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Weddings at St Mary's Watton

A wedding is one of life’s great moments, a time of solemn commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy. St John tells us how Jesus shared in such an occasion at Cana, and gave there a sign of new beginnings as he turned water into wine.


Marriage is intended by God to be a creative relationship, as his blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other in good times and in bad, and to share in the care and upbringing of children. For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, declared and celebrated in the presence of God and before witnesses.

On their wedding day the bride and bridegroom face each other, make their promises and receive God’s blessing.


Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude, It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.                   
I Corinthians l3.4-7


Can I Get Married at St Mary's?


The rules governing marriages in England and Wales are set out in The Marriage Act 1949, as amended in 2008. This states that we can conduct your wedding if one of you is either:


  • one of you is resident in the parish (which only includes the boundaries of Watton so you must check! The website will show you which parish you are in. If you are still unsure, please consult the vicar) or
  • one of you is on the Electoral Roll of the parish (a list of regular worshippers in the churches of the parish), or
  • one of you has a qualifying connection with the parish - which means you can get married here if one of the following applies:
  • one of you was baptised or prepared for confirmation in St. Mary’s Church;
  • one of you has ever lived in the parish for six months or more;
  • one of you has at any time regularly attended public worship in St. Mary’s Church for six months or more;
  • one of your parents has lived in the parish for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
  • one of your parents has regularly attended public worship here for six months or more in their child’s lifetime;
  • your parents or grandparents were married in St. Mary’s Church.


If none of the above apply, it may be possible to add you to the Electoral Roll. This would be a sign of your making an ongoing commitment to the church in this parish. If you’d like to discuss this, please get in touch.


(The only other way to be married in a church where none of the above applies is to apply for an Archbishop’s Special Licence. These licences are not granted automatically and will usually mean you need to have had a connection with St, Mary’s to qualify– if you think this route applies to you, please speak to the vicar.)


What if one or both of you has been married before?


If the previous marriage was ended by divorce, then there are procedures we have to follow before we can go ahead with arranging your wedding. It is a requirement of the Bishop of Norwich for his permission to be granted and a ‘Common Licence’ to be applied for, which is done after meeting with the vicar. This will add £103 to the cost of the wedding.


What if you haven’t been baptised (Christened)?


There is no legal requirement for you to have been baptised in order to get married in church—however if you feel that baptism is something you want to explore, then we are always happy to talk to you about that.


What are the chances of getting the date you want?


There are usually few problems about getting the date you want, although the earlier you request a booking the more chance there is that the date and time you prefer will be free.


What if you have special requests?


Sometimes couples have special requests—eg they want a friend to sing during the service, or they would like a particular priest to take the wedding, etc. Please make a note of any such requests at the time of requesting your booking. We will do our best to accommodate them, but we cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to—we would of course let you know as soon as possible.


What will your wedding cost?


A breakdown of all fees is given below. The fees increase each year on instruction from Parliament, so we are unable to say what they will be for subsequent years, however the increases are usually minimal.


Wedding Fees:


Statutory Fees:          
Publication of Banns     £32.00    
Certificate of Banns     £16.00    
Marriage Service     £480.00    
Marriage Certificate     £4.00   £532.00 (Statutory Fees)
Local Church Fees:          
Verger     £40.00    
Organist Fee always payable if organist is available to play   £85.00   Mandatory unless in Vacancy
Church Expenses     £20.00  

£677.00 (Sub Total)

Other Fees:          
Choir     £100.00    
Bells     £120.00    
Videographer with presence of organist**     £115.00    
Videographer used without the presence of organist**     £30    


*A verger covers necessary support at a wedding service given by the Church to you as a couple in addition to the clergy person conducting the wedding service.

As is the common practice at many Churches, it is policy that if the resident organist is available to play on the day of your wedding, then the fee will be charged regardless if you wish the organ to be played or not.

**Regarding engaging a professional videographer for your service, St Mary’s Church must strictly follow the copyright laws to allow this. Because filming affects copyright and other performing rights of musicians, we must have in place all the necessary CCLI licences to ensure that the Church, yourselves and your videographer are covered.

This will have an impact on the cost of your wedding service. If you are recording a person’s performance, e.g. an organist, they are entitled to an additional fee – which at St Marys is a double fee for the organist and a £30 fee for the Church to help cover the cost of these licences. The charge without the presence of the organist is to cover other music which will be used within your service.