Wedding Arrangements

Thank you for enquiring about holding your wedding in one of the churches in the Oakham Team Ministry. This leaflet explains the process of planning and preparing for your wedding, the choices open to you and the service itself. Whatever stage you are at in planning do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.


Initial enquiries about weddings should be made to the Team Office who will forward them to the minister responsible for the church concerned. Contact details are below. It is very important that you check availability before making other arrangements. Some days may not be available for weddings (our churches are used for all kinds of events and Saturdays throughout the summer get booked up for weddings quite early).


This page deals with the practical side of arranging a wedding, planning the service and making the day enjoyable. However, we take the preparation of the couple together for the joys and responsibilities of married life very seriously. You will be invited to a Marriage Preparation session, usually held at All Saint’s Church Oakham. You will get to meet the clergy taking your wedding and others preparing for their wedding. The Marriage Preparation session offers an opportunity to reflect on building strong relationships, as well as dealing with some of the practical and administrative aspects of the wedding.

After this Individual meeting can be booked between you and the minister taking your wedding to discuss and plan the wedding service in more detail.

Dates for Marriage Preparation courses will be advised by the Team Office, who will book you in for a suitable date.


You can marry in one of our parishes if you live there, or have a Qualifying Connection . Full details are available here.

If both parties live in the parish, or have a Qualifying Connection the marriage is by Banns, read on three Sundays, at the main morning service.
Where one or more party lives elsewhere you must, in addition, contact the local vicar and have banns called there. You can find your local church here.
You must send us this banns certificate. YOU CANNOT BE MARRIED if it is not with the officiating minister before the wedding day. If one of you resides temporarily in the parish (e.g. at a parental address) use this address. Both sets of banns must be identical when called although they need not be called on the same Sundays. Please check this with your officiant. It is good to be present for the calling of your banns at least once, although it is not a requirement.

Some marriages need to be by licence. This is a more complicated procedure and normally is used when residency cannot be established. It is often difficult to obtain a licence and a demonstrable connection with the church is needed.

The Marriage in Church of Divorced Persons
Clergy of the Church of England differ in their approach to remarriage after divorce. This Team conducts such marriages, considering the circumstances of each case. We reserve the right to decline to officiate. This is a pastoral matter which we try to deal with sensitively. All decisions in this regard will be made locally using national guidelines, available here. If you have been married before, with a previous spouse still living, you should make an individual appointment with the Team Rector to discuss the matter fully. We prefer six months’ notice and couples are strongly expected to attend our marriage preparation course. In some circumstances the couple may prefer a service of blessing after civil marriage (please see below).

The Marriage in Church of Foreign Nationals
Guidance from the National Church requires marriages where one or both of the parties are foreign nationals to be by LICENCE. After you are accepted for marriage in this parish you will need to have a separate appointment with the Diocesan Registrar. You can arrange this through the clergy.

Times of Wedding Services
By law marriage services must take place between the hours of 8:00am & 6:00pm. When you book your date, please be specific about your preferred time, as this will be important when booking our musicians/bellringers/vergers etc.

Time Keeping
A prompt start to your service is important. A wedding often involves musicians, bell-ringers, vergers, cleaners as well as clergy. At busy times of year such people may be needed at other weddings and events the same day. The time allowed for a wedding is 60 minutes from the advertised start time. Please plan your timings for the day to allow for adequate travel time, pre-wedding photos and last-minute preparations at the church. Extreme lateness may result in the omission of certain non-essential parts of the wedding service.


The Choice of Service
The Church of England’s official Common Worship Marriage Service is the usual choice for a church wedding. This is the most popular and widely used form of wedding service, using the traditional vows in a flexible order of service. You can see the outline of the service here.

We are not legally able to include personalised vows or use forms of service from other Christian denominations. However, there are opportunities to include your choice of readings and music in the service. For help in planning your wedding service please speak with your officiants or see the guide here.

Printed Orders of Service
Most couples arrange to have printed orders of service, and samples are available. The following is an outline of what should be included, but please check with your officiating minister as there are several variants.

•    The music to be played at the entrance of the bride
•    Hymn (all of the words printed)
•    The Marriage (just this title)
•    Hymn (if you are having three hymns)
•    The Reading(s) (this title, then the reference, see below)
•    The Address (with the name of the priest)
•    The Prayers (this title, and the text of the Lord’s Prayer in its traditional form)
•    Hymn (all of the words printed)
•    The Signing of the Registers (just this title)
•    The music to be played during the signing of the registers
•    The Blessing
•    The music at the exit of the bride and groom


The Director of Music at Oakham Parish Church can advise you about the wide range of music that is suitable for weddings. The following are merely suggestions. There is a form for you to make your choices. However, we would recommend that you contact the Director of Music to discuss the music, and listen to possible choices. He will normally be able to see you after Oakham’s morning service on a Sunday (at about 11.30 am), and you can contact him by phone on 07973 215444 or email on

These are some better known hymns suitable for weddings. The list is not exhaustive, you may have others in mind, The Director of Music or organist can advise on tunes (click on titles for available YouTube links – others will added in due course).

•    Praise my Soul the king of Heaven
•    Love Divine all Loves Excelling – Tune: Blaenwern – Tune: Love Divine (Stainer)
•    Lead Us Heavenly Father
•    The King of Love My Shepherd is
•    The Lord’s My Shepherd
•    Father Hear the prayer We Offer
•    Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
•    Praise to the Lord the Almighty
•    O Praise Ye the Lord
•    And did those Feet in Ancient time? (Jerusalem)
•    All Things Bright and Beautiful
•    Praise the Lord Ye Heavens adore him
•    O Worship the King
•    Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer
•    O Jesus I Have Promised
•    Let all the World in Every Corner Sing
•    Now Thank We All Our God
•    Lord of All Hopefulness
•    Morning has Broken
•    Tell out My Soul

When deciding upon the hymns to be used at your wedding it is worth bearing in mind that it is better to choose those which are known by as great a number of people as possible.  If you are marrying around Christmas it is acceptable to sing carols. If you are unfamiliar with hymns please you can view the words and listen to the tunes here.

Organ Music
The following is a list of some of the most suitable and most requested music (click on the title for a link to a YouTube link)

Music at the Entrance of the Bride
•    Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner) – the traditional choice
•    Trumpet Voluntary (Jeremiah Clarke)
•    Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
•    Prelude to Te Deum (Charpentier)
•    Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)
•    Hornpipe from the Water Music (Handel)

Signing of the Registers
The organist normally plays suitable music during the signing of the registers, or some appropriate anthems if the choir is singing. Unless you have particular requests for the music, at this point of the service it is probably best left to the discretion of the Director of Music.

Music on Exit
•    Wedding March (Mendelssohn) – the traditional choice
•    Toccata in F from 5th Symphony (Widor)

If you are unfamiliar with this music, click on the links above to listen to them, or contact the Director of Music.

The Choir
It is usually possible to have the choir sing at weddings, but availability needs to be checked, and there will be an extra charge. The presence of the choir will ensure that the hymns are sung well (a point to bear in mind if your guests may not be used to singing hymns), and they will also sing during the signing of the registers. If the choir is singing please provide 10 copies of your order of service for their use (photocopies will suffice).

Visiting Organists & Choirs
If you wish to have an organist of your own choice play for the service, this will normally be possible, provided that the Director of Music is satisfied that the visiting organist is of a suitable standard. For Oakham Weddings, the organist’s fee is still payable to the Director of Music in addition to whatever arrangement you might have with your own organist. Similarly, it is usually possible to bring a visiting choir or soloist, subject to the agreement of the Director of Music. Again, the usual choir fee may still be charged.

Video and Audio Recording
Copyright in the performance of music at your wedding service rests with the Director of Music or his deputy, and the making of video or audio recordings legally requires their written permission. Such permission will be given subject to the payment of a fee equal to 100% of the normal organist’s fee for video recordings and 50% of the normal fee for audio recordings.  If you have not paid the video fee, please print the following on your order of service: We request no videoing during the service.

Oakham, Langham, Whissendine, Hambleton, Braunston, Brooke & Market Overton  all maintain the tradition of bellringing.  They are available for weddings and their fee is outlined in the schedule.  You can contact the Tower Captain (through the Parish Office for our villages) with any questions.


The service can contain two readings. Suitable Bible readings include:

Genesis 1.26-28 (Creation story where men and women are created for each other)
Ecclesiastes 3.1-8 (A reading on differing times of life. Made famous by The Byrds’ 1965 hit Turn! Turn! Turn! – To Everything There Is A Season)
Matthew 5.1-12 (The Beatitudes where Jesus teaches on the source of happiness)
Matthew 6.25-34 (Jesus teaches us to seek the kingdom of God before materialism)
Mark 10.6-9 (Jesus teaches on the pattern of marriage in creation)
John 2.1-11 (Jesus changes water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee)
John 15.9-12 (Jesus’ teaching that those who love God will love one another)
1 Corinthians 13.1-12 (Concerns the nature of Christian love, very popular and much used)
Colossians 3.12-17 (An explanation of love as marked by humility and forbearance)
1 John 4.7-12 (The nature of self giving love, shown in the person of Jesus Christ)

These are only a small sample of suitable readings. Any of Jesus’ parables (The Good Samaritan, The Sower, The Prodigal Son) are also possibilities. You can have any other form of reading. Poetry is always popular; Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s How shall I love thee is used a lot, as is the passage from Khalil Gibran The Prophet. It is best to choose something which reflects yourselves, your cultural background or which speaks of the nature of your own relationship and the values on which you will build your marriage. Please speak to the clergy if you need further suggestions or advice. It is helpful if you can have a friend or family member read the lessons. There is a good amplification system in church, but they should have a clear speaking voice. It is a task often assigned to one of the grooms’ parents or siblings. Readers should make themselves known to the officiating minister before the service to be briefed about when and where to read the lesson.


You will need to make your own arrangements for flowers, and these can be removed or left in Church. There are no flowers in church during Lent (the 6 weeks before Easter) and Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas). If you marry in these periods, you can have wedding flowers, but they need to be removed from church before Sunday. For weddings at festivals (Easter, Christmas, Harvest etc) the extensive flowers already in church may be suitable for your needs, in which case we invite any donation you feel appropriate.

At All Saints Oakham, there will be a space for the bridal car. Guests can park in the pay car park opposite or in the streets where parking is permissible. This may be a few minutes’ walk away.

The village churches all have parking in surrounding roads. Guests should be considerate towards local residents.

Professional photographers should speak to the clergy before the service about the arrangements for photographs. Flash photography is NOT permitted during the service, except at the signing of the registers. We expect photographers to be unobtrusive during the service. In bad weather the church can be used for photographs after the service. Video recording is permissible, but please note the fee implications below.

There will be a rehearsal, preferably in the week before the wedding. Bride and groom MUST attend, preferably with attendants and anyone who proposes to walk the bride down the aisle. The time will be fixed with the clergy when you meet.

Biodegradable confetti is allowable, but should be restricted in its use to outside the church. The current fashion for glitter and silver paper should be discouraged.

Any unusual requests (doves, owls!) should be raised with the clergy at the earliest stage of preparation and enquiry.


In certain circumstances a Service of Prayer and Dedication after Civil Marriage is preferred to a full Marriage Service. This may be because of circumstances surrounding a previous divorce, where the wedding has taken place abroad or where it has not been possible to establish residency. Wedding Blessings vary in their style; from the simple to the elaborate. The aim is to dedicate the marriage which has already taken place to God. It may take place immediately following a registry office ceremony, or some time later. Please discuss with the clergy any issue that this might raise for you.


Church fees include national set fees for clergy costs and locally set charges for the upkeep and running of our churches. The fees for the appropriate parish will be provided, including details of how to pay.


Team Office
Mrs Janine Weaver (Team Administrator)
All Saints’ Church, Church Street, Oakham, LE15 6AA
01572 724007

Team Rector (Oakham)
Revd Stephen Griffiths
The Vicarage, Vicarage Road, Oakham, LE15 6EG
01572 869483

Team Vicar (Whissendine, Teigh, Ashwell & Market Overton)
Revd Deborah Marsh
The Rectory, 3 Paddock Close, Whissendine, Oakham LE15 7HW
01664 474652 / 07919 385314

Team Vicar (Braunston & Brooke)
currently vacant

Team Curate (Langham)
Revd Iain Osborne
The Vicarage, 67 Church Street, Langham, Oakham, LE15
07935 549947

Team Curate (Hambleton & Egleton)
Revd Charlotte Osborn
01572 724198

Director of Music (Oakham)
Mr Kevin Slingsby
07973 215444

Bells (Oakham)
Mr Louis Totaro


Church Marriage –
Qualifying Connections for marriage in Church
Find your local Church
National Guidlelines for marriage of divorced persons
Common Worship Marriage Service
Service Planner
Legalities –
Relationships –