Church of England - logo St John's Church Watford

Weddings - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Weddings FAQ banner

Who can marry at St John's Watford?   [ top ]

All who live within the Parish Boundary can marry at St John's. To check if you live in the parish please click here.

If you don't currently live in the parish you will need to show (for either bride, or groom) one of the following possible seven connections with St John's Church.

That one of you:

  • has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • was baptised (christened) in the parish concerned or
  • was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
  • has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

  • has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married in the parish

How much will it cost?   [ top ]

Church weddings are often cheaper than you think; the current small legal fee is £321.50 which is set nationally. Flowers and music can be arranged at additional cost.

This figure is based on a couple living at the same address and marrying outside their own parish and includes:

  • the fee set by law payable to the church: £262
  • your marriage certificate: £3.50
  • having your banns read at the home church: £22
  • having your banns read at the church where you will marry: £22
  • your banns certificate: £12

I am divorced; can I get married in church?   [ top ]

We wish all a lifetime of love that grows within God's protection. But we know that some marriages fail for all sorts of sad and painful reasons. In many cases being divorced does not prevent you from marrying in church, please discuss with us; even if we can't marry you we should be able to offer a service of prayer and dedication.

We are already living together - can we get married in church?   [ top ]

Yes. Whether or not you currently live together we would be delighted to be part of your special day as you go deeper into your relationship in the presence of God.

What types of marriage services could we have?   [ top ]

You can makes choices about your hymns and music, readings and what sort of prayers you would like.

You have choices about who does the readings and prayers, which can involve your family and friends.

It's up to you what you wear and whether you have one ring or two. If the church and the Vicar are free, you can marry on any day of the week. And with us's help, you can make choices about what type of words are used in the service.

More ideas can be found on the Church of England Wedding website.

Can we have an organist?   [ top ]

We have two excellent organists who are generally available to play for weddings; the current fee set for an organist to play for your wedding at St John's is £70. If the service is recorded (audio or video) the fee is doubled to £140 - this is common practice, advised by The Royal School of Church Music, since the organist owns the copyright to his performance.

The organist will meet with you to discuss your requirements and can even offer advice on suitable music if you wish.

The Royal School of Church Music's online resource Music for Church Weddings provides additional information and advice.

Can we bring our own organist?   [ top ]

Yes, of course. However, playing for weddings comprises part of our organist's remuneration package, and therefore he has the right to either play for the wedding, or to be paid the fee for the wedding, even if a visiting organist plays in his place. Normally this means that if you bring your own organist, you will still need to pay the standard wedding fee to our organist - this is in addition to any fee you may need to pay for your own organist.

The Royal School of Church Music's online resource Music for Church Weddings provides additional information and advice about this point.

Can we play our own music?   [ top ]

We have a good sound system so if you have a special piece of music you would like played please discuss your requirements; we can advise you regarding the suitability of the music for a church service.

Can our guests throw confetti?   [ top ]

Absolutely! Throwing of confetti outside of the church building is fine.

Can our ceremony be videoed?   [ top ]

Of course. If you wish to have your special day videoed please discuss with us to ensure your day goes smoothly. Please note that the organist's fee will double when the ceremony is videoed, which is common procedure due to performance copyright reasons.

Can our children be involved?   [ top ]

If you have children we welcome them too and can even offer a service of Marriage and Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child or we can design a service to include and involve your children.

What happens if we are foreign nationals?   [ top ]

If you are from outside the European Economic Area, having a Church of England wedding will involve some different paperwork and there will be a number of things us will want to talk to you about. How you begin is dependent on your circumstances and whether one or both of you are resident in the UK.

For further information please see the offical Home Office webpage for Visas and Immigration.

Can we marry on any day of the week including Sunday?   [ top ]

Yes. In fact Sunday is the third most popular day for weddings in the Church of England. Just talk to us to make sure the day you want is free and that your wedding won't clash with any normal services taking place in the church.


Join Our Services This Week

Thursday 20th June
7.30pm - Collation, Induction and Installation of Fr Corniel Quak

Sunday 23rd June
The Fourth Sunday after Trinity
10.30am - Parish Mass with Hymns
Download the service booklets for this service

Weekday Services at St John's

From Wednesday 26th June, our weekday parish mass will be held on Wednesdays at 10.00am, rather than on Fridays. Our last Friday morning service is on 7th June. The next weekday service after this will be on Wednesday 26th June.