Holy Matrimony (Marriage) is a Sacrament of the Church. Weddings at Saint Peter’s are conducted by an Anglican priest and include a reading from the Bible and prayers seeking God’s blessing on your life together. If you would like to bring your own priest to participate in the wedding this may be possible.
You do not need to be a member of the Anglican Church to be married here.
Content of the Wedding Service
You can choose from the Marriage Service in The Book of Common Prayer (published in 1662) which is a beautiful liturgy using traditional old-English language (available here), or the equally beautiful modern language service (available here) contained in A Prayer Book for Australia (published in 1995). Most couples choose the modern language service. You can view the text of both services on our website. It is important for you both to know that the marriage vows used at Saint Peter’s must be taken from one of the two Prayer Books and Church Law does not allow us to let couples write their own vows, or to alter vows.
Couples sometimes have special requests for additional items to be included in the wedding service. We are happy to discuss these with you.
Readings and Prayers
You will be invited to choose a reading from the Bible, and you may also choose a suitable poem or reading from another book if you wish to. Some Bible sample readings are available here.
You will also be invited to choose the prayers from the choices available in the Prayer Book. If you are using the modern language service the prayers you can choose prayers from here.
Normally couples choose readers from amongst their family and friends, but if this is not possible or desired the priest will read the Bible reading and prayers. The priest will meet with you to help you to choose from all of the various options available.
Couples are welcome to choose music that will be played by one of our organists on our historic pipe organ, or you can choose music that will be played through our professional sound system, or you are welcome to arrange for singers and performers to be part of your wedding.
Couples normally choose three pieces of music, one to be played as the bridesmaids and bride enter the church, one to be played as the wedding registers are signed, and one to be played as the couple and wedding party leave the church.
In addition you will need to choose whether or not you wish the congregation to sing a hymn (or more than one hymn), and if so what the hymn(s) will be.
The priest can help you with these choices when you meet. Our organists have offered some suggestions for music here.
We are always happy to conduct the marriage service within a Nuptial Mass (celebration of the Holy Eucharist) so that you can receive Holy Communion together on your wedding day. Just let us know and we will make the arrangements.
Meeting with the Priest
The priest who will be conducting your wedding will meet with you both to complete the initial legal paperwork and to discuss the content of your wedding service. This will normally happen three months before the date of your wedding. We will contact you to arrange this meeting, however if you have not heard from us, or if you would like the first meeting to take place earlier than three months before your wedding please do not hesitate to be in touch.
You must both bring your birth certificates, passports and driving licences to this meeting. In addition, if you have been previously married you must bring with you a death certificate or official paperwork relating to the legal dissolution of your former marriage.
At this meeting a date will be agreed for a further time to get together to confirm all of the arrangements if this is necessary, and another date will be agreed for your rehearsal.
Rehearsals normally take place in the week prior to the wedding service and parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers should be invited to attend. Legal declarations are also signed at the rehearsal in preparation for your wedding.
Flowers and Decorations
We provide background flowers for weddings, and the cost of these is included in the wedding fee. Please be aware that these flowers cannot be removed from the church after the wedding. You may wish to ask us to provide additional flowers for an additional fee or to arrange for a florist to provide additional flowers.
You are most welcome to organise additional decorations such as pew ends. You will need to arrange for these to be attached by ribbon or elastic and not sticky tape or pins.
Couples normally select a minimum of two ushers from amongst their families and friends. The ushers are responsible for welcoming guests as they enter the church, handing out the booklet containing the wedding service (if there is one) and helping guests to their seats. Ushers should attend the rehearsal if possible.
Couples are responsible for producing their own wedding booklet if they wish to have one (usually with the help of a local printer). We will provide an electronic version of the text relating to the service which can then be formatted in a style that suits you.
Photography and Filming
You are most welcome to arrange for people to take photographs and to film the wedding, this includes the use of flash photography. We realise that this is an incredibly important event for you and we want you to have a record for the future.
We ask that photographers and people filming the service do so in a way that does not disturb the service or draw attention away from the focus of what we are doing. If you are hiring a professional photographer we recommend that you ask other guests not to take photographs and that you suggest to your guests that they order copies from the professional photographer after the event, but we leave this decision up to you.
You should be aware that there are copyright laws governing the filming of music. The responsibility for abiding by copyright law rests entirely with the person filming the wedding.
If either of you are under the age of 18 you will require a Court Order to be married and should discuss this with the priest as soon as possible after making your provisional booking.
It is an offence under the Commonwealth Marriage Act (1961) to fail to comply with any of the provisions of the Act and this can involve heavy penalties, invalidation of the marriage and legal prosecution. In particular, you must ensure that neither of you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your marriage, and that you have not provided false information about yourself or your circumstances.
If one of you has been baptised (Christened) in any Christian Church, with no former spouse still living, and are able to legally marry in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia, we will be very happy to host your wedding. If neither of you are baptised, or if this will be a further marriage for either of you and a former spouse is still living, you will need to discuss your situation with the priest.