Weddings at St Nicolas
St Nicolas Church is the perfect venue for a small wedding or wedding blessing. The compact layout enables a party of 40 or so guests to feel fully connected with the ceremony (the overall capacity is around 100) and the church has a very special atmosphere when decorated for festive occasions.
To get married here, it is necessary for one of you to have a connection with the parish or, if you don’t already have a connection, you can create one by attending our church services at least once a month for six consecutive months. If you are unsure about your eligibility, the vicar will be happy to advise you.
We also warmly welcome couples who want to have a religious blessing in the church following a legal ceremony elsewhere.
The following notes are intended as a guide to help you plan your special ceremony, including any likely costs, but every service is individual, and the vicar will go through the arrangements with you in detail when you meet. You may also find it useful to visit the Church of England website https://www.yourchurchwedding.org/ which contains a wealth of useful information.
The standard fee for a wedding, set by the Church of England, is £474 from 1 Jan 2018, which includes publication of banns at St Nicolas and one copy of the marriage certificate (extras £4 each at the time of registration). The fee includes all administration and running costs for the building although, for a winter wedding, a donation towards heating costs would be very welcome! There is no extra charge for having us ring the bells but there will be other costs to consider (flowers, organist, Order of Service etc.) as detailed below.
If one of you is from outside the parish, you will need to have banns read in your local parish, at a cost of £29 plus £14 for a certificate of banns which St Nicolas will need to see.
Since no fee is due to the Diocese, the cost will be reduced. This should be discussed with the vicar, but will be of the order of £260
Music is very important to us at St Nicolas and we aim to work with you to make this aspect of your ceremony as beautiful and moving as possible. Whether you have a wide knowledge of music or none at all, we will talk through your requirements and make appropriate suggestions for you to choose from.
St Nicolas has a simple but effective single manual all mechanical organ. There is no piano in the church.
Please contact the organist, Peter Stutfield, as early as possible to discuss your requirements. You may already have some ideas of what music you want, but please be prepared to be flexible as some pieces will not be suitable for playing or hearing on our organ (for instance, trumpet voluntaries will be unsatisfactory, as there is no trumpet stop!). The organist’s fee will depend on the quantity and complexity of music required, but will usually be in the range of £100 to £150, to include talking to you about what is possible, preferably at the church, where some of your ideas can be demonstrated, researching the music, adapting or rearranging it if necessary (for instance if the music was not written for the organ) and attending the wedding rehearsal. You may contact Peter either on 01865 876848 or via the Contact Form.
Of course, if you wish to employ your own organist, you are welcome to do so, and Peter will be very happy to talk to him/her about the capabilities of the organ and show him/her around.
If you would like to have a choir or a soloist to sing during the service, please discuss this with Peter at the same time. We can usually arrange for the St Nicolas Choir to lead the hymn singing and perhaps sing a short piece at an appropriate point during the service, such as during the signing of the register or towards the end of a blessing service. Alternatively, we can arrange for a soloist or small ensemble to sing a favourite piece if there is something you particularly want that is not suitable for the choir. We do not normally charge a fee for providing a choir or soloist but a donation to the church, such as a contribution towards the costs of buying music for the choir, would be greatly appreciated.
You are welcome to organise your own flowers, but you will need to contact us to arrange access to the church for delivery and/or arrangement of flowers. Alternatively, we have an excellent team of experienced flower arrangers, who would be willing to cater for your needs. The cost would need to be negotiated according to the quantity/variety of flowers required. To request more information contact Jane Walker on 01865 872399. Please note that it is not usual to have flowers in the Church during Lent.
Order of Service
The vicar will talk to you about your Order of Service when you meet for an initial discussion. This is a booklet which usually contains a guide to the overall structure of the service, together with the words of any prayers or hymns and songs which the congregation are expected to join in with. The cost will vary greatly depending on whether you prepare and print it yourself or have it designed and made by a professional printer. Whichever you choose, please make sure that you provide the vicar and organist with a draft for review before the final version is printed.