St Matthew’s, Netley Marsh

How much does a Church wedding cost?

The simple answer to this question is ‘Possibly a lot less than you might think!’

In a time when weddings seem to be getting more and more expensive, the cost of getting married in Church can actually be surprisingly low.

Legal costs

Because the Church of England is a State Church, fees for the service (and banns and marriage certificate) are set by Parliament. (See below for an explanation of what ‘banns’ are.)

The fees for 2023 are as follows:

Marriage service:         £505

Reading of banns:        £34

Banns certificate:         £17

Marriage certificate:      £11

Most marriages that take place in the Church of England follow the reading of banns.

Banns of marriage or simply “banns” (meaning “proclamation”) are the public announcement of a marriage due to take place sometime in the following three months. The reading of banns enable anyone to raise legal objections to the marriage. The wording will be familiar from the marriage service itself when the minister asks if anyone present knows of any reason why the couple cannot legally be married.

Banns are required to be read in the home parish of both of the couple and also the parish where the marriage is to take place. They could therefore be required to be read in one, two or three parishes. If banns are read in more than one parish, then the minister conducting the marriage will need to see banns certificates from the other churches. Since April 1st 2021 St Matthew’s, Netley Marsh has been a parish in its own right which potentially has implications for people living in other parts of the Totton area who wish to get married at St Matthews.

So the total cost of the legally required components could be as low as £539 (if the couple both live in the parish where the marriage is to take place, meaning that only one set of banns, and no certificate, is required).

The above costs are set by parliament and apply to all marriages held in Church of England churches.

Around half of the total cost is retained by St Matthew’s to help with the circa £35k per annum day to day running costs of the church.

Please note that the legal costs are revised annually. Please contact the Parish Office (023 80663267) if you require further details.

Additional costs

Various other costs may arise.

It may be required for the church to be heated. Churches are not generally particularly warm buildings, particularly an older, more traditional church building like St Matthew's. If heating is required then there will be a charge to cover the cost of this.

If organ music is required, then there will be a charge to cover the cost of the organist. An organist can play any hymns required in the service and also the traditional ‘marches’ in and out of church (as the bride arrives and then as the couple leave).

Lastly, churches will often strongly recommend that a verger is available to open the church, sort heating and sound, and welcome guests to the service.

Costs charged for the above reflect the actual costs. Our costs for these options for 2023 are as follows:-

Organist:       £75 (subject to agreement with the organist)

Heating:        £45 (Nov to Apr) 

Verger:          £25

Choir:            £50

(If flowers are required to be organised by the Church, then this will be by arrangement. Couples are welcome to bring their own flowers.)

So, the full cost of a wedding at St Matthew's (for a couple living in the parish) including the legal costs, an organist, heating, choir and a verger could increase to around £750