Getting married in Saint Peter’s
If you are reading this the chances are you are thinking about the possibility of getting married in Saint Peter’s, or that you are enquiring on behalf of a family member. Here are some of the questions people often ask.
What is involved in getting married here?
The couple meets with the Vicar to make the preliminary booking arrangements, then meets with the Vicar for two or three marriage preparation sessions. There is a rehearsal the day before the wedding.
Who can be married in Saint Peter’s?
Although located in South Dunedin, with a particular pastoral responsibility for local people, we are flexible about marrying people from far afield, though it is good if we have had a connection with you or your family in the past.
You do not have to be a church-goer to be married here (although it is a help if at least one of you has been baptised) and you do not have to be an Anglican, but we assume you want to be married in Church because you wish to make your promises in the presence of God and in the house of God.
Is it a problem if we are divorced or living together?
The Anglican Church allows the remarriage of divorced persons providing there is an understanding of why the first marriage failed, a willingness to learn from that experience and that any outstanding issues from the end of that marriage have been resolved.
Couples who have been living together may marry in Saint Peter’s, but the Anglican Church remains unimpressed by the argument that you can find out if someone is good marriage material by taking them for a road test.
Tell me more about your marriage preparation sessions
Saint Peter’s provides more than simply a ceremony. We have a pastoral responsibility to support you in every way we can as you make the biggest commitment and investment of your life.
Marriage preparation sessions are based on the method used by Relationship Services. Couples are asked to write down their honest answers to a number of fundamental questions to do with being married. At the end of the session they share their answers. The purpose is to begin a dialogue between the couple which hopefully will go on for the rest of their lives as their relationship changes and grows.
What choices are there for the wedding vows?
The Anglican Prayer book has three alternative forms of Wedding Services and there are choices and options within each of these. ’Write your own’ wedding vows is not part of the way we do things here. They are never as good as the winsome words of our professional liturgists.
What readings shall we have?
There are usually one or two readings at a Wedding Service and a selection of suitable Bible readings will be suggested by the Vicar. At least one of the readings must be from the Bible and preferably both will be from the Scriptures. Quality poems or prose are a possibility.
How long does a Wedding Service usually take?
About half an hour, though add-ons such as extra readings and hymns may extend the time a little.
What about video and photographs?
It is fine to have a video made of your wedding provided the filming is done unobtrusively from the side of the church. Artificial lighting is not permitted, but photographers may use flash during the processions at the beginning and the end of the Service and during the signing of the Registers.
Please ensure the photographer remains discretely out of sight and does not dominate the proceedings. It is not their big day.
How much does it cost to get married in Saint Peter’s?
$200 for the Church and $100 for the Organist. These will be the least of your wedding expenses.
What happens about flowers and decorations?
The Church is usually decorated by our flower arrangers to a high standard but it is just fine if you want to provide the flowers and a flower arranger for your ceremony. Usually the flowers are done the morning of the Service and they are often taken to the reception afterwards.
It is fine to have bows and posies on the end of the pews.
What music options are available?
The entrance and exit of the bridal couple can be to either the traditional wedding marches or other pieces of organ music. The appropriate choice can be influenced by such factors as the number of attendants and the general style of the ceremony. Our Director of Music is a trained professional musician who will give wise advice and is happy to make suggestions and to discuss your ideas with you.
Should you wish you may provide a soloist to sing during the signing of the registers. This of course adds to the costs as the soloist should be paid and there will be extra rehearsal time involved. Canned music over the public address system is neither technically possible nor aesthetically desirable in this Church – live music is always better than recorded music and Saint Peter’s has a fine digital organ.
David Hoskins, Director of Music
Ph 453 4621 email firstname.lastname@example.org
57 Baker Street, Caversham, Dunedin, New Zealand +64-3-455-3961 : or e-mail us