At the time of writing there are fifteen weddings booked for 2008 and it is likely that several more will be arranged as we enter the spring. Couples approaching the Rector about tying the knot in church are expected "to show their love for each other and a commitment to grow more in love in the future as a couple and with love itself."
Adds Kevan: "A wedding is a significant marker in peoples lives and a difficult confrontation with the reality of love that can be nerve-racking and even intimidating. Our response must be to create space so that two people in love can publicly engage with their feelings and hopes, and do so with the security, I believe, our Christian faith can provide."
Zoë Boxley (neé Spiller) remembers the big day ...
When Richard and I got engaged in 2002, we knew from the start that we wanted to get married at St Marys Church in Woodbridge. We loved Woodbridge and had many happy memories of the church. I had been a bridesmaid there and seen my godson Rory baptised in the church.
At the time we were living in Stourbridge in the West Midlands so we wrote to the Rector, Kevan, to explain the situation. On our behalf he kindly sent an application for a Special Licence to the Archbishop of Canterburys office, and we were delighted when the licence was granted and were keen to meet Kevan to prepare for the wedding. From the moment we met him, he made us feel not only welcome, but also very excited about our wedding day.
On the big day itself we were nervous, but from the start Kevan told us to follow his lead and this helped us to relax and enjoy the ceremony. It was a very special service and so much of that came from Kevan's warm and engaging manner, including a moving and thought-provoking address, which was very memorable. What also made the ceremony so unforgettable was the involvement of so many people who gave of their time: the ladies who decorated the church with flowers, the choir, the organist, the bellringers and Kevan's assistants during the service. And of course, having all our friends and family together was magical.
In August this year we will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary and our memories of that happy day are as clear and fresh as ever. Within twelve months of getting married we were blessed with the arrival of identical twin boys, Jack and Tom, so our lives have been very busy recently! We try to return to Woodbridge whenever we can, and every time we have a competition to see who can see the tower of St Marys first! We will have a bond with this special place forever and will pass this on to our boys over the coming years.
Our advice to other couples wanting to get married at St Marys would be to put a lot of thought into the kind of service that is right for you. At times we would visit Kevan without too much preparation! Luckily, he was very patient with us and he helped and advised us, the result being a wonderful service and a very special day.
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