Weddings at St Jude’s

If you have recently become engaged, congratulations!  God has greatly blessed you by providing that special person with whom you will spend the rest of your life.  Your wedding ceremony is the moment when you will solemnly promise before God, your friends and your family, to “stick together” all your life.  This makes it worthy of a great celebration.  Our church is a great place for that celebration to begin.

St Jude’s, with its beautiful sandstone building and famous bell tower, has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the best places to be married in Sydney.  At St Jude’s you will make your vows in a Christian ceremony which is both solemn and joyful, using the timeless words of the Anglican wedding service.  Flowers for the church and a professional organist are provided.

There is no requirement that you be Anglican or baptised to be married at St Jude’s.  We simply ask that you attend church here at least three times as part of your preparation for marriage.  This will help you feel more a part of the church, and the community of people can then join the anticipation of your happy day.

Many people have a strong affection for St Jude’s because of family connections stretching back generations.  This is something we value, because a connection with our church can provide an avenue for you to connect with God.  Wherever you may stand with God at the moment, our prayer is that your wedding at St Jude’s would bring you closer to God and his Son Jesus Christ.

Organ Music

The organ and the Parish organist are an integral part of the services here, and add greatly to the nature of the wedding.  The organist is involved throughout the ceremony, in particular:

  • playing background music as guests arrive
  • during the bridal procession
  • accompanying hymns sung during the service
  • at the signing of the register
  • as the happy couple leave the church

We will provide you with lists of suitable music (entry and exit pieces, and hymns) to choose from.  The organist can demonstrate these options for you at a Sunday morning appointment (typically after the 9.30 am service).  As well as the wedding “standards”, we will try to accommodate special requests as long as they are suitable to the church context.

The basic wedding fee includes the organist.

Bells option

The bells of St Jude’s have rung out since 1865, announcing thousands of newly married couples and other services.

These “Randwick Bells” have been sung about by Paul Kelly and Jimmy Little. Eight new bells were made in England in 2000 to continue the ancient art of change ringing by a trained team of eight ringers on the ropes. The bells are an optional choice to be rung at a weekend wedding (other times possible). They are rung before the Bridal party arrives, and stop before the bride enters the church, as the Organ music ushers in the Bridal Party. Bells are then rung as the couple leave the Church to announce the marriage to the community.

Choir option

The church choir is sometimes available to sing at weekend weddings. This helps with the singing of the hymns. The choir can then also sing whilst the Register is being signed. Early arrangement is essential.

Other singers can be arranged through the organist/Choirmaster at your request.

Flowers

St Jude’s has an active team of flower arrangers who decorate the Church each week.

For your wedding, at least six arrangements will be placed in various parts of the church to add to its beauty.  Unless otherwise requested, these will be predominantly white.

The cost of the flowers is included in the Basic Fee, and as the arranging is done voluntarily the deal is an excellent one for you, and saves hundreds of dollars.

If you would like to put ribbons on the pew ends then this can be done on the morning of the wedding or just before if there is more than one wedding.  All decorations are to be tied in place. No form of adhesive, (eg Blu-tac or tape or pins) to be used in the church, as it damages the timberwork.  We also ask that no confetti be used.

Photography

Photography and Video (without video lights) are permitted during the service, as long as they are discreet, considering the service and the guests. Seats are reserved for photographers 5 rows back.  Photographers and Video operators should speak with Verger before the Wedding.

Married Previously

If one of the parties has been divorced, then the first step is to bring the original Decree Nisi or Absolute and briefly discuss with the Rector the circumstances of the divorce and the care of any children.  This must be done before any booking is made. The church seeks to uphold the sanctity of the marriage vows, as well as to understand and affirm people in their individual situations.

Format of the ceremony

Your wedding ceremony will follow the Second Order for Marriage from An Australian Prayer Book.  As you plan your wedding together with the minister, you will have many opportunities to make the service your own, through choosing music and Bible readings that have special meanings for you.

Couples sometimes ask to write their own vows.  We discourage this.  It is difficult to improve on the poetic and powerful words of the Anglican wedding service, which have been in use for nearly 500 years.

Weddings are usually conducted by the Rector, Andrew Schmidt.  Requests for another Anglican minister to officiate will be considered on a case by case basis.  It is not possible for ministers from other denominations to conduct weddings at St Jude’s.

Preparation

As preparation for your wedding at St Jude’s, we ask that you:

  • Attend church with us at least three times. Services are held on Sundays at 8.00 am, 9.30 am and 6.30 pm, and typically last about one hour.  You are not expected to take communion if you don’t feel comfortable to do so.
  • Participate in a short course on the Christian message as it applies to marriage. There are three sessions, running 7.30-9.00 pm on three successive Tuesday or Thursday nights.  These are held in a very relaxed environment and the discussion is interesting.  There may be anywhere from one to four couples in any given course.  We will let you know when these are on.

In addition to this, you might like to consider a “Prepare” course which is a psychology-based course using a questionnaire to identify strengths and weaknesses in your relationship, and to improve couple communication.  Feel free to ask about this.

Costs (including GST)

Basic Fee $1,430 – includes FlowersClergy, Organist, Verger, and Church

Optional Bells       $450

We ask that you pay a deposit of $300 to secure your selected date.  An Invoice for the balance will be issued to you 2 months before the Wedding, to be paid 1 month later.

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Next steps

If you would like to proceed with an application for marriage at St Jude’s, please contact the Secretary to make an appointment to meet with the Rector (preferably on a weekday during business hours).  To give good time for preparation, please take this step at least six months before your wedding.

When you come to your first appointment, please bring:

  • Completed application form
  • Completed Notice of Intended Marriage form
  • Birth certificates or (if born overseas) passports
  • If previously married, Decree Nisi

We look forward to helping make your special day a fun and memorable celebration.