Your wedding in church

Wedding couple holding hands

Marrying in church is personal, meaningful and spiritual just as you want it to be. Churches are special and unique places to get married in. The prayers, promises and the whole service of celebration become part of your marriage, on the day itself and beyond.

Take a look this video as one couple reflect on their choice of a Church of England wedding:

Planning your wedding

There is a lot to think about when you are planning your big day with so many choices and you want to make sure everything is perfect. Start off by taking a look at the Church of England Weddings website which gives you advice on finding a church, planning the service as well as choosing hymns and readings.

Getting married at St. John's

If you are interested in getting married at St John's in Farsley you can visit us any Tuesday evening between 6.30pm and 7:15pm to talk more about it. There is no need to make an appointment but you can ring the vicar Paul Tudge on 0113 257 0059 to make sure the drop-in session hasn't been cancelled. You can also arrange to see Paul at a different time to suit you. He will be able to answer all your questions with no strings attached and can even booking your wedding date and time there and then.

Formalities before your wedding

If one or both of you live outside St. John's parish, you must contact the vicar of your parish(es) and arrange to have your Banns of Marriage read during a church service. This is where your intention to marry is announced in public and gives anyone with a legal objection to the ceremony time to declare it. You cannot be married without a Banns Certificate if you live outside the Parish of St. John's. We also need to see proof of your identity (usually a passport) before your wedding. There are no other legal requirements and you do not need to go separately to a registry office.

Planning your ceremony

It is really important that your day is right for you. You may want to include special things in your service such as poetry, readings and music. We will work with you to discuss your ideas and the Church of England Wedding website has lots more inspiration for planning the service.

Arranging your wedding rehearsal

Nearer the date of your wedding, please come into the church office and arrange a date for your rehearsal. This is normal the week before the ceremony. It will take away many of the logistical worries you will have on the big day including where you stand and when you arrive.

St. John's wedding costs

There is a required legal fee for marrying in church. In 2019 it costs £533 if you marry away from where you live and £489 if you marry in your home parish. This is set by the Church of England nationally and is the same for every church.

This basic legal fee includes the cost of the vicar, the church, calling your banns, a banns certificate, the marriage certificate, lighting and all administration. There are some other optional costs which could increase the fee such as having a church organist play at your service and having a verger who will help to make sure the church is clean, tidy and warm and can give out your service sheets.

The figure for marrying in 2019 breaks down as follows for couples marrying in their own parish:

  • the fee set by law payable to the church: £455
  • your marriage certificate: £4
  • having your banns read at the home church: £30

Total for marrying in your home parish (providing you both live there) in 2019: £489

If a couple marry in 2019 away from where they live, the cost breaks down like this:-

  • the fee set by law payable to the marrying church: £455
  • your marriage certificate: £4
  • having your banns read in the marrying church £30
  • having your banns read at your home church: £30
  • the banns certificate from your home church: £14

Total for marrying outside your parish in 2019: £533

This required fee has ancient origins and ensures your church can maintain essential services like weddings, christenings, funerals and all kinds of other ministries for you and your community.

Fees are payable whenever is convenient to you, but by the night of your wedding rehearsal at the latest. All fees are returnable, except those fees for the Banns of Marriage if they have already been read in church. If you are paying by cheque, please pay a couple of weeks before your wedding.

Other useful information

  • The wedding service lasts around 20 minutes.
  • We reserve the church for 1½ hours for your wedding which includes half an hour for the service and half an hour before and afterwards. There may be other weddings before and after yours.
  • Farsley Farmers Market takes place on the fourth Saturday of each month in the church hall car park between 9am and 12:30pm so you may want to avoid that time for your service.
  • We can produce a service sheet for you, or if you would prefer to produce your own we can give you an example sheet to work from.
  • You can include commercial music in the service, often played from CDs but you will need to arrange your own licence to cover playing copyright material.
  • There are always some flowers in church but you are welcome to provide your own flowers in addition to these.
  • You are welcome to take photos in church but during the ceremony itself photography is limited to your official photographer. If you are having a video of the service made you willl need to sign a form before the day. Just let us know and we will give you a copy of the form. It is also your responsibility to arrange copyright if required.
  • We will play the bells at the end of the wedding. At St. John's this is a recording because the church only has one bell in the tower and that sounds very gloomy on such a day of big celebration!

For more information

To discuss your wedding in more detail...

  • Call the vicar Paul Tudge on 0113 257 0059 or email
  • Call the church office on 0113 256 6878 between 9:30am and 11:30am Tuesday-Friday
  • Call our organist Eileen on 0113 256 0616. Eileen usually plays the organ for weddings but occasionally we bring in a different organist.

You can also download much of this information in a PDF document which you can save and print to help when planning your wedding.

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