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Wedding fees - what to expect

All that your Vicar and congregation do in the community such as weddings, baptisms, funerals, home visits, special projects and organising Christian worship is called Ministry.

In the earliest days of the church, communities would make contributions to the church as a moral obligation, since it provided these services to all without a specific charge. By donating to the church, communities sustained a vital part of community life for all.

The legal fee for weddings that you pay today has its roots in this ancient tradition which has evolved to become a required payment. It ensures your church can maintain these essential services for you and your community.

The tips below will help you to identify required costs and optional costs for your wedding. You can discuss these with your Vicar as part of the planning for your wedding day.

Required costs

  • The cost of a basic church wedding service is currently £451 for weddings in 2014, (with no extras) if two sets of banns are required, and including the marriage certificate. It may vary for you depending on your circumstances. A breakdown of these fees can be viewed here.
  • If you make a DVD recording of your wedding, some musicians are entitled to charge extra for their performance.

Optional costs

  • Your church may also offer optional additional services which can be provided for your wedding, such as a florist, an organist, a choir, a verger and bell ringers. Each of these will cost extra on top of the legal fee but charges should be reasonable. You are not obliged to have any of them, but many couples are keen to.
  • A church may charge additional fees for some things according to the local situation. Some, for example, may offer the services of a verger, who ensures the church is clean and tidy for your wedding. They can be especially helpful in larger churches. Ask for these charges to be shown on your final bill so that you can clearly see what you are paying for. You should have the opportunity to specify whether or not it is a service you want on your wedding day.
  • Once the final church bill has been agreed, some couples are still keen to offer a donation to the church. Donations may help to cover things like administration and the upkeep of the building. While these gifts are very kind, you needn’t feel under any obligation.

It is good practice for your Vicar to provide a detailed, itemised bill or quote for you to see before your wedding so you know what your final bill will be. 

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