We would love to welcome you to celebrate your wedding together at Selby Abbey, where couples have been coming to be married for the last 900 years.
The information below will hopefully answer some of your questions about who can be married here, whereabouts in the Abbey the service takes place, the choices you have about the contents of the service and accompanying aspects such as bells, choir and flowers, and how much it all costs.
If you have any further queries, or would like to book a date for your service, then please contact the Vicar, John Weetman or the Abbey Office.
Do you have to ‘go to church’ at the Abbey to be married here?
No. As with any Parish Church in England, anyone who lives in the Parish of Selby Abbey automatically qualifies to be married here. The ‘parish’ does not include the whole of Selby so if you are not sure whether you live within the parish area, you can either contact us or visit the website www.achurchnearyou.com to make sure.
In addition, you are also eligible if one of you:
- has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least six months or
- was baptised (‘christened’) at the Abbey or
- was confirmed at the Abbey or
- has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the Abbey for a period of at least six months
OR if one of your parents, at any time after you were born:
- has lived in the parish for a period of at least six months or
- has regularly gone to normal church services in the Abbey for a period of at least six months or
OR if one of your parents or grandparents was married in the Abbey.
If none of the above applies to you or your partner, then the remaining option is to enlist on our Electoral Roll. To do so, you can attend services of worship here regularly (i.e. at least once a month) for a period of six months or more. If you would like to consider this last option, I can let you know the times and days when services take place (or you can find them on our website).
I’m sorry this is all a bit complicated – we would love to welcome everyone here regardless of where they live, but are bound by the rules concerning Marriage Law in the UK. Do have a word with us if you’re still not sure whether you qualify.
Is it a problem if one of us is divorced or if one of us is a foreign national?
No – not as a rule, however if either of these applies to you then you need to contact the vicar in the first instance rather than the office and let him know.
Can we choose whereabouts within the Abbey the service takes place?
Yes. The options are the ‘Nave’ (the first part of the Abbey as you walk through the west door) which seats up to a few hundred people; the ‘Quire’ (the back half of the Abbey) which seats up to around 80; or one of the smaller side chapels if you prefer (including the St Nicholas Centre which is a separate room that would hold up to thirty people).
What other choices do we have?
The words of the service are fixed (although you can choose between the traditional or more modern language options), however any additional readings or poems, all the music and whether you want the choir, the bells or any extra flowers are all up to you. The service can be video’d if you wish and the photographer can take photos throughout (as long as they are discreet action shots during the service itself, with specially posed photos done before and after).
Do we have to get married on a Saturday?
No – it can be any day of the week (including Sundays) as long as the time slot is free. It does have to be between 8.00am and 6.00pm however (legally we can’t do evening weddings yet).
How much does it all cost?
The current cost in 2017 is £466 (there is likely to be a slight annual increase for future years)
Optional extras are as follows:
- Organist: £120 (+ £50 if the service is video’d)
- Choir: £120
- Bells: £160
- Service sheet: £50
If we have been married elsewhere, could we have a ‘Blessing’ at the Abbey?
Yes, whether you would have just been married or are celebrating an anniversary from some years before.
As a service of ‘Blessing’ isn’t governed by Marriage Law, you would not have to ‘qualify’ by living here or by one of the other categories above. There is no cost for the service itself (we invite a donation instead) but any of the extras you might wish to include would cost the same as above.
More information and ideas about marriage in the Church of England can be found at www.yourchurchwedding.org