A Church Wedding
We are blessed to have beautiful church buildings in our town of Launceston for everyone to enjoy. We would love you to choose one of them for your big day. If you think you might like to have a church wedding, please contact one of the clergy who will be very happy to have a preliminary chat with you.
The following questions are those frequently asked of us.
Can anyone have a Church Wedding?
It is easier to be married in church than you might imagine. If you live in the parish of Launceston then you can marry in any one of our four churches: St Mary Magdalene; St Thomas; St Stephen; Christ the Cornerstone, Tregadillett.
If you don’t live in the parish it is still possible to be married here. One of the easiest ways is to become a member of one of the churches and attend some church services. Please ask and we will be happy to help you.
Do I have to be baptised or Christened to get married in church?
No. Anyone who lives in the parish has the right to be married in their parish church, whether or not they attend that church, or have been Christened. You are of course very welcome to explore the option of a Christening. Please do ask.
During the marriage service, the priest conducting the wedding will ask for God’s blessing on your future life together. The service concludes with prayers which the couple can choose, or even write, for themselves.
How much is a Church Wedding?
This depends upon what you would like at your wedding. In 2020, a wedding with church bells, an organist and the marriage fees, would cost you less than £1,000.
Can I have flowers at my wedding?
We ask couples to talk to their church of choice about flowers as early as they can. Each church will be happy to help you plan what you would like for your wedding.
Can I have bells at my wedding?
St Thomas, St Stephen’s and St Mary Magdalene all have a bell tower and will ring bells for your wedding. We ask that you book this in several weeks before the wedding to allow us time to book the bell-ringers.
Can I get married on a Friday / Sunday?
You can get married on any day of the week. The wedding ceremony has to take place between 8am and 6pm, beyond that the choice of day is up to you.
How do I book a Church Wedding?
Please contact one of the clergy. It will be helpful if you have an idea of which church you are thinking of and when you would like to get married, but we are happy to pencil in some possible dates while you confirm the rest of your bookings. Preparation for the day involves a lot of decisions and so we try to be as flexible as we can to accommodate your needs.
What happens next?
You and your partner will arrange a meeting with one of the clergy. This is the opportunity for you to ask questions and for the priest to complete a marriage form with your details. You will need to provide proof of nationality at some point. You may bring additional members of your family, or friends, with you to the meeting. The meeting can take place in your church of choice or at a mutually convenient place.
Do we have to attend a marriage preparation course?
The wedding takes a lot of preparation but only lasts one day. Marriage is for life and is well worth spending that extra bit of effort on preparation for a healthy marriage.
After confirming the booking, you will be invited to attend a marriage preparation course. We understand that not all couples are able to attend, but we do encourage attendance if possible. The course is a light-hearted look at some of the potential stumbling blocks to a good marriage as well as the opportunity to meet other wedding couples. There is always a lot of laughter and past attenders give positive feedback.
What happens at subsequent meetings?
Your priest will want to meet with you about four months before the wedding to confirm the details of the service. You may wish to do this earlier in preparation for printing out orders of service for your guests. At this meeting, the date for the publication of Banns will also be arranged, along with the date for the wedding rehearsal.
Who needs to attend the wedding rehearsal?
Ideally everyone who will have a part to play in the marriage service itself, they could include, alongside the bride and groom:
- parents of the couple;
- best man;
- witnesses (two) to the marriage;
- anyone taking a reading;
- any musicians - and anyone else you would like there.
Can I get married in a church if I have been divorced?
It is possible to be married in church if you have been divorced. All our churches support the marriage of divorcees. Please ask one of the clergy for further information.
What are the publication of Banns?
A marriage is conducted by a marriage licence, obtainable from the Registry Office, or by the publication of Banns of marriage. Banns are announced in church for three consecutive Sundays. Provided no-one objects when they are declared, you then have the right to be married in that church. It is expected, if possible, that you and your partner will attend the service to hear the Banns read out.
Can I change the date of my Church Wedding?
We are very happy to change the date or time of your wedding (provided the church is not already booked), but we do ask you to let us know as soon as possible.
We ask you to use biodegradable confetti in our churchyards. Many couples are now choosing to use flower petals as a good environmentally friendly measure to prevent a litter problem.
Please do ask, and we will be very happy to answer your questions.
Your church is here for you and your family whenever you need us, offering friendship, support and prayers.
If you are bereaved, or have recently lost loved ones, our prayers are with you. If you would like to use our church premises for a funeral, memorial or burial please do contact us.
A Christening or Baptism marks the beginning of the Christian life. You don’t need to know anything about the Christian faith to be baptised (though it helps) but you are encouraged to grow as a Christian by learning to follow Jesus’ teachings.
A Christening takes place around the church font which is usually placed somewhere near the door of the church when you enter. This is to remind us that the first thing we do when we become a Christian is to be baptised.
What happens in a Christening?
There are three elements to a Christening or Baptism. The first part includes making promises to God and being anointed with Holy Oil as a prayer of God’s blessing and promises upon you. The second part is being baptised with water by the priest ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ The third part is receiving a lit candle to remind you that God’s Holy Spirit will now burn like a flame within your heart to guide and protect you. It is up to us to keep that flame burning brightly - your church will want to help you do that.
A Christening or Baptism for your child
At a Christening for a child it is expected that the parents and god-parents will teach and support your child to learn about the Christian faith. They are encouraged to pray for your child and to make the baptismal promises on their behalf. These promises are said during the service:
Do you turn away from sin?
Do you reject evil?
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
Do you trust in him as Lord?
It is not only the responsibility of your family to help your child grow as a Christian. It is the responsibility of the whole church. At your child’s Christening you will find the whole congregation will make the baptismal promises with you to help your child follow the Christian path. Church members are there for you and will want to help support you.
Adult Christening or Baptism
A Christian life begins with Baptism but you don’t have to be a child to be baptised. You can start your journey of faith at any age. Baptism is a step on the way to a life-long journey with God.
You may like to join a study group first to learn more about Christianity before your baptism. You may prefer to join a more formal Confirmation class to explore fully what it means to become a Christian and to follow Christ as Saviour and Lord. There are many ways of exploring Christianity. Please talk to church members or one of the clergy to find out what is happening in your church.