We love that more and more couples are coming to begin their marriage at St Mary's. In fact, weddings in the Church of England as a whole have shown a 4% increase
For us, offering ministry to a couple about to begin a marriage is much more than booking a ceremony. We don't have so many weddings that we're swamped with requests. This means that we can take our time getting to know the couples, what they're hoping for on their big day, any concerns they might have and what little personal details they'd like to make their wedding special to them.
No two weddings are identical and that, for us, is what makes them so fascinating as well as joyful. We put a lot into every service - usually over ten hours with each couple and at least as much behind the scenes, making preparations and writing a bespoke address - because we believe that God is interested in every unique person.
Couples often tell us that their friends are amazed that they enjoyed the service so much. It's nice for us to break the misconception that church is stuffy and that you can't enjoy yourself in a beautiful ceremony when two people are making astonishing commitments in the presence of God.
One thing that's often a surprise is how little it costs to get married in church.
Here's a comparison with our local register office, to show that a church wedding need not be as expensive as you think (costs based on a Saturday wedding, with no organist or bell-ringers):
Wedding at Islington Town Hall, in Room 99 (the cheapest available, maximum 30 people) - £398.50
Wedding at St Mary's (maximum 400 people) - £347.50
£22 Legal preliminary (banns)
£262 Service of Holy Matrimony
£0 Use of church, including heating if necessary
£0 Rehearsal (usually 60 minutes)
£0 Personalisation (readings, several meetings with vicar, personalised sermon, marriage preparation day, special requests within reason)
£0 Entry of the bride
£3.50 Marriage Certificate
More information on getting married at St Mary's.
£33.50 Legal preliminary (Registrar's notice fee)
£140 Civil Ceremony
£0 Use of Room 99, including heating if necessary (Council Chamber maximum 100 guests, £370)
£75 Rehearsal (minimum 30 minutes, charged at £75 for each additional 30 minutes)
£100 Personalisation (non-religious reading, plus one meeting with Registrar before service)
£50 Entry of the bride