If you are planning to be married at The Church of the Good Shepherd, or at any of our other churches, please read this page carefully. It will provide important information about how to meet the minister before your wedding, preparing for marriage and finally how to plan your wedding ceremony including the vows, readings and prayers.
PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE
A wedding lasts for one day but you are preparing for a marriage of a life time. Just as we look forward to celebrating your wedding vows with you, we also encourage you to spend adequate time as a couple preparing yourselves for marriage.
While we appreciate that some couples are already in long term partnerships, preparing for marriage is the perfect opportunity to share and discuss your values, expectations and hopes for your future together. The preface to the marriage service in A New Zealand Anglican Prayer Book says,
“Marriage is a way of life …. no one should enter into it lightly”
Whether you are living in Mackenzie or travelling from overseas to be married here, we’re committed to assisting you in any way we can to help you prepare for your life together.
Local couples being married at any of our churches can take the opportunity to meet with the minister several times before their wedding. Either ask Anne our administrator to make an appointment or contact Rev Andrew McDonald personally once you’re booking has been confirmed. We offer the Prepare-Enrich assessment and facilitated sessions for which there is a cost of $50 per couple. If you are overseas and it is practicable to arrange a Skype conversation you can “meet” the minister that way.
Otherwise we encourage overseas couples to prepare for their wedding by meeting with their own local minister, priest or pastor to discuss their relationship and the significance of Christian marriage in a contemporary world.
On this page you’ll find further resources and information to assist you exploring your relationship and preparing for a lifetime of marriage.
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
Planning your wedding can be exciting but at times there may be things you just don’t feel sure about. Don’t worry, when it comes to arranging your wedding in the Mackenzie Parish you’ll be in the hands of ministers who are experienced in organising and conducting wedding ceremonies. Once you’ve booked your wedding day with our administrator you can start planning your wedding ceremony by choosing a ceremony from our Wedding Ceremony Resource Book.
Before going any further, download the Wedding Service Resource Book (PDF).
You will see on the contents page that there are six forms of marriage ceremony from which you need to choose one. There are four main ceremonies, plus the traditional 1662 Book of Common Prayer marriage service, and a Marriage Blessing ceremony for couples who have been married in a civil marriage ceremony.
Couples choosing the Traditional ceremony should bear in mind that there is no option for choosing your own blessing or prayers.
Couples who have been married in a civil ceremony must select Marriage Blessing ceremony.
The book also includes a set of resources including suggested Bible readings, non-Biblical readings, prayers for the couple, and final blessings. The ceremonies themselves cannot be altered, but you may flavour your ceremony by doing the following:
- Choose the Marriage Ceremony form you want
- Choose Bible Reading or Readings
- Choose a non-Biblical Reading (optional)
- Choose Prayers for the Couple (you may choose from a selection of alternative Prayers for the Couple)
- Select 1 or 2 Hymns or Songs (optional)
- Choose 3 pieces of music. (You may like our organist to play, or bring your own music)
- Choose a Final Blessing
Once you’ve made these choices fill in the Wedding Ceremony Planning Sheet and post, fax or email it to our administrator.
After your marriage, you will be given a bound copy of the wedding ceremony by the minister. Enjoy planning your ceremony and if you need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us.