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Getting Married at St George and All Saints.

We pride ourselves on giving you the best of beginnings, by helping you prepare carefully for your Marriage Service, and by trying to meet your needs as best we can.

Who may marry in the Church of St George, Douglas?

You may only be married in the parish church in which either the bride or groom live or in a parish church in which at least one of you attends the church. Therefore in order to be married in church either one or both of you usually must be resident in the Parish of St George and All Saints,Douglas.

If you do not live in either parish but you wish to be married in one of the churches you may do so if you have a 'Qualifying Connection'. Legislation allows you to be married in a different church from where you reside providing you can fulfill one of the following connections:

  1. You have attended the church previously for more than 6 months or you were
    baptised there.
  2. You have been resident in the parish at some point in your life for at least 6
  3. Your parents still live in the parish
  4. Your parents or grandparents were baptised or married at the church
  5. Your parents attend the church and are on the Electoral Roll

If you have such a connection you will be asked to complete a form with the details.

You may also marry in the Parish Church if this is your usual place of worship and you are on the electoral roll of the parish. This means that one or both of you must have been attending church for at least 6 months before applying to be on the roll and booking your wedding.

If you are unable to meet these requirements it may still be possible to marry in the Parish Church by means of a Special Licence issued by the Bishop of Sodor and Man providing you can meet the required criteria.

Details of this can be discussed with you personally when you enquire. The cost of a Special Licence is £280.

If you would like to discuss getting married in Church  then please contact the Vicar, Ven Irene Cowell on 675430 or email

What if one or both parties have been married and divorced?

There are guidelines that allow Clergy to marry people in church who have been divorced. You will need to be prepared to discuss with the Vicar the circumstances of the breakdown of the first marriage and to supply a copy of your decree absolute. The decision to offer marriage under these circumstances is at the discretion of the Vicar.

Some other useful information about getting married in church

Banns of Marriage

Before you can be married in church your Banns of Marriage must be published. These are read for three weeks (usually at the Sunday morning service) during the 3 month period before the date you set for your wedding.

Banns must be published in the Parish Church where you are to be married and in each Parish in which you both live.

A small fee is payable to each church in which your banns are read. It is your responsibility to make contact with your own Parish Church to arrange for this to be done. You can find this out by speaking to the Vicar.

Banns at St George’s will usually be read 6 weeks before your wedding date.

If you are getting married in another church but live in the Parish of St George and All Saints and need your banns read, you will be asked to complete a form.

You will receive an invitation from the church to come and hear your banns being read at the morning service. We hope you will make every effort to at least attend once during the 3 weeks.

Marriage Preparation

At the beginning of the year in which you are to be married, you will be invited to attend a meeting to look at the marriage service and the importance of the vows you will be making. There will also be opportunity for you to ask questions and think through some of the practical preparations that you need to be making for the service.

Best Man & Chief Bridesmaid

Your best man and chief bridesmaid  – if they are to sign the register as a witnesses – must be 18 years or over. If either is under 18 years, then someone else must be appointed as a witness when it comes to signing the register.

Other bridesmaids and page boys

If you are having any children aged 5 years or under as bridesmaids or pageboys, please can you arrange for an adult (not one of the bridesmaids or either of your parents) to look after them and take responsibility for them. Small children can become very restless during a wedding service – and can cause you and others some distraction. Younger children do not understand the importance of this day in your lives and you will have to be prepared that they may not co-operate with your plans on the day.

We would encourage you to bring younger bridesmaids and page boys to our family service (3rd Sunday of the month at 10.30am) to enable them to become familiar with the church.

Wedding Rehearsal

The wedding rehearsal usually takes place during the earlier part of the week in which you are to be married, but can take place at another time if required. The rehearsal lasts about 45 mins. The most important people who need to be at the rehearsal are yourselves – but it is helpful if the best man, chief bridesmaid, father of the bride (or whoever is giving you away) can be there. Other bridesmaids and family can attend if you wish, but we would ask you to restrict this to a few family members. Sometimes it is helpful if you have young children as bridesmaids to bring them to the rehearsal just to familiarise them with the church – so it will not seem so strange on the day.

The rehearsal will take place at the church. I will first meet with you to check that I have the right details and to briefly run through the order of service. At the rehearsal, I will need to be given the names of the best man & chief bridesmaid, how many rings will be exchanged, what music has been chosen, whether you want your full names used in the service or just Christian and surnames.

Once we have been through these few details, we will then proceed with the rehearsal. Don’t worry if you don’t take it all in – you will not need to remember it all and the main thing is that you get a feel for what you will be asked to do. You will not be asked to exchange the vows in full at the rehearsal only part, this is to give you an idea of how it will be on the day and help you get over any nerves you may have. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions if you have any.

On the Day

The church will be open from about 1hr before the service is due to begin.

  1. The Groom and Best Man should be at the church at least 45 mins before the service. Please ensure that you are sitting in your seats at least 15 mins before the service is set to begin – when the bridesmaids arrive you should be in your seats.
  2. If you have ushers, it is their duty to see that all guests are in church before the bride arrives – please ensure that they know they should encourage guests to take their seats at least 15 mins before the service. The brideshould be seen for the first time as she walks in to church.
  3. Our Verger who is on duty that day assists in giving out orders of service – and is usually on duty at the back of church and will assist ushers if they have any questions.
  4. Allowing for the bride to be 5 mins late the average service takes about 40 – 45 mins. Please remember that whilst we allow a certain degree of lateness for the bride – where possible we would ask that a bride be no more than 5 mins late. Remember photographs will need to be taken on arrival and they can add a further 5–10min. delay to the start of the service.
  5. The signing of the register.  You and your witnesses will be asked to sign three times – the registers and certificate. The bride signs in her maiden name. We get all the paper work completed before handing you over to the photographer for the photographs.
  6. Please also note that we will only allow official photographs to be taken during the marriage service. All photographers must speak to the vicar prior to the service and will be briefed on what is permissible during the service.
  7. Bio degradable confetti may be thrown in the church yard but away from the main door as it is easily gets blown in and is hard to clean up.

The main thing is that you enjoy your day and make it special to you. If you are thinking about getting married we would suggest that an early conversation will help you with you plans. Please contact the Ven Irene Cowell on 675430 or the Parish Office on 679189