Weddings at St Mary’s, Astbury


If you’re thinking about getting married at Astbury you’ve got a beautiful and historic venue for your special day.  These pages will answer some of the questions you might have but please don’t hesitate to phone the Rector, Jonathan Sharples on 01260 272625 or email for anything that needs clarifying.


Most people, unsurprisingly, live outside of the Parish of Astbury.

It used to be tricky getting married outside the parish in which you live. Thankfully, however, the Church of England has relaxed its rules on this. If you don’t live in the parish of Astbury, you can definitely get married here if either of you can show just one of the following seven connections with the parish.

Have either of you:

been baptised in the parish or

 been confirmed in the parish or

lived at any time in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or

at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or

has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents or grandparents:

was married in the parish

Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we want to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in the church of your choice.

Talk to the Rector well in advance to discuss the options open to you.




What will it cost?

You’ve probably read all sorts of inflated figures as to the average cost of a wedding today. The cost of the Wedding Service itself, in church, does not have to break the bank.

For a wedding at Astbury some of the charges are set by the Church of England at the beginning of each year and include the fees for the taking of the service, reading of the banns, wedding certificate, Verger’s fee, heating, lighting, cleaning etc. 

For weddings in 2009 this all-inclusive fee is 489.50. This fee will be revised for 2010 and, as these things rarely seem to go down, is likely to be around the low 500 mark.

There are other facilities St Mary’s can offer to ensure your wedding day is designed around you and enables you to create the perfect setting. We have a professional organist, a robed choir and a set of eight bells {along with eight strong armed bell ringers}. The current fees, if you want these extra facilities are:

Organ  120                Choir 150                  Bells 200 {230 midweek}

The only other fee payable is if you are having a video taken in the service. You’ll need a copyright licence and there is a fee { 120} for Permission to Video. There is no charge, of course, if you use a photographer.

So, the wedding service itself is 489.50 and you’ll have to add any of the above fees if you choose to have any of the “extras”.

Please bear in mind that there are always displays of flowers in the church for the Sunday service so you may well not need any extra flowers on the day. And if you have a particular colour scheme in mind speak to the Rector and he’ll put you in touch with whoever’s doing the displays for the weekend of your wedding and they may be able to incorporate that into the flowers they prepare. This won’t cost anything but if you were insistent on having a particularly rare Guatemalan Orchid, just to use an entirely reasonable example, and wouldn’t accept anything other than the yellow and blue shrimp variety, you might have to stump up for it.


Please also factor in to your plans a 45 minute wedding rehearsal. This would normally take place on the evening before the wedding to make it easy for anyone travelling from distance although this is flexible and can be discussed closer to the wedding date. It’s not compulsory but it’s a very useful time to walk through things and get a set of spoken vows under your belt. The primary purpose is to set your minds at rest and to reassure to that you have absolutely nothing to worry about for the day.


Suggested Outline Order of Service

Entrance of the Bride


1st Hymn

The Marriage

Reading {s}

2nd Hymn *


3rd Hymn

Prayers and Blessing

Signing of the Register

Bride and Groom exit and get {hopefully nice, light} things thrown at them


*If two hymns only are to be used, this one is omitted.


Useful web site

The Church of England has recently put together a really useful website to help you plan your wedding. It covers all sorts of areas including planning the service and picking readings and hymns. You can also hear many of the favourite wedding hymns being sung {though they sound like they’re being sung by my very posh Aunt}. Stick Church of England + wedding into your search engine or go to


Useful Note

When it comes to giving directions to people, if they’re using SatNavs it would be useful to point out to them that it’s St Mary’s Astbury and not St Mary’s Congleton.




Useful Cartoon  

Contact The Rector :

E-Mail the Developer of this site to enquire about your own site