Getting Married at St Paul’s Knightsbridge
We will do everything we can to make it possible. There are certain legal preliminaries to satisfy if you are to be married here, but we’ll be glad to talk those through with you. If you live in the parish, or if you are a regular worshipper and member of the community, or if you have some connection with the church the answer is likely to be ‘yes’.
You can marry in St Paul’s if you can show:-
That one of you:
That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
That one of your parents or grandparents:
Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we want to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in St Paul’s.
Talk to the Vicar well in advance to discuss the options open to you.
Because marriage is both a spiritual union and a legal contract, the answer to the question also involves English law. The Vicar of the parish will explain to you whether you will be married ‘after banns’, ‘by Bishop’s licence’ or ‘by Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate’ – and we can support you in making sure that, once we agree you can be married here, you fulfil the legal requirements. In 2015 the law was changed to create a different route to gaining permission to be married for couples where one (or both) are non-UK or non-EU passport holders; this new process can, in certain circumstances, take much longer than before – and so advanced planning is required.
The first thing to do is to call us to arrange to meet the Vicar of the Parish, Fr Alan Gyle. He it is who must agree to your being married here. He can be contacted on 020 7201 9999.
Having met him, he will ask you to fill out a form which gives us much of the information we will need to have on file. This form is available in paper or electronic form and can be obtained from the parish office.
There are lots of things to think about. Some of them (many of them, actually!) have to do with planning the wedding day itself – and the good news is that we have great resources and lots of experience to share with you to help in planning the perfect wedding service for you. But the other thing to be thinking about is the much broader (and ultimately more important questions) of what it means to enter into a lifelong married relationship with one person. So we will also try to support you in thinking about that – and will have some suggestions about things you can do locally to help you to think through this side of things too. At St Paul’s we encourage every couple to consider doing The Marriage Course (not offered here, but available across London), and we offer a psychometric test called PREPARE-ENRICH which will help you to get to the heart of the strengths in your relationship and some of the areas for possible growth.
Music forms an important part of almost all weddings at St Paul’s and we will ask you to make an appointment with our Director of Music, Stephen Farr, to talk though possibilities. You can contact Stevie through the main parish switchboard (020 7201 9999). He will also explain to you the costs involved in the music.
We will be able to work with a florist of your choice in the run up to the wedding to ensure that the church looks beautiful, and we can put you in touch with florists too if that is helpful. Because we are a busy church it is vital that you liaise with the Parish Office about access – and clearing flowers afterwards. We ask that you leave at least some flowers in the church after your wedding for the following Sunday’s services. St Paul’s has a set of twelve storm lanterns which you may hire for £100.
On the day before your ceremony, we ask the key participants to come to the church for a brief rehearsal. This is often at 5pm or 6.30pm the day before.
You will need to think about readers and readings, hymns and incidental music – and you will need to look at the two possible forms of service (the Traditional Service and the Common Worship Service) to decide which of the two feels the right one for your wedding day. The clergy will guide you through all of this. You may have two, three or even four readings at your service, and at least one of them must be from the Bible. We highly recommend ‘Readings for Weddings’compiled and edited by Mark Oakley and available from Amazon as a reliable and fascinating source of readings and hymns.
It is likely that by the time everything is taken into consideration, the cost of getting married at St Paul’s will be in the region of £2,000. This includes the statutory legal fees, typical music fees and church costs. It does not include printing an order of service (which we will gladly do for you), nor flowers. You can trim this cost by being less ambitious in the musical arrangements you have (this cost assumes a choir of eight singers, an organist and a conductor) – and it can increase pro rata if you have additional musicians (for example a trumpeter). If we print your orders of service they will cost £1 each – and if you have these printed outside we ask to see a printer’s proof before you go to print. You will be invoiced for church costs by the Parish Office just before your wedding day.
You will want to have a great set of photos of your wedding day, and we look forward to working with your chosen photographer to ensure that you get precisely that! If you choose to video your wedding you should be aware that the music costs will double (due to Musicians Union rules about what singers and players get paid when they are recorded). This extends to the taking of amateur videos during wedding services – which it is your responsibility to ensure that your guests understand in any information you send out in advance of the day.
Yes, you can! But only outside the church. (Hell will be an eternity of having to sweep up confetti!)
Fr Alan Gyle is the Vicar. Please speak to him on a Sunday morning – or make an appointment to see him by calling 020 7201 9999.
Arranging weddings is huge fun – and a great mixing up of conversations about very practical and also profound and spiritual things. We really look forward to getting to know you better and both to working with you to ensure a great wedding day and to helping to sustain and support you in your marriage during the many years ahead.
The Reverend Alan Gyle