No two weddings are the same and this is also true for the person who is conducting the ceremony, whether it is a vicar in a church, a priest or a registrar at a civil ceremony. Following are some questions and possible answers to consider which you should be able to adapt to suit your own list of questions to suit the service you want.

Choices you will have to make will include what wedding date to choose, how you want to get married, who is involved in your ceremony, the type of music you are planning and what you can do to save money for wedding. Once you have an idea of these decisions, you can discuss this with the person who is going to marry you!

The questions below ar relevant when meeting this person, some may not apply to you but its based on our years of experience working with couples. The ceremony should be a memorable, relaxing and enjoyable ceremony.

Questions and Answers

• Will there be music as guests are arriving (30mins pre ceremony)

• Will they be present and marrying you on the day?

• What tune will be used for the bridal entrance (will there be an organist, ask them if you can listen to any tunes (maybe provide you a cd of a selection that you feel comfortable walking into) or maybe choose your own

• If you choose your own, are they happy to accept a cd from you

• consider time for readings (i.e it is nice to have someone preselected in your guests who will be there to read out a reading (or 2)

• let the priest know the order of walking in (youngest bridesmaids first, (when I meet you at the abbey maybe we can have a quick rehearsal if you wish)

•the signing of the ceremony will take around 15mins, confirm with the priest at what point the photographer can take photos (usually when the actual book signing occurs) but some venues may have alternative rules

• Ask them dos and dont's from a photo/video perspective (i.e location, movement, access)

•At the end of the service, will we be able to use the church grounds to take photos? You must take into consideration that there may be another wedding taking place not long after your own so other guests will be arriving and if it is a small church then the grounds could get rather crowded.

•Are video recorders and cameras allowed in the church? Most churches allow recordings of the ceremony to take place but some only allow the video recordings and not cameras. The couple can discuss where their cameraman will be able to gain access to and where they would have to stand during the service. (Note: some charges may be made for recording, always check).

•Are you allowed to throw confetti? Some churches only allow this outside of the church building and not inside as it does leave a mess. Some also request that you use bird seed or rice or some other form of natural product.

•Can we advertise our wedding? In the Catholic church a couple due to be married will have a Nuptial Mass but for a Christian service, a couple may have 'banns' read out during services in the lead up to their wedding day. Some churches may even have local pamphlets they produce a small newsletters where a couple can add their up coming details.

•Can we choose our hymns and readings? In most churches this is possible but you would need to discuss how many you would like and whether the church has a standard reading that they like to have for every wedding. It would be respectful to discuss the topic for each reading with the clergyman beforehand.

•Can we get married in a church if we have been married before?

•Can we pick our own music? It might be that the couple will not want the traditional bridemarch by Wagner as the bride walks down the aisle and may wish to opt for something a little more modern so this is an important discussion.

•Can we still get married in our local church even if we are not church goers or follow a religion?

•Do we have to decorate the church? This is not necessary and should only be done if the couple can afford to do so. If you are unable to afford flowers for the church, perhaps you could look into the idea of getting married on a day when you know the church might already be decorated, for instance over the Christmas holidays.

•Does our wedding need to be at the Church? If you are a certain religion then for the majority of people this would be yes, your wedding should take place in a church. The Catholics in particular feel that when a wedding is taking place, it is not just about the family but the church as a group.

•Does the couple need to be over a certain age to get married in the church?

•How long will the rehearsal and service take?

•How much does it cost? Each church will vary with regards to its fee as there may be costs involved for a choir or an organist or even bell ringers.

•How much input into the service will we have? Some couples like to write their own vows as well as having some say about the words of the service. Don't forget to ask if the service includes the kissing the bride section at the end.

•If needed, is it possible to have the marriage annulled? An annulment is something that would need a great deal of investigation to confirm that it would be valid but hopefully this is something that a couple will not need to worry about.

•If we decorate the church with flowers ourselves can we keep them? It might be nice to have the flowers taken to the reception after the service.

•If we do not get married in the church, will our marriage be recognised? It is possible for a local cleric to give permission for one of his congregation to be married elsewhere but this is something that the couple should look into further as there may only be specific reasons that will justify this.

•Is it possible to have a church service after being married abroad first?

•What do you need to provide the Church with? Check if you need to take along your birth certificates for instance.

•What if we are different religions? You will need to check if different religions are able to get married in the same church as some religions will require special permission to do so.

•Will we have to attend church before our big day? For most churches yes you will, it is only fair that the church sees some form of commitment from you when they have agreed that you will be married within their walls. In the Catholic unit, some couples are required to attend a marriage programme that is designed to help them with any preparations they will need for their future marriage together.



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