A wedding is one of life’s great moments, a time for good wishes, feasting and joy. St John tells us how Jesus shared in such an occasion, and gave there a sign of new beginnings.

Christian Marriage

Why a marriage?

A wedding is one of life’s great moments, a time for good wishes, feasting and joy. St John tells us how Jesus shared in such an occasion, and gave there a sign of new beginnings.

Marriage is intended by God to be a creative relationship – God’s blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other in good times and bad. For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman, made and celebrated in the presence of God and before a priest and congregation.

The couple has prepared the service of their choice, assisted by the priest. On this their wedding day they face each other, make their promises with clear understanding, and receive the Church’s blessing.

The congregation are witnesses of the marriage, and they express their support by their presence and prayers.

‘Love is patient and kind. Love never comes to an end.’

Weddings at St Mary by the Sea

Congratulations! Getting married is one of the most exciting times of your life, and we want to offer you what support we can as you prepare for the big day. Although there is a lot to be organised, make sure you enjoy this time.

St Mary By The Sea Torbay is a busy parish with numerous requests for wedding bookings. The parish staff welcome these as a vital part of the Church’s ministry, but are also keen that our church is not to be seen or used as a ‘marriage bureau.’ In other words, our four lovely church buildings are not simply for hire.

By booking your wedding at St Mary’s we take that to mean a request for a Christian service in the Anglican tradition.

The Marriage Service

The Anglican Church offers a range of Marriage liturgies which you will have time to study carefully and, in consultation with the officiating Minister, develop into an order of service that is appropriate for you.

Service Sheets

It is the responsibility of the couple being married to have service sheets printed if they are required.

Marriage Preparation

Because of the high value we place on marriage, every couple will be expected to complete the online survey Prepare and Enrich, this costs $60. You then meet with the minister 3 times to talk through some of the issues relating to Christian marriage. There will also be a rehearsal during the week of the wedding.


Music is an important part of the service and needs to be discussed with the Minister. When you have settled on the music you require, you will need to ring the Organist Steve (if required). He will also help you choose music, if you desire.


Naturally you may want a full photographic record of your wedding day, and photography during the service is quite acceptable, but with the proviso that the dignity of the occasion is fully respected and it is done in a non-intrusive way. Arrangements regarding photography (still or video), and sound recordings, need to be discussed with the Minister in advance and conveyed to the people concerned. Photographers and videographers may not move around during the service unless it is at the back of the Church. There is an opportunity during the signing of the register for photographers to come forward to take photos.

Marriage License

This can be obtained from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It takes three working days to process, costs $123 and is valid for three months. The license needs to be handed into the office two weeks before the wedding so the details may be entered into the Church register.


The flowers are arranged by parishioners but if you want to share in the decorating of the Church, please contact the Parish Office (Ph 473 8180). During the season of Lent (six weeks prior to Easter), there are no flowers provided in the Church, you will need to arrange for your own, and ensure their removal after the service. For the rest of the year you may:

  • Use the flowers provided (no cost).
  • Provide flowers for the church florists to arrange.
  • Provide your own flower arrangements.

Note: For weddings on a Saturday if you do not wish to use the church provided flowers you must leave your flowers that are at the front of the church for Sunday use as there will be no time for our florists to come in after your wedding and decorate the church for Sunday.

You must contact the Office on 09 473 8180 and inform Debbie which option you wish to use.


If you want decorations on the pew ends, these must be tied on. No adhesives like glue, sellotape, blue-tac or pins may be used. Decorations must be removed immediately after the service (other services may be following yours).


Confetti, rice or similar is not allowed. You may however use flower petals.


We ask for a donation of $400 for the use of the church facilities. This amount is a donation and some people pay less and some people pay more. An honorarium of $100 for the organist (payable to the name of the organist playing). There is a $50 donation for the use of the sound desk technician.

Your wedding is considered booked after you have met with the minister and paid your church donation. If you decide for any reason to not proceed, your donation is refunded in full.

The other payments should be made when the marriage license is handed in to the church office. Please put the payments for the organist, the church and ‘Sound Desk Technician’ in separate named envelopes.

Church seating

With extra seats, 210 people

The Next Steps

If you wish to book, you will now need to call the parish office on +64-9-473-8180 to see if the church is available on your desired day. If you wish to go ahead, please fill the form in below. A priest will then be appointed to officiate at your wedding. They will contact you to arrange a first meeting.

Thank you for your interest in getting married in Torbay Parish. We hope we can assist in making your wedding (and your marriage!) a wonderful success.

May God bless you during your preparations.


Marriage Contact Form

Subscribe St Mary by the Sea News

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team at 1pm on Thursday. You will receive a comfirmation email. You _must_ click on the link in this to accept us, without this double opt-in, we will not send you any more emails. We will never give your information to a third party. We keep this information only so we can send your our weekly news.

Sucess! You are subscribed. Remember to double opt-in by clicking the link in the email we have just sent you. If you don't do this, you wont hear from us again, so check your spam folder if there is nothing there.