Marriage at St. John’s
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage. Whether you’re just dreaming of a church wedding, or well into the planning already, St. John’s wants to help and support you.
The first step is to arrange an interview with the Rector.
This meeting discusses what a church wedding involves:
- Documentation required under the Marriage Act
- Church requirements
- Wedding services
- Marriage preparation
- St. John’s requirements for photographers
No agreement to conduct your wedding at St. John’s can be made prior to this interview.
Following the interview a firm booking of a date and time can be made.
One further interview will be required about a month or six weeks prior to the wedding to confirm all arrangements.
The church seats a maximum of 350 people; the Memorial Chapel seats 25 people.
The following material answers most of the questions those considering being married at St. John’s ask, and provides all of the details you will need. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns.
1. WHO CAN BE MARRIED AT ST JOHN'S?
St John’s has an open policy in regard to marriage – anyone desiring to be married in our church may be. You do not need to live in the parish area. You do not need to be a member of our church or another. St John’s is well used to conducting marriages where one or both parties to the marriage have an affiliation with Christian churches other than the Anglican Church, are from non-Christian traditions, adherents to other religions, or have ‘no religion’.
We ask only that you participate in the course of preparation run by the parish and agree to be married according to the rites of the Anglican Church of Australia (this is both a church and a legal requirement).
Same Sex Marriage.
Despite the Introduction to the Marriage Act for Same Sex Marriage we are unable to accommodate Same Sex Marriage at St. Johns. This is due to a complicated combination of Federal Law which only authorises Anglican Clergy to conduct marriages in accordance with the rites of the Anglican Church, and the Church Law which does not allow Same Sex Marriage. We are unable to allow another celebrant to conduct a Same Sex Marriage on church property for the same reason.
2. FIRST CONTACT
The Marriages Act 1961 requires that at least one month’s notice be given to the proposed celebrant before the marriage takes place. Couples desiring to be married at St John’s should contact the parish office to check that the time and date desired is available. At this point a tentative booking may be made, although this will not be confirmed until a deposit of $250 has been paid.
All ordained ministers of our church undergo extensive training, and by virtue of what they do on a daily basis, develop highly professional skills in leading services, addressing gatherings of people, and in public speaking. At most marriages at St John’s the celebrant will be the church rector.
Where couples have an existing relationship with another Anglican priest they may seek permission from St John’s (in writing to the Rector) to invite that priest to conduct their marriage.
Please note that St John’s, as an Anglican church, may only be used for the purposes of Anglican worship with an Anglican priest presiding. It is not possible for the church to be “hired out” or “used” for other purposes, nor is it possible for clergy (priests, ministers or pastors) from churches other than the Anglican Church to conduct marriages at St John’s. Ordained ministers of other churches may, however, assist and participate, usually at the point of the homily (sermon) and / or prayers. Couples desiring this must contact St John’s to discuss and to obtain approval to do so, before inviting another minister to participate. Under no circumstances may a civil celebrant preside at, nor lead, any part of a marriage service at St John’s.
4. NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MARRY (NOIM FORM)
All couples being married at St John’s must arrange to meet with the celebrant to complete and sign a Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM) form, which must be lodged with the celebrant at least one month prior to the wedding date. It is best to complete this requirement as soon as possible. The form may be accessed through this link to the NSW NOIM Form
The NOIM form must be signed and witnessed by the proposed celebrant (normally the Rector of St John’s).
To complete the NOIM form both parties to the marriage will need to supply original birth certificates or extracts, or if one or both were born overseas, a passport issued by a country other than Australia is acceptable.
If one or both parties to the marriage have been previously married evidence of the end of the previous marriage must also be provided (this will usually be in the form of a document issued by the Family Court in the event of divorce, or a certificate of death for the previous spouse if a widow or widower).
5. FIRST MEETING
A wedding booking may be taken by phone, or other forms of communication, and confirmed at any time. The next step will be the first meeting, which is with the Rector of St John’s, who is celebrant at most marriages in our church. Apart from meeting and discussing marriage, and taking the opportunity to find out a bit about those being married in our church, another purpose of this meeting is to sign the NOIM form. The appointment is made by contacting the parish office.
Attendance at a marriage preparation course is a requirement. This can be done through any one of a number of agencies, including Anglicare. The rector or the Parish Administrator can advise.
7. DAYS AND TIMES
Most weddings are conducted on Saturday afternoons. However, providing the church is not otherwise in use, weddings may also be conducted on weekdays or Sunday afternoons. There are certain periods of the church year when weddings are not conducted, on which the Parish Office can advise. Because of the popularity of Saturday weddings, fixed timeslots are available to ensure that there is no clash between weddings and to allow time for setting up and for photographs.
St John’s has a beautiful organ, but you are not restricted to the use of the organ.
Almost any traditional music played live can be accommodated at St John’s. The use of a string quartet, for example, instead of the organ could add a unique touch to your wedding and would fit well into the service.
Musical options should be discussed with the Director of Music.
9. THE REHEARSAL
The rehearsal normally takes place during the week prior to the wedding. Typically the rehearsal will take between 30 and 60 minutes. The main purposes of the rehearsal are to practise the entry of the bride and her attendants into the church, and to give the bride and the groom some practical instructions about where things happen and how the service proceeds. The time and date of the rehearsal are arranged in consultation with the celebrant through the parish office.
10. THE CEREMONY
Click here to go to the page ‘the ceremony: step by step’ for a comprehensive description of, and guide to, the Anglican wedding ceremony.
Confetti or rice are prohibited as they constitute either littering, (Confetti) or a trip or slip hazard (Rice). Biodegradable matter only (i.e. rose petals and potpourri) may be thrown in the church grounds, or you may distribute bubbles which can be blown both inside and outside the church.
12. PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS
The church has no objection to professional photographers taking photographs of the service nor to the ceremony being filmed by a videographer arranged by the couple being married.
It is important that the photographer and / or videographer introduce themselves to the clergy before the service begins for a comprehensive briefing on etiquette in the church.
Permission to record the music of the service should be sought from your musician(s).
13. FEES AND PAYMENT
The wedding fees, as of 1 September 2019:
Church Use = $800
Church Minister = $450
Organist (if used) = $400
The deposit of $250 is required at the time of booking. The balance should be paid at the final interview.
Please discuss flowers with the rector. St John’s will need to know if you will provide your own flowers, and to make arrangements for the florist to have access to the church. St John’s Flower Guild may be able to provide flowers for an additional fee.