A wedding is one of life’s great moments
A wedding is one of life’s great moments. St John’s has been celebrating weddings in the Canberra region since our foundation in 1841. It is a popular destination for many couples, especially those requiring a more intimate worship space. The Church is open daily and we invite you to come and experience the ambience of our Church and grounds.
Marriage is one of the most important commitments a couple can make. “Marriage is a gift of God… a life-long partnership uniting a woman and a man in heart, mind and body” A Prayer Book for Australia. When choosing to be married in the church you add a God dimension to your future.
We are keen to support you in your marriage. If you have questions about the Christian faith come and join us at worship or make an appointment with one of our clergy.
Scripture teaches that marriage is a lifelong partnership. However, relationships do break down for many reasons. Within the Anglican tradition remarriage of divorced persons is possible with the Bishop’s permission.
Our Wedding Team will liaise with you regarding availability, legal and church requirements and assist you in administrative matters. Their email address is email@example.com or they can be contacted via the Parish Office on 6248 8399. The Celebrant for your wedding will assist in the planning of your ceremony.
What happens at a wedding
The priest welcomes everyone present and reminds them of God’s purposes in instituting marriage. There is a reading from Scripture and a short address is given.
The bride and the groom promise to give themselves to one another with these words:
I, N, in the presence of God, take you, N, to be my (wife/husband): to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, so long as we both shall live. All this I vow and promise.
Wedding rings are blessed and exchanged as a sign of the vows that have been taken, and that the commitment is unending. The priest blesses the married couple. Prayers are offered by everyone present for the couple and their future together.
Planning your wedding service
At St John’s we use the services authorised by the Anglican Church of Australia. This includes options that allow you to personalise the service for your special day, through the choice of readings, music, prayers, etc. Weddings can generally be held at times to suit you. A rehearsal (in the church) is held a day or two before, when members of the wedding party are available.
Photographs and videos are a wonderful way to record your special day. Your photographer and video operator are welcome and should introduce themselves to the Celebrant before the wedding.
Punctuality is important as there can be a number of weddings at St John’s on any given day.
The Commonwealth Marriage Act governs all marriages within Australia. The minimum age for marriage is 18 years. Birth Certificates must be sighted by your Celebrant, as well as evidence of divorce or death from a previous marriage. It is an offence under the Marriage Act for any person to be married under duress, compulsion, or in any other way against his or her own free will. It is also an offence under the Act for any marriage to be solemnised if one or both of the parties to the marriage appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
You need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form at least a month and a day before your ceremony, and other statutory declarations are completed at the rehearsal. Your marriage is recorded both at the church, Registrar General ACT and you are given a Certificate of Marriage on the day.
We strongly recommend you book your wedding at St John’s before making any other arrangements, such as reception venues. We are confident that you can be married on the day you choose. A booking is made with a $200 non-refundable fee. Please note that the church building itself cannot be ‘hired’ and that the Celebrant has to be an Anglican priest.
Weddings are expensive as you will probably already have found out! The good news is that the actual wedding itself will probably be one of the cheaper items. The fee is $1,600. This includes the Church, Celebrant, interviews and preparation, Verger (who assists the Priest on the day), Organist (St John’s has a magnificant pipe organ which was built in 1981 by Ronald Sharp who built the organ at the Sydney Opera House), Bells, Bellringers, flowers, administration and preparation of certificates.
First payment (non-refundable booking fee) $200.
Second payment (6 months prior to the wedding) $700.
Final payment (4 weeks prior to the wedding) $700.
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