For many people, the only place to get married is in a church. A church wedding can be traditional or contemporary, elaborate and fancy or simple and sweet. And in Oxford you have a wealth of choice on offer when you are looking for the perfect place to tie the knot. If you dream of an Oxford church wedding, here’s what you need to know.
Step 1: Find a Church
It used to be quite difficult to find the perfect church to get married in but a new law makes it easier. Your first step is to find your local church in the Diocese of Oxford and contact the Vicar to find out about the process of getting married there. But if your local church is not suitable, there is the possibility that you could get married in another church in Oxfordshire or anywhere else in the country. You can get married away from your place of residence if you can demonstrate one of the following seven connections to the parish: one or both of you has lived in the parish at any time for at least six months; you were baptised in the parish; you were prepared for confirmation in the parish; or, you have regularly gone to church services in the parish church for at least six months.
Step 2: Contact the Vicar
Get in touch with the Vicar at your church to set a time to discuss the details of the wedding and plan the timing. Your Vicar has an important role to play in your Oxfordshire wedding. If you already have a relationship with your Vicar the ceremony will be particularly rewarding and memorable. Make sure you discuss with the Vicar exactly what you want from the ceremony in terms of style or tone.
Step 3: Attend Church
This one is optional – of course, many people already attend church on a regular basis. If you don’t, you may want to in the run up to your marriage. There is also often the chance to meet with the Vicar or other people to talk about what marriage means and to help prepare for your life as a married couple.
Step 4: Plan Your Church Ceremony Alongside Your Reception
Once you have decided on the church and the date is set you can start planning the wedding celebration for after the ceremony. You’ve got a lot of choice in Oxfordshire wedding venues – whether you want a glamorous country house hotel or a down-to-earth restaurant, you’ll find a venue to suit your style and your budget. Just make sure that it is relatively easy to get from the church to the venue.
Step 5: Banns
Banns are an announcement in church of your marriage intentions and they are designed to give people the chance to put forward any reason why you should not lawfully get married. You can be present when the banns are read or you can choose not to attend.
Step 6: Church Wedding Rehearsal
The thought of the wedding day can make people nervous, so a rehearsal to run through the procedures involved often helps set minds at rest. The rehearsal also serves to let other people know their roles in the ceremony and helps to clear up any problems before the day.
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