Parish offers cut-price weddings to financially strapped couples

WEDDING COUPLES are being offered a special gift from a Cheshire parish: a low-cost wedding service.

St John’s Church, Hartford, in Cheshire, is encouraging couples to tie the knot and start married life without the huge expense associated with weddings.

The Rev Mike Smith, explained: “According to national reports, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is £30,000. It can be an enormous burden for people starting out in their married life.

“I have known people struggle with the stress of getting into debt because of these costs, but I’ve also known the costs to put people off getting married.”

It currently costs £854 to get married at St John’s Church, which covers the expense of reading of the banns, the certificate, the vicar, organist, and bell ringers, plus the use of the church itself.

“At St John’s, we believe that lifelong marriage between a man and a woman is God’s good gift to all and that no one should be denied simply because of cost. In our Grand Wedding, you have to provide your own clothes, but we’ll do the rest and give you a great day.”

St John’s Grand Wedding offer is centred on a full church wedding and includes a two-tier personalised wedding cake, digital photographs, invitation and service stationery, flowers, and a dress alteration service if the bride purchases a second hand or off-the-peg dress.

The package also includes a catered reception in the Church Centre for up to 30 guests including a two-course meal with an option to add a further 20 guests at pro-rata cost.

The church has set three dates for 2019, one of which has already been booked. The remaining two will be offered on a first come first served basis and are subject to the usual legal requirements for getting married in church. One of the services will be conducted by the Bishop of Birkenhead, Bishop Keith Sinclair.

The Vicar added: “If having a church wedding is truly important to you and your faith, but the cost is putting you off getting married, come and talk to me.”