or churches of the parishes where the couple are resident. If either or both of the couple usually worship in a church or chapel of another denomination they will need to have their banns read in the relevant Anglican church in England or Wales. It is the couples’ responsibility to have their banns read in any other parish where either of them is resident.

Where either party has been divorced and the Rector has given permission for the wedding to be held in church the member of the couple who is resident in the parish will be required to make the declaration for the granting of a Common Licence, for which an additional fee is payable. The Rector himself will hear the declaration and deal with the application.

Where a couple are claiming the residence qualification to be married in the parish, on the basis of their staying at an address within the parish for a fortnight, they will be required to approach the local authority Registrar for both addresses involved in order to make the declaration necessary for the issue of a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate, for which an additional fee will be payable to the Registrar but not to the church.

It is not necessary for a couple to obtain a Licence or a Certificate when their banns are being read.

The Rector Writes article for August 2007 covers this subject in more detail

Order of Service, Readings and Hymns
Click here for details


The wedding rehearsal usually takes place two or three days before the wedding. It involves only the couple and the officiating cleric. This is his or her chief opportunity to get to know the couple uncomplicated by the presence of others.

The traditional kiss after the vows is just that – a tradition. It isn’t a formal part of the service but often it often seems a natural conclusion to this part of the ceremony – a symbolic moment after all the words. Is it for you? Just let the officiating cleric know when you meet for the rehearsal.

The bride’s father, the best man and the bridesmaids are not required to attend the rehearsal, and the guidelines below are designed to help them feel confident about their roles.

Duties of the Bride’s Father or whoever escorts her up the aisle

Ensure the bridal car arrives 10 minutes early to allow time for photographs.

Stay on the left of the bride as you walk up the aisle.

Remain standing on her left for about 12 minutes into the service and hold your Order of Service for her to follow.

Go and join her mother in the front row on the left once the Best Man has given the minister the rings.

Follow the Best Man to the side chapel for the signing of the registers and the photographs before the procession back.

Duties of the Best Man

Take your seat, with the Groom, at the front of the church to the right of the aisle, about five minutes before the time of the wedding.

When the wedding music begins stand up with the Groom. He will be at the bottom of the step in front of the right hand half of the wooden arch, and you will be to his right, both of you facing forward. Hold the order of service for you both which he will be given.

Remain standing there, (about 12 minutes), until the minister asks you for the rings, which you will place on his book. You will then go back to stand where you were sitting before the service.

When the minister leads the couple across to the side chapel after the prayers and final blessing, you lead everyone who is required for the procession back, across there in front of the screen with all the bouquets: both sets of parents, all the bridesmaids

Duties of the Bridesmaids

Walk up the aisle behind the bride and her father or whoever escorts her up the aisle.

The chief bridesmaid will take the bouquet from the bride when she has reached the front and then all the bridesmaids go to stand in the second row on the left where they will find copies of the Order of Service.

When the minister has led the couple across to the side chapel for the signing of the registers take all the bouquets including the bride’s with you and follow the Best Man, staying outside of the wooden screen and walking first towards the font, not the front, and then up towards where the registers are being signed.

A few notes for your guests
The minister will make the following requests before the service:

Confetti – You are welcome to throw confetti at the foot of the steps by the road; please make sure it’s biodegradeable and not plastic or metallic.

Photographs – Only the official photographers can take photographs or videos during the service.

Phones – Don’t forget to switch off your mobile phone!

Our Building – Donations towards the cost of the upkeep of the building are most welcome – you will find gift aid envelopes in the pews anda a plate at the back of the church.


The ladies of the church are responsible for flowersImage of Rose in the sanctuary but they are willing to discuss colour-schemes and types of flowers with the bride. A contribution to the cost of these will be welcome.

No flowers are provided or permitted in the sanctuary (ie, near the altar), during Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) or during Lent (the six weeks before Easter).

When a firm booking has been made couples will be given the name and phone number of the lady responsible for flowers, who will be pleased to meet them, preferably after a mid-morning service on a Sunday.

Flower-arrangements on pedestals may be provided by the couple. One may be placed near the steps to the pulpit and another at the top of the steps leading into the church. These may be removed by the couple, immediately after the service, if they so wish, and relocated at the reception venue.

Arrangements on the pew-ends must not be secured into the wood but must be tied in place.


Treble clefThe Rector will advise couples who will be playing the organ for their wedding as soon as he knows himself. They are recommended to contact him or her to discuss hymns, and what music they would like played as the bride enters the church, during the signing of the registers and as the couple leaves. Most weddings include two hymns. Click here to download a list of hymn suggestions

The choir can provide music during the signing of the register if requested; please ask the Rector to pass this request to the choir leader who will make contact to discuss requirements. Both the choir and bell-ringers are volunteers; all do their best to be available if requested but there are very occasionally times when this is difficult and a booking might not be possible..

It is possible for couples to request that a friend or relative play the organ in place of the church organist if they prefer (fees to the church are not affected).

It is also possible for the couple to arrange for other musicians, such as harpists, quartets, solo singers or choirs to perform at their wedding, but they should mention this possibility to the Rector before making bookings.

Photography and Videos

Photographs the old fashioned wayWe have found that the following rules provide the best way of ensuring that the sanctity of the marriage service is observed whilst allowing for a precious record of the occasion to be made:

Photography or videos are allowed during a wedding only by the official photographer or videographer. The photographer may take any photographs during the service, without flash, from the very back of the church, that is, from under the tower.
Look out for a photo-opportunity after the vows and the exchange of rings, when the couple are kneeling and the minister takes their right hands in his and says, “Those whom God has joined together let no one put assunder.”

He/she may then go up the right hand aisle to the side chapel to take photographs once the signing of the registers is completed (not before, please).

He/she will then be free to take a shot of the bridal party from the back of the church as they come back down the aisle.

Any video camera must be set up on a tripod at a point in the choir stalls agreed with the minister. This camera may be moved to the side chapel for the signing of the registers.

It is rare for there to be more than one wedding on the same day, so there should be no hurry and you are free to return with the couple into the church.

Services of Blessing after Civil Weddings and Renewal of Marriage Vows

These may be arranged by discussion with the Rector. He will be able to suggest various items for inclusion.

Marriage Law

The Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 but the law relating to marriage in Wales is essentially the same as for the Church of England. However the CofE has recently changed its criteria for allowing a couple to marry in a particular church (they need to show at least one connection with the parish out of a possible seven); the Church in Wales has not made such a change and the requirement for one party to demonstrate a residential link remains.