Weddings

Photo by Robin + Andie

Any one of our six historic churches in Akaroa and the Bays would be a beautiful venue for your marriage. We are delighted when any couple wishes to pledge their love, trust, and fidelity to each other before God and in the presence of their friends and family.

As part of the hospitality of our parish it is possible for ordained ministers / pastors of other Christian faiths to officiate.  However, we will require a letter from the governing body of the denomination that verifies that the minister is in good standing with their denomination. The Vicar will need to meet with the officiating minister and a copy of the service to be used must be available. We understand the value of using one’s own pastor/minister.

The dedicated Register of each church must be used to record the marriage. This is not to be removed from the church.
Civil marriage celebrants are not permitted to preside in any church in the Christchurch Diocese or Alpine Presbytery.

To help you begin to think about your ceremony we offer A New Zealand Prayer Book which contains three versions of the marriage service. All three services can be adapted if you wish and you can mix and match sections from each as you prefer. If you choose to write your own service, the prayer book services are a useful outline for what needs to be in it.

Other things to think about include readings, music and who you would like to participate. Secular and religious readings are frequently used during the ceremony. There are ways to personalise even the most traditional service. Other traditions have become popular such as the lighting of a Unity Candle, a sand ceremony, a wine ceremony.

This is your day and we are here to help you along the way.

Fees and Booking

Wedding fee: $800 – covers:

* Use of the church on the day

* Service of our Clergy, and Verger (supervisor)  

* Up to one-hour rehearsal, and the church to be available a day before to decorate

* Use of the sound system (including CD player, AUX input)

* Church heating during cold months

* Administrative cost

Separate fees:

Organist (if required):  $120

Use of Wifi for livestreaming:   $100   

We recommend you confirm your booking as soon as possible because there can often be several requests for the same day and time. A non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $200 will confirm the date and time of your booking. The remaining outstanding balance is due to be paid 7 days before the wedding day.

In the event of financial hardship please contact our Vicar.

Dates

We do not conduct wedding ceremonies during Holy Week (the week before Easter), the week before Christmas or on public holidays.

Seating

St Peter’s can accommodate up to 120 guests:  the wooden pews seat about 90-100  people; the upstairs gallery seats up to 20 people.

Music

You are welcome to have your own singers, musicians / band. If you use a band they need to bring their own sound system.  

You can use our grand piano. There is a fee of $145. 

Our sound system can play music from a CD or most other electronic devices (no USB drives, please).

If you choose to have pre-recorded music playing during the Signing of the Register, please allow 8 minutes of playing time.

Nevertheless, nothing is as enjoyable as live music.

Decoration

We provide a large flower arrangement.

You may bring in additional flowers. You are also welcome to bring in your own ribbons or flowers to tie to the ends of the pews (please do not tape, glue or pin to the wood).

We do not allow confetti (paper bombs etc) of any type inside or outside the church. 

Fresh or dried rose petals are an acceptable alternative for confetti. Rice may be used outside the church.
Helium balloons and artificial petals may not be used inside the church.

Please arrange for any decoration (including petals), boxes, discarded material including hymn sheets to be removed at the end of the ceremony. Thank you.

Photography

All photographers and video camera operators must speak to the officiating minister before the service. This is a courtesy to both the minister and the bridal party. Guests are very welcome to take photos. As a further courtesy to the photographers, please let your guests know not to post any photos on social media until the official photos are released. 

Refreshments

If you would like to conclude your ceremony with refreshments you may use the church lounge (maximum capacity is 35). Alcohol is acceptable in the lounge only. NB The church may not be used as an extension of the lounge.

Verger

The Verger will attend your rehearsal; open the church, arrange and light the candles, assist with the bridal procession, take care of the sound system, ensure your special day proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Marriage Licence

You will need to apply to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (https://marriages.services.govt.nz) for a marriage licence around four weeks before your wedding day. The licence is valid for three months, and it takes three days to be prepared. If you have previously been married, you will need to show the Registrar the legal papers relating to the dissolution of that marriage.

To complete an on-line form choose Type of Ceremony:  Personalised ceremony

You will need to have these details before you start:

  • full address of the ceremony location . Please see the Contact Page for the address of each Akaroa and Bays church: ie Trinity, St Peter’s, Little Akaloa, Le Bons Bay, Pigeon Bay, Duvauchelle
  • the name of the minister you have arranged
  • personal details of you and your partner

Please note that we cannot conduct a legal marriage without a licence. It is your responsibility to ensure that the licence is completed correctly and delivered (in hard copy) to the vicar (11 Rue Renard, Akaroa) on your rehearsal day or earlier so that the church’s register can be completed.

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