Your wedding

We are delighted that you have chosen to be married at Hexham Abbey and we look forward to accompanying you as you make your plans. The day should be wonderful in every possible way and you’ll no doubt be undertaking many preparations to make it so, but it is only the start of your lifetime together.

Deciding to be married at Hexham Abbey is choosing to begin your married life with an act of Christian Worship during which you make your commitment to each other and ask for God’s blessing on your relationship. As such you are not hiring a building for the day but adding your page to the Abbey’s 1,300 year history.

You’ll find further information below, however, the best thing would be to arrange a to have a chat with one of the clergy – we look forward to meeting you both.

Following the renovation of our former Priory Buildings, we are now able to offer a suite of beautiful rooms for wedding receptions so it will be possible to have both your wedding service and reception at Hexham Abbey.

To view our current Wedding Reception Packages click here

Sally McRobie

If you have any questions or would like more information please get in touch.

 

PREPARING TO BE MARRIED

The Clergy will guide your preparations and they should be consulted about your plans at an early stage. We would like to invite you, as part of your marriage preparation, to come to church services and to get used to the life and worship of our church community. We see this as essential and part of our joint commitment to you being married at Hexham Abbey. We would also be delighted if you would like to attend with family or friends.

QUALIFYING TO BE MARRIED AT THE ABBEY

If one of you:

  • has at any time lived in Hexham parish for a period of at least 6 months, or
  • was baptised in this parish, or
  • was prepared for confirmation here, or
  • has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in Hexham Abbey 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 Hexham Abbey for a period of at least 6 months, or

that one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married here

then you can be married here by Banns. There is no need for you to contact the Registrar or anyone else as Church of England clergy legally act as Registrars at marriages in parish churches. The Banns will normally be read in the Abbey in the period before the wedding at the 10.00am service on three successive Sundays.

If either of you live in another parish they will need to be read in that parish too within the three months before the wedding and the clergy here must have the banns certificate from your parish before the wedding takes place. It is your responsibility to see to this.

You will be informed as to the dates when your Banns are to be read at the Abbey and we would encourage you, perhaps with friends or family, to come to hear them being read.

There are alternatives to Banns which the clergy can explain.

If one, or both of you, has been divorced and wish to be married in the Abbey, you should discuss things with the Abbey Clergy before making further arrangements. The Abbey follows guidelines issued by the Church of England to help you reflect on the issues involved. This reflection will happen before a firm booking can be completed.

TIMING OF SERVICES

The service, including the signing of the Register, takes approximately 45 minutes and legally it must take place between 8.00am and 6.00pm. Weddings can be held on any day of the week. It is important that we begin punctually as there are many people involved in the service who may have difficulties if things run late. The length of time the photographer takes after the service is far more variable, and that is a factor which will govern relative timings of the service in church and the beginning of your reception.
When agreeing with you the date and time of your wedding the clergy need to take into account existing commitments in the Abbey and the time that will be needed for setting things up for you. Therefore, it is helpful to come with some options.

MEETING THE CLERGY AND MARRIAGE PREPARATION

There is usually an initial meeting with one of the clergy to fill in a booking form and where you will have received this booklet.
In January each year couples are usually told who will be conducting their forthcoming wedding. That member of the clergy will then become the primary contact for the couple and will normally see the couple two or three times; one or two longer sessions to go through the service and talk about marriage and relationships; and normally a short rehearsal with others taking part.

PLANNING YOUR SERVICE

The Clergy person who is conducting your service will work with you on the content, considering readings, hymns and whether you have friends who will play a special part, perhaps with readings, or instrumental performance. They will explain the order of the service to enable you to produce your own service sheet, though we are very happy to produce one for you. If you do produce your own, please bear in mind that in addition to your guests, copies will be needed for members of the choir (if you are having one), the clergy taking the service, the verger and of course for the Bride and Groom.  We do ask that if you are producing your own copies, that they be brought to the Abbey when you come for your rehearsal.
For planning your service, we highly recommend that you use the Church of England website which has lots of good ideas and help.

THE REHEARSAL

Whoever is conducting your wedding will arrange with you a convenient time some point during the week leading up to your wedding for a short run through with you in the Abbey. On this occasion it is good to have other participants present if possible: the Best Man, the Bride’s father, the bridesmaids, etc.

ORGAN MUSIC, CHOIR AND BELLS

Marcus Wibberley, the Director of Music, will be very happy to talk with you about music for your wedding. He may arrange to see you at the Abbey when he can demonstrate some of the possibilities. Please make an appointment directly with him. Our choir is usually available to sing at weddings and Marcus can advise on their repertoire and fees.
Email: directorofmusic@hexhamabbey.org.uk

Hexham Abbey has a peal of 10 bells and the bell ringers are happy to ring for weddings. The bells are usually rung for approximately 20 minutes at the end of the wedding and can very much enhance the occasion as well as being very traditional. Details of the fees are given above and the bells should be booked with the Abbey’s Administrator as early as possible.

PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO RECORDINGS AND CONFETTI

We do not allow photographs to be taken during the prayers or the promises as they detract from the meaning of the service. However, your photographer is welcome to take pictures as you enter and leave the Abbey and during the signing of the Register. Some photographers will try hard to make you fit in with their wishes. Remember that you are paying them to fit in with yours, and insist that they meet your requirements. In the wedding information pack available from the Parish centre is a letter for photographers outlining our requirements and we ask that you give this to them.
It is possible for you to make a video recording of your wedding in Hexham Abbey. There are additional fees payable to the musicians and you will need to sign an indemnity form. The company and any individuals recording a video will need to obtain the relevant licences. However it would be greatly appreciated if you could ask your guests in advance to refrain from making recordings of the service on their phones or cameras.
Confetti is brilliant fun at a wedding but, please, only throw it outside in the street.

FLOWERS

We are privileged at Hexham Abbey to have a group of talented people who arrange flowers. Our flower arrangers give of their time as well as providing oasis/sundries so there is a small fee of 25% of the cost of the flowers for undertaking the arranging – this money is then used to provide flowers in the Abbey during other times of the year.
We permit, with supervision, professional florists to provide displays. Please contact Mrs Sheila Dance directly about your requirements, including the suggested colour scheme, and she can provide you with relevant costs. It is customary that flowers are left in the Abbey for others to enjoy during the following week and so to give thanks for your wedding.
Where there are two or more weddings over a weekend we encourage Brides to talk to each other so as to come up with a common theme and therefore share the costs.
For flowers at your wedding, please contact Sheila Dance (Flower co-ordinator) 01434 607335

THE COST OF YOUR WEDDING

The Church fees for your wedding include amounts laid down by Parliament and the extras you have asked for. We will send you an invoice for these amounts and the invoice needs to be paid prior to the wedding.
The clergy are happy to talk to you, generally at the initial meeting, about the costs involved. The fees for 2014 are as follows.

Wedding options and costs
Service without Music£392
Service with organfrom £520
Service with boys choir or girls choirfrom £808
Service with full Choirfrom £968
Other Choir arrangements, i.e. combined or small groupfrom £648
Blessing of a civil marriagefrom £212
Banns Publication£21
Marriage Certificate£3.50
Bells£140
Video License£50
Orders of service sheetfrom £40

• Fee levels may vary depending on the musical requirements.
• If a video of the service is made, then a musicians’ performance charge will be added.