Weddings at St John’s

As a beautifully restored heritage church in the city with an adjoining spacious lawn and garden area, St John’s is a popular venue for weddings.

The Setting
As well as the church itself, St John’s lawn and garden area is a feature.  The bridal party and their guests are welcome to gather here for an hour after the wedding at no additional cost.  The church, the bluestone hall and the rectory frame the garden on three sides, which features beautiful crepe myrtle trees.  All this provides a picturesque backdrop for photos and for mingling with guests after the service.


In brief:
• The church has a broad central aisle
• Weddings are celebrated in front of the central altar
• The marriage register is signed in view of guests
• St John’s has a fine pipe organ, Steinway piano and church bell
• The church seats 160 (and more can be accommodated), but does not look empty with fewer than the 160 people.

The Wedding Package
The fee for the Wedding Package at St John’s is $1,700 and covers:
• St John’s priest – several interviews leading up to the wedding, which cover aspects of marriage preparation, dealing with government forms, and the detailed planning of the service itself
• St John’s organist, use of the organ and piano
• The verger to assist with the ceremony, look after guests and to ring the bell
• A large pedestal flower arrangement for the church
• Pew bows
• Use of the lawn and garden area for an hour after the ceremony
• All legal requirements

Champagne Service
St John’s Champagne Service is an optional extra to the Wedding Package, and extends the time in the garden to one and a half hours.  St John’s provides tables set with white cloths, glasses, silver trays, ice containers, plus staff to set up, serve and clear away.  The wedding couple provides the drinks and ice and, perhaps, nibbles.  Drinks are delivered to the parish office at the time of the rehearsal.  The fee for the Champagne Service is $400 to serve drinks for up to 100 guests, plus $4 per head for each additional guest (e.g. $440 for 110 guests).

Legal Requirements
Both church and civil law have requirements that apply to all marriages.

The Commonwealth Marriage Act requires that:
Both parties to the marriage be at least 18 years old
The couple completes a Notice of Intended Marriage form and gives this to the priest/pastor less than 18 months and more than one month before the wedding day. This is available from the celebrant or at the South Australian Government website.

The couple must show the priest/pastor their original birth certificates or current passports (passports only for foreign nationals).  The couple signs a Declarations form, which the celebrant supplies at the rehearsal.

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide requires that priests who are approached by divorced people who wish to remarry must apply to the Archbishop for permission to conduct the marriage service.  Clergy at St John’s are happy to conduct marriage services where one or both partners is divorced.

Unfortunately, at present the Anglican Church of Australia cannot permit its clergy to conduct same-sex marriage services.

Other Clergy
St John’s is happy to host weddings celebrated by another priest/pastor/minister of any other Christian church, who is a registered minister of religion for the purposes of marriage in South Australia.   In such cases, the wedding party reimburses their pastor directly; this is separate from the fee paid to St John’s.  This person needs to contact the priest at St John’s at least a month before the service.

Marriage Preparation
St John’s recommends professional marriage preparation for all couples.  Courses are conducted by Anglicare and a variety of other agencies.  These courses cover aspects of the relationship which can build or undermine a healthy marriage, such as expectations for marriage, effective communication, conflict and resolution, intimacy, family values, financial management and keeping love alive.

Contact the parish office by phone so that we can send you current information regarding courses.

St John’s is noted for its fine acoustics and has a renowned pipe organ, a chamber organ and a Steinway grand piano.  Please contact the office who will put you in touch with an organist who is available on the date of your marriage.  Our organists are happy to help with the selection of music.

Visiting musicians must ask at the office for permission to play St John’s instruments.

Traditional music works best in this church, but couples are free to choose their own style.  The church does not have a sophisticated sound system, however, if recorded music is the preferred option, couples are advised to consult the verger to ensure compatibility.

Couples are welcome to organise an additional instrumental or vocal soloist or group to perform during the ceremony (St John’s can recommend some performers). The wedding party reimburses the performers directly.

A large white arrangement of flowers is included in the Wedding Package, and this remains in the church for the following Sunday’s service.  Alternative colours can be arranged on request.

Confetti must not be used inside or outside the church.  St John’s opens directly onto Halifax Street and throwing confetti is an offence under the Litter Act.

Alternatively, fresh or dried rose petals, or bubbles are environmentally friendly.  Please note, these can be thrown in the garden, but not inside the church.  Fabric rose petals are also not permitted.

Photography and Video recording
Photographers and/or videographers are welcome.

Good professional photographers are able to record the service unobtrusively and respectfully.  St John’s asks that couples give clear instructions to this effect.

We also ask that no additional lighting is used and flash photography is kept to a minimum.

The Ceremony
The ringing of the church bell heralds the bride’s arrival.

The bridal procession, to the accompaniment of organ or other music, moves down the central aisle to the altar.  Usually the bride and groom face each other in front of the priest, with the bridal party either side of the couple. That way all participants are in full view of the family and guests.

The priest begins the ceremony by welcoming everyone.  Hymns, readings and a prayer usually precede the consent of the couple to marry.  The exchange of vows and rings follows.  The legal signing of the register is done at a table at the side of the altar, again in full view.  The priest gives his blessing and the newlyweds, followed by the bridal party, move down the aisle, again to music, through the garden porch and out onto the lawn.

The ceremony lasts about 35 minutes, depending on the choice of readings, hymns and other music.  St John’s priests follow Anglican orders of service.  Couples can choose the hymns, songs, readings and additional music to include in the ceremony.  St John’s can help with suggestions, and also with the order of service.

Wedding Times
While Saturday afternoon is the most popular time, other times are available and St John’s does its best to be accommodating.

Wedding Fee
The fee is not subject to GST.

Reductions are not made for choosing an alternative priest/pastor, musician or florist.

Booking Confirmation
Temporary telephone bookings are valid for one month.

On the return of the booking form, St John’s sends a letter of confirmation, suggests a rehearsal time, and outlines relevant steps the couple needs to take leading up to the wedding.

The Priest will contact the couple some months before the wedding to arrange three or more interviews. These meetings are to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage form and other paperwork, to work on marriage preparation and to discuss details of the ceremony.

St John’s requires couples to designate a member of the wedding party, a family member or a guest to check that all items brought to the church are removed afterwards, on the day of the ceremony. These may include your orders of service and baskets, as well as any personal items.