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:

Emily Hagon, Abbey Administrator

(01434) 602031

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

You may be married at Hexham Abbey by Banns if one of you meets one of the following conditions:

  • you have lived in Hexham parish for a period of at least 6 months
  • you were baptised in this parish
  • you were prepared for confirmation here
  • you have at any time regularly come to normal church services in Hexham Abbey for a period of at least 6 months
  • one of your parents, at any point during your lifetime, lived, or has lived, in the parish for a period of at least 6 months
  • one of your parents regularly came, or has come, to normal church services in Hexham Abbey for a period of at least 6 months
  • your parents or grandparents were married here.

You do not need to contact the Registrar - Church of England clergy legally act as Registrars at marriages in parish churches. The Banns will normally be read at the 10.00am service in the Abbey on three successive Sundays in the period before the wedding.

If either of you lives in another parish, you must ensure that the Banns are read in that parish too, in the three months before the wedding. In this case, you must let the Clergy at the Abbey have the Banns certificate from your own parish before the wedding takes place.

We will let you know when your Banns are to be read at the Abbey, and would encourage you to come to hear them being read, perhaps with your friends or family.

There are alternatives to Banns which the Clergy can explain to you.

If one, or both of you, has been divorced and you wish to be married in the Abbey, please arrange to discuss this with a member of the Abbey Clergy before making your arrangements. The Abbey follows guidelines issued by the Church of England to help you reflect on the issues involved, and this must happen before a firm booking can be made.

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

Marcus Wibberley, our Director of Music, will be very happy to meet you to talk about the music for your wedding, and to demonstrate some of the options available to you.

Our choir is usually available to sing at weddings, and Marcus can advise on their repertoire and fees.

Hexham Abbey also has a peal of 10 bells, and the bell ringers are always happy to ring for weddings. The bells are usually rung for around 20 minutes at the end of the wedding, and can make your day even more memorable and atmospheric. Please book the bells with the Abbey’s Administrator as early as you can.

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

Marcus Wibberley, Director of Music

(01434) 602031

directorofmusic@hexhamabbey.org.uk

Photography, Video Recording and Confetti

We do not allow photographs to be taken during the prayers or the promises as they detract from the meaning of the service. However, your photographer is welcome to take photographs as you enter and leave the Abbey, and during the signing of the Register.

It is a good idea to speak to a number of photographers before you hire one for your wedding. It is important that you feel comfortable with you choice, and that the person you choose understands exactly what you require.

The wedding information pack available from the Parish Centre includes a letter for photographers, outlining our requirements. Please ensure that your photographer reads it.

We are happy for you to make a video recording of your wedding in Hexham Abbey, but please bear in mind that additional fees will be payable to any musicians and that you will need to sign an indemnity form. The company or individual recording the video will need to obtain the relevant licences.

Before your wedding takes places, please ask your guests not to make recordings of the service on their phones or cameras. Again, this detracts from the meaning of the service, and spoils it for others.

Confetti is allowed outside the Abbey, but please do not use it within the building.

Flowers

We are privileged at Hexham Abbey to have our own team of talented flower arrangers. They volunteer their time, as well as providing oasis and sundries, so we apply a small fee of 25% of the cost of your flowers if we arrange them for you. This money is used to provide flowers in the Abbey at other times of the year.

Our Flower Co-ordinator, Mrs Sheila Dance, will be delighted to talk to you about your requirements, including your chosen colour scheme, and to give you a price.

We also permit professional florists to provide displays, under supervision.

We like flowers to be left in the Abbey during the week following the wedding, so that others can delight in them and share your joy and happiness.

If two or more weddings are taking place in one weekend, we encourage Brides to discuss their ideas with each other, so that they can arrive at a common theme and colour scheme, and share the costs of their flowers.

To discuss the flowers for your wedding, please contact:

Mrs Sheila Dance, Flower Co-ordinator

(01434) 607335