Wedding

Photo courtesy of Engaging Productions

Congratulations

Congratulations on your decision to be married.

Marriage is a gift of God where a man and a woman enter into a life-long partnership uniting them in heart, mind and body.  The church believes that God calls people to marriage and draws their differing gifts and hopes into a unity of love and service.  It is in the joy of this union that husband and wife enrich and respond to each other, growing in tenderness and understanding.  In a marriage service in the Anglican Church of Australia God’s blessing is sought on the couple, the life and the relationship they share together.

We hope that the time leading up to your wedding day will be an exciting and happy one.  We know it will also be busy so we are ready and willing to help in any way to make your wedding day very special.

The Church

St Paul’s at Manuka offers a large church in a grand location, with formal gardens surrounding the church.  There are several parks and other scenic locations nearby, including Weston Park, Telopea Park and the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

The material presented here is intended to give you an overview of what St Paul’s Manuka offers and also to provide some of the information you may need as you approach your wedding day.

Please feel free to contact us if you need additional information or have questions.

Wedding
The Process

The process of booking a wedding is simple:

The Anglican Church requires that one of the couple to be married has been baptised.

  1. Read through the material on these pages and if you have any questions please contact us.
  2. To book a wedding at St Paul’s ring the Parish Office (02 62396148).  It is also possible to  book a time to talk about your wedding.  Just give us a call or send us an email or use the inquiry form on the right. If you would like to see the church prior to making a booking, please contact us.
  3. Phone bookings are kept for one month, at which time a non-refundable booking fee of $200 is required to confirm and secure your wedding date and time.
  4. You need to meet with one of the priests several times in advance of the wedding to ensure all the legal requirements are met, for discussion and planning for your wedding.  It is usual for the priest to ring and make an appointment with the couple for the first interview. The Rector is responsible for allocating a priest to conduct the wedding.
  5. Prior to your wedding there will be a rehearsal in the church.

Practicalities

Fees at St Paul’s Manuka

The total fee for a wedding at St Paul’s Manuka is $1000.  This includes the fee for the priest, interviews and preparation, verger, flowers, legal certificates and use of the church.

The first payment is the non-refundable $200 booking fee.

The remaining fee can be paid in two instalments.  The first instalment is due two months prior to the wedding and is $400. The second instalment of $400 is due one month prior to the wedding.

If you would like an organist to play at your wedding or the bells to be rung at the conclusion of the service, these are available for an additional fee.

Services Outside the Church

We are happy to conduct services outside the church building but it is always advisable to have a back up plan in case of inclement weather.  There are also some logistical requirements you should consider if you intend to be married outside the church, including a PA system and seating (especially for older relatives).  Getting married in parks and gardens in the ACT requires an application to filed with Parks, Conservation and Lands.  This should be done at least two months prior to the wedding.  Some areas require a fee.  More information is available from the TAMS website here.  Costs for services outside the church are by arrangement. The fee includes all the legal requirements and the fee for the priest.

The Wedding Ceremony

  • Confetti, petals or rice are not allowed in the church buildings.  These make a huge mess and have environmental consequences.  Bubble blowing is welcome outside the church.
  • Music on a CD can be played through the church PA system.  Musicians are also welcome to be part of your wedding.  We suggest that music be played at the entrance of the bride, during the signing of the register and as the bride and groom leave the church.  Music needs to be approved by the priest.
  • An organist is available to play before, during and at the end of the ceremony.
  • Flowers are arranged through the church.  They can include the colours of your wedding party but as there may be more than one wedding on the day the flowers may include the colours of other weddings.  The flowers remain in the church after the ceremony.
  • The bells can be rung at the end of the wedding ceremony at St Paul’s.
  • Ushers are needed to hand out orders of service and show people to their seats.  Please arrange for some of your friends or family to do this job.
  • Photographs and videos can be taken during the ceremony.  Photographers should speak to the priest before the service to ensure the best location for pictures and so that you are not disturbed during the ceremony.  There are conditions and an agreement for photography and video in the churches.

Change of Address

Please let us know if you change your address or phone number after you have made a booking.  If we cannot contact you we will assume you are no longer intending to marry and your booking will lapse.

Address for Invitations

St Paul’s Anglican Church Manuka
Cnr Canberra Avenue and Captain Cook Crescent
Griffith  ACT  2603

Readings

At least one suitable reading from the Bible is read at your ceremony.  Other appropriate readings or poems may also be read but this will need to be negotiated with the priest.  We use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.  Some suggested readings are:

  • Genesis, chapter 1, verse 26 to chapter 2, verse 4a
  • Psalms: 128; 37 (verses 3-7); 67; 23; 100; 121; 138.
  • Ephesians, chapter 3, verses 14 to the end of the chapter
  • 1 John, chapter 3, verses 18-24
  • 1 John, chapter 4, verses 7-16
  • 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 31 to chapter 13, verse 13.
  • Matthew, chapter 7, verses 21-29
  • John, chapter 2, verses 1-11
  • John, chapter 15, verses 9-17.

You can view these here (choose New Revised Standard Version)

Legal Matters

Marriage in Australia is celebrated within the framework of the Commonwealth Marriage Act, which is a Federal Law governing all marriages celebrated.  Failure to comply with all the provisions of the Marriage Act involves heavy penalties, and invalidation of the marriage.

At the very least you will need to meet with the priest one month prior to the date of your wedding and complete some of the legal requirements for marriage.  Every couple must give legal notice of their intended marriage by completing a form called ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ at least one full month before their marriage.  This form is usually filled out in the presence of the priest or, if necessary, before another appropriate person.

The following matters should be carefully noted by people intending to marry:

Minimum Age

Under the law of the Commonwealth of Australia, the marriage of any person under 18 years of age without the order of a judge or magistrate is invalid.  If you are under 18 years of age marriage is still possible, however, it will require greater notice so that permission can be sought from a judge or magistrate.  Under no circumstances can two persons under 18 years marry each other in Australia.

Birth Certificates

An original Birth Certificate must be shown to the priest at least one month prior to the marriage.  If you do not have your birth certificate one may be obtained by contacting the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory.  Obtaining this certificate does have a cost associated with it, and will require an extended period of time for the application to be processed.  If you were born overseas you can show your passport as proof of age.

In addition to the Birth Certificate you must provide a document with photo id. This may be: a current Australian or foreign passport, current Australian driver’s licence, current proof of age card, or other official card with a photograph.

Previous Marriages

If you have been previously married and are now divorced, then the Priest must be shown the Decree Absolute stating the date of the termination of the previous marriage.  Information concerning the date of the first union and the number of children (together with dates of birth) must also be supplied to the Priest when the Notice of Intended Marriage is completed.

If you have been married before and your marriage partner had died, a Death Certificate for the person who has died must be produced before the marriage can take place.  Once again if you do not have this certificate it can be obtained from the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages but you should know that cost and time are involved in obtaining the certificate.

Compulsion

It is an offence under the act for any person to be married under duress, compulsion, or in any other way against his/her own free will.

Sobriety

It is an offence under the Act for any marriage to be solemnised if one or both of the Parties to the union appear to be under the influence of, or affected by, alcohol or drugs on the day of the wedding.

Witnesses

You must have two witnesses to the Marriage, who sign the Registers.  Both witnesses must be over the age of 18 years.  The Priest will register your Marriage with the appropriate government authorities.

Legal Documentation

Two Marriage Certificates are signed on the day of the Marriage.  One Certificate is sent to the Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages, the other is handed to the parties of the Marriage.  A register kept by the church is also signed by the couple and the witnesses on the day of the marriage.  All the official documentation of the marriage is arranged by the Priest for your convenience.