We would love to welcome you to celebrate your wedding together in any of our churches, where couples have been coming to be married for the last 700 years. The information below will hopefully answer some of your questions about who can be married here, but we are here to help and will do everything to make it happen for you so don’t be put off by the rules and regulations. We acknowledge that everyone’s circumstances are different, special and unique and we work with all couples to make sure they have what they want. Additionally, more information and ideas about marriage in the Church of England can be found here. If you have any further queries, or would like to book a date for your service, then please contact the Benefice Office or one of the clergy.
Music and streaming for weddings at St Mary’s
An organist can be available to play for your wedding in any of our churches. St Mary’s has a good choir that is available to sing for you. Another possibility, is prerecorded music and we’ll be happy to do that for you. It is possible to include commercially recorded music as part of the service but these cannot be live streamed. Please contact us to discuss what you need, or come along to St Mary’s on a Sunday morning and introduce yourself to one of the music team after the service. There is a lot of help on the Church of England’s website for music at weddings, in particular for choosing hymns.
We are happy to live stream services so that more people can be reached – we can do that publicly or more privately so that you send the link to the people you’d like to be involved. It is possible to include commercially recorded music as part of the service but these cannot be live streamed.
Any or all of this is currently covered by the normal organist’s fee, the choir attracts a further fee.
Do you have to ‘go to church’ at our preferred church to be married there?
No. As with any Parish Church in England, anyone who lives in the Parish of Ross, Walford or Brampton Abbotts automatically qualifies to be married in any of our churches (though please be aware that Brampton Abbotts Church is currently closed).
In addition, you are also eligible if one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of six months or more, OR
- was baptised (‘christened’) in any of our churches, OR
- was confirmed in one, OR
- has at any time regularly gone to normal church services for a period of six months or more, OR
if one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of six months, OR
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the Benefice for six months, OR
- if one of your parents or grandparents was married here.
We’re sorry this is all a bit complicated – Please have a word with us if you’re still not sure whether you qualify and we’ll do our very best to make it work.
Is it a problem if one of us is divorced or if one of us is a foreign national?
No – not as a rule, however if either of these applies to you then you need to contact one of the team to let us know.
What other choices do we have?
The words of the service are fixed (although you can choose between the traditional or more modern language options), however any additional readings or poems, all the music and whether you want the choir, the bells or any extra flowers are all up to you.
The service can be filmed if you wish and the photographer can take photos throughout (as long as they are discreet action shots during the service itself, with specially posed photos done before and after).
Do we have to get married on a Saturday?
No – it can be any day of the week (including Sundays) as long as the time slot is free. It does have to be between 8.00am and 6.00pm however (legally we can’t do evening weddings yet).
If we have been married elsewhere, could we have a ‘Blessing’?
Yes, whether you would have just been married or are celebrating an anniversary from some years before. As a service of ‘Blessing’ isn’t governed by Marriage Law, you would not have to ‘qualify’ by living here or by one of the other categories above. There is no cost for the service itself (we invite a donation instead) but any of the extras you might wish to include would cost the same as above.
What about the reception?
Well the great news is we can help there too. We now have a totally flexible interior that could easily accommodate a wedding reception. We’ve had one wedding reception so far and we’d be excited to work with you to bring it about if you’d like to be our second. Please let us know. Here are some photographs.
And a note from a delighted bride’s father:
My daughter was recently married at the beautiful St Mary’s church in Ross-on-Wye and also held the reception there! Everything went so well. The bells, the excellent service, the fantastic singing of the choir with the organ played, the live stream for those who couldn’t attend (alone, a fantastic production) and the wonderful welcome of those at the church made it such a special day. It was so beautiful – and seamless.
The grounds were perfect for gorgeous photos, the church itself a wonderful backdrop for photos and videos and the ambience in and out is beyond mere description using words. Little ones were able to use the mind-bogglingly well stocked play room. My daughter hired a great harpist for the church, decorated the space to her taste and even had outside caterers, inside, serving us fine fare. The lighting and ambience of the building was lovely, it was intimate and warm with a air of joy and calm but I can see it could host much larger groups, it’s accessible and inclusive too!
It was so wonderful, and a privilege, to celebrate such a happy event in such an old and glorious building and for such an incredibly and surprisingly nice amount budget-wise too. At the reception we were joined by those officiating for a short while, which was lovely but then left to enjoy the afternoon and evening by ourselves without interruption. The people at St Mary’s were very thoughtful and helpful with our arrangements. I believe the fee for wedding/baptisms and hiring of the huge space are the St Mary’s best kept secret!
Thank you all for the magnificent day, which was a blessing and given the venue a genuine help in these times. Other venues can charge 10 times as much as St Mary’s. We all loved it there.