Planning your service

As you plan your wedding day, you will want to make certain that everything is thought out, so that the day goes as well as possible. It is the vicar's job on the day to make sure that the service goes well and that you feel comfortable and able to enjoy the ceremony. But there are a lot of things to think about before the day:

Banns or Common License

Before a minister can officiate at a wedding he or she has to make sure that there is no legal obstacle to the marriage. This is most commonly done by using the ancient system of publishing banns. Basically this involves asking the community in church whether anyone knows of any reason why you should not be married (Not liking one of you is insufficient reason for someone to veto your wedding. Suspicion of incest or existing marriage are two valid matters which would lead to major investigation!) Banns have to be called at the main service in church on three Sundays during the last three months before the wedding. Banns must be called in the parish where you live as well as in Braunston if you are not resident.

If one of you is a foreign national, it may be necessary for you to be to be married by common licence. Please let us know if this may apply to one of you.

Hymns and Music

When choosing hymns you will want to ensure that (a) you like them! (b) they are suitable for the occasion, and (c) the wedding guests will be likely to know them. It is not pretty if the vicar ends up singing Karaoke while your guests squirm with embarrassment.

There is lots of choice for music to walk in and out of the church to. Bear in mind that it only takes about a minute to get down the aisle even in low gear and you will understand that requesting the first movement of the Sans Saens Organ Concerto is not going to be a runner! John, our organist, will willingly advise. If your selection includes anything far outside the normal repertoire do check that he is willing to play it and may need you to supply the sheet music!

We don’t mind if you want to play a track from a CD that means something to you during the signing of the registers or before the service but recorded music rarely works as well as live music for processing in and out. If you have other musicians that you would like to involve talk to us!


Normally people have two readings, one of which is a reading from the bible. The vicar will help you choose this if you like. It is a good idea to ask a good reader in your family or friends to read but don't worry if you don't have any public speakers in the family. Poems are very popular as are song lyrics and extracts from books. Google "readings for weddings" and you will find plenty of ideas!

Orders of Service

Many couples like to have the hymns printed on an Order of Service. You don't have to as we do ample hymn books and it might be one expense too many but if you do choose to have orders of service ask the vicar for the right content in the right order before you print – otherwise you may make a costly mistake!

Organist and Bells

The organist and the bellringers are optional extras but if there is to be any kind of music in the service an organist is essential. We have our regular organist, John but if you have an organist among your friends and relations you can arrange for them to play instead.

Our bellringers are all volunteers, and so while we seldom have to disappoint anyone we cannot guarantee them for a particular occasion, particularly if you are a late booker during the wedding season (June-September). Obviously any fees for these will be refunded in the event of them not being available.

Photography & Videos

The key is to ask your photographers to talk to the vicar to find out the do's and don'ts and to find out the lie of the land!

Flash photography is permitted for the arrival of the bride, the signing of the registers, and the departure of bride and groom. An official photographer may take photos during the service so long as s/he remains in one location and does not flash. This can be very distracting.

Video recordings of the service are permitted, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • notice is given to the minister beforehand; (she may wish to brush her hair)
  • the video operator must agree with the minister a fixed location for the camera(s); only one position is allowed up to the signing of the registers, and no additional lighting is to be used; Discretion and unobtrusiveness are the bywords here!
  • additional fees are paid 
  • copyright considerations are taken into account, appropriate licences obtained and shown to the vicar before or on the day of the ceremony (please click here for more information)


Please talk to us about flowers. For most of the year(except during Lent) the church is decorated with flowers and particularly at Easter and Christmas. If you want something different please talk to our flower arrangers who can help for a modest donation and cost of flowers.

If you wish to use your own flower arrangers please still liaise with our ladies. The removal of a church display without notice (when someone has given time and money to the arrangement) may well result in the grisly spectacle of a headless Camellia being left on your doorstep at dawn.


It is traditional for the bride to be a little late for her wedding. Five minutes is acceptable but more than this can be enormously stressful to groom and guests and infuriating to those who may have other commitments after your service. In the worst cases a late start may mean that we have to cut non-legal aspects of the service (music, photographs during the signing of registers, secular reading etc in order to make up for lost time. Church folk are generally pretty tolerant of bridal delays but ringers, organist, verger and vicar may have another wedding to go on to after yours. We have had some pretty extraordinary reasons for lateness in recent years – accidents, lost rings, best man in police custody – all understandable and communicated - but the bride being a diva is not an acceptable reason! Please try hard.

Paying for it all

Whilst the cost of the church ceremony typically pales into insignificance in relation to the cost of the reception, dress, cars and so on, we are determined that nobody should be excluded from being able to marry in church because of not being able to afford it. The fee is not negotiable in itself (only a small part of it is for the local church) but we can be as flexible as you need in how many interest free instalments you pay it off in as long as payment is complete a week before your wedding. So if you book a year or more ahead and want to pay a weekly sum that can be agreed up front. Equally if you want to write one cheque for fees then that is fine too.

Wedding fees for 2019
The basic fee for a marriage in church during 2019 is £533 if Braunston is not your home parish, otherwise £489 if Braunston is your home parish (providing you both live there). This includes church, the vicar, the service, the reading of banns, heat and light. Please click here for further information. Please contact us regarding additional costs, which may include:

Verger: (NB. verger is essential)

A deposit secures the date and time of your service. This is deductible from the total fees. (See below for a downloadable table of all fees) Once date and time are confirmed you do not need to do anything relating to the church until four months before your wedding. At this point please get in touch to make final arrangements.

We look forward to helping you to have a wonderful and blessed wedding day which sets you off on your new life together as a married couple.

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Church of England Fees 2019 (Adobe Acrobat (PDF))