So you want to get married …
Good for you!
We would be delighted to help your 'big day' go as smoothly as possible and to give you the best possible start in your married life.
To this end please contact us first to reserve the church for your chosen time and date. Then you can book your reception.
Join the countless thousands who have been married in this beautiful mediaeval church during its 900 year history.
Why not make your day special by including our wonderful choir who will sing beautiful choral music during the service or simply support your guests, who themselves may not be used to singing anywhere other than in the shower!
We have a splendid pipe organ and whether you want traditional music to enter the church or perhaps something a little different, speak to our excellent organist. He can play examples to help you decide on your musical requirements.
You can also enhance the traditional church wedding experience by having our bellringers ring a peal of bells as you leave the church. The bells are much admired by ringers from other churches in this area (If not always by our neighbours).
If you're thinking of flowers to complement your wedding experience, the florists of our Altar Flower Guild would be happy to discuss your requirements.
Our priests will minister to your needs and will lead you gently up to your big day, guiding you through the service itself and helping to put you at your ease before and during this the biggest day of your lives.
Our lively and caring congregation, which normally includes a number of others also planning on getting married (they're the ones looking anxious) can also help and support you in the lead up to your wedding.
The legal bit ...
Oddly, perhaps, there are laws governing who may marry where.
There are residential requirements which people have to meet before they can marry in a church. These are now a lot less rigorous than they used to be.
You should be okay if either of you is normally resident in the parish or has what's called a 'qualifying connection' such as one of you
is on the Church Electoral Roll;
Failing all the above under exceptional circumstances you may be able to get a Special Licence to be married here.
One thing that sometimes makes a wedding at our Parish Church impossible, or less than straightforward, is that one of you is divorced. If this is so in your case do not despair, make contact and let's see what we can do.
Having said all that, most folk get married here without a problem after the calling of banns.
What are banns?
Before you can be married anywhere in this country you have to make your intention public. This applies whether you wish to marry in church or not. We deal with this requirement by 'calling the banns' for three Sundays at the beginning of the main Sunday service (9. 30am).
In addition if either, or both, of you are living elsewhere you have to arrange for your banns to be called in that C of E church as well. After these banns have been called you must get a certificate to that effect from the other church (for which a fee is payable) and bring it to the priest who will officiate at your wedding. No certificate: no legal wedding!
All this is about giving anybody who knows a legal reason why a couple shouldn't be married the opportunity to declare it. The banns are called for the fourth time during the service. That's the bit with which the movies have such fun (The Graduate, Three Men and a Little Lady, Shrek, Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Why choose Edenbridge Parish Church
Marriage is more than a legal contract between the two of you. Marriage is bound up with our very nature as beings created by God to reflect the divine life. None of that gets a mention in a Civil Ceremony.
In any case we are far more experienced, we've been doing this far longer!
We offer a sense of tradition, of continuity with the past and all those couples, possibly including your forbears, who have said similar vows to each other, perhaps in this very building.
In addition we hope to get to know you over the weeks and months to come, to support you, as the day draws ever nearer. Getting married is not just half-an-hour one Saturday afternoon, but a gradual process of being drawn ever closer together by God, We can help you to appreciate that this is the start of your life together and not just the end of a long wedding planning process to be slotted in before the reception and honeymoon.
Who can help us?
Give me a ring to make an initial appointment and I will put you in touch with the Organist and the person in charge of flowers and talk you through all necessary arrangements.
The Rev'd Dr SAJ Mitchell,
Tel: 01732 862258
With grateful thanks to the following for the use of photographs