More about weddings

Below is some more information about getting married at St John’s in the City. Please contact us if you have any other questions.

Do we need to be members of St John’s in the City to get married in the church?

No. We are pleased to talk to any couple that is interested in being married here, irrespective of denomination.

Who do we ask about having our wedding at St John’s?

Weddings are held at St John’s in the City by arrangement with one of our Ministers. Couples wishing to book the church for a wedding need to discuss their plans with one of the Ministers before making a booking through the Church Office.

How much does it cost?

Please contact the Church Office for information on how much it will cost to have your wedding at St John’s in the City.

How much freedom do we have to design our own wedding service?

Weddings at St John’s are wonderful celebrations deliberately formed as services of worship in the presence of God. Within that framework of a Christian worship service there is much scope for your own significant input. It does not require compromising the integrity of a Christian ceremony in planning an occasion that will be a memorable celebration for you.

You may have one or two readings in the service, at least one of which must be from the Bible. We have a list of suggested Bible readings if you don’t know what to use.

How do we arrange the music?

St John’s in the City has an impressive pipe organ and it is normal for the wedding music selection to be played on this. It does however, require a competent organist to play it. Our organist is available to discuss your musical requirements.

There is also a grand piano available.

We do have a good sound system in the Church, which includes a tape and CD deck. We have no objections to you using recorded music.

Is a course on marriage preparation a prerequisite for getting married at St John’s in the City?

Some form of marriage preparation is compulsory, even if you have been living together before getting married. The marriage preparation may take several forms, and will be negotiated with you by the officiating Minister.

Do we need a wedding rehearsal?

A rehearsal will normally be held in the week leading up to the wedding. It takes about 30 minutes. If the marriage licence has not already been handed in to the Church Office, please bring this with you to the rehearsal.

Who will organise any service sheets?

The Minister conducting your wedding will draft the order of service in discussion with you. You can then use this order of service to prepare service sheets to your own requirements and taste.

Are confetti, rose petals or rice allowed in the church grounds?

No. Please make sure your guests are aware of this.

What guidelines are there for photographs and video?

Photography during the service can be a significant distraction to those participating in this very important occasion, particularly when a flash is used. We prefer that the taking of photographs be limited to the bride entering the Church; the signing of the register; and the wedding party leaving the Church. Photographers and video operators are not permitted behind the bridal party and Minister at any time during the service. If you want special or particular photos you will need to discuss this with the Minister. Under no circumstance will photography be permitted during prayers.

Video operators need to maintain one position for the duration of the service. Please ensure that the photographer and video operator speak to the Minister before the service so that they know and respect our requirements.

Can we decorate the church, and/or ends of the pews?

Yes, but no decorations may be stuck on the ends of the pews. There are small rings attached to the ends of the front pews for tying bows etc.

It would also help us if you could arrange for someone to pick up any pew decorations after the service, as well as any service sheets left behind.

Please ensure that those setting up the church for your wedding do not move or rearrange the furniture. Please let us know well in advance if you have any special requests.

If we are only having a small wedding can we use the smaller Chapel, instead of the Church?

Yes, although this will depend on availability of the Chapel and also on whether anything else is taking place at the same time in the Church.

Not all our guests are invited to the reception after the wedding. Can we serve them with cake at the end of the service?

Special approval will need to be given, but the foyer of the Church can be used for that purpose.

How do we get a marriage licence?

Remember: no licence, no wedding. This important document must be obtained from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at the Department of Internal Affairs, Lower Ground Level, National Library, 70 Molesworth Street (use Aitken Street entrance) Wellington 6011

Don’t leave it to the last minute – allow for the possibility of a bureaucratic hiccup! The licence should be handed in to the Minister or the Church Office several days before the wedding.

Your marriage licence can be applied for up to three months before the date of the wedding.

You will sign these documents on your wedding day. You get to keep one copy, and the Minister posts the second back to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

St John’s in the City must have a copy of the signed marriage licence for its records.

Are there any circumstances under which the wedding service will not proceed?

Yes; for instance if either the bride or groom is deemed by the Minister to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.