Weddings

Hexham Abbey is a wonderful space in which to get married. Whether you would like a smaller wedding in one of the Abbey's more intimate spaces, or are planning on a large wedding, you are surrounded by 1,300 years of history! We are here to help you prepare for your special day.

When you choose to have your wedding at Hexham Abbey, you are choosing to begin married life with an act of Christian Worship, and to ask for God's blessing on your relationship, in the presence of your family and friends.

You will be busy with many preparations and we are here to help you make it a wonderful day on which you will look back fondly for years to come.

And not only can you get married in the Abbey, you can have your reception here too. Following the renovation of our former Priory Buildings, we are able to offer a suite of sumptuous rooms for your celebrations, along with some all-inclusive Wedding Reception Packages, at very competitive rates.  Click here to download our current Wedding Reception package.

If you are thinking of having of getting married in the Abbey, the best thing is to arrange to have a chat with one of our Clergy. We look forward to meeting you.

If you have any questions, or to arrange a meeting about either a marriage service or a wedding reception, please contact us on:

01434 602031 or via admin@hexhamabbey.org.uk

Preparing to be Married

Our Clergy are here to guide you in your preparations, and it will be helpful if you consult them about your plans as early as possible.

As part of your marriage preparation, we like you to attend our church services, and to become a part of the life and worship of our community. We feel this is an essential part of our joint commitment to your being married in the Abbey. Your family and friends are also very welcome to attend.

Qualifying to be Married at the Abbey

To be married at Hexham Abbey, there must be a Qualifying Connection. A Qualifying Connection to the parish may be established by meeting any one of the following criteria:

If either of you:

  • Were baptised in the parish
  • Have had a confirmation entered into a church register in the parish
  • Have at any time lived in the parish for at least 6 months
  • Have habitually attended public worship at the Abbey for at least 6 months

 

Or if a parent has, at any point in your lifetime:

  • Lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
  • Habitually attended public worship at the Abbey for at least 6 months
  • Was married in the parish

 

Or if a grandparent 

  • Was married in the parish 
Timings of Services

The marriage service, including the signing of the Register, takes approximately 45 minutes. A wedding can be held on any day of the week, but by law the service must take place between 8.00am and 6.00pm.

It is important that the service begins punctually, as there are many people involved in the service and they may have difficulties if things run late.

The length of time your photographer will take after the service is a little difficult to predict, and you will need to allow for this when planning the timing of your reception.

When arranging a date and time for your wedding, the Clergy need to take into account existing commitments in the Abbey as well as the time that will be needed to set things up for you. Therefore, it will be very helpful to us if you can be flexible in your choice of date and time.

Meeting the Clergy

The first step in planning your wedding at the Abbey will be a meeting with one of the Clergy, to fill in a booking form and receive an instructional booklet.

You will usually be informed in January which member of the Clergy will be conducting your wedding. He/she will be your point of contact in the run-up to the big day, and will normally see you two or three times.

You will have one or two longer meetings to discuss the service, and to talk about marriage and relationships, as well as a short rehearsal for the service itself, which will also involve the other people taking part.

Planning Your Service

The Clergy member who is to conduct your service will work with you on the content, and help you decide on hymns and readings. This will be the time to consider whether you would like a friend or family member to play a special part in the service, perhaps with a reading or a musical performance.

We are happy to produce a service sheet for you, though we can also advise you on how to produce your own, if you prefer. If you do produce your own service sheet, please bear in mind that you will need enough copies for your guests, the members of the choir (if you are having one), the Clergy taking the service, the Verger and, of course, the Bride and Groom.

If you are producing your own service sheet, it will be very helpful if you can bring copies with you when you come for your rehearsal.

We highly recommend the Church of England website, which has lots of good ideas to help you plan your service.

The Rehearsal

The week before your wedding, you will be invited to the Abbey for a short run-through of the service. It is very useful on this occasion if other participants, such as the Best Man, the Bride's father and the Bridesmaids, can be present too.

Organ Music, Choir and Bells

Music is likely to be a big part of you wedding day. Our Director of Music here at the Abbey is more than happy to help you with choosing music, both for entrance, exit, and hymns to be sung during your ceremony. .

We have a wonderful choir here at the Abbey, who receive a high level of training all year round. they rehearse and sing throughout the year in the Abbey. The choir can be made available for your wedding to sing as part of your ceremony; please let Michael know if this is something you might be interested in with as much notice as possible. The choir can learn new music if your chosen songs are not already in their extensive repertoire!

 

We are lucky enough at Hexham Abbey to have a peal of 10 bells. Our bell ringing team take pride in ringing for weddings and we would be happy to arrange a band to play on your day. The bells are usually rung for approximately 20-30 minutes at the end of the wedding, and can make your day even more memorable and atmospheric. We would appreciate an expression of interest in bells as early as possible to arrange the 11 people involved in making this possible. This can be finalised closer to your date but as much notice as possible is appreciated.Please book the bells with the Abbey’s Administrator as early as you can.

To make an appointment to meet Michael, to discuss the music for your wedding, please contact him directly:

Michael Haynes, Director of Music

(01434) 602031

directorofmusic@hexhamabbey.org.uk

Photography and Videography

Photography and videography are most welcome in the Abbey throughout your service. We entrust that wedding photographers understand the sensitive nature of a religious ceremony and we just ask that they are respectful of this and do not photograph the signing of your actual wedding document (a staged document will be provided should you wish) or use flash photography throughout your ceremony.

Videography is allowed throughout your ceremony, however, if you are having live music at your wedding (organist and/or choir or any other musicians such as harpists or string quartets), there are additional fees payable to the musicians. The company doing your videography will need to have the relevant licensing and an indemnity form will need to be signed. We ask that guests attending do not record the service on their phones but do allow photos to be taken. 

 

Flowers

The Flower Team at the Abbey are a highly skilled team of volunteers, lead by Sheila Dance. The Flower Team have a plethora of experience and keep the Abbey decorated year round, changing colours and themes to mix with liturgical seasons, taking into account special services. Should you wish to have our flower team look after your flowers in the Abbey for the day, you are most welcome to get in touch with Sheila who will be happy to discuss preferences, colour schemes and seasonal flowers with you. 

We also permit professional florists to provide displays.

To discuss the flowers for your wedding, please contact:

Mrs Sheila Dance, Flower Co-ordinator

(01434) 607335

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