Gogglebox’ Vicar Rev. Kate Bottley has her say:
I had an epiphany last week! Kate Bottley from Gogglebox was on the radio, she told a very moving “Pause for Thought” on the Chris Evans breakfast show and I loved it! I was going to call up “The vicar from Gogglebox” Kate, and ask her a few questions about church weddings, because after a little investigation I had seen this and knew I just had to!
I just had to get in touch so I could ask her inside knowledge of what to do at a church wedding!
Indeed Vicars are very busy people so I was emailed this in return, and I’m sure you’ll agree its ace!
The Did-You-Know-Of – Church Weddings :
Rev. Kate Bottley (Vicar of the churches of Blyth, Scrooby and Ranskill and Chaplain to North Notts College)
1. According to the rules of the Church of England you can be married in any church where you have a ‘qualifying connection’, these include the church where your parents married or any church in a parish where you have lived for a period of at least 6 months. This means there’s probably more churches available to you than you first thought. And you can be married in ANY church where you have attended regular worship for a period of 6 months.
2. You don’t have to be Christened to marry in a Church of England church.
3. Most vicars are lovely, but they are very busy and often look after more than one church. If you get one of the grumpy ones don’t give up! But going along to services is a great way to get to know the church family and the vicar ahead of your big day.
4. There’s a whole website dedicated to Church weddings that can help you chose hymns, readings and music, yourchurchwedding.org.
5. The rules of the Church of England are set by Act of Parliament and are given Royal Assent like any other law in England, so vicars are not really being awkward if they insist on following the rules, they could in theory go to prison if they don’t do things properly.
6. Churches are full of lovely people who wold love to help you on your big day, some will arrange flowers if you ask for example, by going to church you’ll get to know a whole army of people who will be so pleased to see you and excited about your big day.
7. Marriage in church (and elsewhere) is a public ceremony and anyone has the right to be present.
8. Brides, you don’t have to promise to obey or be ‘given away’ or change your surname.
9. You don’t have to have a white dress or flowers or hymns or walk down the aisle if you don’t want to, just because those things are traditional it doesn’t mean you have to have them.
10. As part of the marriage service you don’t actually say ‘I do’ you say ‘I will’ but Hollywood likes their version best.
11. It can really help your marrying vicar if you can give them some stories of how you met and your hopes for the years ahead, that way they can talk about you personally during the sermon.
12. We know it’s the most important thing happening in your life but vicars do lots and lots of weddings so although everyone is special and they think yours is the best one they’ve ever been to, you really don’t have to invite them to the reception, no matter what your Granny says.
13. Lots of Churches will be happy for you to have recorded popular music as part of your service or to personalise the service in some way. You can’t change the vows but you can have poems, readings and music that will make your big day personal to you.
14. Marrying in church is not the end of a journey but a beginning, after your big day it’s lovely to pop back to church with the photos and some cake and to thank everyone for their involvement. Besides it might not be that long until you want to book the Christening!